22 May 2017

Dixon wins Indy pole, Alonso starts fifth

10:50 am on 22 May 2017

New Zealand driver Scott Dixon has won pole position for next week's Indy 500 after posting the fastest average speed at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Scott Dixon celebrates his win at the Sonoma Indy Car race.

Scott Dixon celebrates a win. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso, the only rookie in this morning's nine-car pole position shootout, will start from the second row in fifth as the Spanish driver makes his Indy debut.

Dixon, the 2008 Indy 500 winner, was joined on the front row for next Monday's (NZ time) race by Ed Carpenter and last year's champion Alexander Rossi.

"It feels damn good," the 36-year-old Dixon said after he posted an average speed of 232.164 miles per hour during his four laps.

"This is job one. Obviously the real deal is coming up in a week's time. That's when we're going to push even harder and capitalize more."

Alonso was competitive in the race, posting a 231.300 mph average speed that briefly put him in the lead.

"This is the biggest race in the world," he said. "I'm looking forward to next Sunday."

Wind and track temperatures that reached 114 degrees made for challenging racing conditions, which caused Japan's Takuma Sato to brush up against the wall twice during his run.

The 40-year-old still posted an average speed of 231.365 mph, good for fourth.