Briscoe Captures Pole Position

Posted: April 15, 2012 in IZOD IndyCar Series

LONG BEACH, Calif. – Ryan Briscoe and Team Penske teammate Will Power traded the provisional pole four times in the final two minutes of the Firestone Fast Six 10-minute shootout, with Briscoe claiming the pole with an IZOD IndyCar Series track-record lap of 1 minute, 8.6089 seconds. Power was 0.0984 of a second back.

Briscoe earned the one bonus point and $10,000 for claiming the pole position for the 38th Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. He’ll be starting 11th in the 85-lap race April 15 because of a 10-grid spot penalty incurred when Chevrolet advised all of its teams to change engines before the race weekend.

Ryan Hunter-Reay, the 2010 race winner for Andretti Autosport, was third in the No. 28 Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda car, while Dario Franchitti in the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car was fourth quick. E.J. Viso and James Hinchcliffe finished fifth and sixth in the session.

All the competitors in the Firestone Fast Six but Franchitti were driving cars powered by Chevrolet engines. Because of those circumstances, Franchitti will lead the 26-car field to the green flag.

Franchitti, the reigning IZOD IndyCar Series champion who hadn’t qualified for the Firestone Fast Six in the two previous races, will be joined on the front row by rookie Josef Newgarden in the No. 67 Honda-powered Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing car, who qualified seventh.

Also on April 14, Sebastian Saavedra claimed his second consecutive Sunoco Pole Award, winning the pole for the Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Saavedra produced a lap of 1 minute, 14.6143 seconds in the No. 27 Team AFS car on his final lap of the 45-minute qualifying session after he, Tristan Vautier and Esteban Guerrieri traded the top spot in the final five minutes of the 45-minute rally session.

Vautier, driving the No. 77 Mazda Road to Indy/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car, posted a quick lap of 1:14.7007. On the succeeding lap, though, the car clipped the tire barrier in Turn 5 and Vautier guided the car around the circuit. Firestone Indy Lights officials nullified his quick lap for impeding the progress of competitors on their final qualifying laps and he’ll start seventh.

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