2011 IndyCar Honda GP of Alabama (Rd 2, Qualifying, April 9th)

© Creative Commons / Will Pittenger

Will Power notched up the sixteenth pole of his IndyCar career on Saturday at leafy Barber Motorsports Park.

The Australian secured the top spot with a best quickest lap of 111.454, giving the Penske pilot a three-tenths advantage over 2nd place man Ryan Briscoe (Penske).

Scott Dixon broke the Penske stranglehold by taking 3rd spot in his Target Chip Ganassi machine. Helio Castroneves made it three Penske’s in the top-four, although the Brazilian may be dismayed to be nearly seven-tenths adrift of Power.
Dreyer & Reinbold’s Justin Wilson once again proved his worth on the road courses. The Englishman’s fastest lap was enough to a secure a top-five, just ahead of Oriol Servia (6th, Newman-Haas).

Dario Franchitti (Ganassi) was the shock drop-out from the second stage of qualifying. The reigning IndyCar Champion missed out on the “Firestone Fast 6” by just over one-thousandth of-a-second. Overtaking is difficult at Barber, so a fourth-row start could make for a frustrating race for the Scot.
Along side Franchitti was the impressive James Hinchcliffe. The Newman-Haas débutante beat a notable few in what was his first qualifying session, including Marco Andretti (9th, Andretti-Autosport) and Graham Rahal (10th, Ganassi).
Takuma Sato (KV Racing) and Alex Tagliani (Sam Schmidt Motorsport) made the sixth row all their own, as they aim for solid points in the race.

Simona de Silvestro (13th) topped the drivers knocked out of the opening qualifying stint. The HVM pilot will be taking the inside row, with JR Hildebrand (15th, Panther), Ryan Hunter-Reay (17th, Andretti-Autosport), Vitor Meira (19th, Foyt) and Charlie Kimball (21st, Ganassi) following suit.
The injured Ana Beatriz was replaced by Simon Pagenaud at Dreyer & Reinbold. The substitute took 23rd on his début, bettering fellow rookie James Jakes in his Dale Coyne pre-pared Dallara-Honda.

Raphael Matos heads the outside of row seven alongside “The Swiss Miss”. The AFS pilot will be aiming to keep up the strong display he showed at St Petersburg two weeks ago. Mike Conway (16th, Andretti-Autosport) will trail the Brazilian off the start, as will KV Racing’s EJ Viso (18th). Viso recovered from a Friday practice smash to pip the struggling four-time Champ Car title winner, Sebastien Bourdais (20th, Dale Coyne).
Danica Patrick (Andretti-Autosport) lines up 22nd ahead of former-teammate Tony Kanaan (24th, KV Racing). Sebastian Saavedra (Conquest) starts from 26th and last.

Pos  Driver               Team               Time        Gap
 1.  Will Power           Penske             1m11.4546s
 2.  Ryan Briscoe         Penske             1m11.7361s  + 0.2815s
 3.  Scott Dixon          Ganassi            1m11.8826s  + 0.4280s
 4.  Helio Castroneves    Penske             1m12.1247s  + 0.6701s
 5.  Justin Wilson        Dreyer & Reinbold  1m12.3085s  + 0.8539s
 6.  Oriol Servia         Newman/Haas        1m12.4394s  + 0.9848s
 7.  Dario Franchitti     Ganassi            1m11.7090s
 8.  James Hinchcliffe    Newman/Haas        1m11.8183s
 9.  Marco Andretti       Andretti           1m11.8672s
10.  Graham Rahal         Ganassi            1m11.9712s
11.  Takuma Sato          KV                 1m12.1667s
12.  Alex Tagliani        Schmidt            1m12.3485s
Q1(Group 1, Inside lane; Group 2 Outside lane)
13.  Simona de Silvestro  HVM                1m12.2559s
14.  Raphael Matos        AFS                1m12.4094s
15.  JR Hildebrand        Panther            1m12.2684s
16.  Mike Conway          Andretti           1m12.5191s
17.  Ryan Hunter-Reay     Andretti           1m12.3370s
18.  EJ Viso              KV                 1m12.6582s
19.  Vitor Meira          Foyt               1m12.5677s
20.  Sebastien Bourdais   Coyne              1m12.6896s
21.  Charlie Kimball      Ganassi            1m12.5857s
22.  Danica Patrick       Andretti           1m12.7257s
23.  Simon Pagenaud       Dreyer & Reinbold  1m12.5900s
24.  Tony Kanaan          KV                 1m12.8892s
25.  James Jakes          Coyne              1m12.7147s
26.  Sebastian Saavedra   Conquest           1m13.0858s

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