Castroneves to start IndyCar race two on pole

Credit: Chris Jones

Helio Castroneves will start the second IndyCar race at Houston’s Reliant Park on pole after his sub one minute time was enough to score pole position.

A time of 59.170seconds, the Team Penske driver was fastest of the second group of drivers to go out on track as well as fastest overall to claim the Verizon P1 award.

In second place is Mikhail Aleshin, even though his time of 1:00.249 was more than a second slower than his Schmidt Peterson team mate Simon Pagenaud, he will start second because of his pole position time in the first group to go out.

The qualifying system from then on follows the pattern of cars from group two taking the odd numbers on the grid with group one taking the even side.

So in fourth place, and second in group one is Graham Rahal who now has a pair of second row starts in Houston but will be hoping that this second IndyCar race will go a lot better than the first race yesterday.

However, every silver cloud needs a grey lining and in this IndyCar grid that bad luck went to points leader Will Power who could only manage 18th position on the grid.

He was typical of a number of paddock veterans failing to put themselves in a good position as Scott Dixon qualified 11th and Juan Pablo Montoya took 14th.

Unfortunately there was an even darker lining on proceedings as a track infringement was picked up by the cameras as the track went green for qualifying. 

Two men were spotted jogging across the track and just about managing to find an opening in the armco as a Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara rounded the corner. 

An IndyCar spokesman said: “We’re working diligently with promoters to ensure that all track access points are properly secured.”

Hopefully there is no repeat of this incident as the race gets underway this evening.