Ryan Briscoe won the pole for IndyCar main event at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
However, a decision by Chevrolet to yank the engines from all 11 of its teams because of concerns the engines wouldn’t last throughout the race meant all the Chevy drivers knew they wouldn’t start Sunday where they actually qualified.
“It bites,” Briscoe said. “The important thing is we know we have a fast car and we’re making the best of the situation.”
All 11 of the Chevrolet-powered cars and three Lotus-powered cars were hit with 10 place grid penalties going into the session after making unauthorised engine changes.
Dario Franchitti from Target Chip Ganassi Racing will start on the pole for Sunday’s 85-lap race since he was the top qualifier who did not have a Chevrolet-powered engine in his car.
Briscoe had the best lap time of 1:08.6089 in the final six. Teammate Will Power was second (1:08.7073), Ryan Hunter-Reay of Andretti Autosport was third (1:08.7163), Franchitti came in with a best lap of 1:09.0327.
This is the first year since 2005 that IndyCar has featured competition among engine makers.