Pagenaud on pole for Houston Race 1
28 June 2014 – Simon Pagenaud put in a sub-one-minute lap to edge out Helio Castroneves to pole for the first race of the Grand Prix of Houston doubleheader.
The Frenchman's time of 0:59.3716 was 0.074s faster than Castroneves, who was 0.057s quicker than Scott Dixon. The Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver had three race wins coming into Houston but had never won a pole position. A veteran of 59 races (going back to his year in Champ Car in 2007), Pagenaud already won this season when he outlasted the field to claim victory at the Grand Prix of Indianapolis.
Late in Q3, Luca Filippi, returning to the IndyCar Series with Rahal Letterman Lanigan, took provisional P1. The Italian had been impressive all weekend, consistently sitting in the top 10 for most of the sessions while spending time leading the field in Q1, Q2 and Q3. He will start from the second row on black tyres, fewer than two-tenths of a second behind P1.
James Hinchcliffe and Takuma Sato, who led his group in Q1 and Q2, also made it through to the Fast Six, and will start fifth and sixth, respectively. Sato will join Filippi as the only other car on blacks in a Fast Six that was spread by just one second. Rounding out the top 10 are Justin Wilson, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Sebastien Bourdais and rookie Mikhail Aleshin.
Notably for the championship outlook, points leader Will Power failed to advance out of Q1 and will start P18. Marco Andretti had an equally dismal qualifying, starting just two spots ahead of Power.
Saturday's Race 1 at Houston gets underway at 2pm local time (GMT -5)