Carlos Munoz withstood a late challenge from Jack Hawksworth to secure pole position for the opening race of the Firestone Indy Lights season in St. Petersburg.
Munoz had been the pacesetter early in the session, laying down an initial benchmark time of 1m06.9277s. He improved that by 0.2 second just after the halfway point, only for Hawksworth to come out on new tires and immediately lower the time by 0.01sec.
The Briton's stint at the top was equally short-lived, though, as Munoz responded instantly with a 1m06.4244s. That was as quick as he would go, but while Hawksworth was able to close the gap, he was never able to beat it. The final margin between the pair's times was just 0.02sec.
Peter Dempsey was third fastest ahead of Schmidt rookie Gabby Chavez, followed by Zach Veach, Sage Karam, Juan Pablo Garcia and Jorge Goncalvez.
Former GP3 racer Ethan Ringel rounded out the nine-car field, although he at least managed to bridge some of the gap to his rivals after struggling with gearbox problems in practice on Friday.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1. Carlos Munoz Andretti 1m06.4124s
2. Jack Hawksworth Schmidt Peterson 1m06.4402s + 0.0278s
3. Peter Dempsey Belardi 1m06.6309s + 0.2185s
4. Gabby Chaves Schmidt Peterson 1m06.7122s + 0.2998s
5. Zach Veach Andretti 1m06.8347s + 0.4223s
6. Sage Karam Schmidt Peterson 1m06.9612s + 0.5488s
7. Juan Pablo Garcia Moore 1m06.9934s + 0.5810s
8. Jorge Goncalvez Belardi 1m07.2773s + 0.8649s
9. Ethan Ringel Moore 1m08.3130s + 1.9006s