Sunday, April 22, 2018
Sports

How does qualifying at IndyCar Grand Prix of St. Petersburg work?

Grand Prix qualifying procedure

Today's qualifying procedure for the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg takes place in three stages. Cars are scheduled to take the track at 3:40 p.m., initially split into two groups based on top times in the final practice. Each group has 10 minutes (including yellow-flag time) to set a lap, and the top six cars from each group advance. Those not advancing are placed in spots 13-22 on the grid for Sunday's race, with drivers from the first group occupying odd-numbered starting positions and the second group in even-numbered spots.

The 12 drivers who advance to the second stage run in another 10-minute session, again including caution flags, with the top six advancing to the final session. The six cars eliminated at this stage fill spots 7-12 on the grid.

The six fastest cars have one final 10-minute qualifying session to set the best time, which earns the pole. The second-best speed starts next to the pole-sitter on Row 1, and so on.

Will Power broke the St. Petersburg qualifying record last year with a lap of 106.767 mph around the 1.8-mile track in the final session, and also set the overall qualifying record in the previous session at 106.841 (1 minute, 0.6509 seconds).

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