Alvaro Parente, at the wheel of the #9 K-Pax Racing Bentley Continental GT3 he shares with Andy Soucek, took pole position for Race One at VIRginia International Raceway and Round Three of the 2019 Blancpain GT World Challenge America. The Portugese driver lapped in 1:43.614, .097 seconds quicker than Patrick Long in the #58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R who will join Parente on the front row for the start of the first of two 90-minute races.
Third quickest in the first 15-minute session was the sister #3 K-Pax Racing entry driven by Rodrigo Baptista who lapped in 1:43.769.
Quickest of the Pro-Am class was the #91 Wright Motorsports Porsche in which Anthony Imperato lapped in 1:45.673. Caeser Bacarella topped the time sheets in the AM category with a 1:47.196 in the #7 Squadra Corsa Ferrari F488 GT3.
The session was red-flagged with 19 seconds remaining after George Kurtz in the #04 DXDT Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 went off into the tyre barrier at T11. Qualifying was not restarted and the #04 car was recovered back to the circuit and returned to the garage under its own power with little damage.
The second qualifying session got underway with no interruption and by lap four, Andy Soucek in the #9 K-Pax Racing Bentley was quickest with a 1:43.363, followed by Ryan Dalziel, at the wheel of the #63 DXDT Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 second quickest with a 1:43.694.
Soucek’s time was not beaten throughout the rest of the session but Toni Vilander put the #61 R. Ferri Motorsport Ferrari F488 GT3 on the front row for Race Two with a 1:43.558 on his ninth and final lap.
Dane Cameron took class pole in the Pro-Am category with a 1:43.621 in the #43 RealTime Racing Acura NSX with Martin Fuentes, driving the #7 Squadra Corsa Ferrari, topping the time sheets in the Am category with a 1:45.459.
Andy Soucek revealed that testing ahead of the weekend was the key to K-Pax Racing’s pace over the two sessions.
“Last year we didn’t have the greatest season but I have to say it’s all thanks to K-Pax (that we’re on pole),” said the Spanish driver. “The fact that we came here testing for two days has made us prepared for the weekend. Luckily enough for us as well it rained yesterday in the second session so people couldn‘t test their dry set-ups and we knew exactly what to fit on the car so I think we had that slight advantage over the others.”
The lights go out for Race One at 14:10 local time.