Castroneves pole in Penske sweep at Road America

Speedcafe.com

Sunday 25th June, 2017 - 8:03am

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Helio Castroneves

Helio Castroneves has pipped Will Power to pole position for the Road America IndyCar race as Team Penske locked out the first two rows of the starting grid.

Such was the Penske Chevrolets’ dominance, they swept the top four in both Friday’s Practice 2 and the day’s earlier Practice 3 session, led on those occasions by Josef Newgarden and Simon Pagenaud respectively.

In the three-stage qualifying, Power and Newgarden went one-two in Round 1/Group 1, Pagenaud and Castroneves did the same in Round 1/Group 2, then Castroneves led a top four sweep of Round 2 of qualifying.

Castroneves’ final lap of qualifying was enough to edge Power by just 0.06s, earning the Brazilian his 50th IndyCar pole.

Behind them, Newgarden and Pagenaud were each a few tenths further back, giving Penske its fourth one-two-three-four in qualifying in history.

All were comfortably clear of the other two men to make the Fast 6, with Scott Dixon more than 1.6s off pole and nearly 0.9s adrift of Pagenaud in the New Zealander’s Chip Ganassi Honda.

Graham Rahal opted against using his red tyres in the Fast 6 and was never a factor in the final stage of qualifying in his Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda.

Max Chilton (Chip Ganassi Honda) missed the Fast 6 by 0.06s and will start seventh, with the top 10 rounded out by Marco Andretti (Andretti Autosport Honda), James Hinchcliffe (Schmidt Peterson Honda), and Charlie Kimball (Chip Ganassi Honda).

Mikhail Aleshin (Schmidt Peterson Honda) overcame visa issues to arrive at Road America in time for Saturday practice before qualifying in 19th position, one ahead of Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato (Andretti Autosport Honda).

Race start is Monday morning at 0315 AEST.

Qualifying: Road America Grand Prix

Pos Driver C/A/E/T Time Session
1 Helio Castroneves D/C/C/F 01:41.3007 Fast Six
2 Will Power D/C/C/F 01:41.3611 Fast Six
3 Josef Newgarden D/C/C/F 01:41.6608 Fast Six
4 Simon Pagenaud D/C/C/F 01:42.0385 Fast Six
5 Scott Dixon D/H/H/F 01:42.9308 Fast Six
6 Graham Rahal D/H/H/F 01:45.0464 Fast Six
7 Max Chilton D/H/H/F 01:42.7566 Round 2
8 Marco Andretti D/H/H/F 01:42.8614 Round 2
9 James Hinchcliffe D/H/H/F 01:43.2105 Round 2
10 Charlie Kimball D/H/H/F 01:43.3221 Round 2
11 Ed (R) Jones D/H/H/F 01:43.7959 Round 2
12 Ryan Hunter-Reay D/H/H/F 01:43.9786 Round 2
13 Carlos Munoz D/C/C/F 01:42.9039 Round 1 / Group 1
14 Spencer Pigot D/C/C/F 01:42.8875 Round 1 / Group 2
15 Alexander Rossi D/H/H/F 01:43.0171 Round 1 / Group 1
16 Tony Kanaan D/H/H/F 01:42.9077 Round 1 / Group 2
17 Esteban Gutierrez (R) D/H/H/F 01:43.1652 Round 1 / Group 1
18 JR Hildebrand D/C/C/F 01:42.9132 Round 1 / Group 2
19 Mikhail Aleshin D/H/H/F 01:43.8891 Round 1 / Group 1
20 Takuma Sato D/H/H/F 01:43.4111 Round 1 / Group 2
21 Conor Daly D/C/C/F 01:44.1579 Round 1 / Group 2

(C)hassis: D=Dallara | (A)erokit: C=Chevy, H=Honda | (E)ngine: C=Chevy, H=Honda | (T)yre: F=Firestone

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