Dario Franchitti took his first IZOD IndyCar Series pole since Toronto last year, with the 30th of his career on the streets of Long Beach, Calif.
Franchitti edged Ryan Hunter-Reay, who’s often strong at Long Beach, by slightly more than one half a tenth around the 1.968-mile circuit. Franchitti’s 1:07.2379 beat RHR’s 1:09.2934, with Will Power just behind in P3. Power has now qualified first, second and third in succession.
Takuma Sato, Mike Conway and Helio Castroneves completed the Firestone Fast Six on the grid. Sato has now made the Fast Six in two of the first three races, and would have been quick enough to do so in Barber before a penalty. Conway’s return to the series on road and street circuits with RLL has been very smooth, in the top five of each session thus far, and also posted the fastest lap throughout qualifying of 1:07.1937 in the second round of qualifying.
Those knocked out in Q2 included James Hinchcliffe, Tony Kanaan, Charlie Kimball, E.J. Viso, Graham Rahal and JR Hildebrand.
UPDATE: The bottom four on the grid were in positions 24-27 because of penalties issued by IndyCar. Marco Andretti, Justin Wilson, Scott Dixon and Oriol Servia had lost each of their two fastest laps.
Andretti was issued one for blocking in pit lane and Wilson had issues with proper stickering on his rear wing. Meanwhile Dixon spun in Turn 1, which forced Servia off line into the tire barriers, and both cars lost their best laps.
Servia’s Panther DRR team appealed the penalty, and it was rescinded by INDYCAR. He will now start 18th. A further update will come in a later post on MotorSports Talk.
A rundown of the crashes from practice are below. Live streaming for Sunday’s race will be available online at http://stream.nbcsports.com/liveextra/.
IZOD IndyCar Series – Toyota GP of Long Beach
78-Simona de Silvestro