Saavedra surprises with Verizon P1 pole award for Grand Prix of Indianapolis

IndyCar, IndyCar News/Releases, INDYCAR PR — By on May 9, 2014 5:20 pm
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[Source: INDYCAR press release]

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Note: For the full results of qualifying, visit our Grand Prix of Indianapolis Event Summary.

INDIANAPOLIS (Friday, May 9, 2014) – Verizon IndyCar Series drivers have said to “expect the unexpected” on the new Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course for the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis. Sebastian Saavedra earning the Verizon P1 Award fits into that category.

The AFS KV AFS driver claimed his first Verizon IndyCar Series pole position topping a wild knockout qualifying session that took place during a rain shower.

Saavedra, whose previous best qualifying effort on a road/street circuit was ninth in the first two events of 2013 (St. Petersburg and Barber Motorsports Park), inherited the top spot in the closing minute of the Firestone Fast Six when the No. 28 DHL car of provisional pole sitter Ryan Hunter-Reay spun and made contact with the wall on the frontstretch of a rain-soaked 2.439-mile, 14-turn.

According to the Verizon IndyCar Series rulebook, Hunter-Reay’s quickest two laps of the 10-minute session were disallowed.

Saavedra is the fourth different pole sitter in as many races this season and he’ll be joined by another surprise driver, Jack Hawksworth of BHA/BBM with Curb-Agajanian. Six different teams were represented on the first three rows for the standing start on the Speedway’s frontstretch. Hunter-Reay ended up third and will start alongside Simon Pagenaud, who was quickest in the morning practice session and set the lap record (1:09.6716) on the reconfigured track in Segment 1 of qualifying on dry pavement in the No. 77 Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports car.

Series championship points leader Will Power, driving the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car, and reigning series champion Scott Dixon in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing entry are on Row 3.

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NEXT PAGE: Quotes on Grand Prix of Indianapolis qualifying from Verizon IndyCar Series drivers

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