Bourdais takes pole at wet Mid-Ohio
2 August 2014 – Sébastien Bourdais has outlasted several red flags and a soggy Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course to take pole position for Sunday's Honda Indy 200.
The Frenchman's time of 1:24.1610 was over half a second quicker than his nearest competitor, Josef Newgarden.
Brazilian Tony Kanaan qualified in third, three-tenths of a second behind the young American.
The wet qualifying session began at 13:00 local time (GMT -4), but what was scheduled for an hour took nearly 75 minutes. Ryan Briscoe started the delays by spinning in Turn 6 in the first round of qualifying, bringing out the day's first red flag. Just a few minutes later, Takuma Sato brought out another when he spun and stalled his car on track.
Because qualifying rules mandate that those who bring out a red flag lose their two fastest laps, neither driver was able to advance out of Q1. Scott Dixon also experienced the wrath of the rules when he spun and lightly bumped the wall in his qualifying group's Q1, signalling the third stoppage of the day.
Championship leader Hélio Castroneves was also eliminated from the opening phase.
In Q2, Carlos Muñoz was another to spin and hit the wall, but the fourth red flag came out moments later for Juan Pablo Montoya, leaving a couple of minutes left to decide who would move on to the Firestone Fast Six. By the time the chequered flag came out, Bourdais, who was also fastest in yesterday's afternoon practice, moved up front ahead of Ryan Hunter-Reay and Kanaan. Joining them in Q3 would be Muñoz, Newgarden and Will Power.
The track stayed wet throughout the final session, but it was no problem for the four-time champion Bourdias, whose last lap was comfortably enough to earn him pole for tomorrow's race. The P1 Award is the 33rd of the Frenchman's career and his second this season – the last time he started up front, he converted it into a win in the first race of the Toronto doubleheader a couple of weeks ago.
Sunday's race at Mid-Ohio gets underway at 15:45 local time (GMT -4)