Belle Isle doubleheader presents unique qualifying format

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DETROIT – The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear offers the only doubleheader race opportunity on the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series calendar. As such, it utilizes a different qualifying procedure than those used at other road- and street-course events.

Instead of the typical three rounds of knockout qualifying concluding with the Firestone Fast Six to determine the Verizon P1 Award pole winner, qualifying on the Raceway at Belle Isle Park will consist of a single 30-minute session today (10:05 a.m. ET) to determine the starting lineup for Race 1 and another 30-minute session Sunday morning (10:45 a.m.) to set the grid for Race 2.

CHEVROLET DETROIT GRAND PRIX: Race 1 qualifying groups

Ed JonesWithin each 30-minute session, the field is split into two groups based on the practice times in Friday afternoon’s session. Since Helio Castroneves was fastest in the Friday afternoon practice, his crew had the option to choose whether his group would be first or second in today’s qualifying. The No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet driver will lead Group 2 today. The groups for Sunday qualifying will consist of the same drivers but the groups will swap in which order they qualify.

Each group receives 12 minutes of track time in qualifying, with five minutes guaranteed to be green-flag time. The fastest driver from the two groups today will be the Verizon P1 Award pole winner and the other drivers in his group will fill the odd-numbered starting positions based on their qualifying times. The fast driver from the other group will start second and the others in the group will fill the even-numbered race starting spots based on qualifying times.

Both qualifying sessions will be streamed live on RaceControl.IndyCar.com. Each race is 70 laps in length on the 2.35-mile, 14-turn temporary street course. Race coverage commences Saturday and Sunday at 3:30 p.m. on ABC and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network.

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