Here’s how #2inTO IndyCar qualifying works

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See the qualifying groups for Friday’s session linked here.

In case you need a refresher on how IZOD IndyCar Series qualifying works (Friday night, 5:30 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network) for these doubleheader weekends, see the below note from IndyCar. Basically, qualifying for race one is as normal for a single-race road or street course weekend, and race two qualifying will be determined by a second session held Saturday morning.

Race 1 (three segments to determine Verizon P1 Award winner; 3:10 p.m. Friday)

Segment 1

All cars shall participate in one of the two groups for 10 minutes per group inclusive of full-course yellow conditions, with six cars posting best lap times from each group advancing to Segment 2. Group 2 will begin its session 5 minutes after the checkered flag of Group 1.

Cars not advancing in Segment 2 will fill positions 13 through the end of the starting field to be ranked in order of best lap time as follows: Group 1 shall occupy the odd-numbered positions beginning with 13 and Group 2 will occupy the even-numbered positions beginning with 14.

Segment 2

Shall consist of one 10-minute, 12-car qualifying group inclusive of full-course yellow conditions, with all times from Segment 1 having been voided. Six cars posting the best lap times will advance to Segment 3 (the Firestone Fast Six).

Cars not advancing to Segment 3 will fill positions 7-12 to be ranked in order of time.

Segment 3 (Firestone Fast Six)

Consists of one 10-minute, six-car qualifying group, of which five minutes is guaranteed green-flag time, with all times from Segment 2 voided. Session shall begin 10 minutes after checkered flag of Segment 2.

Race 2 (10:50 a.m. Saturday)

All cars will participate in one of two groups for 12 minutes each, with five minutes of guaranteed green-flag time. Qualifying group will be determined by the combined times posted by entries during the practice session a day earlier.

Group 1 will consist of odd-numbered positions on the practice time sheet, while even-numbered positions will comprise Group 2.

The starting field positions will be determined by the best time ranking of the two groups combined, from fastest to slowest, with the fastest qualifier occupying the pole position.

Helio Castroneves ‘hustling’ for IndyCar, IMSA rides; talking with four to five teams

Helio Castroneves IMSA IndyCar
IMSA
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As his season gathers steam, Helio Castroneves said his prospects for finding new rides for 2021 in IMSA and IndyCar also are gaining momentum.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner said Monday he is optimistic about landing in either or perhaps a combination of both series when Team Penske and Acura end their DPi partnership after this season.

“A lot of people I spoke with, four to five teams, are interested,” Castroneves said. “Whether it’s doing Indy 500 only, whether it’s pushing to do full time or do the sports cars as well. It’s been a very nice conversation.

LOOKING AHEADTeam Penske drivers seeking new rides for 2021

“I have a lot of respect for all the teams that have been talking, and I feel the same feedback. We just have to wait for their (sponsor) connections, and I’m also looking for some connections on my side as well, so hopefully we’ll be able to put this together and get something very soon.”

Given two decades of success with Penske in IndyCar and IMSA, Castroneves’ resume hardly needs burnishing. But the Brazilian has combined with co-driver Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura DPi to win the past two overall victories at Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

But Castroneves, who doesn’t have a manager, said he has been working the phones hard rather than wait for the strong results to bring in the calls.

“At this point, I feel like I’m the one who needs to be talking to them because people need to know I want to continue racing and understand my desire,” Castroneves, 45, said. “There is opportunity, no question, in both (IndyCar and IMSA), which I’m really happy about it. However, because of the COVID-19, a lot of things sometimes have to be a little delayed. But I’m excited. Whatever the opportunity and whatever destiny guides me, whether IndyCar or sports cars, trust me I’ll be as happy as it could be and doing my 100 percent like I always did.

“It’s like politics, you need to be out there, good news or bad news. People have to make notice of your presence. I’m hustling. I want to continue to keep it going. Hopefully, we’ll have good news very soon.”

The news has been all good lately on track for Castroneves and Taylor, who hope to continue their run Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The No. 6 duo has surged to sixth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship standings, 10 points out of the lead with four races remaining. After thinking there was “no hope” to be competitive after opening the season with three consecutive poor finishes, Taylor now sees an opportunity for a happy ending.

“With the program going away, Helio has won all the big races and given so much back to the team and left such a mark, he’s really part of Penske history,” Taylor said. “For me, it’s been an opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of it. I’d like to leave my little mark as well. Helio has won everything except for a championship.

“Obviously, we’ve won races already together, but we can win a championship now. I think if both of us can do that together and both win our first championship for ‘The Captain,’ that would be an absolute dream come true, and we can tie a bow on it and be happy.”