Saturday, July 21, 2012

Amid Grid Position Penalty, Hunter-Reay Fastest at Edmonton Indy


The 11th event on the 2012 IZOD INDYCAR Series schedule runs this weekend on the airport circuit in Edmonton. The second of two Canadian rounds, Sunday's Edmonton Indy race lineup was to be set by Saturday qualifying under uncertain weather conditions.

As the afternoon time trials of the IZOD INDYCAR Series transpired, sure enough rain occurring in mid-session on the 2.224-mile race track. While it complicated the one of the earlier qualifying sessions, the track was dry enough for the Firestone Fast Six session that would decide the outcome of the starting gird of the Edmonton Indy.

Prevailing as the fastest car in qualifying with a 1 minute, 17.2338 second lap time, the #28 Andretti Autosport car driven by Ryan Hunter-Reay got the better of Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Dario Franchitti. The success on Saturday comes after a troublesome Friday outing on the Edmonton City Centre Airport track. Yesterday, Ryan Hunter-Reay's pursuit of a possible fourth-straight IZOD INDYCAR Series event victory was put at risk due to an engine change made by his Andretti Autosport team. While Hunter-Reay acquired the pole of the race, he will have to drop to 11th on the grid for Sunday's Edmonton Indy. "It's certainly unfortunate to take the grid penalty with our first pole this year, my first pole in a long time. But we'll take it for sure. 11th is better than starting 15th or 16th." said Ryan Hunter-Reay.

Ryan Hunter-Reay's fall from the top spot on the start of the Edmonton Indy promotes the #10 car of Dario Franchitti to the prime spot on the grid for Honda. Franchitti will have the Chevrolet-powered #2 Team Penske car of Ryan Briscoe right beside him. Ryan Briscoe, Canadian driver Alex Tagliani and Helio Castroneves rounded out the Firestone Fast Six.

Along with the pole-stting #28 car falling down the starting order Sunday, there will also be several other high-profile drivers taking penalties due to engine changes. The #9 car of Scott Dixon will have to serve a penalty resulting after the Honda Indy Toronto. Relinquishing a 8th place position in qualifying, Dixon will be starting 18th with his Dallara-Honda. On Saturday, it was announced that the #12 race machine driven by Will Power would also have it's Chevrolet engine swapped out. Power will start in 17th place as a result of the decision by Team Penske. Dixon and Power combine as the winners of the previous four Edmonton Indy races.

With Tagliani starting in the top-5, the Canadian crowd will also react well to the fact that James Hinchcliffe qualified a respectable 12th place for Sunday's race. Hinchcliffe cited lack of rear end grip as stalling his progression to a higher position in qualifying.

A 75-lap event, the scheduled start of the Edmonton Indy will occur at 12:47 pm local time.

2012 IZOD INDYCAR Series
Edmonton Indy
Qualifying Results

Car # Driver Driver Nationality Race Team Engine Supplier
1 28Ryan Hunter-ReayUnited StatesAndretti AutosportChevrolet
2 10 Dario Franchitti Scotland Target/Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
3 2 Ryan Briscoe Australia Team Penske Chevrolet
4 15 Takuma Sato Japan Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda
5 98 Alex Tagliani Canada Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb Agajanian Honda
6 3 Helio Castroneves Brazil Team Penske Chevrolet
7 12Will PowerAustraliaTeam PenskeChevrolet
8 9Scott DixonNew ZealandTarget/Chip Ganassi RacingHonda
9 77 Simon Pagenaud France Schmidt-Hamilton Motorsports Honda
10 8 Rubens Barrichello Brazil KV Racing Technology Chevrolet
11 38 Graham Rahal United States Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
12 27 James Hinchcliffe Canada Andretti Autosport Chevrolet
13 18 Justin Wilson England Dale Coyne Racing Honda
14 7 Sebastien Bourdais France Dragon Racing Chevrolet
15 67 Josef Newgarden United States Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda
16 19 James Jakes England Dale Coyne Racing Honda
17 26 Marco Andretti United States Andretti Autosport Chevrolet
18 5 EJ Viso Venezuela KV Racing Technology Chevrolet
19 83 Charlie Kimball United States Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
20 22Oriol ServiaSpainDreyer & Reinbold RacingChevrolet
21 4 JR Hildebrand United States Panther Racing Chevrolet
22 11 Tony Kanaan Brazil KV Racing Technology Chevrolet
23 78Simona de SilvestroSwitzerlandLotus-HVM RacingLotus
24 20Ed CarpenterUnited StatesEd Carpenter RacingChevrolet
25 14 Mike Conway England AJ Foyt Enterprises Honda

Denotes drivers and teams believed to be recipients of grid position penalties for Sunday. Will start 10 spots lower. 

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