Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana moved up to 1:45 p.m. start after rain washes out qualifying _lowres

Associated Press photo by JONATHAN BACHMAN -- Stefano Coletti sits on pit lane during the qualification session for the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana on Saturday at NOLA Motorsports Park.. Qualifying was cancelled because of rain.

Torrential downpours and lightning canceled the qualifying competition for the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana on Saturday and forced schedule changes for Sunday in an attempt to beat more expected rain.

Drivers will start their engines at 1:38 p.m. and the race will begin at 1:45, almost an hour earlier than the original time of 2:37.

“We think we’ll be in good shape,” NOLA Motorsports Park owner Laney Chouest said. “But it’s out of our control, so this is nothing I’m going to spend a whole lot of energy worrying about.”

Saturday’s qualifying was halted at 5:23, early in the second session. About a half-hour later, the day officially was called off, wiping out all of the results from the first qualifying session.

The starting order Sunday will be based on the results at the season-opening race at St. Petersburg, Fla. Juan Pablo Montoya, who was not running well in qualifying, will be on the front row with Will Power. Scott Dixon, who had the fastest time in the only completed qualifying run, will start all the way back on the eighth row because he finished 15th at St. Petersburg.

According to, there is a 60 percent chance of rain between 1 and 2 p.m., with the chance increasing to 90 percent by 3 p.m.

Fellow Ganassi driver Tony Kanaan, who had Friday’s fastest practice lap, will still have a good grid spot based on his third-place finish in St. Petersburg.