Helio Castroneves gives Penske pole for Petit Le Mans IMSA finale

Helio Castroneves gave Penske pole position for the Petit Le Mans IMSA Sportscar Championship season finale

Helio Castroneves gives Penske pole for Petit Le Mans IMSA finale

Penske announced it would enter an ORECA 07-Gibson for the IMSA finale last month ahead of its full-time debut with the Acura ARX05 DPi at the Daytona 24 Hours in January 2017.

Castroneves will make a full-time switch to the IMSA Sportscar Championship next year away from IndyCar and, having set the pace in final practice at Road Atlanta, recorded the fastest time in the prototype session to snatch pole for Saturday's race.

The Brazilian's fastest time of 1m11.314s gave Roger Penske's outfit pole ahead of the pair of Extreme Speed Motorsports Nissans of Pipo Derani and Porsche WEC racer Brendon Hartley by 0.161 seconds and 0.185s respectively.

Mathias Beche was fourth in the Rebellion ORECA, 0.309s off the pace, with Renger Van der Zande fifth in the Visit Florida Racing Ligier and Olivier Pla sixth fastest in the similar PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports entry.

Current points leader Ricky Taylor qualified best of the Cadillacs in his and brother Jordan's shared DPi-V.R, with Christian Fittipaldi and Eric Curran ninth and 10th for Action Express Racing.

James French put Performance Tech Motorsports on pole in the Prototype Challenge class by a handy margin of 1.175s over Garett Grist's BAR1 Motorsports entry.

Toni Vilander emerged with a second straight pole position in the GT Le Mans class for Risi Competizione in a fiercely contested battle, with the first five cars covered by less than a tenth of a second.

Vilander lapped in a best time of 1m17.660s to beat the #67 Ford GT of Richard Westbrook by a mere 0.045s.

Antonio Garcia's Chevrolet Corvette C7.R and the second Ford GT of Joey Hand were third and fourth in class, with Bill Auberlen winding up fifth in the RLL BMW M6.

Matteo Cressoni made it two Ferrari on class poles when he put the Scuderia Corsa 488 pole in the GT Daytona category.

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