Alvaro Parente, driving the #9 K-PAX Racing McLaren 650S GT3 took his second victory of the weekend in the GT class in Pirelli World Challenge at Mid-Ohio. The Portuguese driver crossed the line 6.628 seconds ahead of Patrick Long in the #58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
Third in the Pro class was Alec Udell, driving the #17 GMG Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R.
In a race which ran uninterrupted by cautions and safety cars, Parente took the lead from pole-sitter Long at the start of the second lap and maintained a lead of over 1.5 seconds for the majority of the 50-minute sprint, extending the gap in the final 15 minutes.
Parente was delighted at how the weekend had gone for K-PAX Racing and for his position in the GT Drivers Standings.
“It was the perfect weekend for us,” said Parente. “We knew our car worked very well at this track. Some cars are going to be good at some tracks, other cars at other tracks; that’s why GT racing is good. But we are very happy to take these two wins this weekend. It’s very important to capitalise on these moments and that’s what we did so I feel amazing.”
“I managed to warm up my tyres better than Patrick and that created an opportunity coming out of the last corner. This allowed me to go quicker through the Carousel and prepare for overtaking, always giving each other room and being fair so I had the best start today and finished well.”
Patrick Long saw his lead in the Sprint GT standings cut to just five points with only two rounds left of GT Sprint series.
“Alvaro and his team have been on it all weekend so credit goes to them,” said Long. “They’re very good on the long run and the first couple of laps building pressure. With that, Alvaro had a great run coming out of the Carousel and it didn’t bode well for me to drive him to the wall since we have mutual respect.”
“Again, he was the car to beat this weekend. Last year it was tough for us to break into the Top 10. It’s a special race for Wright Motorsports since it’s a home event so for them to get us on to the podium, it still feels pretty good.”
James Sofronas, piloting the #14 GMG Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R, also enjoyed a double-win at Mid-Ohio, taking the victory in the GTA class ahead of Michael Shein in the #16 Wright Motorsports Porsche. Third in the GTA class was Pablo Perez Companc in the Champ 1 Mercedes AMG GT3.
“It was an awesome run today,” said Sofronas. “Mike drove so clean. He pushed me again. I had to give it all I had. It was a great race and a great GMG team effort. I was managing my tyres. I knew where I could hold off Mike and I was pacing myself.”
“At the start, I made the mistake of letting the pros get ahead of me. I could have stayed with the group for a while and get a gap but I was trying to be smart and fair to the other competitors.”
After five consecutive sprint victories, Sofronas now leads the GT Sprint Drivers Standings by 30 points.
The GT Cup class was won by Yuki Harata, driving the #55 Dream Racing Team Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo.
The Pirelli World Challenge now moves to Utah Motorsports Campus on August 11 – 13 for rounds seven and eight of the SprintX and the TC/TCA/TCB classes and rounds 13 and 14 for the GTS classes.
Photo courtesy of PWC