Power secures pole at St. Petersburg
|3.||S. de Silvestro||1:01.767|
23 March 2013 – Will Power claimed his fourth successive pole position at St. Petersburg on Saturday afternoon, posting a time of 1:01.207 in the final Fast Six qualifying session to lead nearest rival Takuma Sato by more than three tenths of a second. Simona de Silvestro, who impressed throughout practice, completed the top three runners.
Penske quickly showed its pace in the opening phase of qualifying, with Hélio Castroneves topping Group A and Power setting the standard in Group B. Among the Q1 eliminees were ex-Formula 1 Justin Wilson and Sébastien Bourdais, with Ed Carpenter, who won last year's season finale at Fontana, also failing to make the cut.
The second qualifying segment signalled the end of reigning Champion Ryan Hunter-Reay's afternoon, who finished eighth and will share the fourth row with team-mate Marco Andretti. Sebastián Saavedra, who returns after a year away from the class, wound up ninth, just ahead of Dario Franchitti, Tony Kanaan and Oriol Servià.
In the Firestone Fast Six, Power was untouchable once again, continuing his recent qualifying domination at the street venue. Behind second-placed Sato, new KV Racing recruit de Silvestro displayed her true potential with Chevrolet-power, having had to endure a season with the troublesome Lotus engine units in 2012. James Hinchcliffe was next up in fourth, ahead of Hélio Castroneves and series debutant Tristan Vautier.
Sunday's race at St. Petersburg gets underway at 12.40pm local time (GMT -4)