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Sato snatches Detroit two pole with new track record

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DETROIT – Takuma Sato has snatched the pole for the second race of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Presented by Lear right near the end of the second session with a new track record lap of 1:13.6732.

What looked like a near unassailable time of 1:13.9449 from Will Power – on Firestone’s black primary tires – was first for most of the second group of qualifying by more than 1.3 seconds.

Then a pair of Hondas slapped on some Firestone red alternates and found buckets of time and dropped Power down the order.

First Saturday winner Graham Rahal and then Sato supplanted him.

The second group was significantly quicker than the first group because of an accident for Carlos Munoz in the first group at Turn 2. That negated a lot of potential track time for drivers to improve and as such, left group one leader Ryan Hunter-Reay more than 1.5 seconds in arrears of Sato’s time, even though he led his session.

Both Sato and Hunter-Reay receive a point for leading their sessions.

Here’s the times, below.

Audi bids farewell to Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich upon retirement

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Audi bid farewell to its iconic head of motorsport, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, at its end-of-season ‘Race Night’ event in Germany on Friday upon his retirement.

Ullrich took over the reins as Audi’s head of motorsport in 1993 and stayed in the role for 23 years, overseeing its arrival in the prototype class of sports car racing and domination of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Ullrich stepped down from the position at the end of 2016, handing the reins over to ex-Audi DTM chief Dieter Gass, and attended his final racing event with the German marque at its first works Formula E outing in Hong Kong earlier this month.

Ullrich was honored at the Race Night event on Friday and thanked for his efforts in developing Audi into a force within global motorsport.

“In 566 factory-backed commitments during this period he celebrated 209 victories, 13 of them in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, eleven in the 12-hour race at Sebring and nine in the ‘Petit Le Mans’ at Road Atlanta,” a piece on Ullrich’s tenure for Audi’s website reads.

“31 driver titles in super touring car racing, in the DTM and in the sports prototype category are credited to him. 57 campaigners were Audi factory drivers during Wolfgang Ullrich’s era and he was responsible for 18 new developments of racing cars – an impressive tally.”