Pagenaud Leaves Rivals in his Wake in Toronto Qualifying

Simon Pagenaud took pole position in Toronto - Credit: Joe Skibinski / IndyCar

Simon Pagenaud stormed to his first Verizon IndyCar Series pole position of the season and the tenth of his career with a dominant display in qualifying around the streets of Toronto on Saturday.

The reigning series champion set a sub 59-second lap, the quickest lap ever seen around this layout in Toronto, with his 58.9124s ensuring the Team Penske driver ended up 0.3121 seconds ahead of Graham Rahal.

Rahal was able to put his Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing machine onto the front row with a great lap of his own of 59.2245s, which was enough to deny Helio Castroneves the position, with the Brazilian instead being forced to settle for third, where he will start alongside Team Penske team-mate Will Power.

Scott Dixon continued his remarkable run of making it through to the Fast Six Shootout in every road and street course this type of qualifying has been used in 2017, with the Chip Ganassi Racing driver and current championship leader ending up fifth on the grid, while home hero James Hinchcliffe will start sixth for Schmidt Peterson Motorsport.

Josef Newgarden will start seventh after just missing out on the Fast Six Shootout in the fourth of the Team Penske entries, and he will be joined on the fourth row by Andretti Herta Autosport’s Alexander Rossi, while Max Chilton of Chip Ganassi Racing and Takuma Sato of Andretti Autosport share row five.

Marco Andretti will start eleventh for Andretti Autosport, while JR Hildebrand will start twelfth despite causing a red flag during the Fast Twelve segment after crashing at turn eight. As a result of his crash, the Ed Carpenter Racing driver lost his best time, and dropped to the bottom of the times in the session.

Hildebrand was not the only driver to crash during qualifying, with Esteban Gutierrez giving Dale Coyne Racing some more woe by hitting the wall at turn eleven towards the end of Group 1’s session at the beginning of qualifying. His accident saw some high profile eliminations, with both Tony Kanaan and Ryan Hunter-Reay finding themselves on the wrong side of the cut off point as a result.

Streets of Toronto Qualifying Result

11Simon PagenaudFRATeam Penske58.9124
215Graham RahalUSARahal Letterman Lanigan Racing59.2245
33Helio CastronevesBRZTeam Penske59.4345
412Will PowerAUSTeam Penske59.5430
59Scott DixonNZLChip Ganassi Racing59.7970
65James HinchcliffeCANSchmidt Peterson Motorsports1:00.1415
- - Eliminated in Q2- - -
72Josef NewgardenUSATeam Penske59.8992
898Alexander RossiUSAAndretti Herta Autosport1:00.0114
98Max ChiltonGBRChip Ganassi Racing1:00.1202
1026Takuma SatoJAPAndretti Autosport1:00.1970
1127Marco AndrettiUSAAndretti Autosport1:00.3384
1221JR HildebrandUSAEd Carpenter Racing1:02.3040
- - Eliminated in Q1- - -
1320Spencer PigotUSAEd Carpenter Racing59.7585
1410Tony KanaanBRZChip Ganassi Racing1:00.0607
1519Ed JonesUAEDale Coyne Racing59.8686
1628Ryan Hunter-ReayUSAAndretti Autosport1:00.0926
1783Charlie KimballUSAChip Ganassi Racing59.9820
184Conor DalyUSAAJ Foyt Enterprises1:00.2713
1914Carlos MunozCOLAJ Foyt Enterprises1:00.1650
207Sebastian SaavedraCOLSchmidt Peterson Motorsports1:00.6272
2118Esteban GutierrezMEXDale Coyne Racing1:00.7441