News & Multimedia

Castroneves Just Misses Pole Position in Maiden Rolex 24

Helio Castroneves’ transition from Indy cars to sports cars nearly began with a pole position Thursday at Daytona International Speedway.

Castroneves was leading qualifying for the Rolex 24 At Daytona and prepared to celebrate when Renger van der Zande edged Castroneves’ fastest lap by just 0.007 of a second.

“I did everything I could,” Castroneves said. “Unfortunately, just got beat by .007 seconds. Nothing you can do about that. It’s OK, though. We looked strong. The guys are going to have to fix a couple of things on the car because I was pushing it really hard.” 

Castroneves and teammates Graham Rahal and Ricky Taylor will start second when the green flag flies on the annual 24-hour endurance race Saturday afternoon. The race is the first in Castroneves’ transition from full-time competitor in the Verizon IndyCar Series to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

It also marked the return of Roger Penske’s team to sports car racing with two cars in the headline Prototype category – the No. 7 Acura Team Penske Acura DPi shared by Castroneves, Rahal and Taylor, along with the No. 6 Acura shared by Simon Pagenaud, Juan Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron, who qualified the car 10th.

Rahal and Pagenaud are driving the Rolex 24 as one-offs while retaining their respective full-time Verizon IndyCar Series rides with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and Team Penske. Castroneves will return to Indy cars in May with Team Penske for the INDYCAR Grand Prix and Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Montoya, a two-time Indy 500 winner, currently has no announced plans to return to compete in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

Castroneves pulled into the pits Thursday after his fastest lap – 1 minute, 36.090 seconds – and got out of the car to watch the remaining qualifiers finish their final laps. The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner was surrounded by cameras when van der Zande’s time of 1:36.083 flashed on the scoreboard.

“But we are starting on the front row, which is a pretty big deal,” Castroneves said. “It’s a good start for our team. We have a lot of things to learn still, but really happy for Acura Team Penske and all of the guys. We’ve worked hard to get to this point and we have a few more practices to fine tune it for Saturday.”

Van der Zande shares the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R with 2012 Verizon IndyCar Series champion and 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay.

“I’m super thrilled to be in this seat,” said van der Zande, the 31-year-old Dutchman who won the IMSA Prototype Challenge championship in 2016. “I’ve come quite a long way in the last few years.”

Castroneves wasn’t the only driver with INDYCAR connections to qualify well. Tristan Vautier, who has 31 Verizon IndyCar Series races as well as the 2011 Pro Mazda and 2012 Indy Lights championships on his resume, qualified fifth-fastest in the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Racing Cadillac DPi.

Fernando Alonso’s follow-up to his run at the Indianapolis 500 last year didn’t go as well as planned. The two-time Formula One champion qualified 13th in the No. 23 United Autosports Ligier LMP2 in the Prototype class.

The car was repaired after an incident in practice earlier in the day, but Alonso indicated it wasn’t an issue.

“The damage this morning was more aesthetics than anything else,” Alonso said. “It was a little kiss on the wall.” 

Defending GT Le Mans class winners Sebastien Bourdais, Joey Hand and Dirk Muller will start second in class and 19th overall after Hand recorded a lap of 1:42.798 in the No. 66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT. Jan Magnussen, the former Formula 1 driver who also competed in 11 Indy car races in 1995 and ’99, won the GTLM pole in the No. 3 Corvette Racing Corvette C7.R. 

Jack Hawksworth, who has 49 Verizon IndyCar Series races on his resume, qualified fourth in the GT Daytona class. He shares the No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3 with Dominik Farnbacher, David Heinemeier Hansson and 57-year-old sports car legend Scott Pruett, whose 32-year career included 145 races and two Indy car victories.

Six drivers in the Rolex field – Pagenaud, Montoya, Hunter-Reay, Bourdais, Scott Dixon and Scott Sharp – have won Indy car championships. Twenty-five drivers in the Rolex 24 have at least one Indy car race to their credit.

The race will begin Saturday at 2:40 p.m. ET. Live coverage on FOX starts at 2 p.m.



Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Helio Castroneves
 
Castroneves Just Misses Pole Position in Maiden Rolex 24
Helio Castroneves’ transition from Indy cars to sports cars nearly began with a pole position Thursday at Daytona International Speedway.
Read More
Related Media
IMS
 
Helmet Signed By Indy 500 Winners Added To Haiti Relief Auction
A helmet signed by 22 Indianapolis 500 winners, including 2008 winner Scott Dixon (above), is among the unique new items added recently to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway eBay auctions to benefit American Red Cross relief efforts in Haiti, which already have raised more than $8,400. All proceeds from the eBay auction of racing memorabilia, which began Jan. 15, are being donated to Red Cross relief efforts for the devastating earthquake Jan. 12.
Read More
IMS
 
Get Inside Access To IMS Through Popular 'Grounds Tour' In 2010
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum will continue its Grounds Tours in 2010 with a full schedule of dates from March through November. Tickets are available now for the Museum's popular Grounds Tour, which provides a great opportunity to entertain family, friends or clients with a 90-minute tour rich in IMS history and landmarks. Click the Read More link to see the dates!
Read More
IMS
 
Great New Items Added To IMS Auctions To Benefit Haiti Relief
Exciting new items continue to be added to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway eBay auctions to benefit American Red Cross relief efforts in Haiti, as the motorsports world shows its care and concern for the victims of the devastating earthquake Jan. 12. New signed memorabilia (above) includes a Ryan Briscoe Team Penske nosecone, Kurt Busch Miller Lite Dodge sheet metal and a Randy Owens Red Bull Indianapolis GP poster.
Read More
IMS
 
IMS Contributing $10,000 To Red Cross Relief Efforts In Haiti
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is contributing $10,000 to the American Red Cross to assist its relief efforts for Haitian earthquake victims. Motorsports fans also can contribute to the American Red Cross in many ways, including a continuing online auction at the IMS eBay site and a Brickyard Authentics retail store price reduction. Among the new items added to the auction is a VIP ticket package to the 2010 Indianapolis 500.
Read More
IMS
 
American Motorsports Media Name Franchitti Driver Of The Year
Dario Franchitti received more recognition for his 2009 IZOD IndyCar Series championship Jan. 16 by being named the recipient of the Jerry Titus Award during the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association's All-America Team dinner in Brownsburg, Ind. The Titus award, given in remembrance of the late racer/journalist, signifies the top vote-getter among All-America Team members as the driver of the year. Franchitti also won the award following his 2007 series championship and Indianapolis 500 victory.
Read More
Items 581 - 585 of 587
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact IMS Sales Department at (317) 492-8739 or email at hospitalitysales@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
It's Pole day on @CrownRoyal Armed Forces Weekend & we can't wait to see you! Check out details on the day: https://t.co/yKQ6Db3YRK
May 21