By Ian Shalapata
(DETROIT, MI) – The practices and qualifying rounds are done for the Dual in Detroit, and the grids have been set for both points races on Belle Isle this weekend.
In Race 1, the IZOD Indy Car Grand Prix scheduled to start at 3:30 pm this afternoon, Dario Franchitti has found a home in Detroit. Driving the No. 10 Suave car for Target Chip Ganassi Racing, he roared in during qualifying yesterday at 1:19.3311; the best lap of the day.
With that Franchitti will receive a hard-earned point in the standings as well as a cash prize for winning the poll position. However, due to a penalty assessed during the Indianapolis 500, Franchitti will start in the 11th spot. All because of an unapproved engine change at the Brickyard.
“I have to thank the engineering group,” Franchitti said. “We had a really tough Indianapolis and to back with a pole is great, obviously with a 10-spot grid penalty tomorrow. I’ll do the best from where we start.”
Franchitti finished second to teammate Scott Dixon in the IZOD IndyCar Series on Belle Isle last June.
Last week’s winner at Indianapolis, Hippino Racing’s Tony Kanaan, will start way back in the number 20 spot today; obviously not a promising showing on the heels of his success at the 500.
“Well, that’s definitely not the qualifying that I was expecting coming off of a win in Indy,” Kanaan lamented. “The qualifying session started wet and the car was fast in those conditions, but as soon as the track started to dry I could not keep up with the other guys.”
For his part, Oakville native James Hinchcliffe, the Mayor of Hinchtown, couldn’t catch a break during the first practice session. After stoppage, including one for ducks on the course, Hinchcliffe found himself as the cause of red flag number 5 when he spun on Turn 1 and made contact with the tire barrier. He then spun back and made secondary contact with the wall.
The Holmatro Safety Team were able to restart the #27 Go Daddy car and Hinchcliffe was able to return to the pit lane under power with only light damage to the rear of the car.
However it set the tone for his racing and Hinchcliffe finished qualifying occupying the inside of row 7 in the number 21 spot.
We had two things working against us. We ran the car through tech prior to qualifying and something in there held us up a bit,” he explained. “Then, what really got us was the fact that we were the first car to get the checkered flag. When you are in drying conditions, the last car to cross the line is in the best situation.”
Here are the final qualifying results for race 1, with the position, driver, time and speed.
- Dario Franchitti, 01:19.3311 (106.642)
- E.J. Viso, 01:19.5572 (106.339)
- Mike Conway, 01:19.8285 (105.977)
- James Jakes, 01:19.9897 (105.764)
- Ryan Hunter-Reay, 01:20.0030 (105.746)
- Alex Tagliani, 01:20.3514 (105.288)
- Tristan Vautier, 01:22.4997 (102.546)
- Takuma Sato, 01:22.7164 (102.277)
- Simon Pagenaud, 01:22.8250 (102.143)
- Will Power, 01:22.9537 (101.985)
- Sebastian Saavedra, -01:26.8058 (97.459)
- Helio Castroneves, No Time (No Speed)
- AJ Allmendinger, 01:37.7163 (86.577)
- Graham Rahal, 01:30.5258 (93.454)
- Sebastien Bourdais, 01:37.8023 (86.501)
- Scott Dixon, 01:30.6929 (93.282)
- Justin Wilson, 01:37.8891 (86.424)
- Simona De Silvestro, 01:31.0623 (92.903)
- Marco Andretti, 01:38.0723 (86.263)
- Tony Kanaan, 01:31.5555 (92.403)
- James Hinchcliffe, 01:38.2000 (86.151)
- Ryan Briscoe, 01:31.6222 (92.336)
- Josef Newgarden, 01:38.8651 (85.571)
- Ed Carpenter, 01:33.3912 (90.587)
- Charlie Kimball, 01:44.0316 (81.321)
Check in with The Square on Twitter (@WinSquare)at 3:30 pm today for live tweets from Belle Isle.