By: Allan Brewer, IndyCar Correspondent
- Sato's 2nd IndyCar career pole
- Power's road/street course pole streak ends
- Power starts 2nd, Dixon, 3rd
Takuma Sato earns Edmonton Indy pole
KV Racing Lotus’ Takuma Sato powered around the 2.556 mile Edmonton Indy road course to take his second career IndyCar series pole ahead of Team Penske’s Will Power and Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon.
I will go for the win tomorrow.
IndyCar points-leader Dario Franchitti and Penske’s Ryan Briscoe join KV Racing Lotus’ E J Viso to comprise the remainder of the first three rows of two abreast cars to take the green flag for Sunday’s 90-lap race.
Sato’s best lap of 1:18.5865 shaded Power’s best of 1:18.5674 by a mere two hundredths of a second, but that was good enough to put the Japanese driver onto the top spot of the scoring pylon.
“The Iowa pole was my first,” said Sato, “but this was very special today. Tony (Kanaan) and E J worked so closely with me to set up the car. I will go for the win tomorrow.”
Sato was also fastest in the final practice session on Saturday with a lap at 1:18.9772 (101.376 mph).
“I brushed the wall in that final stent, but it’s still good to start second,” said Power of his result. Power’s miss at the pole position in Edmonton marks the first time in the last nine IndyCar outings that a driver other than himself starts from the first position on a road or street course, going back into the previous season. Power won the pole here in 2010.
“Qualifying was tough today, it’s so bumpy out there,” said Dixon (1:18.6442) of his result on the inside of row two. “It’s going to be an exciting race tomorrow. It will be great for the fans.” Dixon won the race here in 2010, over a slightly different configuration of the race course.
Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Reay and Newman Haas Racing’s Oriol Servia lit the verbal fireworks early this race weekend when the former accused the latter of blocking him on the way to a fast qualifying lap in the run-up to the Fast Six session.
“He (Servia) threw away his laps out there,” said Hunter-Reay. “He was sliding all over when I was trying to get through. It is what it is. I start seventh in the race on Sunday, and will have a good time; but was so close to getting into Fast Six.”
Dreyer & Reinbold’s Ana Beatriz, driving in her first Edmonton race, brought out yellow when her car stalled at the onset of qualifying on Saturday afternoon. The incident initiated a cascade of lap-limiting events for her tow-in that eventually caught out teammate Justin Wilson (among others) who could not get adequate heat into his tires to turn a quick lap and transition with a fast car into the final 12 qualifiers.
Friday’s Indy Lights and IndyCar practice sessions were rained out as heavy rains washed over Edmonton City Centre Airport where the 13-turn race course is located.
Racing commences at 2:00 PM EDT on Sunday. The event will be televised live on VERSUS network, and broadcast over the airwaves and via internet stream by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway radio network. The race will also be broadcast live on XM/Sirius satellite radio.