Motorsport News - US
Power scores third straight pole at Sonoma
26th August 2012
Will Power has stressed a one-race-at-a-time approach to the IZOD IndyCar Series championship as the 2012 season winds down. Earning the pole for the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma for the third consecutive year is certainly a less stressful starting point.
Power, who has won the past two races at Sonoma from the pole, set an IZOD IndyCar Series qualifying record for the 2.385-mile, 12-turn layout with a lap of 1 minute, 17.2709 seconds in the Firestone Fast Six on Brasil IT+ Pole Day.
He takes a six-point lead over Ryan Hunter-Reay in the championship chase into the 85-lap race Aug. 26.
"It is important to start up front here," Power said. "I just really like this track and I would love to make it three in a row. The whole team has worked hard all year and we'll just continue to push to win the championship. With the (modifications to the road course) expect a lot of passing. Hopefully not of me. I don't want to let anyone by us."
Hunter-Reay was the only driver of the top four in the standings not to qualify for the 10-minute shootout, missing out on bumping Dario Franchitti by 0.0169 of a second in Round 2. Hunter-Reay will start seventh.
Ryan Briscoe, who has three podium finishes in six races at Sonoma and has started in the top five the past five years, also will start on the front row after a best lap of 1:17.4347 in the No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske car. Team Penske swept the podium last year, with Helio Castroneves the race runner-up. He'll start the 85-lap race from the outside of Row 2.
Sebastien Bourdais earned his second consecutive Firestone Fast Six appearance and will start a season-high third in the No. 7 TrueCar Dragon Racing entry. Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Scott Dixon and Franchitti will share Row 3.
DAY 2 NOTEBOOK:
Entry update: The car name for #98 Tagliani is now Barracuda Racing.
Simon Pagenaud will be starting his second IndyCar race at Sonoma. He was a last-minute substitute for Simona de Silvestro in 2011 on a course he enjoys.
"Driving an IndyCar around Sonoma is just like riding a rollercoaster," he said. "The difference is I get sick on rollercoasters. I'm glad I'm not sick in the race car, and it's probably because I'm in control of my HP car. When you're going through Sonoma's Turn 1 and then up the hill, it is just like a rollercoaster. It's a really fun racetrack, but it can be stressful at the top of the hills because you don't know what's up there. It requires you to anticipate."
IZOD IndyCar Series driver JR Hildebrand got a new perspective on the raceway in Sonoma's new layout, taking a ride-along with Johnny O'Connell in Cadillac CTS-V Coupe following practice on Friday.
JR HILDEBRAND: "I've always loved the Cadillac CTS-V, and I did a road test here last year. I've been hooked ever since. It's a real treat to hop in with the man, the myth, the legend [Johnny O'Connell] to really see what it's all about. I was really impressed. It's got a butt-load of grip and it is really impressive. The way the car handles and how stable it is for being as big as it is is really impressive. It's obviously got a great tire underneath it and he was pushing pretty hard. He did a great job. I'd definitely come back for more."
Continuing the wave of Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear drivers who have begun testing the waters in Firestone Indy Lights, Gustavo Menezes completed his oval rookie test with Team Moore Racing at Kentucky Speedway Aug. 23.
The 17-year-old Californian is currently competing in his second year of the Star Mazda Championship. He earned his approval to race on ovals in the series after obsveration by Firestone Indy Lights Technical Director Vince Kremer.
"First of all, I would really like to thank the guys at Team Moore Racing for putting together the test," Menezes said. "They really worked hard on dialing down the car and helped me make my transition into the Firestone Indy Lights car flawless.
"The car was very different from a Star Mazda to drive but with the help of the engineers and driver coach, Pancho Carter, I was able to adapt and get up to speed pretty quickly. Overall, I had a great first day in the car and learned a lot of stuff that may benefit me in the near future."
Menezes drove the team's No. 22 car, which is a part of its full-time, two-car effort in the series.
"Gustavo was a real pleasure for the whole team to work with," team co-owner Mark Moore said. "He handled himself as a seasoned professional through all the test requirements by the team. Once again Star Mazda is proving to be an excellent training ground for young drivers to move up into our series."
IZOD IndyCar Series officials announced 10 grid spot penalties for the following cars for this weekend's event at the raceway at Sonoma: #15 Sato (will be using sixth engine at Sonoma); #17 Saavedra (unapproved engine change at Indianapolis); #18 Wilson (unapproved engine change between Mid-Ohio and Sonoma); #78 De Silvestro (using seventh engine at Sonoma).
Ben Flajnik, star of season 16 of ABC's reality series "The Bachelor" is at the track today as a guest of Arie Luyendyk Jr. Flajnik, who is a native of Sonoma, rode in the INDYCAR two-seater driven by Luyendyk, who was a finalist in the last season of "The Bachelorette."
Tyler Clary's long-term goal is to race on land.
So receiving a guided tour of the Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing garage from IZOD IndyCar Series driver Josef Newgarden whetted the ambitions of the London Olympics swimming gold medalist.
Clary is among the Olympic medalists and California residents attending the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma race weekend. Also attending is two-time Olympic rowing gold medalist Erin Cafaro and swimmer Dana Vollmer.
The medalists will join grand marshal Kevin Johnson, the mayor of Sacramento and former NBA star, in giving the command to start engines.
Clary, 23, of Riverside, Calif., has been to several races at Auto Club Speedway in nearby Fontana and attended the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in April. He plans to participate in the Skip Barber Racing School, which could put him on the Mazda Road to Indy through the Skip Barber INDYCAR Academy. He watched track activity from pit lane.
