By Allan Brewer, IndyCar correspondent
- Power is now four for four
- Penske driver takes 4th consecutive pole
- Hunter-Reay second consecutive front row
Will Power Claims Indy 300 Pole at Sao Paulo
The car was so good in the final session.
Team Penske’s Will Power once again showed why he is the reigning Mario Andretti Trophy road course series champion on Saturday. Power sliced up the street course over the streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil to take his fourth consecutive IndyCar Series pole of the season. He covered the 2.6 mile circuit in a new track record time of 1:21.8958 to earn his career 19th pole. The result was also a milestone for his team: Penske’s 200th pole start all-time in IndyCar racing.
“We tried to do as minimal laps as we could in the first two sessions of qualifying,” said Power. “The car was so good in the final session (of six cars) that I just had to lay a really good lap, stay clean, put all the sectors together and we came away with the pole.”
Power has won the pole position at all three previous races this year: St Petersburg, Barber Motorsports Park, and Long Beach. It is the fourteenth pole he has earned in his previous 27 races over 3 years in IndyCar, a staggering clip of 52% of the time.
Andretti Autosport driver Ryan Hunter-Reay once again declared himself a strong contender to win the race, capturing the second spot on the grid. His time of 1:22.2975 was a tenth of a second faster than Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon (1:22.3620) and Ryan Briscoe (1:22.3937). It is the second race in a row in which Power and Hunter-Reay will head the field at the start.
“The team did a great job with the car,” said Hunter-Reay. “It was a lot of fun out there all day. With qualifying being the same day as the first practice, we had to stay on our toes, but I think that it suited us. We just have to go back and work on the car to make it better so we can get by Will on the straights to reverse that result from last year.”
Power won the race here in 2010, ahead of Hunter-Reay in second.
Graham Rahal and last year’s pole-winner Dario Franchitti qualified into the third row for the noon-time start of the Sunday race, followed by Helio Castroneves and Justin Wilson (the latter of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing). The fifth row finds fast-rising young star Mike Conway and Lotus Racing’s Takuma Sato.
Fan favorite Danica Patrick was well off the pace in qualifications, posting a seventeenth-best time of 1:24.0976 to start on the ninth row.
Popular Brazilian driver, Tony Kanaan, posted a disappointing 1:24.2205 to earn the 21st spot of 26 cars on the starting grid.
The race will be broadcast live on television on the Versus Network.