Will Power has achieved his fourth pole position of the season in the IndyCar Series circuit of Sonoma. The Australian will be joined by Newgarden in the first row. His closest rival in the championship, Hélio Castroneves will start sixth.
The last “normal” classification of the year was held in Sonoma, as always 2 groups of eleven drivers where the 6 fastest in each group were competing in the top 12 to advance to the Firestone Fast 6 to get the Verizon P1 Award which means a point in the championship.
In group A were Dixon, Castroneves, Briscoe, Newgarden, Andretti, Montoya, Munoz, Pagenaud, Aleshin, Conway and Huertas.
Aleshin has begun setting the pace on the soft tyres with Conway and Huertas, the other drivers used hard. Newgarden could only deal with the Russian driver with hards. In the last 3 minutes they all used soft. Castroneves with a single lap stood in first place with a minute to go, but Newgarden and Briscoe overtook the Brazilian.
Surprisingly, Andretti, Pagenaud (pretender to the title), Conway, Montoya (pretender to the title) and Carlos Huertas were eliminated in the group A.
Then it was the turn of Group B with Hunter-Reay, Kanaan, Power, Hinchcliffe, Bourdais, Kimball, Sato, Wilson, Rahal, Saavedra and Hawksworth.
After 2 minutes when no driver ventured out onto the track, the drivers were going to roll with the hard tyres with a Power which stood as the leader followed by Kanaan and Hunter-Reay. The drivers stopped in mid session to get themselves soft tyres. Rahal, Sato and Bourdais mostly climbed to first place, improving their times in the absence of a minute to go.
Finally, Rahal, Wilson, Hawksworth, Sato and Saavedra were eliminated from group B.
The Top12 was dominated by Power completing the first round with all hard. Although Castroneves, Aleshin, Briscoe and Hinchcliffe would follow a strategy of a single flying lap on the soft. Castroneves was the first out with a soft kick with 4 minutes left. The Penske managed to climb to first place, but Newgarden improved the time. Power instead had to do two laps on the soft after passing the Firestone Fast 6.
Deleted of the Top 12 and that will come from the seventh to twelfth place are: Bourdais, Kanaan, Muñoz, Hunter-Reay, Kimball and Aleshin.
Finally the Firestone Fast 6, the fight for pole position between two Penske: Castroneves and Power, two Chip Ganassi: Briscoe and Dixon; an Andretti Autosport one: Hinchcliffe; and a Sarah Fisher Hartman: Newgarden.
The session started, Newgarden was the first with a flying lap, a few minutes later Power improved by eight tenths the time of the American. Dixon was between them in mid session including being the only three drivers to complete the first try, the rest were expected to make a single attempt to get in good condition and get also tyres for the race tomorrow.
Nobody could improve time to Power, not even Castroneves who stood a few tenths, although the Brazilian suffered a runway and was penalized with time, leaving the pole again to Power.
|1||12||Will Power||AUS||Team Penske||11||1:17,412|
|2||67||Josef Newgarden||USA||Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing||12||1:17,731||+ 0,319|
|3||9||Scott Dixon||NZL||Target Chip Ganassi Racing||13||1:17,903||+ 0,491|
|4||27||James Hinchcliffe||CAN||Andretti Autosport||10||1:17,955||+ 0,543|
|5||8||Ryan Briscoe||AUS||NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing||8||1:18,121||+ 0,709|
|6||3||Helio Castroneves||BRA||Team Penske||6||1:18,876||+ 1,464|
|7||11||Sébastien Bourdais||FRA||KVSH Racing||10||1:17,717|
|8||10||Tony Kanaan||BRA||Target Chip Ganassi Racing||10||1:17,723|
|9||34||Carlos Muñoz (R)||COL||Andretti Autosport – HVM Racing||11||1:17,725|
|10||28||Ryan Hunter-Reay||USA||Andretti Autosport||8||1:17,749|
|11||83||Charlie Kimball||USA||Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing||10||1:17,753|
|12||7||Mikhail Aleshin (R)||RUS||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||6||1:18,770|
|13||15||Graham Rahal||USA||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||6||1:18,124|
|14||25||Marco Andretti||USA||Andretti Autosport||6||1:18,268|
|15||19||Justin Wilson||GBR||Dale Coyne Racing||5||1:18,229|
|16||77||Simon Pagenaud||FRA||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||5||1:18,276|
|17||98||Jack Hawksworth (R)||GBR||BHA / BBM with Curb-Agajanian||5||1:18,231|
|18||20||Mike Conway||GBR||Ed Carpenter Racing||4||1:18,351|
|19||14||Takuma Sato||JAP||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||5||1:18,410|
|20||2||Juan Pablo Montoya||COL||Team Penske||4||1:18,810|
|21||17||Sebastián Saavedra||COL||KV AFS Racing||5||1:18,520|
|22||18||Carlos Huertas (R)||COL||Dale Coyne Racing||6||1:18,960|