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Barber - Qualifying times

6 April 2013

Ryan Hunter-Reay will start from pole position in the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, after the Andretti Autosport driver pulled out a late flier of 1:07.0871s putting him almost a quarter of a second clear of Team Penske's Will Power on the 2.38-mile, 17-turn Barber Motorsports Park road course.

Series rookie Tristan Vautier will line up alongside Scott Dixon for the start of Sunday's race, after the Frenchman benefitted from a penalty handed to Takuma Sato for blocking in the second round of the qualifying session on Saturday.

Qualifying had taken the usual format for road and street course races in the IZOD IndyCar Series, with the field split into two groups for Round 1 from which the top six from each advanced to Round 2. The fastest half dozen cars in Round 2 went on to compete for pole position in the Firestone Fast Six.

Round 1's Group 1 was top-loaded with some big name contenders and as a result the action was fast and furious, a new frontrunner leaping to the top of the timesheets almost every 30 seconds. In the end, those not able to time their final fast runs to get the ideal clear late lap lost out and included among their number Simon Pagenaud, Dario Franchitti and Tony Kanaan, who will now start deep in the field. Franchitti's Ganassi team mate Scott Dixon topped the times ahead of reigning series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay, and a late flier from Takuma Sato put the AJ Foyt #14 through to round 2 along with Dragon's Sebstian Saavedra, third Ganassi driver Charlie Kimball - and Penske's AJ Allmendinger in his first series qualifying session.

Most of the action in Group 2 was compressed into the last four minutes of track time, up to which time Ed Carpenter had the best lap of 1:08.6362s: that was rapidly slashed by over a second by the first serious runs from Penske duo Will Power and Helio Castroneves as times rapidly tumbled once the drivers switched to the softer red-wall tyres. Rookie Tristan Vautier proved his worth once again by going top ahead of Justin Wilson and the Penke pair, and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing's James Jakes and Andretti Autosport's Marco Andretti also progressed to round 2 after edging out the fastest driver in Saturday's morning practice, KV Racing's Simona de Silvestro. Carpenter never improved on his early time and as a result ended up at the bottom of the timing screens. James Hinchcliffe also missed out on progressing, complaining without success that Power had blocked him.

In Round 2, Scott Dixon set a time of 1:08.0809s in an early circulation, over half a second clear of his team mate Charlie Kimball, but the serious efforts were once again reserved for the final four minutes of the session when all 12 cars were finally out and meaning business, Helio Castroneves jumping to the top with a lap of 1:07.3663s that was almost immediately trimmed by three-tenths by Ryan Hunter-Reay. Dixon was the first and only driver to dip under 67s with a new bid of 1:06.9095s putting him top ahead of Hunter-Reay, with Kimball and Takuma Sato also ending ahead of Penske's Will Power and Helio Castroneves as the chequered flag came out meaning that Tristan Vautier had narrowly failed to progress. However, Justin Wilson reported that Sato had held him up in the middle sector of his flying lap, which saw the Japanese driver ejected from the Firestone Fast Six pole shootout and Vautier duly handed promotion into the pole shoot-out in his place.

Power, Dixon and Castroneves got early banker laps in, while Vautier's Schmidt-Peterson crew were still scrambling to get the #55 ready again after their late reprieve. Power finally declared his hand with a lap of 1:07.3361s just 90s before the scheduled end of qualifying, with Dixon holding onto his coattails with an effort 0.1377s slower. Dixon managed to come within three thousandths of a second of provisional pole with his next effort, but both were leap-frogged by a massive effort from Hunter-Reay who clinched the top spot by almost a quarter of a second despite Power's best counterstrike after the chequered flag came out.

Round 1 - Group 1

1. #9 Scott Dixon Ganassi (H) 123.998mph 1:06.7750s (5 laps)
2. #1 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti (C) 123.547mph 1:07.0186s + 0.2436s (4 laps)
3. #14 Takuma Sato AJ Foyt (H) 123.467mph 1:07.0619s + 0.2869s (6 laps)
4. #6 Sebastian Saavedra Dragon (C) 123.404mph 1:07.0964s + 0.3214s (6 laps)
5. #83 Charlie Kimball Ganassi (H) 123.296mph 1:07.1552s + 0.3802s (6 laps)
6. #2 AJ Allmendinger Penske (C) 123.235mph 1:07.1881s + 0.4131s (5 laps)
7. #77 Simon Pagenaud Schmidt (H) 123.138mph 1:07.2409s + 0.4659s (4 laps)
8. #98 Alex Tagliani BHA (H) 123.051mph 1:07.2886s + 0.5136s (5 laps)
9. #10 Dario Franchitti Ganassi (H) 123.037mph 1:07.2965s + 0.5215s (7 laps)
10. #11 Tony Kanaan KV Racing (C) 122.908mph 1:07.3671s + 0.5921s (6 laps)
11. #15 Graham Rahal RLL (H) 122.814mph 1:07.4184s + 0.6434s (6 laps)
12. #7 Sebastien Bourdais Dragon (C) 122.745mph 1:07.4567s + 0.6817s (6 laps)
13. #18 Ana Beatriz Dale Coyne (H) 120.154mph 1:08.9108s + 2.1358s (7 laps)

