Speedway, IN – With a lap just over a hundredth of a second slower than the newly set track record, Simon Pagenaud scored the pole position during qualifying for the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis.
The Verizon P1 Award, Pagenaud’s fourth of his career and second in a row after scoring the pole at Barber Motorsports Park continues a hot streak as the Team Penske driver aims for his third win in a row.
Pagenaud’s team ran sparingly in the opening rounds and saved their best for last.
“The red tires on my car really work magically every time,” said Pagenaud. “Ben (Bretzman), my engineer, gives me a monster car every time I’m out there.”
And as for the race? “If we make turn one, we should be in good shape,” said Pagenaud.
Pagenaud’s quick time of 1:08.6868 at 127.832 mph was just a tick slower than his teammate’s track record run in Round 1 of qualifying. Will Power eclipsed his track record set last year, and beat Jack Hawksworth’s record run earlier in the session.
Charlie Kimball qualified a career best second when he jumped up to second place early in the final round and held on for the front row starting spot.
“We just found that last little bit of balance and grip,” said Kimball. “All credit to Simon Pagenaud, It would have taken a perfect lap to beat him.”
Graham Rahal was the quickest Honda driver and qualified third. James Hinchcliffe (fourth) and Jack Hawksworth (sixth) captured their season best starting positions. Josef Newgarden will start the race in fifth.
Six different teams and three of each engine manufacturer competed in the Fast Six round.
Max Chilton led the first group early with a lap of 1:09.7227. With three minutes left in the session, AJ Foyt Racing driver Jack Hawksworth jumped to the top of the pylon with a 1:09:1601 lap. Mikhail Aleshin moved to second at 1:09.2537 with a minute and a half left to run. Charlie Kimball moved into second with 40 seconds to go, running 1:09,2451. Scott Dixon jumped to second on his final run in the session. Juan Pablo Montoya moved into fifth on his last lap. Sebastien Bourdais moved into fifth bumping Montoya down a spot.
Hawksworth run established a new track record for the road course with a lap of 1:09.1601.
Early leader Chilton finished seventh and would not transfer to the next round. Also not transferring included Helio Castroneves, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Carlos Munoz, Marco Andretti and Akex Tagliani. Tagliani was assessed a five minute penalty for disobeying a checkered flag during practice.
Montoya received the same penalty for running a lap after receiving the checkered flag which will be assessed in the next round.
In the second session, Will Power wasted no time as he jumped to the top of the leader board on his opening lap and picked up the pace from there. Gabby Chaves jumped into second on his opening lap. Matthew Brabham leaped over Power to the top of the board with a 1:09.2944 lap. With two minutes to go JR Hildebrand moved into the fourth position. Alexander Rossi jumped into the top six with just over a minute to go. 30 seconds to go and Tony Kanaan and James Hinchcliffe break into the top six. Temamtes Power and Pagenaud take over the top positions with Newgarden now in third. Graham Rahal tkes fifth on a final flying lap.
Power’s lap of 1:08.6746 sets the new track record, besting Hawksworth. Pagenaud, Newgarden, Hinchcliffe, Rahal and Kanaan all made the top six with laptimes quicker than Hawksworth in the opening round. Rossi, Brabham, Hildebrand, Spencer Pigot, Takuma Sato, Daly and Chaves all failed to transfer to the next round.
Will Power again was quickest on the opening lap in the next round followed by Pagenaud and Dixon. Dixon moved to the number one spot on the next lap as times decreased. Aleshin moved into first with 5:40 to go in the session at 1:09.6771. Bourdais, slotted sixth, hit the track with Montoya, who finished his penalty. Montoya jumped to the top of the chart with a 1:09:2645 opening lap but was quickly beaten by Pagenaud, Hinchcliffe, Hawksworth, Rahal and Kanaan on their next laps. Newgarden moved into fifth as time ran out leaving drivers on track to their final run. Rahal’s run moved him into second and Kimball jumped up to fourth.
The “Fast Six” were set with Pagenaud (1:09.7696), Rahal, Hinchcliffe, Kimball, Hawksworth and Newgarden. Surprisingly after setting the track record, Power was the slowest of the session at 1:09.9297.
Firestone Fast Six
Pagenaud opened the six minute session on the top, just a bit quicker than Newgarden. Hawksworth hit the track with and placed third in his opening lap. Kimball jumped to second on his first lap. Hinchcliffe jumped to third and Rahal to fourth. Pagenaud’s quick lap of 1:08.6868 would withstand the challenges and capture the pole for tomorrow’s Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis.
Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis Revised Qualifying Results
INDIANAPOLIS – Qualifying Friday for the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis Verizon IndyCar Series event on the 2.439-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course, with qualifying position, car number in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, time and speed in parentheses:
1. (22) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 01:08.6868 (127.832)
2. (83) Charlie Kimball, Chevrolet, 01:08.9816 (127.286)
3. (5) James Hinchcliffe, Honda, 01:09.2260 (126.837)
4. (41) Jack Hawksworth, Honda, 01:09.5141 (126.311)
5. (10) Tony Kanaan, Chevrolet, 01:09.2511 (126.791)
6. (2) Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet, 01:09.2645 (126.766)
7. (9) Scott Dixon, Chevrolet, 01:09.4010 (126.517)
8. (11) Sebastien Bourdais, Chevrolet, 01:09.4436 (126.439)
9. (7) Mikhail Aleshin, Honda, 01:09.6771 (126.016)
10. (12) Will Power, Chevrolet, 01:09.9297 (125.560)
11. (8) Max Chilton, Chevrolet, 01:09.3289 (126.648)
12. (98) Alexander Rossi, Honda, 01:09.1475 (126.981)
13. (3) Helio Castroneves, Chevrolet, 01:09.4947 (126.346)
14. (61) Matt Brabham, Chevrolet, 01:09.2944 (126.712)
15. (28) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 01:09.5276 (126.287)
16. (6) JR Hildebrand, Chevrolet, 01:09.4377 (126.450)
17. (26) Carlos Munoz, Honda, 01:09.6457 (126.072)
18. (16) Spencer Pigot, Honda, 01:09.4591 (126.411)
19. (27) Marco Andretti, Honda, 01:09.7478 (125.888)
20. (14) Takuma Sato, Honda, 01:09.4659 (126.399)
21. (35) Alex Tagliani, Honda, 01:10.4109 (124.702)
22. (18) Conor Daly, Honda, 01:09.4795 (126.374)
23. (19) Gabby Chaves, Honda, 01:09.7720 (125.844)
24. (15) Graham Rahal, Honda, No time
25. (21) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, No time
Note: Times for Rahal and Newgarden were disallowed for violating Rule 126.96.36.199 (Minimum car weight)