Qualifying Report: Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (March 11, 2017)—Despite everything being new this year, Carlos Munoz still managed to advance to Round 2 in qualifying for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Munoz will start 11th in his No. 14 ABC Supply Chevrolet.
Munoz was fifth fastest of the 10 competitors in the first round of qualifying with a time of 1 minute, 1.5238 seconds. In the second round, Munoz posted a time of 1 minute, 1.7399 seconds (104.956mph).
“We were better in qualifying than practice,” said Munoz. “I think in round 2 we could have been better but between the runs, we tried some things that didn’t work like we expected. Our goal was to be in the top 10 but we missed by one spot. It’s still a good position to start here. We have to work to make the car more consistent throughout the race. So we’ll see what happens tomorrow.”
Conor Daly will start on the tenth row in his No. 4 ABC Supply Chevrolet. His session was stopped in the beginning when Sebastien Bourdais ran off course and hit the tire barrier.
“It was a bit strange with the way the red flag came out,” said Daly. “I think we started to push a little bit too early on our only set of reds. We’re really struggling to stop the car. These new brakes are treating me very unkindly. Stopping the car has always been a strength of mine, the brake zones are where I can brake deep and now I can’t brake deep enough. For some reason the car won’t stop and we’ve got to get that fixed so we can actually compete.”
Will Power won the pole with a time of 1 minute, 1.0640 seconds (106.118mph). Completing the Firestone Fast Six were Scott Dixon, James Hinchcliffe, Josef Newgarden, Takuma Sato and Tony Kanaan.
The teams have a final warm up tomorrow morning before the Firestone Grand Prix which will be televised on ABC-TV starting at 12 noon EDT.