Indy GP: Power edges Wickens to take 51st IndyCar pole

Will Power scored his first pole of the season, his third on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, and the 51st of his Indy car career, beating Robert Wickens by a mere 0.087sec.

The Team Penske-Chevrolet driver chose an unusual tactic in the Firestone Fast Six, setting a strong banker lap on one set of alternate tires – clocking a time that would have earned him fifth – and then going out on a newer (but still used) set to nail a 69.8182sec.

Power’s 51st pole lifts him to joint third in the all-time pole-winner’s list with Helio Castroneves (although one of the Brazilian’s poles came as a result of heat races at Iowa rather than a 'normal' qualifying session).

After a slow start to the day, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports-Honda rebounded fantastically to not only get Wickens onto the front row, but also James Hinchcliffe into fourth. The pair will be split by Sebastien Bourdais in the Dale Coyne Racing-Honda.

Jordan King continued to star, grabbing fifth for Ed Carpenter Racing – and beating points leader and reigning champion Josef Newgarden to the status of second-fastest Chevy driver.

2014 and 2016 Indy GP winner Simon Pagenaud fell just 0.03sec short of making it through to Q3 and will line up his #22 Penske in seventh alongside Alexander Rossi who had been blazingly quick in the two practice sessions. This year’s Long Beach winner will nonetheless be the highest-starting Andretti Autosport-Honda driver.

Spencer Pigot was a quarter second off ECR teammate King’s Q2 time, but qualified ahead of Penske’s temporary fourth man, Helio Castroneves. Takuma Sato was 11th for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, while AJ Foyt Racing-Chevy’s veteran Tony Kanaan claimed 12th.

Hunter-Reay missed escaping Q1 by just a couple of hundredths of a second, and will line up alongside teammate Marco Andretti who had a similar near-miss in the second group of Q1. But the biggest surprise was the failure of the two Chip Ganassi Racing-Hondas to reach the top dozen, Ed Jones and Scott Dixon lining up 15th and 18th as their handling went away as the track heated up.

By contrast Max Chilton overperformed to land 16th for Carlin-Chevrolet ahead of not only Dixon but two-time Indy GP runner-up Graham Rahal in the second RLLR-Honda.

IndyCar 2018 Grand Prix of Indianapolis, qualifying
Q3

ClaDriverLapsTimeGapIntervalMph
1 12 australia  Will Power  3 1'09.8182     125.761
2 6 canada  Robert Wickens  2 1'09.9052 0.0870 0.0870 125.604
3 18 france  Sébastien Bourdais  2 1'09.9449 0.1267 0.0397 125.533
4 5 canada  James Hinchcliffe  2 1'10.0858 0.2676 0.1409 125.281
5 20 united_kingdom  Jordan King  2 1'10.1326 0.3144 0.0468 125.197
6 1 united_states  Josef Newgarden  1 1'10.7276 0.9094 0.5950 124.144

Q2

ClaDriverLapsTimeGapIntervalMph
1 6 canada  Robert Wickens  6 1'09.8481     125.707
2 20 united_kingdom  Jordan King  5 1'09.8879 0.0398 0.0398 125.635
3 12 australia  Will Power  5 1'09.9156 0.0675 0.0277 125.586
4 5 canada  James Hinchcliffe  5 1'09.9570 0.1089 0.0414 125.511
5 18 france  Sébastien Bourdais  5 1'09.9973 0.1492 0.0403 125.439
6 1 united_states  Josef Newgarden  6 1'10.0067 0.1586 0.0094 125.422
7 22 france  Simon Pagenaud  5 1'10.0382 0.1901 0.0315 125.366
8 27 united_states  Alexander Rossi  6 1'10.1062 0.2581 0.0680 125.244
9 21 united_states  Spencer Pigot  5 1'10.1601 0.3120 0.0539 125.148
10 3 brazil  Helio Castroneves  4 1'10.1847 0.3366 0.0246 125.104
11 30 japan  Takuma Sato  5 1'10.1979 0.3498 0.0132 125.081
12 14 brazil  Tony Kanaan  5 1'10.3592 0.5111 0.1613 124.794

Q1G2 

ClaDriverLapsTimeGapIntervalMph
1 18 france  Sébastien Bourdais  6 1'09.5510     126.244
2 12 australia  Will Power  5 1'09.8557 0.3047 0.3047 125.693
3 22 france  Simon Pagenaud  5 1'09.8982 0.3472 0.0425 125.617
4 14 brazil  Tony Kanaan  5 1'10.0379 0.4869 0.1397 125.366
5 30 japan  Takuma Sato  5 1'10.0492 0.4982 0.0113 125.346
6 27 united_states  Alexander Rossi  6 1'10.0596 0.5086 0.0104 125.328
7 98 united_states  Marco Andretti  6 1'10.1044 0.5534 0.0448 125.247
8 59 united_kingdom  Max Chilton  5 1'10.2113 0.6603 0.1069 125.057
9 9 new_zealand  Scott Dixon  6 1'10.3221 0.7711 0.1108 124.860
10 26 united_states  Zach Veach  6 1'10.3371 0.7861 0.0150 124.833
11 88 colombia  Gabby Chaves  5 1'10.5066 0.9556 0.1695 124.533
12 32 united_states  Kyle Kaiser  6 1'10.7394 1.1884 0.2328 124.123

Q1G1

ClaDriverLapsTimeGapIntervalMph
1 6 canada  Robert Wickens  5 1'09.5215     126.298
2 5 canada  James Hinchcliffe  6 1'09.8244 0.3029 0.3029 125.750
3 21 united_states  Spencer Pigot  6 1'09.8647 0.3432 0.0403 125.677
4 20 united_kingdom  Jordan King  3 1'09.8735 0.3520 0.0088 125.661
5 1 united_states  Josef Newgarden  6 1'10.0768 0.5553 0.2033 125.297
6 3 brazil  Helio Castroneves  5 1'10.0825 0.5610 0.0057 125.287
7 28 united_states  Ryan Hunter-Reay  6 1'10.0985 0.5770 0.0160 125.258
8 10 united_arab_emirates  Ed Jones  6 1'10.2859 0.7644 0.1874 124.924
9 15 united_states  Graham Rahal  6 1'10.3605 0.8390 0.0746 124.792
10 19 canada  Zachary Claman De Melo  6 1'10.5064 0.9849 0.1459 124.533
11 4 brazil  Matheus Leist  6 1'10.6425 1.1210 0.1361 124.293
12 23 united_states  Charlie Kimball  6 1'10.7784 1.2569 0.1359 124.055
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About this article
Series IndyCar
Event Grand Prix of Indianapolis
Track Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Drivers Will Power
Teams Team Penske
Article type Qualifying report