SRO’s Blancpain GT World Challenge America series heads to one of the premier entertainment capitals of the world to close out its 2019 season in grand style, this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Once the races conclude, the champions will be crowned Sunday evening at the year-end Awards Celebration at The Bellagio.
Intriguing story lines abound for the finale weekend — it’s only the second time in its 30-year history that series will race in Vegas and its Speedway, the last coming in 2000. It’s also the first time since 2007 that the series will race on a Roval — utilizing both an oval speedway’s banked oval and infield circuit — and the first time since 2000 that LVMS will host a race using its Roval layout. To add to the excitement, Saturday’s action-packed schedule features two 90-minute GT World Challenge races including the series’ final race of the season — Round 14 — held under the lights starting at 7:30 p.m. local time.
Ferrari vs Bentley, R. Ferri Motorsport vs K-PAX Racing
With R. Ferri Motorsport’s Toni Vilander having already secured the Pro drivers’ championship at the last race at Road America, the stage is now set for the crowning of the equally important manufacturer and team championship categories.
Ferrari, represented by R. Ferri Motorsport, holds the lead over Bentley coming into Vegas. Finn Vilander and teammate Spaniard Miguel Molina will co-pilot the No. 61 Ferrari 488 GT3. Representing Bentley, K-PAX Racing enters its familiar two-car team of Spain’s Andy Soucek and Portugal’s Alvaro Parente in the No. 9 Bentley Continental GT3, and Brazil’s Rodrigo Baptista and Belgium’s Maxime Soulet in the No. 3 Bentley Continental GT3. R. Ferri Motorsport holds the lead over K-PAX Racing in the Team Championship standings with the final two rounds of the season remaining.
Looking to play the spoiler role and put Porsche on the top step is the American/Canadian duo of Patrick Long and Scott Hargrove driving the No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R (991).
All season long the Canadian duo of Martin Barkey and Kyle Marcelli have topped the Pro/Am drivers’ standings. They started off the season piloting their No. 80 Racers Edge Motorsports Acura NSX to three victories in the first six races and since then have posted consistent top four results. Barkey and Marcelli come into the weekend tied atop the driver’s standings.
Since the Sonoma weekend back in June the RealTime Racing American driver duo of Mike Hedlund and Dane Cameron piloting the No. 43 Acura NSX have been a force winning five of the last six races. In the Pro/Am team championship standings, Racers Edge Motorsports leads RealTime Racing by a slim margin.
Wright Motorsports’ Anthony Imperato still has a shot at catching Barkey for the overall drivers’ championship. He will co-drive with Aussie Matt Campbell in the No. 91 Porsche 911 GT3 R (991). The team also looks to put Wright Motorsports at the top of the Pro/Am team championship standings — the team comes into the weekend third behind both Racers Edge Motorsports and RealTime Racing.
Also in the mix is Gradient Racing’s Till Bechtolsheimer of England, who comes into the weekend third in points. He will co-pilot the No. 5 Acura NSX with Marc Miller.
Looking to play the spoiler role are DXDT Racing’s American duo of George Kurtz and Colin Braun in the No. 04 Mercedes-AMG GT3, as well as US-based drivers Kevan Millstein and Alex Barron in the No. 38 K2R Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R (991).
Rounding out the Pro/Am field Squadra Corse brings two cars to Vegas — the No. 64 Ferrari 488 GT3 for American Bret Curtis and accomplished sports car driver Italian Alessandro Balzan, as well as the No. 7 for Martin Fuentes of Mexico and Dutch driver Renger van Der Zande.
The lone Am division entry is the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW F13 M6 GT3 for Japanese duo Naoto Takeda and Takuya Shairasaka.
Qualifying for both weekend races starts at 3:50 p.m. local time Friday. The Saturday schedule features both Round 13’s 90-minute contest scheduled to go green at 10:25 a.m. local time with the final race of the 2019 season — Round 14 — scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. local time start. Races and qualifying will be streamed live on gt-world-challenge-america.com.