Team Penske’s Hélio Castroneves will start on pole for Sunday’s 80-lap Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
Castroneves, who also won the 2001 event from pole, set a time of 1:06.629 seconds around the 11-corner 3.157-kilometre historic street circuit, with his lap in the Firestone Fast 6 session eclipsing the previous lap record of 1:06.886 held since 2006 by Sébastien Bourdais.
“I tell you what, the AAA machine was on rails,” Castroneves told NBCSN’s Marty Snider after claiming pole position. “Being on pole position with the teammates I have, it’s like a victory. [It’s] fantastic guys. It’s paying off. One day it’ll be my day, one day another [driver]. From the beginning of the weekend until now, we’re chipping away.”
This is the 42nd career pole position of Castroneves’ career, the fourth most in IndyCar history.
His Penske teammate Juan Pablo Montoya qualified second-fastest, giving Penske a front row lockout, while Chip Ganassi’s Scott Dixon qualified third with Andretti’s Ryan Hunter-Reay in fourth – Hunter-Reay was the sole Honda-powered runner in the top-six.
Simon Pagenaud put his Chevy powered Penske in fifth alongside CFH Racing’s Josef Newgarden.
Reigning series champion Will Power will start in 18th place after being caught out by a red flag after Stefano Coletti tagged the wall at Turn 4.
Tony Kanaan rolls off seventh, ahead of Graham Rahal with his best start of the year in eighth. Sébastien Bourdais and Marco Andretti completed the top ten.
Sebastián Saavedra impressed in his opening qualifying appearance with Chip Ganassi Racing by qualifying eleventh-fastest, just ahead of the third Andretti Autosport entry of Carlos Muñoz.
James Hinchliffe, winner of the previous Grand Prix of Louisiana, will start thirteenth alongside CFH Racing’s Luca Filippi.
Conor Daly starts in 21st place in his first Verizon IndyCar Series race in two years as a last-minute replacement for Rocky Moran Jr., who suffered a broken thumb after he had replaced Carlos Huertas in the Dayle Coyne Racing #18 entry.
|2015 IndyCar Series Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach – Qualifying Results|
|Grid||‘Fast Six’ Qualifiers||Team / Entry||Time||Gap|
|1.||Hélio Castroneves||Team Penske||1:06.629|
|2.||Juan Pablo Montoya||Team Penske||1:06.659||+ 0.029|
|3.||Scott Dixon||Chip Ganassi Racing||1:06.787||+ 0.158|
|4.||Ryan Hunter-Reay||Andretti Autosport||1:07.047||+ 0.418|
|5.||Simon Pagenaud||Team Penske||1:07.143||+ 0.514|
|6.||Josef Newgarden||CFH Racing||1:07.172||+ 0.542|
|Grid||‘Top 12’ Qualifiers||Team / Entry||Time||Gap*|
|7.||Tony Kanaan||Chip Ganassi Racing||1:07.109||+ 0.320|
|8.||Graham Rahal||Rahal Letterman Lanigan||1:07.129||+ 0.340|
|9.||Sébastien Bourdais||KVSH Racing||1:07.241||+ 0.452|
|10.||Marco Andretti||Andretti Autosport||1:07.316||+ 0.527|
|11.||Sebastián Saavedra||Chip Ganassi Racing||1:07.392||+ 0.603|
|12.||Carlos Muñoz||Andretti Autosport||1:07.405||+ 0.616|
|Grid||‘Group 1’ Qualifiers||Team / Entry||Time||Gap|
|13.||James Hinchcliffe||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||1:07.398||+ 0.653|
|15.||Charlie Kimball||Chip Ganassi Racing||1:07.422||+ 0.678|
|17.||Gabby Chaves||Bryan Herta Autosport||1:07.465||+ 0.721|
|19.||James Jakes||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||1:07.770||+ 1.026|
|21.||Conor Daly||Dale Coyne Racing||1:08.783||+ 2.038|
|Grid||‘Group 2’ Qualifiers||Team / Entry||Time||Gap|
|14.||Luca Filippi||CFH Racing||1:08.610||+ 1.780|
|16.||Jack Hawksworth||A.J. Foyt Racong||1:08.628||+ 1.797|
|18.||Will Power||Team Penske||1:08.835||+ 2.004|
|20.||Takuma Sato||A.J. Foyt Racing||1:08.873||+ 2.043|
|22.||Franceso Dracone||Dale Coyne Racing||1:09.882||+ 3.051|
|23.||Stefano Coletti||KV Racing Technology||1:10.464||+ 3.634|
- * Denotes gap to fastest ‘Top 12’ qualifying session time of 1:06.789 posted by Simon Pagenaud. Fastest six qualifiers progress to the ‘Fast Six’ shootout for pole position.
- ** Denotes gap to fastest ‘Group 2’ qualifying session time of 1:06.744 posted by Tony Kanaan. Fastest six qualifiers progress to ‘Top 12’ stage, with the remaining drivers occupying the odd-numbered grid positions 13, 15, 17, etc.
- *** Denotes gap to fastest ‘Group 2’ qualifying session time of 1:06.830 posted by Juan Pablo Montoya. Fastest six qualifiers progress to ‘Top 12’ stage, with the remaining drivers occupying the even-numbered grid positions 14, 16, 18, etc.
Image via Motorsport.com
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