Sato snatches last-gasp Sunday pole in Motor City

Takuma Sato will start race two in Detroit from pole position - Credit: Chris Owens / IndyCar

Takuma Sato secured pole position for race two around the streets of Detroit by topping his group in qualifying late on Sunday morning, denying Graham Rahal to take his first pole since 2014.

As it was on Saturday, qualifying was divided into two groups, with Ryan Hunter-Reay coming out on top of the first group, but those in that group were hindered by a red flag, caused when Carlos Muñoz crashed at turn two.

Muñoz suffered significant damage to the right-hand side of his AJ Foyt Racing machine and will start at the back of the field, but it meant drivers only had around five minutes to set a time, with Hunter-Reay setting the best time of the group with a 1:15.2833s.

With clear running in group two, the times were significantly faster, with 2017 Indianapolis 500 winner Sato setting a new track record with a 1:13.6732s, which gave him pole position and ensured an all-Andretti Autosport front row.

Race one pole sitter Rahal will start third on the grid for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing after finishing second behind Sato in his group, with Helio Castroneves the best of the Team Penske quartet in fourth.

Both Schmidt Peterson Motorsport machines will start on row three, with Saturday’s third place finisher James Hinchcliffe alongside team-mate Mikhail Aleshin after both finished third fastest in their respective groups.

Will Power will be looking to turn around his fortunes on Sunday after a terrible result on Saturday, and the Australian will start race two from seventh on the grid for Team Penske, with yesterdays runner-up Scott Dixon alongside him for Chip Ganassi Racing, while the top ten is completed by Marco Andretti and Conor Daly.

Belle Isle Race 2 Qualifying Result

126Takuma SatoJAPAndretti Autosport1:13.6732
228Ryan Hunter-ReayUSAAndretti Autosport1:15.2833
315Graham RahalUSARahal Letterman Lanigan Racing1:13.8105
43Helio CastronevesBRZTeam Penske1:15.5279
55James HinchcliffeCANSchmidt Peterson Motorsports1:13.8264
67Mikhail AleshinRUSSchmidt Peterson Motorsports1:16.0371
712Will PowerAUSTeam Penske1:13.9449
89Scott DixonNZLChip Ganassi Racing1:16.1727
927Marco AndrettiUSAAndretti Autosport1:14.0339
104Conor DalyUSAAJ Foyt Enterprises1:16.1732
111Simon PagenaudFRATeam Penske1:14.0765
1283Charlie KimballUSAChip Ganassi Racing1:16.1800
132Josef NewgardenUSATeam Penske1:14.1814
1498Alexander RossiUSAAndretti Herta Autosport1:16.2884
1510Tony KanaanBRZChip Ganassi Racing1:14.3287
168Max ChiltonGBRChip Ganassi Racing1:16.5150
1719Ed JonesUAEDale Coyne Racing1:14.7786
1821JR HildebrandUSAEd Carpenter Racing1:18.6272
1918Esteban GutierrezMEXDale Coyne Racing1:15.0055
2016Oriol ServiaESPRahal Letterman Lanigan Racing1:21.4485
2120Spencer PigotUSAEd Carpenter Racing1:15.8491
2214Carlos MunozCOLAJ Foyt EnterprisesNo Time