Total laps: 73

Round 1 - Group 2

1. #55 Tristan Vautier Schmidt (H) 123.361mph 1:07.1201s (5 laps)
2. #19 Justin Wilson Dale Coyne (H) 123.247mph 1:07.1819s + 0.0618s (7 laps)
3. #12 Will Power Penske (C) 123.095mph 1:07.2651s + 0.145s (6 laps)
4. #3 Helio Castroneves Penske (C) 122.965mph 1:07.3365s + 0.2164s (6 laps)
5. #16 James Jakes RLL (H) 122.589mph 1:07.5428s + 0.4227s (6 laps)
6. #25 Marco Andretti Andretti (C) 122.486mph 1:07.5997s + 0.4796s (3 laps)
7. #78 Simona de Silvestro KV Racing (C) 122.252mph 1:07.7291s + 0.609s (5 laps)
8. #5 EJ Viso Andretti-HVM (C) 122.243mph 1:07.7337s + 0.6136s (5 laps)
9. #22 Oriol Servià Panther/DRR (C) 122.219mph 1:07.7474s + 0.6273s (6 laps)
10. #27 James Hinchcliffe Andretti (C) 122.165mph 1:07.7774s + 0.6573s (6 laps)
11. #67 Josef Newgarden SFHR (H) 122.155mph 1:07.7830s + 0.6629s (6 laps)
12. #4 JR Hildebrand Panther (C) 122.058mph 1:07.8367s + 0.7166s (4 laps)
13. #20 Ed Carpenter Ed Carpenter (C) 120.636mph 1:08.6362s + 1.5161s (7 laps)

Total laps: 72

Round 2 - Top 12

1. #9 Scott Dixon Ganassi (H) 123.749mph 1:06.9095s (4 laps)
2. #1 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti (C) 123.486mph 1:07.0521s + 0.1426s (2 laps)
3. #83 Charlie Kimball Ganassi (H) 123.212mph 1:07.2013s + 0.2918s (6 laps)
4. #12 Will Power Penske (C) 123.116mph 1:07.2536s + 0.3441s (3 laps)
5. #3 Helio Castroneves Penske (C) 123.069mph 1:07.2794s + 0.3699s (6 laps)
6. #55 Tristan Vautier Schmidt (H) 122.708mph 1:07.4772s + 0.5677s (3 laps)
7. #25 Marco Andretti Andretti (C) 122.686mph 1:07.4893s + 0.5798s (2 laps)
8. #19 Justin Wilson Dale Coyne (H) 122.673mph 1:07.4964s + 0.5869s (4 laps)
9. #6 Sebastian Saavedra Dragon (C) 122.428mph 1:07.6317s + 0.7222s (3 laps)
10. #2 AJ Allmendinger Penske (C) 122.311mph 1:07.6962s + 0.7867s (4 laps)
11. #16 James Jakes RLL (H) 121.974mph 1:07.8832s + 0.9737s (4 laps)
12. #14 Takuma Sato AJ Foyt (H) 120.076mph 1:08.9560s + 0.3232s (7 laps) *

Total laps: 48

Round 3 - Firestone Fast Six

1. #1 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti (C) 123.421mph 1:07.0871s (2 laps)
2. #12 Will Power Penske (C) 122.975mph 1:07.3304s + 0.2433s (6 laps)
3. #55 Tristan Vautier Schmidt (H) 122.918mph 1:07.3616s + 0.2745s (2 laps)
4. #9 Scott Dixon Ganassi (H) 122.913mph 1:07.3642s + 0.2771s (5 laps)
5. #83 Charlie Kimball Ganassi (H) 122.668mph 1:07.4987s + 0.4116s (3 laps)
6. #3 Helio Castroneves Penske (C) 122.647mph 1:07.5106s + 0.4235s (5 laps)

Total laps: 23

Starting grid - unofficial

1. #1 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti (C) Round 3
2. #12 Will Power Penske (C) Round 3
3. #55 Tristan Vautier Schmidt (H) Round 3
4. #9 Scott Dixon Ganassi (H) Round 3
5. #83 Charlie Kimball Ganassi (H) Round 3
6. #3 Helio Castroneves Penske (C) Round 3
7. #25 Marco Andretti Andretti (C) Round 2
8. #19 Justin Wilson Dale Coyne (H) Round 2
9. #6 Sebastian Saavedra Dragon (C) Round 2
10. #2 AJ Allmendinger Penske (C) Round 2
11. #16 James Jakes RLL (H) Round 2
12. #14 Takuma Sato AJ Foyt (H) Round 2 *
13. #77 Simon Pagenaud Schmidt (H) Round 1 - Group 1
14. #78 Simona de Silvestro KV Racing (C) Round 1 - Group 2
15. #98 Alex Tagliani BHA (H) Round 1 - Group 1
16. #5 EJ Viso Andretti-HVM (C) Round 1 - Group 2
17. #10 Dario Franchitti Ganassi (H) Round 1 - Group 1
18. #22 Oriol Servià Panther/DRR (C) Round 1 - Group 2
19. #11 Tony Kanaan KV Racing (C) Round 1 - Group 1
20. #27 James Hinchcliffe Andretti (C) Round 1 - Group 2
21. #15 Graham Rahal RLL (H) Round 1 - Group 1
22. #67 Josef Newgarden SFHR (H) Round 1 - Group 2
23. #7 Sebastien Bourdais Dragon (C) Round 1 - Group 1
24. #4 JR Hildebrand Panther (C) Round 1 - Group 2
25. #18 Ana Beatriz Dale Coyne (H) Round 1 - Group 1
26. #20 Ed Carpenter Ed Carpenter (C) Round 1 - Group 2

* - penalised for blocking in Round 2, loses fastest two lap times


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