Honda Racing Report - Qualifying Report - Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

3/24/2012

Circuit: Bayrfront Park (1.8-mile street circuit) St. Petersburg, FL
2011 Winner:Dario Franchitti (Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) 84.975 mph
Weather:Sunny humid, 79 degrees F

Firestone "Fast Six" Qualifying Results:

Ps. Driver Team Engine/Chassis Best Time Notes
1. Will Power Team Penske Chevrolet Dallara 61.3721 sec.
2. Ryan Briscoe Team Penske Chevrolet Dallara 61.5357
3. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Chevrolet Dallara 61.9321
4. James Hinchcliffe-R Andretti Autosport Chevrolet Dallara 61.9701
5. Helio Castroneves Team Penske Chevrolet Dallara 61.9987
6. Simon Pagenaud-R Sam Schmidt Motorsports Honda Dallara 62.1095 engine change penalty; will start 16th
 
Second Round Qualifiers:
7. Scott Dixon Target Chip Ganassi Honda Dallara 61.7636
8. Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Chevrolet Dallara 61.78945
9. Tony Kanaan KV Racing Technology Chevrolet Dallara 61.8699
10. Dario Franchitti Target Chip Ganassi Honda Dallara 61.9570
11. Graham Rahal Chip Ganassi Racing Honda Dallara 62.0233
12. Mike Conway A.J. Foyt Racing Honda Dallara 62.5084
 
Other Honda-Powered Qualifiers:
15. Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda Dallara 62.6915 Group 1
16. Justin Wilson Dale Coyne Racing Honda Dallara 62.2538 Group 2
19. Josef Newgarden-R Sarah Fisher Hartman Honda Dallara 62.7155 Group 1
20. James Jakes Dale Coyne Racing Honda Dallara 62.5271 Group 2
22. Charlie Kimball Chip Ganassi Racing Honda Dallara 63.0437 Group 2

R - IndyCar Series Rookie

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."



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