Castroneves fastest in IndyCar’s Iowa single-lap qualifying

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One part of the IZOD IndyCar Series’ abnormal – or convoluted, depending on who you ask – qualifying format for the Iowa Corn Indy 250 presented by DEKALB is in the books.

The series ran one-lap qualifying to set the grid for tonight’s three heat races (live streamed online on IndyCar.com and the Verizon IndyCar 13 app at 6:45 p.m. ET). The top six qualifiers automatically advanced to heat race three, with even qualifiers 8-24 lining up for race one and odd qualifiers 7-23 lining up for heat race two.

From there, the top two finishers in each heat race advance to heat race number three, and the rest of the grid outside the top 10 in the final heat is assembled by results from the first two heats.

So now that that gets the formula for how the grid is set out of the way, here’s the who breakdown from single-lap qualifying.

Texas winner Helio Castroneves set a new single-lap record at Iowa Speedway of 185.687 and will have the pole for the final heat race.

The rest of the top six automatically advancing include: Marco Andretti, Will Power, Tony Kanaan, James Hinchcliffe and Oriol Servia. Servia returns to Panther Racing for the first time since Texas.

Ed Carpenter and Scott Dixon are on pole, then, for the two preliminary heat races. Dario Franchitti (20th) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (22nd) were among those with poor qualifying laps; Ana Beatriz did not set a time.

ONE-LAP QUALIFYING SPEEDS, AND HEAT RACE GRID SPOTS:
1.  3 Helio Castroneves, 185.687 (First, Heat 3)
2.  25 Marco Andretti, 184.766 (Second, Heat 3)
3.  12 Will Power, 184.240 (Third, Heat 3)
4.  11 Tony Kanaan, 183.713 (Fourth, Heat 3)
5.  27 James Hinchcliffe, 183.236 (Fifth, Heat 3)
6.  4 Oriol Servia, 183.021 (Sixth, Heat 3)
7.  20 Ed Carpenter, 182.805 (First, Heat 2)
8.  9 Scott Dixon, 182.506 (First, Heat 1)
9.  55 Tristan Vautier (R), 182.472 (Second, Heat 2)
10. 14 Takuma Sato, 182.384 (Second, Heat 1)
11. 83 Charlie Kimball, 182.270 (Third, Heat 2)
12. 67 Josef Newgarden, 182.142 (Third, Heat 1)
13. 16 James Jakes, 182.056 (Fourth, Heat 2)
14. 98 Alex Tagliani, 181.963 (Fourth, Heat 1)
15. 5 E.J. Viso, 181.458 (Fifth, Heat 2)
16. 7 Sebastien Bourdais, 180.892 (Fifth, Heat 1)
17. 77 Simon Pagenaud, 180.481 (Sixth, Heat 2)
18. 6 Sebastian Saavedra, 180.016 (Sixth, Heat 1)
19. 15 Graham Rahal, 179.295 (Seventh, Heat 2)
20. 10 Dario Franchitti, 178.578 (Seventh, Heat 1)
21. 19 Justin Wilson, 178.240 (Eighth, Heat 2)
22. 1 Ryan Hunter-Reay, 177.957 (Eighth, Heat 1)
23. 78 Simona de Silvestro, 174.689 (Ninth, Heat 2)
24. 18 Ana Beatriz, No speed (Ninth, Heat 1)

Toyota victorious in Bahrain on Porsche’s LMP1 swansong

Toyota Motorsport GmbH
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SAKHIR, Bahrain – Toyota denied Porsche a swansong victory in its final LMP1 appearance in the FIA World Endurance Championship by taking a commanding win in the 6 Hours of Bahrain on Saturday.

Porsche started from pole in the last competitive outing for the three-time Le Mans-winning 919 Hybrid car, only to lose out to Toyota’s Sebastien Buemi within the first half an hour of the race.

Porsche lost one of its cars from contention for victory after an errant bollard got stuck underneath Timo Bernhard’s No. 2 entry, leaving Nick Tandy to lead its charge in the No. 1 car.

Tandy moved into the lead just past half distance after a bold strategy call from Porsche to triple-stint the Briton after a fuel-only stop, vaulting him ahead of Anthony Davidson in the No. 8 Toyota.

Tandy’s win hopes were soon dashed when he tangled with a GTE-Am backmarker at Turn 1, sustaining damage that forced Porsche into an unplanned pit stop that put the car a lap down.

With the No. 7 Toyota losing two laps following a clash with a GTE-Pro car earlier on, Davidson, Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima went unchallenged en route to the car’s fifth victory of the season.

Porsche rounded out the podium with its cars, with the No. 2 leading home the No. 1, leaving Toyota’s No. 7 car to settle for P4 at the checkered flag.

Vaillante Rebellion clinched the title in LMP2 after a stunning fightback led by Bruno Senna, with the Brazilian securing his maiden motorsport championship win in the process.

GTE-Pro saw AF Corse complete a hat-trick of titles in 2017, with James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi wining the class’ first world championship recognized by the FIA, while Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda sewed up the GTE-Am title.