Stephen Camp  |    |   0  |  19 May 2019

Simon Pagenaud claims maiden Indy 500 pole, Fernando Alonso out

Team Penske's Simon Pagenaud will start the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 from a maiden pole position at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as McLaren's Fernando Alonso failed to qualify.

Heavy rain had initially delayed proceedings on Sunday afternoon but once the track had been dried, and the shoot-out for the final three grid slots had taken place, Pagenaud went on to complete the most consistent four-lap run of the weekend in metronomic style to secure the pole with a  229.992mph effort in the #22 Menards-Chevrolet.

Pagenaud also became the first Frenchman in 100 years to claim pole position for the Indy 500, the last being Rene Thomas in 1919.

Indianapolis veteran Ed Carpenter had to settle for the middle of the front row, alongside team-mate Spencer Pigot, who initially held the top spot after the first day of running.

Heading up the second row is the third ECR car of Ed Jones in the #63 Scuderia Corsa entry and will have 19-year-old Colton Herta for company in fifth, still the leading Honda-powered car for Harding Steinbrenner Racing.

Will Power was second after Saturday's effort but in the Fast Nine shootout he was unable to replicate the same form and will have to start from sixth.

Dale Coyne Racing's Sebastien Bourdais will head up the third row of the grid along with Josef Newgarden who, as with, Power lost speed compared to Saturday; Andretti Autosport's Alexander Rossi rounded out the top nine.

Once the rain had cleared and the track had dried, the last-row shootout hit the 2.5-mile speedway ahead of the Fast Nine runners.

James Hinchcliffe (Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports), Sage Karam (Dreyer & Reinbold Racing) and Juncos Racing's Kyle Kaiser were able to get themselves into the prestigious race ahead of McLaren's Fernando Alonso and the Carlin duo of Patricio O'Ward and Max Chilton.

Kaiser was last out of the six to run and put in an effort which was a mere 0.19mph faster than Alonso's to go through and secure the 33rd and final spot in the field.

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