Marco Andretti Storms To Fontana Pole
Marco Andretti has taken his first pole of the season at the IZOD IndyCar World Series finale at the Auto Club Speedway, as the 2012 season draws to a thrilling conclusion with the MAVTV 500. Andretti will start tomorrow’s race alongside the Penske of Ryan Briscoe, as their respective team-mates battle for Championship glory.
Marco Andretti was the third driver to take to the track during the qualifying session, after reigning Series Champion Dario Franchitti and team-mate Ryan Hunter-Reay. The 25-year-old American driver remained fastest throughout the remainder of qualifying session, taking his first pole since Milwaukee in 2008. Ryan Briscoe, who ended the opening practice session of the weekend fastest, will line-up alongside Andretti for tomorrow’s race. This will be the Australian driver’s fifth from-row start of the season, after narrowly missing out on pole by +0.0032 seconds.
Championship leader Will Power qualified 3rd for the race, however the Australian driver will start further down the order after incurring a 10-place grid penalty for an engine change. Powers’ fellow Championship contender, Ryan Hunter-Reay, suffered his worst qualifying performance of the season and ended the session way down in 17th position. The American driver’s woes will continue, with the Andretti Autosport driver also set to incur a 10-place grid penalty for an engine change.
Josef Newgarden has qualified a personal best 4th for the race, and will move up to 3rd on the grid once Will Power serves his grid penalty. Newgarden was the 16th driver to set a time during the session, and immediately went 4th fastest.
Only two drivers failed to set a time during the session, with Simona de Silvestro and Justin Wilson both unable to take to the track due to ongoing work on their respective cars. de Silvestro suffered an engine related issue during the first practice session prior to qualifying, and Wilson spun and made contact with the wall at turn 2 during the same session.
There will be one final practice session later this evening under the floodlights, before all the intention switches to tomorrow evening’s 250-lap finale. With passing relatively easy around the 2-mile oval, the race is still anybody’s to win and is poised to be a thrilling conclusion to what has been a highly entertaining 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series.
Pos Driver Team/Car Speed 1. Marco Andretti Andretti Dallara-Chevy 216.069 2. Ryan Briscoe Penske Dallara-Chevy 216.058 3. Will Power Penske Dallara-Chevy 215.940 4. Josef Newgarden Fisher Dallara-Honda 215.919 5. Scott Dixon Ganassi Dallara-Honda 215.391 6. Alex Tagliani Herta Dallara-Honda 215.226 7. Tony Kanaan KV Dallara-Chevy 214.877 8. JR Hildebrand Panther Dallara-Chevy 214.749 9. Ed Carpenter Carpenter Dallara-Chevy 214.684 10. Helio Castroneves Penske Dallara-Chevy 214.409 11. Graham Rahal Ganassi Dallara-Honda 214.015 12. James Hinchcliffe Andretti Dallara-Chevy 213.726 13. Rubens Barrichello KV Dallara-Chevy 213.527 14. Katherine Legge Dragon Dallara-Chevy 213.308 15. Simon Pagenaud Schmidt Dallara-Honda 213.282 16. Takuma Sato Rahal Dallara-Honda 213.222 17. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Dallara-Chevy 212.773 18. Oriol Servia Panther/DRR Dallara-Chevy 212.533 19. Dario Franchitti Ganassi Dallara-Honda 211.999 20. Charlie Kimball Ganassi Dallara-Honda 211.531 21. Sebastian Saavedra AFS/Andretti Dallara-Chevy 210.619 22. EJ Viso KV Dallara-Chevy 210.134 23. Wade Cunningham Foyt Dallara-Honda 209.526 24. James Jakes Coyne Dallara-Honda 208.056 25. Simona de Silvestro HVM Dallara-Lotus 26. Justin Wilson Coyne Dallara-Honda
Picture Copyright © Getty Images
Tags: andretti autosport, auto club speedway, fontana, IndyCar, izod, IZOD IndyCar Series, josef newgarden, marco andretti, MAVTV IndyCar World Championships, penske, Qualifying, Ryan Briscoe, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing, Will Power
About Andy's F1 BlogMy name is Andy Young and I have been a motor sport fan since the late 90s when I started watching Formula 1 and ChampCar. Since my earliest recollection of Formula 1 (Brundle’s huge shunt at Melbourne in ’96) I’ve been hooked on the sport. I started writing articles about motor sport in September 2011, and since then have written articles for FinalSector, F1 Tabloid and Nextgen-Auto. My long-term aim is to one day become a payed journalist covering Formula 1 or IndyCar, my two favorite forms of motor sport. I also cover the F1 feeder series’ GP2 and GP3 on my blog, and have watched both seres’ since their inaugural seasons.
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