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DATE News (chronologically)
04/04/09
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Saavedra wins pole for Indy Lights race 2
Sebastian Saavedra and J.R. Hildebrand found the shortest route and best car setup on the 1.8-mile, 14-turn St. Petersburg temporary street course.

The AFS Racing/Andretti Green Racing teammates won both legs of qualifying for the Firestone Indy Lights doubleheader. Saavedra recorded a quick lap of 1 minute, 07.2171 seconds (95.527 mph) and will start from the pole in the second race April 5 (watch it at 10 am. on indycar.com). Hildebrand, driving the No. 26 ARPRO car, will start from the pole (1:07.7704) in the 40-lap first race.

The 27-car field was split into two groups with the fastest overall time determining the pole sitter (Saavedra was in Group 2). The fastest car from the non-pole-winning group (Junior Strous in the No. 18 Shell V-Power Knaus HTP) occupies the other front-row starting spot. The remainder of the pole sitter's group occupies the odd positions, while the outside pole sitter's group makes up the even positions.

Strous (1:07.8227) is starting on the front row in both races. Hildebrand (1:07.2765) was the second-fastest qualifier overall but will start third because of being in Group 1. He'll be joined on Row 2 by Vision Racing's James Davison (1:07.8339 in Group 1).

"We saved a set of tires because we didn't put on a new set of tires halfway through the session, so we have a new set for each race, which is good," said Strous, who is making his Firestone Indy Lights debut.

Qualifying Saturday for the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Race 2 Firestone Indy Lights event on the 1.8-mile Streets of St. Petersburg, with starting position, car number in parentheses, driver, time and speed in parentheses:

1. (27) Sebastian Saavedra, 1:07.2171 (96.404), Group 2

2. (18) Junior Strous, 1:07.8227 (95.543), Group 1

3. (26) J.R. Hildebrand, 1:07.2765 (96.319), Group 2

4. (21) James Davison, 1:07.8339 (95.527), Group 1

5. (20) Ana Beatriz, 1:07.2960 (96.291), Group 2

6. (36) Richard Philippe, 1:07.8806 (95.462), Group 1

7. (7) James Hinchcliffe, 1:07.4706 (96.042), Group 2

8. (37) Jay Howard, 1:08.3146 (94.855), Group 1

9. (15) Martin Plowman, 1:07.6411 (95.800), Group 2

10. (5) Mario Romancini, 1:08.5149 (94.578), Group 1

11. (28) Daniel Herrington, 1:07.8620 (95.488), Group 2

12. (11) Wade Cunningham, 1:08.5621 (94.513), Group 1

13. (63) Duncan Tappy, 1:07.9270 (95.397), Group 2

14. (9) Jonathan Summerton, 1:08.6984 (94.325), Group 1

15. (2) Andrew Prendeville, 1:08.1833 (95.038), Group 2

16. (44) Gustavo Yacaman, 1:08.9031 (94.045), Group 1

17. (19) Stefan Wilson, 1:08.2263 (94.978), Group 2

18. (35) Charlie Kimball, 1:09.0739 (93.813), Group 1

19. (4) Sean Guthrie, 1:08.3299 (94.834), Group 2

20. (33) Pablo Donoso, 1:09.7618 (92.888), Group 1

21. (24) Logan Gomez, 1:08.8691 (94.092), Group 2

22. (16) Pippa Mann, 1:09.7693 (92.878), Group 1

23. (32) Brandon Wagner, 1:10.9257 (91.363), Group 2

24. (49) Jesse Mason, 1:10.0842 (92.460), Group 1

25. (55) Rodrigo Barbosa, 1:13.2883 (88.418), Group 2

26. (3) Sergey Mokshantsev, 1:10.8658 (91.440), Group 1

27. (59) Ali Jackson, 1:13.1614 (88.571), Group 1

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