K-PAX Racing’s driving duo of Andy Soucek and Alvaro Parente dominated Friday afternoon’s Blancpain GT World Challenge America qualifying session at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Soucek will start on pole for Saturday’s Round 13, while his teammate Parente will lead the field to the green for Round 14 later that evening. The series closes out its 2019 season Saturday, Oct. 19, the weekend sponsored by R.U.N, the first live action thriller produced by Cirque du Soleil.
The 30-minute World Challenge session was split into two 15-minute segments to determine grids for both of Saturday’s races. In the first segment, Soucek (No. 9 K-PAX Racing Bentley Continental GT3) claimed the overall and Pro-class pole, his third of the season, after clocking a fast time of 1m32.437s.
“It’s exactly what we wanted for the last weekend of the year. I did a pretty solid lap and the car felt pretty good — very stable — and as the track continues to rubber in, I think it will suit the car even better,” said Soucek.
Scott Hargrove will start alongside Soucek after posting the second fastest time of the session (1m32.518s) in his No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R (991). Soucek’s teammate Rodrigo Baptista in the No. 3 Bentley Continental GT3 qualified third.
Of note, Ferrari driver Toni Vilander (No. 61 R. Ferri Motorsport Ferrari 488 GT3) will start fourth. Ferrari leads Bentley by only 17 points in the Manufacturers’ Championship standings entering the final race weekend, while R. Ferri Motorsport leads K-PAX Racing in the Team Championship by a mere 14 points.
Till Bechtolscheimer and the No. 5 Gradient Racing Acura NSX GT3 claimed the Pro-Am category pole, and will start fifth overall. Naoto Takeda in the No. 96 Turner Motorsports BMW M6 GT3 will start on the Am-class pole, 12th overall.
Parente took the wheel of the No. 9 K-PAX Bentley from Soucek for the second qualifying session and promptly clocked a 1m32.062s fast lap to claim his fourth pole of the season.
“It was a really good qualifying. I was very happy with my lap and I’m really looking forward to the race. Let’s see what we can do tomorrow,” said Parente.
Vilander’s teammate Miguel Molina will start alongside Parente in the No. 61 R. Ferri Motorsport Ferrari, while Patrick Long (No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R (991)) will start third.
Baptista’s teammate Maxime Soulet in the No. 3 Bentley Continental GT3 qualified fourth, while Dane Cameron put the No. 43 RealTime Racing Acura NSX GT3 on the Pro-Am class pole, fifth overall.
Blancpain GT World Challenge America Race 1 will go green on Saturday, Oct. 19, at 10:55 a.m. PDT, streaming live at www.gt-world-challenge-america.com/watch-live.
Blancpain GT World Challenge America Race 2 will go green under the lights on Saturday, Oct. 19, at 7:30 p.m. PDT, streaming live at www.gt-world-challenge-america.com/watch-live.