Will Power stretched his run of IndyCar pole positions to four in a row in Sao Paulo as he remained unbeaten in 2011 qualifying sessions.
Following on from his poles in St. Petersburg, at Barber and in Long Beach, the Penske driver was again unstoppable on a Saturday afternoon in Brazil, as he led both of his first two sections of qualifying then blasted to the top spot in the Firestone Fast Six pole shootout for Sunday's Sao Paulo 300.
"What a fantastic job they did repaving the track, and I believe it now sets the standard for street courses," Power said. "The second session for us was a little tight – I was P5 with one lap to go, and I put a lap together at the end to advance. In the Fast Six we were very comfortable and gave it everything we had."
Power's time of 1m21.896s put him four tenths of a second clear of his rivals and gave Roger Penske's team its 200th pole in IndyCar racing.
But it was very close behind him, with just 0.09sec covering Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport), Scott Dixon (Ganassi) and Ryan Briscoe (Penske) in second to fourth places.
Graham Rahal's so-far difficult 2011 season looks like it could start improving in Brazil, with the American reaching the pole session for the first time this year and grabbing fifth on the grid for Ganassi's new second team. He shares row three with reigning champion and fellow Ganassi man Dario Franchitti.
None of the Brazilian contingent made it into the top six, with Helio Castroneves the best of the local heroes in seventh in Penske's third car.
Justin Wilson (Dreyer & Reinbold) recovered from a disappointing final practice session to make it up to eighth on the grid, just ahead of Andretti Autosport's Long Beach winner Mike Conway and KV's top driver Takuma Sato.
Circuit debutants James Hinchcliffe (Newman/Haas) and Sebastien Bourdais fill row six, as the four-time Champ Car champion produced his best form since returning to U.S. racing with Dale Coyne Racing.
Of those who failed to make it past the initial group stages, the big surprise was that KV Racing's Tony Kanaan was only eighth in his session, which translated to 15th on the grid. The Brazilian had been quickest early on but was pushed down the order and could not improve sufficiently with his last lap.
Simona de Silvestro's early departure was also a surprise given her second place in final practice this morning. The HVM driver was edged out of the top six in group one by Hinchcliffe's late jump up the order.
Last year's front row man Alex Tagliani will start only 20th for Sam Schmidt Motorsports this time, while 2010 Sao Paulo podium finisher Vitor Meira was half a tenth shy of getting beyond the group stage and will start between de Silvestro and Kanaan in 14th.
KV's EJ Viso could not take part in qualifying following his practice crash, which was caused by a brake issue. He will start last.
||Simona de Silvestro