Castroneves take record-breaking Long Beach Pole

Speedcafe.com

Sunday 9th April, 2017 - 12:12pm

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Helio Castroneves celebrates his pole

Helio Castroneves has broken the track record on his way to pole around the streets of Long Beach for the third straight year.

Castroneves clocked a 1:06.55s lap in the #3 Team Penske Chevrolet, and will share the front row with Scott Dixon, while Will Power qualified ninth.

There was drama early on when Simon Pagenaud failed to advance from the first segment of qualifying after he was judged to have blocked his team-mate Castroneves into the hairpin.

The Frenchman lost his two fastest laps as a result, and will start rear of grid in 21st.

Power cost himself with a poor exit from the hairpin during Segment 2, and the #12 Penske entry failed to advance any further in qualifying.

All but one of the 12 remaining drivers, headed by Dixon, broke Castroneves’ two-year-old track record in Segment 2, before the Brazilian went faster again in Segment 3.

Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport Honda) was third fastest and will share the second row with James Hinchcliffe (Schmidt Peterson Honda).

Alexander Rossi (Andretti Autosport Hinda) starts on the inside of the third row, while Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Honda) was the other man to make Segment 3.

St Petersburg winner Sebastien Bourdais (Dayle Coyne Honda) qualified twelfth fastest.

The 85-lap Grand Prix of Long Beach gets underway on Monday at 0630 AEST.

Qualifying: Grand Prix of Long Beach

Pos Driver C/A/E/T Time Session
1 Castroneves, Helio D/C/C/F 01:06.2254 Fast Six
2 Dixon, Scott D/H/H/F 01:06.4123 Fast Six
3 Hunter-Reay, Ryan D/H/H/F 01:06.4401 Fast Six
4 Hinchcliffe, James D/H/H/F 01:06.5291 Fast Six
5 Rossi, Alexander D/H/H/F 01:06.5595 Fast Six
6 Rahal, Graham D/H/H/F 01:06.7562 Fast Six
7 Kimball, Charlie D/H/H/F 01:06.5404 Round 2
8 Newgarden, Josef D/C/C/F 01:06.6074 Round 2
9 Power, Will D/C/C/F 01:06.6145 Round 2
10 Andretti, Marco D/H/H/F 01:06.6222 Round 2
11 Kanaan, Tony D/H/H/F 01:06.6262 Round 2
12 Bourdais, Sebastien D/H/H/F 01:06.7853 Round 2
13 Jones, Ed (R) D/H/H/F 01:07.5832 Round 1 / Group 1
14 Munoz, Carlos D/C/C/F 01:07.3783 Round 1 / Group 2
15 Hildebrand, JR D/C/C/F 01:07.6931 Round 1 / Group 1
16 Aleshin, Mikhail D/H/H/F 01:07.3893 Round 1 / Group 2
17 Daly, Conor D/C/C/F 01:07.7977 Round 1 / Group 1
18 Sato, Takuma D/H/H/F 01:07.4699 Round 1 / Group 2
19 Pigot, Spencer D/C/C/F 01:07.8442 Round 1 / Group 1
20 Chilton, Max D/H/H/F 01:07.5333 Round 1 / Group 2
21 Pagenaud, Simon D/C/C/F 01:08.0439 Round 1 / Group 2