Power Stays Pole Perfect
Will Power remained pole perfect on the season Saturday.
For the fourth time in four races, Power was fastest in qualifying for an IZOD IndyCar Series race as he earned P 1 during qualifications for the Itaipava São Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle.
Power, driving the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car, set the track record of 1 minute, 21.8958 seconds with three minutes left in the 10-minute Firestone Fast Six shootout on the 2.536-mile, 11-turn street circuit.
As at Long Beach two weeks earlier, Ryan Hunter-Reay of Andretti Autosport will join Power on the front row.
They finished 1-2 in the inaugural IZOD IndyCar Series race in Brazil, with Power starting the 2010 season with the victory.
After winning Saturday’s pole, Power declared the street course in Sao Paulo free of the slick conditions which plagued last year’s race.
“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.”
Hunter-Reay said, ”The team did a great job with the car. It was a lot of fun out there all day. With qualifying being the same day as the first practice, we had to stay on our toes, but I think that it suited us. Unfortunately we didn’t get pole. We just have to back and work to make the car better so we can get by Will (Power) on the straights to reverse that result from last year.”
Scott Dixon and Ryan Briscoe will share Row 2, while Graham Rahal and Dario Franchitti will be on the third row for the 75-lap race.
Drivers will have 15 pushes of the Honda overtake assist – an ECU software alteration employed by Honda Performance Development – each lasting 22 seconds during the race. It is activated by the driver via a button on the steering wheel and provides an extra 200 RPM (about 10 horsepower) to the Honda Indy V-8 engine. Parameters are updated before each race weekend to meet the circuit layout.
There is a 10-second recovery period between pushes. One overtake assist push is available for the warm-up session on Sunday morning.
The dry weather tires for this weekend are the street course primary, which is a new spec for 2011 and used on the streets of St. Petersburg and Long Beach earlier this year. The red-rimmed alternate tires are the same spec as used at St. Pete in March..
The alternate tire program, part of the IZOD IndyCar Series since 2009, calls for a second tire specification at road/street courses using the same construction as the primary specification but with a softer tread compound to provide more grip and faster lap times while trading off compound durability for those shorter-term advantages.No Comment