Dixon Nips Power for Pole Position at Belle IslePress Release
DETROIT (Saturday, June 02, 2012) - Scott Dixon has back-to-back pole starts at Belle Isle. They’ve just been separated by four years.
Dixon recorded a lap of 1 minute, 10.3162 seconds — a qualifying record for the 2.07-mile, 14-turn street circuit layout — in the final 30 seconds of the Firestone Fast Six shootout to earn the pole award for the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix on June 3.
He beat Will Power, driving the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car, by 0.0044 of a second.
“That’s all it takes,” said Dixon, who recorded his 18th career pole (he has at least one in six consecutive seasons) in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car. “It was a team effort; we really struggled off the truck (in practice June 1). It’s such a tough track, physically demanding and a tough place to pass.”
Power, making his third front-row start in six IZOD IndyCar Series races, and Dixon traded the top spot twice in the final 1:30. Power had a best lap of 1:10.3206.
Alex Tagliani, making his first appearance in the Firestone Fast Six since Sonoma in 2010, provided Team Barracuda-BHA its best start of the season and will share Row 2 with Simon Pagenaud of Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports, who tied his season high. E.J. Viso, who last participated in the Firestone Fast Six in 2011 at Edmonton, will be on Row 3 in the No. 5 CITGO/PDVSA KV Racing Technology car with Ryan Hunter-Reay, driving the No. 28 Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda car for Andretti Autosport.
James Hinchcliffe, who qualified for the Firestone Fast Six in the previous four street/road course events, qualified 14th after the left-rear tire of the No. 27 GoDaddy.com car tagged the concrete barrier in Turn 14 in Round 1. Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti qualified 15th.
Also on June 2, Gustavo Yacaman overtook pole sitter Oliver Webb for the lead in Turn 8 on Lap 26 and went on to record his second Firestone Indy Lights victory.
Carlos Munoz, runner-up in the Firestone Freedom 100 in the No. 26 Team Dialy-Ser car for Andretti Autosport, closed on Yacaman in the final lap to finish 0.1638 of a second behind. It was the second-closest road/street course finish in the series.
The race, scheduled for 45 laps, was switched to a timed event because of extended barrier repair from a Lap 14 incident involving the No. 15 Younessi Racing car driven by Peter Dempsey. Forty laps were completed. Dempsey was checked and cleared to drive.
Webb finished third in the No. 7 Lucas Oil/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car to match his best in Firestone Indy Lights, and teammate Victor Carbone was fourth in the No. 3 Mav TV/Nevoni/SSM with Curb-Agajanian car. Tristan Vautier, driving the No. 77 Mazda Road to Indy/SSM with Curb-Agajanian car, was fifth.
Sebastian Saavedra, driving the No. 27 Team AFS car, and the No. 11 Pistas Argentinas/SSM with Curb-Agajanian car driven by Esteban Guerrieri made contact on the final lap and Race Control altered the finishing order to place Saavedra in sixth and Guerrieri in seventh.
Guerrieri, the Firestone Freedom 100 winner, retained the top spot in the series championship standings by 15 points over Vautier (188), who was docked five championship points by the Firestone Indy Lights Race Director for failure to follow rules as instructed in the race day drivers meeting at Indianapolis. Saavedra is one point behind in third.
DAY 2 NOTEBOOK:
Mark Reuss, the president of Generals Motors,North America, will serve as the pace car driver for the IZOD IndyCar Series’ Chevrolet Indy Grand Prix presented by shopautoweek.com on Sunday.
Ruess, who is responsible for GM’s performance, manufacturing, portfolio and dealer network in the United States, Canada and Mexico and a licensed driver in Grand Am, will lead the IZOD IndyCar Series field in a 2013 Chevrolet Corvette 427 Convertible - the fastest and most-capable convertible in Corvette’s history.
Chevrolet also will provide a fleet of safety cars and parade vehicles at Texas, Iowa, Baltimore and Fontana.
Dario Franchitti will return to New York on June 4 to complete the Indianapolis 500 Victory Tour with an appearance on “Late Night with David Letterman” on CBS. Check local listings for time.
The segment should be interesting considering that Franchitti briefly dueled Takuma Sato for the lead on the final lap of the May 27 race. Letterman is a co-owner of Sato’s car.
Sato was on the bottom of the track entering Turn 1 when his No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing car made light contact with Franchitti’s No. 50 Target Chip Ganassi Racing’s car, sending Sato’s car into the Turn 1 SAFER Barrier. The yellow flag flew and Franchitti crossed the start/finish line under caution for his third Indy 500 victory.
At Belle Isle on June 1, stitched into Sato’s cap was “No Attack No Chance.”
Franchitti earned $2.47 million for the victory.
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.
Article Tags: Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, Chip Ganassi Racing, Detroit (MI), Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, FIL, FILS, Firestone, Firestone Indy Lights, Firestone Indy Lights Series, IndyCar, IZOD, IZOD IndyCar Series, Raceway at Belle Isle Park, Scott Dixon, Target Chip Ganassi Racing, TCGR