Detroit IndyCar: Helio Castroneves gives Penske home pole

Helio Castroneves will start the first race of this weekend's IndyCar double-header in Detroit from pole position after dominating qualifying on the Belle Isle street circuit on Saturday morning

Detroit IndyCar: Helio Castroneves gives Penske home pole

The Penske driver, who was narrowly denied a fourth Indianapolis 500 win less than a week ago, was quickest in the second qualifying phase despite a brush with the wall, and carried that speed through to the Fast Six.

"I missed an opportunity in Barber and I didn't want to miss another one today, so for me this was kind of like redemption," Castroneves said.

"This feels great. This is Roger [Penske's] home ground, and I'm biased about this place because I got my first win here. This was outstanding, and it was a great job by everyone on the team."

His 1m17.5362s pole lap was 0.4 seconds quicker than nearest rival James Hinchcliffe, who had jumped up with his final lap to knock rookie Jack Hawksworth off the front row. The Brit will start alongside compatriot and one of last year's Detroit winners Mike Conway, leaving Ryan Briscoe and Juan Pablo Montoya to round out the top six.

The cooler early morning conditions no doubt played some part in the number of usual frontrunners who were eliminated early.

Will Power was parked by the Penske team before the first phase had even ended, with team president Tim Cindric conceding that "we just didn't have a good car."

It was a similar story for Scott Dixon, who admitted that in set-up terms he was "a little bit lost and don't know why yet" after getting knocked out in phase two, while Indy 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay faces an even tougher race after a disastrous morning - including contact at Turn 11 - left him beached on the last row of the grid.

Meanwhile, there was a streak of controversy early on when Simon Pagenaud was docked his two best laps in the first phase for blocking Montoya.

At the time, Pagenaud was still on his original set of harder black tyres while Montoya had just changed to a new set of softer reds, and the Frenchman was mystified by the decision to penalise him.

"I know what happened, but I don't understand the call," he said. "I was running as fast as I can to get the tyres up to temperature.

"It's not like I have time to dick around. Montoya was on newer tyres and came up on me, and that's fine - he was faster."

Follow both IndyCar races on AUTOSPORT Race Centre Live from 8.30pm UK time each evening

Pos Driver Team/Engine Time Gap 1. Helio Castroneves Penske/Chevy 1m17.5362s 2. James Hinchcliffe Andretti/Honda 1m17.9788s +0.4426s 3. Jack Hawksworth Herta/Honda 1m18.0731s +0.5369s 4. Mike Conway Carpenter/Chevy 1m18.3015s +0.7653s 5. Ryan Briscoe Ganassi/Chevy 1m18.8098s +1.2736s 6. Juan Pablo Montoya Penske/Chevy 1m19.7296s +2.1934s 7. Sebastien Bourdais KV/Chevy 1m17.9806s Round 2 8. Tony Kanaan Ganassi/Chevy 1m18.0200s Round 2 9. Graham Rahal Rahal/Honda 1m18.0355s Round 2 10. Scott Dixon Ganassi/Chevy 1m18.0630s Round 2 11. Carlos Munoz Andretti/Honda 1m18.1450s Round 2 12. Carlos Huertas Coyne/Honda 1m18.4772s Round 2 13. Sebastian Saavedra KV/Chevy 1m18.3622s Group 1 14. Josef Newgarden Fisher/Honda 1m18.5309s Group 2 15. Takuma Sato Foyt/Honda 1m18.3689s Group 1 16. Will Power Penske/Chevy 1m18.6807s Group 2 17. Simon Pagenaud Schmidt/Honda 1m18.4709s Group 1 18. Marco Andretti Andretti/Honda 1m18.8743s Group 2 19. Justin Wilson Coyne/Honda 1m18.5181s Group 1 20. Charlie Kimball Ganassi/Chevy 1m19.1176s Group 2 21. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti/Honda 1m19.8292s Group 1 22. Mikhail Aleshin Schmidt/Honda 1m19.6300s Group 2 All drivers use Dallara chassis 
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