Drivers from 11 countries piloting GT3 machinery from six of the world’s top automakers are entered for this weekend’s Blancpain GT World Challenge America double-header at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
PRO: Near the season’s midpoint, both the driver and team battles in the Pro division are heating up. Leading the latter is K-PAX Racing, its No. 3 Bentley Continental GT3 piloted by drivers championship co-leaders Rodrigo Baptista and Maxime Soulet. The Brazil/Belgium pair are coming off a thrilling victory in series Round 4 at VIR, their second of the season following up on a Round 1 win at COTA.
Canadian team R. Ferri Motorsport is second in team points and will look to get back into victory circle having last won at COTA in Round 2. Its No. 61 Ferrari 488 GT3 will be piloted once again by Spain’s Miguel Molina and Finland’s Toni Vilander who are tied for second in driver points.
K-PAX Racing’s second entry, the No. 9 Bentley, victorious in Round 3 at VIR, is driven by former series champion Alvaro Parente and Andy Soucek who are third in the driver standings.
Looking to challenge K-PAX and R. Ferri is Wright Motorsports with Canadian Scott Hargrove and American two-time series champion Patrick Long sharing one of the team’s two Porsche 911 GT3 R’s.
Hargrove has numerous wins on the tough, 2.459-mile CTMP circuit and will be looking to add to the tally at his home track. Long has also had success here, notably a dominant weekend in 2016 when he won both races.
Wright Motorsports currently sits third in the team standings, while Hargrove and Long are tied for fourth in the driver’s points.
Other Pro’s to watch will Daniel Morad (winner of last year’s CTMP Sprint Round 5) and Michael De Quesada (photo above) as well as their Alegra Motorsports teammates driving a similar Porsche 911 GT3 R, Wolf Henzler and Marco Holzer.
PRO/AM: Canadians Martin Barkey and Kyle Marcelli sit atop the Pro/Am Cup driver standings after back-to-back wins in Rounds 2 and 3. Both have considerable experience at CTMP and will share the MBRP/FRAM/Autolite Acura NSX entry.
The seven-car Pro/Am field at CTMP also features George Kurtz/Colin Braun (Mercedes-AMG GT3); Kevan Millstein/Alex Barron (Porsche 911 GT3 R); David Askew/Ryan Dalziel (Mercedes-AMG GT3); Anthony Imperato/Dennis Olsen (Porsche 911 GT3 R); and Marc Miller/Till Bechtolsheimer (Acura NSX).
Bret Curtis and Dane Cameron will partner in RealTime Racing’s Acura NSX which missed the first race but made a spectacular debut at VIR.
AM: The Japanese team of Naoto Takeda and Takuya Shairasaka are the lone Am-class entry; they will co-drive Turner Motorsports’ BMW F13 M6 GT3.
On-track action begins Thursday, May 16, at 5pm EDT with the first World Challenge practice session of the weekend. Round 5’s 90-minute contest is scheduled to go green at 2:10 pm EDT on Saturday, May 18, while Round 6 is scheduled for 9:55 am EDT Sunday, May 19.
Both races and qualifying will be streamed live on gt-world-challenge-america.com, with Sunday’s contest airing same-day on CBS Sports Network at 2pm EDT.