"I think it's awesome that in IndyCar versus other worldwide series that it's the same car and it's really drivers and teams that make the difference," said Clary, who met several other IZOD IndyCar Series drivers. "It's interesting to see how the whole dynamic works. It's different from swimming in that you have to rely on your team and your equipment and then it's the driver to show what they really have. Everything is so interconnected I think it makes racing so much more rewarding.
"My passions are swimming and cars. It's in my blood. I love to swim fast and race cars fast."
Cafaro, a resident of Marin, Calif., entered the record book in London, along with her teammates, as the first female team in the history of USRowing to score back-to-back Olympic gold medals. They are also seven-time world champions and undefeated since 2006.
Vollmer, who along with Carafo are Cal graduates (as is the Raceway at Sonoma president and general manager Steve Page), set the world record on her way to winning the gold medal in the 100-meter butterfly and won gold in the 4x100-meter medley relay and 4x200-meter freestyle relay in London. She won her first gold medal at the 2004 Games.
The official track length for the 12-turn raceway at Sonoma has been measured at 2.385 miles by INDYCAR Timing & Scoring, which corresponds to the on-board telemetry from cars using the racing line.
IZOD INDYCAR SERIES POLE QUALIFYING:
IZOD IndyCar Series Pole Qualifying consists of three segments. In Segment One of qualifying, each group receives 15 minutes of track time. The fastest six cars from each group advance to Segment Two, while the remaining cars are assigned positions 13-26. Group One drivers will occupy the odd-numbered positions (13, 15, 17...) while Group Two drivers will occupy the even-numbered positions (14, 16, 18...) based on their fastest lap times.
During Segment Two, the 12 advancing cars receive 10 minutes of track time. The fastest six advance to the Firestone Fast Six Shootout while the remaining six cars are ranked in positions 7-12 based on their fastest laps.
During the Firestone Fast Six, the six cars receive 10 minutes of track time, with a guarantee of five minutes of green flag time. Each car receives one additional set of Firestone Firehawk tires for use during this final segment. At the end of the session, the cars are ranked 1-6 based on their fastest laps.
Any driver who causes a red flag during any of the groups will lose their two quickest laps.
Any driver who uses the pit entry as part of the racing circuit will have that lap invalidated.
The time line for qualifying today is at between Turns 9 and 10.
The lap record for the newly modified 2.385-mile circuit will be set today. The fastest lap in any of the three segments will be considered the qualifying record.
Entry update: The car name for #67 Newgarden is now Angie's List/Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing.
IZOD INDYCAR SERIES POLE QUALIFYING: (Cont).
At 2:30 p.m., the ambient temperature was 68 degrees with a relative humidity of 58 percent. Skies were fair. The track temperature was 105 degrees, according to Firestone engineers.
2:30 p.m. - GREEN. Segment 1. Group 1.
2:43 p.m. - #17 Saavedra loses lap time for track side pit lane entry violation (using pit entry as part of the circuit). Lap would have been his fastest.
2:45 p.m. - CHECKERED. Advancing to Segment 2 are: #2 Briscoe, #10 Franchitti, #3 Castroneves, #7 Bourdais, #18 Wilson, #27 Hinchcliffe. Briscoe's lap of 1:17.5515 is the qualifying record for the new layout.
2:50 p.m. - GREEN. Segment 1. Group 2.
3:05 p.m. - CHECKERED. Advancing to Segment 2 are: #12 Power, #28 Hunter-Reay, #77 Pagenaud, #98 Tagliani, #9 Dixon, #8 Barrichello.
At 3:15 p.m., the ambient temperature was 69 degrees with a relative humidity of 57 percent. Skies were sunny. The track temperature was 103 degrees, according to Firestone engineers.
3:15 p.m. - GREEN. Segment 2.
3:22 p.m. -- #12 Power sets fastest lap of the session, 1:17.5831.
3:24 p.m. -- #2 Briscoe sets fastest lap of the session, 1:17.5378. Fastest lap for the new layout.
3:25 p.m. - CHECKERED. Advancing to Firestone Fast Six are: #2 Briscoe, #12 Power, #7 Bourdais, #9 Dixon, #3 Castroneves, #10 Franchitti. #28 Hunter-Reay improves to seventh, but misses Fast Six by .0169 of a second.
3:35 p.m. - GREEN. Firestone Fast Six.
3:40 p.m. -- #12 Power records fastest lap at 1:17.5435.
3:42 p.m. -- #12 Power re sets fastest lap at 1:17.2709 - fastest lap recorded on the new layout.
3:45 p.m. - CHECKERED. #12 Will Power wins the pole at Sonoma for the third straight season.
IZOD INDYCAR SERIES POST-QUALIFYING NOTES:
This is Will's Power's fourth pole in 2012, his third straight pole at Sonoma (2010, 2011, 2012) and the 28th pole of his Indy car career.
Power previously won pole at St. Pete, Brazil and Mid-Ohio
Ryan Briscoe qualified second. He has started in the top five in his last five starts at Sonoma. Briscoe won his first career Indy car pole at Sonoma in 2005
Sebastien Bourdais qualified third, his best start of 2012. His previous best was fourth at Toronto.
Helio Castroneves qualified fourth. He has never started worse than fourth in eight starts at the track
Scott Dixon qualified fifth. He has never started worse than 10th at Sonoma.
22nd May 2013
11th May 2013
29th April 2013
17th April 2013
19th March 2013
7th February 2013more client news...
Search all Racecar clients