Sao Paulo, Brazil (Sports Network) - Ryan Hunter-Reay will start on the pole for Sunday's IndyCar Series race in Brazil after setting a new track qualifying record on the Sao Paulo street circuit.
Hunter-Reay, the defending series champion, made a lap around the 2.536-mile, 11-turn temporary street circuit in 1 minute, 20.4312 seconds during Saturday's qualifying. He surpassed Will Power's record of 1:21.2781 here, set in 2012. Hunter-Reay claimed his second pole of the season and the fourth of his IndyCar career. The Andretti Autosport driver won the pole last month at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala. He started second in the most recent race on April 21 in Long Beach, Calif.
"I gave it everything I had, and it's great to get the (car) up front again and on pole," Hunter-Reay said. "That's three of the four races this year that we've been on the front row and twice on pole. I'm so happy for the guys (No. 1 team) and everything they've done for me."
Power's attempt to win a fourth consecutive IndyCar race in Brazil will be a difficult one, as he qualified a disappointing 22nd. Power, who has won the first three events here, had his last lap during the first qualifying segment interrupted by a red flag, which came out for an incident involving James Jakes. Time expired in the segment before Power could make another run. His Team Penske teammate, Helio Castroneves, who is the current points leader, could not get a final lap in as well and therefore qualified 18th.
Power topped the time charts in the first two practice sessions earlier in the day. He had won the pole position here the past two years.
"Tough break today to not be able to qualify the way we wanted," Power said. "It's especially bad, because the car had been so quick all day. We felt pretty good going into the qualifying and unfortunately didn't have time to run the lap we wanted after doing a lap on the (black tires)."
E.J. Viso will share the front row with his Andretti teammate, Hunter-Reay, after finishing a career-best second in qualifying. Dario Franchitti, the four-time series champion, and Brazilian Tony Kanaan will roll off from row two. James Hinchcliffe and Scott Dixon qualified fifth and sixth, respectively.
Finishing seventh through 10th were Sebastien Bourdais, Simona de Silvestro, Justin Wilson and Marco Andretti.
Takuma Sato, who scored his first career IndyCar victory in Long Beach, qualified 12th. Sato's win there put him just six points behind Castroneves. Hunter-Reay trails the leader by 26 points.
The 75-lap Sao Paulo Indy 300 is scheduled to start at 11:30 a.m. ET.