Hunter-Reay sets lap-record to take pole
4 May 2013 – Ryan Hunter-Reay will start tomorrow’s Indycar race from pole position after posting a record lap of 1:20.431 around the bumpy Sao Paulo street circuit, with teammate E.J. Viso three tenths down but recording a season-high second to complete a front-row lock-out for the Andretti Autosport team.
Ganassi driver Dario Franchitti, who claimed pole at the inaugural race at the track in 2009, will start in third, while Tony Kanaan overcame the hand tendon injury he sustained at Long Beach to improve on recent performances and finish in a season-high fourth at his home venue. James Hinchcliffe and Scott Dixon rounded out the top six, posting times of 1:20.989 and 1:21.118 respectively.
There was drama in the opening stages, with the Penske team experiencing a double-dose of bad luck after the cars of Will Power and Helio Castroneves failed to record a competitive lap-time before James Jake’s car broke down on the circuit and brought out the red flag. With the clock ticking down in the session the teammates ran out of time to set another lap, and Castroneves will start from 18th, with Power, who set the pace in the two practice sessions before qualifying, starting down in 22nd.
In addition, Frenchman Tristian Valutier crashed out after launching over the Turn 1 kerb and going straight into the wall during the first segment, the incident marking his third trip into the barriers in three consecutive sessions. That also brought out the red flag, which cost several drivers the chance to complete their final flying lap, with Oriol Servia and Alex Tagliani amongst those affected.
Elsewhere, Briton Justin Wilson qualified in ninth, and Takuma Sato, winner last time out at Long Beach, will start the race in 12th after being knocked out in the third phase.
Tomorrow's race will start at 15:30 local time (GMT -3)