Will Power has secured pole for Sunday's IZOD IndyCar Series race on the streets of Sao Paulo.
The Australian was the only Penske driver to get through to the final phase of qualifying, but he was able to hold off Ganassi duo Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon to claim his place at the front of the grid. Franchitti fell short of Power's 1m21.4045s pole lap by a scant 0.04sec, with Dixon a further 0.4sec in arrears.
Power couldn't resist a dig at his rival, following IndyCar's approval of Honda's new turbocharger.
"It was satisfying, especially knowing that Honda seems to have an advantage on the straights at the moment, so being on pole is a good start to the weekend," Power said. "I have a feeling it's going to be wet, or maybe wet-dry for the race, so it will mix things up a lot."
Franchitti remained confident that he is poised to put his run of poor showings to start the year behind him, although he reckoned that he left a little speed on the table.
"We off-loaded with a good car of the truck and made some improvements to it," said the Scot. "I'm a bit disappointed in qualifying, especially because the time is in the car. The time was in the car, I didn't put it together. I'm a little disappointed in myself, but at the same time I feel a lot more happy than I have in the last few races."
Andretti Autosport's James Hinchcliffe continued his record of qualifying in the top six at every race so far this year by putting himself fourth on the grid, just ahead of teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay and Dale Coyne's Justin Wilson.
“I guess four is the number of the day: fourth place, fourth time in the Firestone Fast Six," mused Hinchcliffe. "We were 11th in the first practice, sixth in the second and now we qualified fourth. We're steadily improving and if we can keep that trend up for the race, we're looking good.”
Helio Castroneves' difficult start to the weekend continued when the Brazilian got knocked out in the first round of qualifying, the Penske driver having hit the wall earlier in the day, while Rahal's Takuma Sato was unable to take part in qualifying at all because he was having his engine changed. The former F1 driver will start from the rear of the grid. Local hero Rubens Barrichello missed advancing to the second round by just 0.0243sec and will start 13th.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap
1. Will Power Penske DW12-Chevy 1m21.4045s
2. Dario Franchitti Ganassi DW12-Honda 1m21.4485s + 0.0440s
3. Scott Dixon Ganassi DW12-Honda 1m21.8545s + 0.4500s
4. James Hinchcliffe Andretti DW12-Chevy 1m21.9956s + 0.5911s
5. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti DW12-Chevy 1m22.2408s + 0.8363s
6. Justin Wilson Dale Coyne DW12-Honda 1m22.2681s + 0.8636s
7. Graham Rahal Ganassi DW12-Honda 1m23.0972s Round 2
8. Mike Conway Foyt DW12-Honda 1m22.7082s Round 2
9. Josef Newgarden Fisher DW12-Honda 1m22.7301s Round 2
10. Ryan Briscoe Penske DW12-Chevy 1m22.4404s Round 2
11. Marco Andretti Andretti DW12-Chevy 1m22.8320s Round 2
12. Tony Kanaan KV DW12-Chevy 1m23.1766s Round 2
13. EJ Viso KV DW12-Chevy 1m22.1404s Group 2
14. Charlie Kimball Ganassi DW12-Honda 1m22.1973s Group 2
15. James Jakes Dale Coyne DW12-Honda 1m22.3840s Group 2
16. Rubens Barrichello KV DW12-Chevy 1m22.3939s Group 1
17. Helio Castroneves Penske DW12-Chevy 1m22.4143s Group 2
18. JR Hildebrand Panther DW12-Chevy 1m22.4321s Group 1
19. Simon Pagenaud Schmidt DW12-Honda 1m22.4354s Group 1
20. Ed Carpenter Carpenter DW12-Chevy 1m22.9424s Group 2
21. Sebastien Bourdais Dragon DW12-Lotus 1m23.1331s Group 1
22. Ana Beatriz Andretti DW12-Chevy 1m23.2692s Group 1
23. Oriol Servia Dreyer & Reinbold DW12-Lotus 1m23.4509s Group 2
24. Simona de Silvestro HVM DW12-Lotus 1m23.6762s Group 1
25. Katherine Legge Dragon DW12-Lotus 1m24.6042s Group 1
26. Takuma Sato Rahal DW12-Honda Group 2
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