Pagenaud scores Toronto Indycar pole, Dixon to start from fifth

Autosport

Penske’s Simon Pagenaud followed up leading two Toronto practice sessions by taking the first pole of his IndyCar title defence with a record-beating time.

Pagenaud was the second driver during qualifying to set a fastest-ever lap of the track, in a time of 58.9124 seconds, as he beat Graham Rahal by 0.3121s.

Will Power had initially set a 59.3910s for provisional pole before Pagenaud took control.

Pagenaud’s title-winning 2016 campaign had included seven poles, but he has not started first since last season’s finale.

The reigning champion’s team-mates Helio Castroneves and Power finished qualifying third and fourth behind Rahal, with all three Penske drivers saving the softer red Firestone tyres by only using these in the final six minutes.

His fourth place means that Power has now qualified in the top five in each of the last 10 years in Toronto.

Chip Ganassi’s Scott Dixon took fifth, alongside home hero James Hinchcliffe on the third row of the grid.

Josef Newgarden was the only Penske driver to miss out on the top six in seventh.

Alexander Rossi ended as the leading Andretti driver in eighth, ahead of Max Chilton.

Takuma Sato and Marco Andretti finished qualifying 10th and 11th, while JR Hildebrand was 12th after causing a red flag in the third stage.

The Ed Carpenter Racing driver damaged his front wing main-plane and left-front suspension against the wall at the tight Turn 8 right-hander before the final complex.

Tony Kanaan will begin the race in 14th while Ryan Hunter-Reay, who won the event in 2012, qualified only 16th.

Mikhail Aleshin’s replacement Sebastian Saavedra took 20th in his first road course qualifying since the 2015 season finale at Sonoma.

Esteban Gutierrez destroyed the right-hand side of his car against the wall at the fast final corner at the end of the second round.

He was set to advance from his group before the incident, but will start last.

PROVISIONAL STARTING GRID:

POSDRIVERTEAMCARTIMEGAP
1Simon PagenaudTeam PenskeDallara/Chevrolet58.9124s
2Graham RahalRahal Letterman LaniganDallara/Honda59.2245s0.3121s
3Helio CastronevesTeam PenskeDallara/Chevrolet59.4345s0.5221s
4Will PowerTeam PenskeDallara/Chevrolet59.5430s0.6306s
5Scott DixonChip Ganassi RacingDallara/Honda59.7970s0.8846s
6James HinchcliffeSchmidt Peterson MotorsportsDallara/Honda1m00.1415s1.2291s
7Josef NewgardenTeam PenskeDallara/Chevrolet59.8992s
8Alexander RossiAndretti HertaDallara/Honda1m00.0114s
9Max ChiltonChip Ganassi RacingDallara/Honda1m00.1202s
10Takuma SatoAndretti AutosportDallara/Honda1m00.1970s
11Marco AndrettiAndretti AutosportDallara/Honda1m00.3384s
12J.R. HildebrandEd Carpenter RacingDallara/Chevrolet1m02.3040s
13Spencer PigotEd Carpenter RacingDallara/Chevrolet59.7585s
14Tony KanaanChip Ganassi RacingDallara/Honda1m00.0607s
15Ed JonesDale Coyne RacingDallara/Honda59.8686s
16Ryan Hunter-ReayAndretti AutosportDallara/Honda1m00.0926s
17Charlie KimballChip Ganassi RacingDallara/Honda59.9820s
18Conor DalyAJ Foyt EnterprisesDallara/Chevrolet1m00.2713s
19Carlos MunozAJ Foyt EnterprisesDallara/Chevrolet1m00.1650s
20Sebastian SaavedraSchmidt Peterson MotorsportsDallara/Honda1m00.6272s
21Esteban GutierrezDale Coyne RacingDallara/Honda1m00.7441s

Pagenaud scores Toronto Indycar pole, Dixon to start from fifth

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