2010 Indy Lights Race of Chicagoland (Round 11, Qualifying)

Chicagoland Motor Speedway. © Copyright unknown

There are occasions when drivers have no choice but to rise above the elements and conditions to get that little bit extra from the car – an example being Mark Webber when the Red Bull man drove the 2007 Japanese Grand Prix with a stomach bug and famously vomited into his helmet when on the team radio during a safety car period.

Martin Plowman had to endure just such conditions this week as the Staffordshire pilot came down with a stomach flu. Despite the discomfort, the 22-year-old planted his AFS / Andretti Autosport machine onto pole position for the Indy Lights Chicagoland 100 with a two-lap average of 189.503 mph, claiming the bonus point in the process.  Alongside him is fellow Briton, Pippa Mann who secured her second front row in the series.

Last year’s Championship contender Sebastian Saavedra put his Bryan Herta Autosport car onto the second row, with Philip Major alongside him; both qualified ahead of current championship leader and title hunter, JK Vernay (5th) and Charlie Kimball (6th).

Gustavo Yacaman planted his Cape Motorsports car on the inside of the fourth row, with Indy Lights returnee Brandon Wagner on the outside. Wagner wasn’t the only driver to reappear this week – Dillon Battistini made his first Lights appearance since the end of 2008 placing in 9th and Arie Luyendyk Jr steps in at Alliance Motorsport in place of Shane Hmiel, qualifying a lowly 14th. Stefan Wilson (10th) comes back after missing Sonoma with funding issues.

Near the rear of the field, ‘Speedy’ Dan Clarke and Adrian Campos Jr filled out the sixth row, while Championship challenger James Hinchcliffe had a dreadful session, qualifying all the way down in 13th. Rodrigo Barbosa’s dire weekend continued – near or on the bottom of the time sheets in practice, the Brazilian found himself last and a long way off the pace in qualifying.

Firestone Indy Lights Chicagoland 100 at Chicagoland Speedway
SP Car Driver                Car Name Entrant             Time    Speed
1  27  Martin Plowman        AFS / Andretti Autosport     57.7510 189.503
2  11  Pippa Mann            Sam Schmidt Motorsports      57.7691 189.444
3  29  Sebastian Saavedra    Bryan Herta Autosport        57.9118 188.977
4  49  Philip Major (R)      Sam Schmidt Motorsports      57.9742 188.774
5   7  J.K. Vernay (R)       Sam Schmidt Motorsports      58.0347 188.577
6  26  Charlie Kimball       AFS / Andretti Autosport     58.0628 188.486
7  10  Gustavo Yacaman       Cape Motorsport              58.1744 188.124
8  32  Brandon Wagner        Davey Hamilton Racing        58.2079 188.016
9  35  Dillon Battistini     Team PBIR                    58.2190 187.980
10 28  Stefan Wilson (R)     Bryan Herta Autosport        58.3553 187.541
11 40  Dan Clarke (R)        Walker Racing                58.3794 187.463
12 22  Adrian Campos Jr. (R) Team Moore Racing            58.4052 187.381
13  2  James Hinchcliffe     Team Moore Racing            58.4914 187.104
14 24  Arie Luyendyk Jr.     Alliance Motorsports         58.8925 185.830
15 18  Rodrigo Barbosa       PDM Racing                   59.5351 183.827

Firestone Indy Lights Championship (after Qualifying)
1   7  J.K. Vernay (R)       Sam Schmidt Motorsports      412
2   2  James Hinchcliffe     Team Moore Racing            341
3  26  Charlie Kimball       AFS / Andretti Autosport     327
4  27  Martin Plowman        AFS / Andretti Autosport     321
5  29  Sebastian Saavedra    Bryan Herta Autosport        284
6  40  Dan Clarke (R)        Walker Racing                241

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