Honda Racing Report - Qualifying Report - Grand Prix of Long Beach

4/14/2012

Circuit: Grand Prix of Long Beach (1.986-mile street circuit) Long Beach, CA
2011 Winner: Mike Conway (Andretti Autosport Honda) 88.676 mph average
Weather: Sunny, mild, 62 degrees F

Top-10 Starting Field:

Ps. Driver Team Engine/Chassis Best Time Notes
1.Dario FranchittiTarget Chip GanassiHonda Dallara1:09.0327
2.Josef Newgarden-RSarah Fisher HartmanHonda Dallara1:09.0697
3.Justin WilsonDale Coyne RacingHonda Dallara1:09.0910
4.Simon Pagenaud-RSam Schmidt MotorsportsHonda Dallara1:09.2078
5.Scott DixonTarget Chip GanassiHonda Dallara1:09.3658
6.Takuma SatoRahal Letterman LaniganHonda Dallara1:09.9000
7.Mike ConwayA.J. Foyt RacingHonda Dallara1:09.8868
8.Graham RahalChip Ganassi RacingHonda Dallara1:09.9796
9.Charlie KimballChip Ganassi RacingHonda Dallara1:10.0188
10.Alex TaglianiBryan Herta AutosportLotus Dallara1:10.8168
 
14.James JakesDale Coyne RacingHonda Dallara1:10.7579

R - IndyCar Series Rookie

Franchitti To Start First At Long Beach

Dario Franchitti will start from the IZOD IndyCar Series pole Sunday at the Grand Prix of Long Beach, following qualifying action Saturday at the 1.986-mile Southern California street circuit. Honda-powered drivers will start from the first nine positions, following penalties to all the Chevrolet-powered entries and three Lotus teams for "unapproved" engine changes prior to the start of this weekend's race.

According to IndyCar Series regulations for 2012, race engines must last a minimum of 1,850 miles before being changed out for fresh units. Teams changing engines before reaching that mileage are subject to a 10-place qualifying penalty at the next event.

The engines of all 11 Chevrolet-powered teams and those of three Lotus drivers — Oriol Servia, Katherine Legge and Sebastien Bourdais — were changed after the Honda Grand Prix of Alabama and prior to reaching their minimum mileage limit, so all were penalized 10 grid positions for this weekend's race.

As a result, Franchitti, who posted the fourth-fastest time in Firestone "Fast Six" qualifying, will start from the pole. Impressive rookie Josef Newgarden will start on the outside of the front row, in second, for Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing. Scott Dixon and Takuma Sato will make up the third row, followed by Mike Conway and Graham Rahal on Row Four. Charlie Kimball will start ninth and James Jakes 14th.

Sunday's 85-lap race starts at 3:30 p.m. EDT, with live television coverage on the NBC Sports Network.

Dario Franchitti (#10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) 2nd quickest in Friday practice: "There was a lot of uncertainty for us, and I think all of the teams. With the [rainy] weather yesterday and all the incidents in [Saturday morning] practice, we did not run more than two consecutive laps all weekend prior to qualifying. But our guys did a great job preparing the car, and it felt pretty good during each [qualifying] run. I wanted to earn the pole, and we didn't quite make it, but we'll continue to improve the car for the race tomorrow and see how things play out."



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