Simon Pagenaud was delighted to secure pole position at Barber Motorsports Park and the bonus point attached to it to extend his Verizon IndyCar Series championship lead on Saturday.
The Team Penske set a new IndyCar lap record around the Alabama circuit to deny team-mate Will Power pole position, and felt the #22 car has been feeling good to drive throughout the weekend so far.
The pole position at Barber is just the third of Pagenaud’s IndyCar career, and the Frenchman will be looking to extend his impressive start to the 2016 season where he has taken two second places and a win in the first three races.
“It was awesome. The car was just incredible, the PPG Car, especially on the red Firestone tires,” said Pagenaud after the session. “I really had a good time just driving it.
“We put the least amount of fuel in it and tried to save the tires by only going one lap in each segment. The car was so good that we just went through every segment.
“That last lap I just dug deep and that was one of the best feelings that I have ever had driving. Just that lap was good.”
Team-mate Power is looking for a win or at least a podium on Sunday to help close the gap in the championship to Pagenaud, especially after being forced to miss the season opener at St Petersburg due to illness that left him on the back foot early in the season.
“I’m happy to be starting on the front row with the Verizon car,” said Power. “We’ll see if we can get a podium, a win, something to try and close that points gap so we have a shot at the end of the year.”