Daniel Mancinelli and Alvaro Parente posted the fastest laps Friday in the two Pirelli World Challenge GT Sprint series practice sessions in the Castrol presents Victoria Day Speedfest.
Mancinelli, in the No. 31 TR3 Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 sports car, set Friday’s best overall GT time with a morning run of one minute, 14.811 seconds (118.33mph) to unofficially better the qualifying track record of Johnny O’Connell at 1:15.296 (117.568mph) recorded in 2015 at the historic 2.459-mile, 10-turn road circuit formerly known as Mosport.
In the afternoon, Parente, the 2016 GT series champion from Portugal, drove the No. 9 K-PAX Racing Bentley Continental GT3 to the top clocking with a 1:14.874 (118.23mph). Parente is driving a new Bentley recently delivered from the Mid-East after his car was destroyed in the last PWC event at VIR. Parente was second to Mancinelli in the morning practice with a 1:14.31 (118.29mph)
Second in the afternoon GT practice and third in the morning was veteran Michael Christensen of Denmark in the No. 24 Alegra Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R with 1:14.909 (118.17mph) in practice 1 and a 1:15.011 (118.01mph) in practice 2.
Fourth in both GT practice rounds was current GT Overall and Sprint point leader Scott Hargrove in the Toronto-based No. 96 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R with a best lap of 1:15.251 (117.63mph). Rounding out the top-five Friday GT practice was local favorite Daniel Morad of Toronto in the No. 2 CRP Racing/DeVilbiss Mercedes-AMG GT3 at a 1:15.313 (117.54mph).
“This is one of the most fun tracks to drive,” said Mancinelli, who won the Long Beach GT Sprint event last month. “But it is difficult as well. We had a very good Ferrari today and I’m looking forward to qualifying and Race 1 on Saturday. It is always nice to come to this area as I have some relatives here. My father was born next to Toronto. So, it is fun to see everyone and race here too. I am very pleased with the preparation of the car. The TR3 Racing team is doing a great job. I think we can be very strong in the two Sprint races.”
“Today was a little what I expected and predicted as the Bentley works very well in high-speed, flowing corners,” said Parente. “The crew assembled this car in a very short period of time since the incident in VIR. This is a difficult track and we are fine-tuning everything for qualifying and the first race of the weekend on Saturday. There is a good possibility of rain on Saturday and we have a good car in the dry right now. So, it could be a difficult day for us. Today doesn’t really count. We need to be ready for Saturday and Sunday now.
In the GTA class, Parente’s teammate, Rodrigo Baptists of Brazil, was the quickest in the No. 3 K-PAX Racing Bentley Continental GT3 with a best lap of 1:15.783 (116.81mph). Baptista is coming off an impressive GT SprintX overall victory last month at VIR.
“Last year I came here (CTMP) with a GT4 car, but the GT3 Bentley is so much faster at this track,” said Baptista, 21. “The Bentley seems to be a very good car at the track too. I think there is still more in the car right now. Alvaro is very fast in my team car. Overall, it was a good day for us. We improved a lot from practice 1 to practice 2. I’m looking forward to Saturday.”
Fastest in the first practice was 2016 GTA champion Martin Fuentes of Mexico in the No. 07 Squadra Corse Garage Italia Ferrari 488 GT3 with a 1:16.234 (116.12mph).
Qualifying for GT/GTA division is scheduled Saturday at 9:20 a.m. ET with the Race 1 (50-minute) of the doubleheader weekend set for 1:55 p.m. ET.