Will Power ended a four-month pole drought with a dominant performance in qualifying for this weekend’s IndyCar race at Mid-Ohio.
Power reeled off a 1m05.6474s to secure himself the top spot on the grid for Penske, beating Ganassi’s Dario Franchitti by 0.2476 seconds.
It was a significant result from a championship perspective, with both of Power’s main rivals failing to make it through to the final phase of qualifying. Points leader Ryan Hunter-Reay was knocked out in segment two, while Helio Castroneves failed to progress from the first round.
Simon Pagenaud and Alex Tagliani were third and fourth-fastest, although the latter has been issued a 10-place grid penalty after the BHA team made an unauthorised engine change yesterday. Scott Dixon and Ryan Briscoe completed the top six.
With both qualifying groups featuring strong line-ups there was always going to be the potential for upsets. Castroneves and Rubens Barrichello both looked safe to progress from the first round, only to be bumped by Hunter-Reay and Oriol Servia at the last moment, while Andretti Autosport found itself without any cars in the final six-car battle for pole.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Will Power Penske Dallara-Chevy 1m05.6474s 2. Dario Franchitti Ganassi Dallara-Honda 1m05.8950s + 0.2476s 3. Simon Pagenaud Schmidt Dallara-Honda 1m05.9038s + 0.2564s 4. Alex Tagliani* Herta Dallara-Honda 1m06.0047s + 0.3573s 5. Scott Dixon Ganassi Dallara-Honda 1m06.0967s + 0.4493s 6. Ryan Briscoe Penske Dallara-Chevy 1m06.2005s + 0.5531s 7. Sebastien Bourdais Dragon Dallara-Chevy 1m05.9405s Round 2 8. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Dallara-Chevy 1m06.0660s Round 2 9. Marco Andretti Andretti Dallara-Chevy 1m06.1142s Round 2 10. Josef Newgarden Fisher Dallara-Honda 1m06.1721s Round 2 11. Oriol Servia Panther/DRR Dallara-Chevy 1m06.2053s Round 2 12. Justin Wilson Coyne Dallara-Honda 1m06.6613s Round 2 13. Helio Castroneves* Penske Dallara-Chevy 1m06.7041s Group 1 14. JR Hildebrand Panther Dallara-Chevy 1m06.3768s Group 2 15. Rubens Barrichello KV Dallara-Chevy 1m06.7101s Group 1 16. James Hinchcliffe Andretti Dallara-Chevy 1m06.4349s Group 2 17. Mike Conway Foyt Dallara-Honda 1m06.7807s Group 1 18. Takuma Sato Rahal Dallara-Honda 1m06.4404s Group 2 19. Tony Kanaan KV Dallara-Chevy 1m06.8433s Group 1 20. EJ Viso KV Dallara-Chevy 1m06.4511s Group 2 21. James Jakes Coyne Dallara-Honda 1m07.1234s Group 1 22. Graham Rahal Ganassi Dallara-Honda 1m06.6250s Group 2 23. Simona de Silvestro HVM Dallara-Lotus 1m08.0737s Group 1 24. Giorgio Pantano Ganassi Dallara-Honda 1m07.0348s Group 2 25. Ed Carpenter Carpenter Dallara-Chevy 1m08.5116s Group 1 * Will take 10-place engine penalty