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(Photo: Phil Allaway)

Helio Castroneves Wins Acura Sports Car Challenge Pole at Mid-Ohio

Acura Team Penske’s domination of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race weekend at Mid-Ohio continued Saturday (May 5).  Helio Castroneves won the overall pole for Sunday’s sprint race with a lap of 71.837 seconds (113.156 mph).

“Oh my God, first of all it was actually incredible,” Castroneves said after the session.  “All thanks for Acura Team Penske, obviously myself, Ricky [Taylor], Juan Pablo [Montoya] and Dane [Cameron].  Dane was pushing really hard and that gave me a bit of an inspiration to try and give it everything I could.  And its also [Acura] Team Penske, we are really serious, we’re making things happen and the result [today].  We haven’t shown the result [in races) we’ve been hoping but things happen, but right now we have it, at least at this place.  Hopefully we’re going to continue one two, just the same way.”

Castroneves’ lap was one-seventh of a second faster than Cameron.  Mazda Team Joest’s Oliver Jarvis, who has never previously raced at Mid-Ohio, will start third in the No. 77 Mazda RT24-P.  Teammate Jonathan Bomarito will start fourth, while Wayne Taylor Racing’s Renger van der Zande will start fifth in the fastest of the Cadillacs.

Performance Tech Motorsports’ James French qualified 10th in his ORECA 07-Gibson, but originally had his times thrown out for violating Section 40.2.9 of the Sporting Regulations.  That is a rule that prohibits team members from touching the car during qualifying.  Later on, the penalty was rescinded.

The GT Le Mans session was a back-and-forth affair in which all four manufacturers were on top at some point during the session.  Once the dust cleared, it was BMW Team RLL’s John Edwards on top with a lap of 77.853 seconds (104.412 mph) in the No. 24 BMW.

Edwards’ time was six-hundredths of a second faster than Porsche GT Team’s Nick TandyAlexander Sims in the second BMW will start third, followed by Earl Bamber in the second Porsche and Antonio Garcia in the No. 3 Corvette.  All eight entries were separated by less than six-tenths of a second.

In GT Daytona, 3GT Racing swept the front row.  Jack Hawskworth claimed the pole with a lap of 79.317 seconds (102.485 mph), five-hundredths of a second faster than teammate Kyle Marcelli.  Paul Miller Racing’s Madison Snow will start third in his Lamborghini, followed by Meyer Shank Racing’s Katherine Legge.  Turner Motorsport’s Dillon Machavern will round out the top five.

STARTING LINEUP FOR THE IMSA WEATHERTECH SPORTSCAR CHAMPIONSHIP ACURA SPORTS CAR CHALLENGE AT MID-OHIO

The Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio is scheduled to start just after 1 p.m. EDT.  Live coverage can be seen on FOX Sports 2.

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About Phil Allaway

Phil Allaway
Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor. Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as Tony Stewart's Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions.

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