Iowa IndyCar: Helio Castroneves earns pole with heat win
|By Mark Glendenning||Sunday, June 23rd 2013, 00:53 GMT|
Helio Castroneves will start Sunday's IndyCar race at Iowa from pole position after winning the final heat race at the 7/8th mile oval on Saturday evening.
Castroneves started the heat from pole and was never headed, although Will Power managed to climb through the field and give his Penske team-mate something to think about as the race ended its final 10 laps.
The gap shrank to as little as 0.2 seconds before the pair began to encounter lapped traffic, which enabled Castroneves to recapture some of his advantage.
The Brazilian's job was made easier at the end when Power backed off slightly, giving Castroneves another nine points towards his title campaign.
"Nine points right now is really welcome," he said. "I'm excited by what we achieved. The car was really good. We were watching the others in the first couple of heats and it's tough, because you want to make changes but you don't know what."
Power, who had to regain some lost ground after dropping a couple of positions early on, declared himself satisfied with second.
"The car was definitely better than we had in practice, it really came on there," Power said. "Had a moment in Turns 1 and 2 there and just decided to settle for second."
Andretti Autosport locked out the second row, with James Hinchcliffe taking third ahead of Marco Andretti, leaving Ganassi's Scott Dixon as best of the Honda-powered drivers in fifth.
The earlier two heats were a study in contrasts. Heat one, which was for cars that qualified between eighth and 24th in even-numbered positions, was a dull procession from which Dixon and Takuma Sato earned themselves places in the final.
Heat two was far more hard-fought, with much of the excitement coming through Graham Rahal's progress through the field.
He took the lead from Ed Carpenter with four laps remaining, however the race was ended early when his team-mate James Jakes lost control and hit the wall two laps later.
Despite his mishap, Jakes still managed to be classified ahead of Simona de Silvestro, who struggled badly for pace - to the point where she ran three consecutive laps slower than Carlos Munoz's Indy Lights pole time - and finished three laps off the lead.
Heat one results - 50 laps: Pos Driver Team/Engine Time/Gap 1. Scott Dixon Ganassi/Honda 15m25.1012s 2. Takuma Sato Foyt/Honda +0.7768s 3. Alex Tagliani Herta/Honda +2.2856s 4. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti/Chevy +2.6547s 5. Josef Newgarden Fisher/Honda +6.2337s 6. Ana Beatriz Coyne/Honda +11.0839s 7. Sebastian Saavedra Dragon/Chevy +14.2120s 8. Sebastien Bourdais Dragon/Chevy +14.6719s 9. Dario Franchitti Ganassi/Honda +15.9379s Heat two results - 50 laps: Pos Driver Team/Engine Time/Gap 1. Graham Rahal Rahal/Honda 15m46.2056s 2. Ed Carpenter Carpenter/Chevy +0.5428s 3. Simon Pagenaud Schmidt/Honda +2.1748s 4. Justin Wilson Coyne/Honda +3.9980s 5. Tristan Vautier Schmidt/Honda +16.5997s 6. Charlie Kimball Ganassi/Honda +17.4519s 7. EJ Viso Andretti/Chevy +24.3545s 8. James Jakes Rahal/Honda +2 laps* 9. Simona de Silvestro KV/Chevy +3 laps * Not running at finish Heat three results - 50 laps: Pos Driver Team/Engine Time/Gap 1. Helio Castroneves Penske/Chevy 15m30.3893s 2. Will Power Penske/Chevy +3.1480s 3. James Hinchcliffe Andretti/Chevy +4.4390s 4. Marco Andretti Andretti/Chevy +4.9046s 5. Scott Dixon Ganassi/Honda +6.5829s 6. Ed Carpenter Carpenter/Chevy +8.3003s 7. Takuma Sato Foyt/Honda +11.2950s 8. Tony Kanaan KV/Chevy +16.0737s 9. Graham Rahal Rahal/Honda +1 lap 10. Oriol Servia Panther/Chevy +1 lap Grid for main race: Pos Driver Team/Engine 1. Helio Castroneves Penske/Chevy 2. Will Power Penske/Chevy 3. James Hinchcliffe Andretti/Chevy 4. Marco Andretti Andretti/Chevy 5. Scott Dixon Ganassi/Honda 6. Ed Carpenter Carpenter/Chevy 7. Takuma Sato Foyt/Honda 8. Tony Kanaan KV/Chevy 9. Graham Rahal Rahal/Honda 10. Oriol Servia Panther/Chevy 11. Simon Pagenaud Schmidt/Honda 12. Alex Tagliani Herta/Honda 13. Justin Wilson Coyne/Honda 14. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti/Chevy 15. Tristan Vautier Schmidt/Honda 16. Josef Newgarden Fisher/Honda 17. Charlie Kimball Ganassi/Honda 18. Ana Beatriz Coyne/Honda 19. EJ Viso Andretti/Chevy 20. Sebastian Saavedra Dragon/Chevy 21. James Jakes Rahal/Honda 22. Sebastien Bourdais Dragon/Chevy 23. Simona de Silvestro KV/Chevy 24. Dario Franchitti Ganassi/Honda All drivers use Dallara DW12 chassis