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2011 Sao Paulo IndyCar 300 (Rd 4, Qualifying, April 30th)

May 1, 2011

Creative Commons / Laranjatomate

Will Power secured his fourth consecutive pole position and Roger Penske’s 200th pole as an owner at the street circuit in Sao Paulo yesterday.

The Australian finished the final session with a gap of four-tenths over Andretti-Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Reay, with Scott Dixon (Ganassi) and Ryan Briscoe (Penske) occupying the second row.
Ganassi pairing Graham Rahal and Dario Franchitti drew up the rear in final qualifying stage.

Despite Power’s run of poles, the Penske man has only once converted them into a victory in 2011 – he will be looking for a good result today in order to jump back to the top of the championship standing.

Helio Castroneves was the big scalp at the end of the second period of qualifying. The three-time Indy 500 winner is the highest starting Brazilian with his 7th best time – he pipped Dreyer & Reinbold’s Justin Wilson and Mike Conway (Andretti-Autosport) by just a few hundredths.
Takuma Sato rounded out the top ten in his KV Racing machine. Sato headed James Hinchcliffe (11th, Newman-Haas) and Sebastien Bourdais (12th, Dale Coyne) as the chequered flag emerged.

Simona de Silvestro was the first out from the first group of qualifying 1 – the ‘Swiss Miss’ lines up 13th on the grid. The HVM pilot pitted early in the session with a “safe” time, only to drop out as the clock ran out.
Tony Kanaan (KV Racing) initially qualified 15th, but was later demoted six places on the grid following illegal changes made to his front wing during the session.
Marco Andretti (Andretti-Autosport), Danica Patrick (Andretti-Autosport), Raphael Matos (AFS), Sebastian Saavedra (Conquest) and Ana Beatriz (Dreyer & Reinbold) take up the inside lanes from rows eight to thirteen.

Vitor Meira only just missed out on the session part of qualifying. Although Meira just nudged ahead of Oriol Servia (16th, Newman-Haas), both fared far better than the following pack.
Indeed on the outside of row nine stands Ganassi’s Charlie Kimball – the debutante set a best lap nearly half-a-second outside of the cut-off point. Alex Tagliani pitted early in the session leaving him 20th, although the Canadian ran less than a tenth quicker than JR Hildebrand (22nd, Panther) and James Jakes (24th, Dale Coyne).
EJ Viso did not run in qualifying after a practice crash. The Venezuelan suffered arear brake failure, leaving the KV Racing pilot helpless on the way to his accident.

Pos Driver Team Time Gap
 1.  Will Power           Penske             1m21.8958s
 2.  Ryan Hunter-Reay     Andretti           1m22.2975s  + 0.4017s
 3.  Scott Dixon          Ganassi            1m22.3620s  + 0.4662s
 4.  Ryan Briscoe         Penske             1m22.3937s  + 0.4979s
 5.  Graham Rahal         Ganassi            1m22.4970s  + 0.6012s
 6.  Dario Franchitti     Ganassi            1m22.6103s  + 0.7145s
 7.  Helio Castroneves    Penske             1m22.6283s  (Round 2)
 8.  Justin Wilson        Dreyer & Reinbold  1m22.6471s  (Round 2)
 9.  Mike Conway          Andretti           1m22.6986s  (Round 2)
10.  Takuma Sato          KV                 1m22.7379s  (Round 2)
11.  James Hinchcliffe    Newman/Haas        1m22.8450s  (Round 2)
12.  Sebastien Bourdais   Dale Coyne         1m22.9084s  (Round 2)
13.  Simona de Silvestro  HVM                1m23.6807s  (Group 1)
14.  Vitor Meira          Foyt               1m23.3196s  (Group 2)
15.  Oriol Servia         Newman/Haas        1m23.4015s  (Group 2)
16.  Marco Andretti       Andretti           1m23.7682s  (Group 1)
17.  Charlie Kimball      Ganassi            1m23.7126s  (Group 2)
18.  Danica Patrick       Andretti           1m24.0967s  (Group 1)
19.  Alex Tagliani        Sam Schmidt        1m23.7801s  (Group 2)
20.  Raphael Matos        AFS                1m24.1890s  (Group 1)
21.  Tony Kanaan          KV                 1m23.6838s  (Group 1)
22.  JR Hildebrand        Panther            1m23.8443s  (Group 2)
23.  Sebastian Saavedra   Conquest           1m24.2963s  (Group 1)
24.  James Jakes          Dale Coyne         1m23.8482s  (Group 2)
25.  Ana Beatriz          Dreyer & Reinbold  1m24.8246s  (Group 1)
26.  EJ Viso              KV                             (Group 2)
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