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Castroneves, Penske on Petit Le Mans Pole

Castroneves scores Petit Le Mans pole on Penske’s sports car return…

Photo: Brian Cleary/BCPix.com

Helio Castroneves has put Team Penske on pole Saturday’s Motul Petit Le Mans in the team’s return to sports car racing competition.

The 42-year-old Brazilian set the fastest lap time of the weekend in Friday afternoon’s qualifying session, a 1:11.314, in its Oreca 07 Gibson LMP2 car.

It comes after a dominating weekend so far for the legendary IndyCar squad, with Castroneves and co-drivers Juan Pablo Montoya and Simon Pagenaud topping two of the weekend’s four practice sessions.

Tequila Patron ESM’s pair of Nissan Onroak DPis qualified second and third with Pipo Derani lapping 0.161 seconds slower than the Penske driver. 

Brendon Hartley put the No. 2 car third while Mathias Beche’s Rebellion Racing Oreca will start from fourth on the grid.

The Visit Florida Racing and PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Ligier JS P217 Gibsons make up the third row.

Championship leader Ricky Taylor was only seventh but he and Jordan Taylor only need to start tomorrow’s race in order to claim the Prototype drivers’ title.

Performance Tech Motorsports’ James French took the final-ever Prototype Challenge pole with a lap time of 1:16.049 in the No. 38 Oreca FLM09 he shares with Kyle Masson and Pato O’Ward.

It marked French’s seventh pole in eight races this season.

Tjhe Motul Petit Le Mans will start at 11:05 a.m. EDT on Saturday, with live coverage beginning on FS1.

RESULTS: Qualifying

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist who is Sportscar365's European Editor and also Managing Editor for e-racing365. He is a student of Politics and International Relations. Contact Jake

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