Qualifying for tomorrow’s season-opening race at St Petersburg was full of surprises. Big names were knocked out early, and the Firestone Fast Six included Takuma Sato, Simona de Silvestro, and rookie Tristan Vautier. Sato and Simona will start second and third on Sunday. At the top though, everything was business as usual.
Will Power won the pole for tomorrow’s race, capturing the first “Verizon P1 Award” on Saturday. It is his 30th career pole. This is the fourth year in a row that he has won the pole at St Pete. Power becomes just the fourth driver (Bourdais, Greg Ray, Michael Andretti) to ever win four straight poles at the same track.
The Firestone Fast Six (in order) were Power, Sato, de Silvestro, Hinchcliffe, Castroneves, and Vautier.
EJ Viso, the newest Andretti Autosport driver, was able to walk away after an incredibly hard crash during Saturday morning’s practice session. It was reported that a suspension failure sent him hard into the outside wall of turn 9. Since the first race ten years ago in 2003, it is the first accident of any kind to occur at that section of the track.
One thing to watch tomorrow will be the crop of drivers coming from the back to the front. Guys like Wilson, Rahal, Tagliani, Pagenaud, Bourdais, and Dixon will all be starting in the back of the field. Most people will be watching what happens up front though, with Power, Sato, and Simona.
The Honda Grand Prix of St Petersburg will begin at Noon ET tomorrow on NBC Sports Network. You can also listen to the race live on the IMS Radio Network.