By: Allan Brewer, IndyCar Correspondent
- Power gets 1st Toronto pole
- Dixon, Franchitti start 2nd & 3rd
- Team Penske's 200th open-wheel pole
Will Power claims 8th straight road and street course pole
Building on his Friday performance as fastest over the 1.75 mile Toronto, Ontario street course, Team Penske’s Will Power snatched the pole position for Sunday’s IndyCar Toronto Grand Prix with a fast lap of 59.5771 seconds. Power just beat out Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti for the top spot on the grid.
"Man, that was hard work," said Power. “When you turn a fast lap here, you're really just exhausted. This is such a physical track. It's a real driver's track with all the different surfaces and all the bumps, you really need to wring its neck out there, and that's what I love about it.”
Power won the race here in 2010, but has never held the pole position at the Toronto circuit before.
Dixon’s best lap of 59.6646 seconds came on his final tour of the course, and landed him on the outside of the front row next to Power. Starting on the second row is Dixon teammate Franchitti (59.9000 seconds) alongside Andretti Autosport's Mike Conway (59.9336 seconds).
"It’s tough out there, it’s very close," said Franchitti, who currently leads the series points race. "I think my car was pretty fast. I just missed a little bit and you can see the difference.”
Ganassi’s Graham Rahal and Newman Haas Racing’s Oriol Servia qualified on the third row.
"For us to make the top six is huge,” said Rahal. "It’s so competitive you're finding hundredths of a second to move in and out of one group.”
Dale Coyne Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais, the 2004 Toronto race winner and a three-time pole sitter, will start seventh alongside Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Reay.
I just missed a little bit and you can see the difference.
Sam Schmidt Racing’s Alex Tagliani and Penske’s Ryan Briscoe round out the first ten on the grid for the 1 PM EDT green flag start.
Last year’s pole winner over this race course, Dreyer and Reinbold’s Justin Wilson, qualified eleventh. Popular local driver James Hinchcliffe put his Newman Haas car onto the 13th spot on the grid.
For Power the Toronto pole is a personal mark of 21 career IndyCar poles, including the last eight road and street courses of competition in the series going back into the previous season. It also is a landmark 200th pole in open-wheel racing for Team Penske.
In other IndyCar news, Firestone Indy Lights driver Martin Plowman has signed with Sam Schmidt Motorsports to drive three IndyCar Series events in the current season at Mid-Ohio, Sonoma and Baltimore.
“I’m thrilled to finally complete one of my goals, driving in the IndyCar Series,” said Plowman. “This day is the one I have been looking forward to for the last 15 years.”