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Franchitti claims pole for Toronto opener

Dario Franchitti of Scotland, drives the Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda during qualifying for the IZOD INDYCAR Series Honda Indy Toronto on July 12, 2013 in Toronto, Canada.Getty Images/AFP

Scotland's Dario Franchitti captured pole position for Saturday's first race in an IndyCar weekend double-header.

Franchitti lapped the 1.75-mile (2.82km), 11-turn street circuit in 59.6756 seconds for his third pole of the season and the 32nd of his career.

Franchitti notched his fast time after he was involved in an accident during practice earlier in the day.

"I made it difficult this morning," Franchitti said. "I made a mistake in turn five, taking the right side off the car. The guys had to work and repair the car."

Franchitti won the first IndyCar race at Toronto in 2009 and won here again two years later.

Last year he started on pole and led the first five laps, but after a fueling issue finished 17th.

France's Sebastien Bourdais put his Dragon Racing car on the front row with a lap of 59.7701sec.

Bourdais won four championships and claimed 31 poles in the old Champ Car open-wheel racing series, but this will be his first front row start in IndyCar, which absorbed Champ Car in 2008.

Australia's Will Power qualified third and Brazil's Tony Kanaan took the fourth spot.

Series leader Helio Castroneves of Brazil qualified eighth. Ryan Hunter-Reay, the winner here last year who trails Castroneves by 23 points in the season standings, was seventh-quickest.

Saturday's race will be followed by a second full length race on Sunday. Qualifying for race two will take place on Saturday morning.