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IndyCar Series 2012

Round 01: St.Petersburg

  • Overview
  • Race Results
  • Qualifying
  • Photo
St. Petersburg
March 24, 2012

Pagenaud Leads Honda Qualifying Runs at St. Petersburg

Schmidt Hamilton Racing’s Simon Pagenaud was the quickest of the 10 Honda-powered entries in qualifying action Saturday for the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, the opening round in the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series.

Pagenaud posted the sixth-fastest time around the 1.8-mile St. Petersburg street circuit during the three-round IndyCar knockout qualifying. But a precautionary engine change made after Friday’s practice sessions, and prior to the normal schedule of engine rotations, will result in a 10-place starting position penalty for Pagenaud.

Scott Dixon, defending race winner Dario Franchitti, 2008 race winner Graham Rahal and Mike Conway also posted top-12 qualifying results for Honda. The 100-lap Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, first in the 16-race 2012 season, starts at 12:30 p.m. EDT, with live television coverage on ABC.

Simon Pagenaud (#77 Schmidt Hamilton Racing Honda) qualified 6th, but will start 16th due to a 10-position penalty for an unscheduled engine change:
"We took a gamble [in Fast 6 final qualifying] and went out on [the harder compound] ‘black’ tires instead of the [softer] ‘reds’. We had to try something different, because we knew we would be penalized for yesterday’s engine change. It did not work for us, but it was worth the risk. The car is very good, and Honda did a great job with the engine. It should be an exciting race tomorrow. I’m looking forward to it.”
IndyCar Series
Round 01: St. Petersburg
Rank Driver (Team)
1 Will Power (Team Penske)
2 Ryan Briscoe (Team Penske)
3 Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport)
4 James Hinchcliffe (Andretti Autosport)
5 Helio Castroneves (Team Penske)
6 Simon Pagenaud-R (Sam Schmidt Motorsports)
7 Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi)
8 Marco Andretti (Andretti Autosport)
9 Tony Kanaan (KV Racing Technology)
10 Dario Franchitti (Target Chip Ganassi)
11 Graham Rahal (Chip Ganassi Racing)
12 Mike Conway (A.J. Foyt Racing)
15 Takuma Sato (Rahal Letterman Lanigan)
16 Justin Wilson (Dale Coyne Racing)
19 Josef Newgarden-R (Sarah Fisher Hartman)
20 James Jakes (Dale Coyne Racing)
22 Charlie Kimball (Chip Ganassi Racing)

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