Long, Parente grab GT World Challenge America poles at CTMP

Long, Parente grab GT World Challenge America poles at CTMP

SRO America

Long, Parente grab GT World Challenge America poles at CTMP


Patrick Long (photo above) and Alvaro Parente claimed Blancpain GT World Challenge Round 5 and Round 6 poles respectively at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on Friday afternoon, the first pole of the season for the Wright Motorsports Porsche team and the fourth of 2019 for K-PAX.

The 35-minute qualifying session was divided into two 15-minute heats, and early in the first, Pro division driver Rodrigo Baptista paced the No. 3 Bentley Continental GT3 to the top of the charts with a 1m16.373s clocking. What followed was a frenetic number of fastest laps set, though, as first Long — a two-time series champion piloting the No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R entry — posted a 1m16.257s to go to the top; then, just a lap later, Miguel Molina, driving the No. 61 Ferrari 488 GT3 for Canadian team R. Ferri Motorsport, eclipsed Long’s time with a 1m16.173s.

Long then answered back, reeling off a 1m16.023s to take the pole for Round 5.

In the Pro/Am division, Anthony Imperato (No. 91 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R) posted a 1m17.619s as tires came up to temperature, pacing George Kurtz (No. 04 Mercedes-AMG GT3), 1m17.684s and Bret Curtis (No. 43 Acura NSX), 1m17.684s.

Teams then brought their cars in for driver changes and got set for the second 15-minute session for the Round 6 pole.

Parente struck quickly in Qualifying 2, grabbing the pole early in the session.

In this one, former series champion Parente, driving the No. 9 Bentley Continental GT3, posted an early quick time of 1m15.568s, followed by K-PAX teammate Maxime Soulet (No. 3 Bentley Continental GT3) with a best of 1m16.317s.

Toni Vilander, piloting the R. Ferri Motorsport No. 61 Ferrari 488 GT3, then posted a 1m15.775s to slot into second, improving a few laps later to 1m15.711s which couldn’t quite overtake Parente’s earlier mark.

In the Pro/Am class, times were quite close, Dennis Olsen (No. 91 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R) setting the fastest lap in the class — a 1m15.824s, good for third overall on the grid — and narrowly edging Dane Cameron (No. 43 RealTime Racing Acura NSX), 1m15.892, and Ryan Dalziel (No. 63 DXDT Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3), 1m15.979s.

Blancpain GT World Challenge America competitors now get set for their first race of the weekend, scheduled for a green flag start of 2:10 pm EDT Saturday. Watch the race at gt-world-challenge-america.com.