Firestone Fast Six" Qualifying Results (mph): 1. Will Power (111.478); 2. Ryan Hunter-Reay (110.934); 3. Scott Dixon (110.847); 4. Ryan Briscoe (110.805); 5. Graham Rahal (110.666); 6. Dario Franchitti (110.514).
Firestone qualifying highlight: Will Power kept his 2011 Firestone Fast Six record perfect by winning the pole position for the fourth time in as many races this season. Power followed the same tire strategy that has taken him to the previous three poles - using new Firestone alternate tires in the first two segments and a used set in the Fast Six. Power proved the lasting strength of the Firehawk alternates by going faster on the used set than he did when they were new. The Firestone tire specifications for São Paulo are new to this track, though both the primary and alternate specs have seen race duty elsewhere this season. (Chart of tire use in qualifying is attached.)
Qualifying temperatures: Track temperatures ranged from 113°-99° F (45°-37° C) and ambient temperatures from 83°-82° F (28° C).
From pole winner #12 Will Power, Team Penske Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "The Firestone reds, man, they had so much grip, those things. I think I broke my rib out there, there was so much grip. We went quicker on the used reds, so the durability is really there. They're durable, they're fast, I don't know why we don't run them all the time. They'll definitely be my favorite tire tomorrow, but I have a feeling we may be using the rain tires, too."
From Joe Barbieri, Manager, Firestone Racing: "Will Power has just been amazing in qualifying this season, and he did it again today. So congratulations to Will and to Team Penske for its 200th IndyCar pole. We need to thank the Brazilian promoters and the track designers for implementing the changes that have helped make the circuit more than five seconds faster than a year ago. We think the new specification Firestone tires have played a role in that as well. Drivers picked up more than two seconds when switching from the black-sidewall primaries to the red-sidewall alternates today, and the alternates seem to have the staying power as well. Of course, we saw last year how conditions can change quickly here and there's a chance we could see it again in tomorrow's race. Whatever happens, Firestone will be ready."