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Indianapolis road course IndyCar: Power denies Wickens pole – IndyCar


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Penske’s Will Power took his third IndyCar career pole position on the Indianapolis road course, overcoming a late challenge from Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ Robert Wickens.

Wickens had comfortably topped group one qualifying and both he and Power eased through the top 12 into the fast six.

Their battle intensified after Power completed a one-lap tour on red scuffed tyres before switching to another used alternate set of tyres.

Wickens had initially jumped to the top of the times, but Power responded with a benchmark of 1m09.8182s.

The SPM driver hit back but fell 0.0870 seconds short of Power to seal second on the grid, and admitted to being “gutted” to miss out after what he called a scruffy lap.

Dale Coyne Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais figured in the fight for pole but ended the fast six in third ahead of SPM’s James Hinchcliffe.

Jordan King was an impressive fifth for Ed Carpenter Racing, having recovered from a brake problem that restricted his group one running and required a late dash into the 12-car session.

He then made a late lap good enough to secure a place in the top six, with a similar effort enough to allow Josef Newgarden into the final stage.

The 2017 IndyCar champion will start Saturday’s race in sixth, having bumped team-mate Penske Simon Pagenaud down to seventh with his late surge.

Pagenaud believes he has now made a breakthrough in the “feeling” of his Penske-run car, and he will start ahead of Andretti’s Alexander Rossi.

ECR’s Spencer Pigot was ninth ahead of the returning Helio Castroneves (pictured), who showed glimpses of promise with fifth in group one qualifying on the slower black tyres – the only driver to use them.

But Castroneves earned a five-minute penalty for Saturday’s warm-up because he took the chequered flag twice.

Last year’s Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato began his Month of May defence with 11th for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing ahead of Tony Kanaan.

Ryan Hunter-Reay could only take 13th after complaining of balance issues in his Andretti-prepared car.

Chip Ganassi Racing’s struggles continued with Ed Jones and Scott Dixon unable to get out of their groups, leaving them starting 15th and 18th respectively.

Zachary Claman de Melo returned to IndyCar early as a stand-in for the injured DCR team-mate Pietro Fittipaldi and failed to advance from his group, qualifying 19th.

Starting grid

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap
1 Will Power Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 1m09.8182s
2 Robert Wickens Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 1m09.9052s 0.0870s
3 Sebastien Bourdais Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 1m09.9449s 0.1267s
4 James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 1m10.0858s 0.2676s
5 Jordan King Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 1m10.1326s 0.3144s
6 Josef Newgarden Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 1m10.7276s 0.9094s
7 Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 1m10.0382s
8 Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 1m10.1062s
9 Spencer Pigot Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 1m10.1601s
10 Helio Castroneves Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 1m10.1847s
11 Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara/Honda 1m10.1979s
12 Tony Kanaan AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Chevrolet 1m10.3592s
13 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 1m10.0985s
14 Marco Andretti Andretti Herta Dallara/Honda 1m10.1044s
15 Ed Jones Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda 1m10.2859s
16 Max Chilton Carlin Dallara/Chevrolet 1m10.2113s
17 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara/Honda 1m10.3605s
18 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda 1m10.3221s
19 Zachary Claman Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 1m10.5064s
20 Zach Veach Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 1m10.3371s
21 Matheus Leist AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Chevrolet 1m10.6425s
22 Gabby Chaves Harding Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 1m10.5066s
23 Charlie Kimball Carlin Dallara/Chevrolet 1m10.7784s
24 Kyle Kaiser Juncos Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 1m10.7394s



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