Former champ Dario Franchitti conquered a treacherously slippery Richmond International Raceway to bag pole position for the latest round of the IndyCar Championship.
A week after winning in Iowa, the 36-year-old from Bathgate clocked 1min 04.5488secs, an average of 167.315mph, on his four-lap run around the 0.75-mile oval to unseat his Ganassi team-mate, Scott Dixon. The Kiwi averaged 166.638mph.
But Franchitti, currently in second place in the championship three points behind Aussie Ryan Briscoe, admitted it had been one of his toughest qualifying sessions.
“It was tough in the 90-degree heat,” he said, “and that caused further problems because it created a slippery race line which caught a few of the other drivers out. And believe me, I found it tough.
“The car was understeering in Turn 2 and oversteering in Turn 4, so I had my hands full. It’s just so hot. But that’s part of the fun though, trying to hang on to the thing when it’s like this. It makes it interesting.”
Franchitti’s main rival Penske will fill the second row of the grid, with Helio Castroneves ahead of Ryan Briscoe despite the Brazilian nearly crashing at Turn 2 on his third qualifying lap.