Saavedra grabs St. Pete round two pole

Sebastian Saavedra will start from the pole position in race two of the Indy Lights Series doubleheader at St. Petersburg. Saavedra nipped his AFS/Andretti Green teammate J.R. Hildebrand by 0.0594 seconds, earning his first Indy Lights pole and...

Sebastian Saavedra will start from the pole position in race two of the Indy Lights Series doubleheader at St. Petersburg. Saavedra nipped his AFS/Andretti Green teammate J.R. Hildebrand by 0.0594 seconds, earning his first Indy Lights pole and the team's second of the weekend.

"It's very exciting," said Saavedra, "especially considering this is my first Firestone Indy Lights race weekend. I'm very happy."

Under the new qualifying format, despite setting the second fastest lap, Hildebrand will start third, directly behind his teammate.*

When the green flag flies, pre-race planning has a tendency to become ancient history by the first corner, nevertheless, Saavedra is optimistic about round two.

"We're a good team and there's good communication with my teammate. We already have it sorted out, more or less, on how we want the race to go. Obviously, we never know how the pitch is going to come, but we're really positive and have a fast car."

Under the old qualifying rules, Saavedra, who experienced problems early in round one, would have been placed at the back of the grid for round two with no chance of winning.

Junior Strous will start on the outside of the front row. "We had a good run," said Strous. "The car was good, it was handling fine. But it was a bit too low, we bottomed out a bit which made it hard. But I think it's a very good race car."

The qualifying rule change dramatically affected the grid once again. Under the old rules the Strous, who won round one would have drawn a number to invert the front portion of the grid. Now he starts on the outside of the front row after setting the seventh fastest lap in qualifying for round two.

James Davison will start fourth with Ana Beatriz rounding out the top five.

*Note: Due to the rule changes, David Reininger, submitted the second round qualifying article after the first race in this weekend's doubleheader in order to allow our viewers to comprehend the 2009 changes.

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Series Indy Lights
Drivers James Davison , Junior Strous , Sebastian Saavedra , J.R. Hildebrand , Ana Beatriz