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Pagenaud charges to Indy Toronto pole

Simon Pagenaud pic: IndyCar Twtter

Simon Pagenaud has broken the track record to take pole position for the Honda Indy Toronto as Will Power qualified fourth.

Pagenaud was clearly superior in a qualifying program in which Team Penske was again the class of the field.

The Frenchman lapped the Exhibition Place street circuit in a best time of 58.9124s during the third round of qualifying, bettering the track record on the circuit’s current iteration by over 0.8s.

Graham Rahal was second-fastest by just over 0.3s in his Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda.

The second row will be filled by Team Penske Chevrolets, though Helio Castroneves and Power ended up more than half a second adrift of their leading team-mate Pagenaud.

Championship leader Scott Dixon qualified fifth in his Chip Ganassi and will start alongside James Hinchcliffe (Schmidt Peterson Honda) in the Canadian’s home race on the IndyCar calendar.

Josef Newgarden was the only Penske driver to miss the Fast 6, unable to elevate himself into the final round of qualifying in the final dash caused after JR Hildebrand had caused a red flag.

Hildebrand had run his Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet into the wall after getting too much kerb at Turn 8.

Esteban Gutierrez is in doubt for Sunday’s race after hitting the wall at Turn 11 during the first round of qualifying at Turn 11.

The Dayle Coyne Honda driver, who qualified 21st and last, experienced concussion-like symptoms and will be subject to further examinations on the morning of race day.

Race start is Monday morning at 0540 AEST.

Qualifying: Indy Toronto

Pos Driver C/A/E/T Time Session
1 Simon Pagenaud D/C/C/F 58.9124 Fast Six
2 Graham Rahal D/H/H/F 59.2245 Fast Six
3 Helio Castroneves D/C/C/F 59.4345 Fast Six
4 Will Power D/C/C/F 59.5430 Fast Six
5 Scott Dixon D/H/H/F 59.7970 Fast Six
6 James Hinchcliffe D/H/H/F 01:00.1415 Fast Six
7 Josef Newgarden D/C/C/F 59.8992 Round 2
8 Alexander Rossi D/H/H/F 01:00.0114 Round 2
9 Max Chilton D/H/H/F 01:00.1202 Round 2
10 Takuma Sato D/H/H/F 01:00.1970 Round 2
11 Marco Andretti D/H/H/F 01:00.3384 Round 2
12 JR Hildebrand D/C/C/F 01:02.3040 Round 2
13 Spencer Pigot D/C/C/F 59.7585 Round 1 / Group 1
14 Tony Kanaan D/H/H/F 01:00.0607 Round 1 / Group 2
15 Ed Jones (R) D/H/H/F 59.8686 Round 1 / Group 1
16 Ryan Hunter-Reay D/H/H/F 01:00.0926 Round 1 / Group 2
17 Charlie Kimball D/H/H/F 59.9820 Round 1 / Group 1
18 Conor Daly D/C/C/F 01:00.2713 Round 1 / Group 2
19 Carlos Munoz D/C/C/F 01:00.1650 Round 1 / Group 1
20 Sebastian Saavedra D/H/H/F 01:00.6272 Round 1 / Group 2
21 Esteban Gutierrez (R) D/H/H/F 01:00.7441 Round 1 / Group 2

(C)hassis: D=Dallara | (A)erokit: C=Chevy, H=Honda | (E)ngine: C=Chevy, H=Honda | (T)yre: F=Firestone

Speedcafe

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