IndyCar » 02 June 2012
Detroit Belle Isle: Qualifying times
There were no early takers for the track in the second group, despite Franchitti's earlier example of how traffic later in the session can wreck one's prospects.
Finally with five minutes gone the first car headed out on track, with Mike Conway the first to break cover, and like the first session he set the fashion in wearing red compound tyres for the occasion.
HVM won no brownie points with Conway by putting Simona de Silvestro out right in front of him as Conway came down the straight, meaning his first time of the session was an unrepresentative 1:16.8350s. Next time around he swiped over 4s off that and posted a follow-up lap of 1:12.4867s which was soon bested by Helio Castroneves going almost half a second faster again.
First under the 72s mark was Hinchcliffe with a lap of 1:11.8172s, but that was blitzed by Will Power with a lap of 1:11.0721s. Hinchcliffe fought back and narrowed the gap slightly, but then made a glancing hit with the tyre wall with the left rear of the car in turn 14 and had to take to pit road to have the #27 checked over for suspension damage.
Back out on track and times were still falling, with Power now at 1:10.7900 and Tagliani just three hundredths of a second further back. As the times tumbled, all three Penske cars forged into the top six along with Tagliani, Rahal and Viso - leaving Hinchcliffe duly ejected from progressing to round 2, that mishap with the tyre wall having ultimately proved very costly to him.
Viso's final effort was enough to see him as the sole KV Racing car through to round 2, with Tony Kanaan visibly angry not to have posted a strong time during the session. Marco Andretti and James Jakes were also well off the expected pace in the session and will start behind the Lotus-powered car of de Silvestro for the Sunday race.
1. Will Power Penske-Chevrolet 105.269mph 1:10.790s (3 laps)
2. Alex Tagliani BHA-Honda 105.226mph 1:10.819s + 0.029s (4 laps)
3. Graham Rahal Ganassi-Honda 104.865mph 1:11.063s + 0.273s (5 laps)
4. EJ Viso KV Racing-Chevrolet 104.569mph 1:11.264s + 0.474s (6 laps)
5. Helio Castroneves Penske-Chevrolet 104.446mph 1:11.348s + 0.558s (6 laps)
6. Ryan Briscoe Penske-Chevrolet 104.096mph 1:11.588s + 0.798s (6 laps)
7. James Hinchcliffe Andretti-Chevrolet 104.003mph 1:11.652s + 0.862s (2 laps)
8. Mike Conway AJ Foyt-Honda 104.003mph 1:11.652s + 0.862s (8 laps)
9. Tony Kanaan KV Racing-Chevrolet 103.777mph 1:11.808s + 1.018s (6 laps)
10. Rubens Barrichello KV Racing-Chevrolet 102.921mph 1:12.405s + 1.615s (6 laps)
11. Simona de Silvestro HVM-Lotus 102.643mph 1:12.601s + 1.811s (6 laps)
12. Marco Andretti Andretti-Chevrolet 102.57mph 1:12.653s + 1.863s (5 laps)
13. James Jakes Dale Coyne-Honda 102.297mph 1:12.847s + 2.057s (5 laps)
Round 2 - Top 12
The twelve drivers through from round 1 were Scott Dixon, Simon Pagenaud, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Justin Wilson, Sebastien Bourdais, Takuma Sato, Will Power, Alex Tagliani, Graham Rahal, EJ Viso, Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe, making it an even split of Honda and Chevrolet cars but missing a number of high-profile runners.
After three minutes of inactivity at the start of the ten minute session, Takuma Sato headed out on track and pretty much everyone piled out shortly thereafter and only Alex Tagliani hanging back.
Sato's first effort of 1:14.7779s was quickly beaten by Rahal lowering the benchmark to 1:12.1779s. Penske duo Castroneves and Briscoe muscled past Rahal with the first laps in the 1:11s range, and Rahal responded with a new lead time of 1:11.1333s.
Times were falling with every circulation: with two minute to go, Viso went top with a lap of 1:10.9312s but 30 seconds later he was already shuffled back to fifth place as Dixon, Tagliani, Power and Pagenaud all went faster still. Power's final lap of the day put him top with a lap of 1:10.4977s. Rahal made a spirited last flying effort but fell 0.036s short of bumping Ryan Hunter-Reay from the top six as the chequered flag came out.
Tagged as: qualifying , James Hinchcliffe , Dario Franchitti , Ryan Briscoe , Scott Dixon , EJ Viso , Will Power , Alex Tagliani , Simon Pagenaud , Detroit , Belle Isle
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