Mother Nature did Juan Pablo Montoya a favour on Saturday, as lighting halted qualifying for the Grand Prix of Louisiana to give the IndyCar series points leader pole position for Sunday’s (Monday AEST) race.
Montoya tops the standings thanks to his win in the season-opening Grand Prix of St Petersburg on March 29.
The Penske driver will therefore lead the field into the inaugural 75 lap race on the 2.74-mile (4.41 Km) NOLA Motorsports Park circuit in suburban New Orleans.
Australian Will Power, the 2014 IndyCar champion will join his teammate Montoya on the front row.
The qualifying cancellation was a boon for Montoya, who had failed to advance out of the first of three qualifying segments after his car slid off course on its final lap.
On a rain-soaked track, Brazil’s Tony Kanaan led the first qualifying group with a time of 1 minute, 38.0125 seconds in his Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet.
The second group of the first segment was four minutes into its 10-minute session when lightning in the area halted qualifying. Conditions worsened and qualifying was not resumed.
Kanaan, who holds the Indy car record for consecutive starts that is currently at 234 and counting, will start third and fellow Brazilian Helio Castroneves fourth.