Sao Paulo qualifying postponed, Power fastest

Qualifying for the IndyCar Series has been postponed one day while track officials work to improve conditions on the half-mile front straight. The 2.6 mile circuit through the streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil incorporates the Sambadrome, a half-mile concrete section, purposely built for parades during Carnival. The concrete section, which has tall grandstands on both sides, was painted for Carnival. Although the paint was stripped for the IndyCar race, the smooth concrete surface has provided little in the way of traction for the high-powered IndyCars.

Sao Paulo street circuit.
Photo by Indy Racing League.

Track officials will work tonight to grind the Sambadrome section in an effort to provide more traction.

The revised schedule puts the IndyCars on track at 8 a.m. BRT for a fifteen minute practice session with qualifying getting underway at 8:30.

With the challenging track conditions, a third practice session was held in the time allotted for qualifying.

Through the first two practice sessions the top four drivers remained unchanged with Scott Dixon setting the pace. Dixon was followed by Ryan Briscoe, Tony Kanaan and Will Power.

In the final practice session Dixon went to the top of the charts early. His fourth lap stopped the clocks at 1:32.48. Four laps later Dixon had lowered his time to 1:31.73.

Will Power didn't go out right away but when he did he rocketed to the top of charts, setting the fastest lap of the day (1:31.29) after just four laps. Set halfway through the session, Power's time held up until the checkered was shown.

Dixon knocked 0.1645 seconds from his previous best, set in the first session, to end the day seventh fastest.

Brazilian driver Tony Kanaan was second fastest, missing Power's mark by 0.0423 seconds. Kanaan's Andretti Autosport teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay was third followed by Justin Wilson driving for Dreyer and Reinbold and Dixon's Target Ganassi teammate Dario Franchitti.

In the battle of the Brazilians, all of whom are all hoping to impress the fans of their home country, Raphael Matos was sixth quick. Helio Castroneves rounded out the top ten while Vitor Meira was 16th.