In his first IZOD IndyCar Series race weekend since 2008, Bruno Junqueira qualified the No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (SFHR) Dallara/Honda/Firestone car in 10th position for the Grand Prix of Baltimore.
Junqueira’s quick lap of 91.363 mph becomes even more impressive when you consider how much ground he had to cover before he even set foot on the track.
Junqueira is the only driver in the Grand Prix of Baltimore competing in American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón action in addition to the IZOD IndyCar Series race. He put his RSR Racing car on pole position for the Prototype Challenge race and backed it up with a solid qualifying result for SFHR in the No. 67 car.
“I’m on the pole for the ALMS race that starts two hours after IndyCar qualifying ended, so it’s a busy weekend,” Junqueira said after IndyCar qualifications. “But I’m ready and I love to do this.”
If there was any doubt about whether Junqueira would adapt easily to the new DW-12 Dallara chassis in IndyCar, he has removed all doubt. His solid qualifying effort came after he missed out on much of his planned practice time.
“This weekend has been a big challenge because it’s been several years since I’ve driven a single-seater IndyCar,” Junqueira said. “In the first practice session I only got two laps because of the bumps on the track. In the second session, I only got half an hour and in the third session I finally got some laps in. So I had much less time in the car than I thought I would this weekend.”
Junqueira was pleasantly surprised with his qualifying results in the No. 67 car.
“I managed to push hard in the first two laps of qualifying and ended up in tenth after advancing to the second round,” he said. “Who would have thought the team and I would be in tenth with having so little time together? I’m pretty happy with our results.”
Due to an unapproved engine change in the No. 67 car after the most recent race in Sonoma, Junqueira will incur a 10-spot grid penalty on the starting grid of the Grand Prix of Baltimore.
“It’s a shame we have to go back 10 spots tomorrow, but I know we’ll be fine because SFHR has given me a great race car,” Junqueira said.
Will Power of Team Penske earned the pole for the Grand Prix of Baltimore with a quick lap at 94.184 mph. It was Power’s fifth pole of the 2012 season, and he won the Grand Prix of Baltimore in 2011.
Mike Conway of AJ Foyt Racing qualified second with a lap of 93.494 mph and Scott Dixon of Ganassi Racing qualified third at 93.433 mph.
Sebastien Bourdais of Dragon Racing and Dario Franchitti of Ganassi Racing rounded out the top five in qualifying.
The green flag will drop on the Grand Prix of Baltimore Sunday, September 2 at 2:47 p.m. ET. The race will air live on NBC Sports Network, Sunday, Sept. 2 at 12:30 p.m. ET.