The qualifying for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach had five Honda-powered cars in the Firestone Fast Six, yet it was Hélio Castroneves in the No. 3 Team Penske Chevrolet who won the Verizon P1 Award for the third consecutive year at Long Beach.
Castroneves was close to becoming eliminated already in the Round 1 of the qualifying. Having been interfered by his Penske teammate Simon Pagenaud, Castroneves barely advanced as the sixth of his group. Castroneves got promoted into fifth place as Pagenaud lost his two best laps as a penalty for the interference. Pagenaud had set a new Long Beach lap record on his best lap, though as a result of the penalty, the defending Long Beach winner and series champion will start the race in 21st place.
The Round 2 was a closely contested session between nine Hondas and three Chevys. In a session where all the 12 cars were within 0.57 seconds, Scott Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing set a new lap record of one minute, 6.2285 seconds. Alexander Rossi finished the Round 2 in second place, only 0.0003 seconds behind Dixon. Graham Rahal and James Hinchcliffe completed the top four for Honda. Hélio Castroneves in fifth place was the only Chevy driver advancing from the Round 2 as Ryan Hunter-Reay completed the Firestone Fast Six 0.3035 seconds behind Dixon.
The Firestone Fast Six saw Castroneves improving the Long Beach lap record to one minute, 6.2254 seconds to claim a third consecutive Long Beach pole position. Dixon finished the session in second place, 0.1869 seconds behind Castroneves. Ryan Hunter-Reay (+0.2147) and James Hinchcliffe (+0.3037) made the second row while Alexander Rossi (+0.3341) and Graham Rahal (+0.5308) will start in the third row.
Full qualifying results can be found here.
The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will start on Sunday at 1:30 pm local time (10:30 pm CET).