Sam Schmidt Motorsports’ Alex Tagliani will start Sunday’s IZOD IndyCar Series’ Honda Indy Toronto on the inside of the fifth row after qualifying 9th today at Exhibition Place in Toronto, Canada.
Driving the No. 77 Bowers &Wilkins Dallara/Honda/Firestone car, Tagliani recorded a time of 59.8901 seconds at 105.493 mph on the 1.755-mile street course.
“It was a good recovery,” Tagliani said after climbing from his car in his pit box. “This morning we went in a different direction, but I think we have the car back where we want it. The Bowers & Wilkins team, obviously, is a one-car team so we are very limited on the changes we can do. Starting ninth, anything is possible. The team knows what to do to get a more consistent race car. We’ll try to stay away from attrition and make it on the podium.”
This will be Tagliani’s 11th start in the Honda Indy Toronto, and the Canadian knows how challenging the bumpy street circuit can be for 85 laps of racing.
“You need to be pretty much on your toes here in Toronto,” he said. “It’s known to be a race where a lot of things happen because you are always exposed to the attrition. At the same time, you don’t want to be in the front and get caught on a full-course yellow. I did that in 2009. I was leading the race and I got caught on that last pit stop. You are never set in this particular race until the checkered flag drops. Anything can happen, and we’ll try to be on the right end of the strategy tomorrow.”
Team Penske’s Will Power won the PEAK Performance Pole Award after turning a lap of 59.5771 seconds at 106.047 mph. It is Power’s fifth PEAK pole of 2011 and the 21st of his Indy car career. This is Power’s first time on the pole in Toronto.
Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon will start next to Power on the front row. He earned that right by turning a lap of 59.6646 seconds at 105.892 mph. Dixon’s Ganassi Racing teammate Dario Franchitti will start third with his lap of 59.9000 seconds at 105.476 mph.
Rounding out the top five on the starting grid are Andretti Autosport’s Mike Conway and Ganassi Racing’s Graham Rahal. Conway’s lap was 59.9326 at 105.418 mph, while Rahal clocked in at 1:00.0463 at 105.219 mph.
Power’s pole was the 200th pole in Indy car racing for Team Penske.
Sunday’s Honda Indy Toronto will air live on Versus at 2:00 ET.
Date: Saturday, July 9, 2011
Event: Honda Indy Toronto (Round 9 of 17)
Series: IZOD IndyCar Series
Location: Exhibition Place in Toronto Canada (1.755-mile street course)
Pole Winner: Will Power of Penske Racing (59.5771 at 106.047 mph)
Alex Tagliani: 9th (59.8901 at 105.493 mph)