Power Wins Pole For IndyCar Season-Opener

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, March 23 2013

Will Power on pole in St. Pete. (INDYCAR/LAT USA file photo)

Will Power will start his 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series season from the pole at St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sundayt.

Team Penske’s Power won the pole with a qualifying lap of 105.870 mph at the 1.8-mile street circuit.

Takuma Sato of A.J. Foyt Racing will start second and Simona de Silvestro of KV Racing Technology will start third.

“Yeah,” Power said, “definitely that is always the aim and good start to the year.  Obviously, this is going to be a mixed up race tomorrow with weather and so on. You know it keeps us out of trouble for the first part and see what we can do after that.”

Sato is driving for his third different team in three seasons is making his 50th start in IndyCar.

“Between Will and I it’s always getting close for us this weekend and unfortunately no we didn’t get the fastest,” Sato said. “I am really glad for the team to get the 2nd position for the season-starter. it’s really perfect.”

“Well obviously the team worked really hard over the course of the winter testing and and I’ve done the preparation as much as I could. The last three weeks testing, including Sebring and Barber, have been very very progressive. So I think we made a good improvement and I’m really happy to show the improvement over the course of the qualifying. We had a good car on the long runs so hopefully tomorrow we will be challenging for the winning.”

The top-three effort by de Silvestro is a bit of a stunner, considering her struggles of past seasons.

“I was actually pretty nervous because last year I haven’t done that in a while so it was kind of like let’s see how it goes,” she said. “KV Racing they gave me a really good car and every session we tried a few changes and went in the right direction. To be right up there is an awesome feeling. After the year I had last year it’s really cool to get this opportunity with the Nuclear Clean Entergy car and to be running up front. It’s awesome.”

James Hinchcliffe of Andretti Autosport will start from the No. 4 spot on the grid Sunday.

“It’s good to be back and good to get the first qualifying of the season out of the way,” he said. “To have the Go Daddy car in the first two rows… we’re pretty happy with that. The big question mark was these red tires (Firestone alternate red tires), they don’t let us test with them so everybody was trying them out for the first time. What we figured out pretty quick was how peaky they are, it’s kind of one lap – maybe two if you’re lucky. So we weren’t sure what to do with the cars. It’s all about finding that gap and putting all the sectors together. Definitely a tough job for the drivers but obviouslty the Go Daddy car was good, the guys did a great job between all the sessions and I’m happy to be in the first two rows.”

Qualifying Saturday for the Honda Grand Prix of St Petersburg IZOD IndyCar Series event on the 1.8 mile(s) St Petersburg Street Circuit, with qualifying position, car number in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, time and speed in parentheses:

1. (12) Will Power, Dallara-Chevy, 01:01.2070 (105.870)

2. (14) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 01:01.5776 (105.233)

3. (78) Simona de Silvestro, Dallara-Chevy, 01:01.7670 (104.910)

4. (27) James Hinchcliffe, Dallara-Chevy, 01:01.8229 (104.816)

5. (3) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Chevy, 01:01.8991 (104.686)

6. (55) Tristan Vautier, Dallara-Honda, 01:02.0645 (104.408)

7. (25) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Chevy, 01:01.6883 (105.044)

8. (1) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Chevy, 01:01.7339 (104.967)

9. (6) Sebastian Saavedra, Dallara-Chevy, 01:01.7944 (104.864)

10. (10) Dario Franchitti, Dallara-Honda, 01:01.8150 (104.829)

11. (11) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Chevy, 01:01.9139 (104.661)

12. (22) Oriol Servia, Dallara-Chevy, 01:02.1483 (104.267)

13. (19) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 01:02.1777 (104.217)

14. (83) Charlie Kimball, Dallara-Honda, 01:02.1198 (104.315)

15. (15) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 01:02.2709 (104.061)

16. (67) Josef Newgarden, Dallara-Honda, 01:02.1592 (104.248)

17. (98) Alex Tagliani, Dallara-Honda, 01:02.3328 (103.958)

18. (16) James Jakes, Dallara-Honda, 01:02.1658 (104.237)

19. (77) Simon Pagenaud, Dallara-Honda, 01:02.4736 (103.724)

20. (9) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 01:02.1715 (104.228)

21. (7) Sebastien Bourdais, Dallara-Chevy, 01:02.6537 (103.426)

22. (5) EJ Viso, Dallara-Chevy, 01:02.1986 (104.182)

23. (20) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Chevy, 01:02.6634 (103.410)

24. (4) JR Hildebrand, Dallara-Chevy, 01:02.3179 (103.983)

25. (18) Ana Beatriz, Dallara-Honda, 01:03.2551 (102.442)

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, March 23 2013
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