5 Apr 2009

Rahal youngest to take pole in Indy race - Dixon eighth fastest

10:47 am on 5 April 2009

Graham Rahal became the youngest driver to capture an IndyCar Series pole position, as he notched the top qualifying time for the season-opening Grand Prix of St Petersburg.

The 20-year-old driver clocked 1min 02.4110sec on the 1.8-mile street layout as he put himself in position to win the race for the second straight year.

Marco Andretti, who was 21 when he captured the pole at the Milwaukee Mile in 2008, was the previous youngest IndyCar pole-sitter.

Former Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing teammate Justin Wilson of England joined Rahal on the front row after posting a lap of 1:02.460.

Brazilian Tony Kanaan will be on the second row with Team Penske's Ryan Briscoe of Australia.

Scotland's Dario Franchitti, making his debut with Target Chip Ganassi Racing's IndyCar Series team, will share the third row with Team Penske's Will Power.

Reigning IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon of New Zealand posted the eighth-fastest qualifying time to start on the fourth row.

Sunday's race is the first in a 17-race schedule that concludes on October 10 and is highlighted by the Indianapolis 500 on May 24.