St. Petersburg, Fla. – Michael Cooper topped the charts in Thursday’s 50-minute GT/GTA/GT Cup practice at the Pirelli World Challenge Cadillac Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. The session was held under sunny skies and 80-degree temperatures.
Early on in the session Alvaro Parente, in the No. 9 K-PAX Racing McLaren 650S, topped the charts with a 1:14.068, followed by JD Davison, in the No. 33 Nissan/GT Academy GT3 GT-R, with a 1:14.319, and Kyle Marcelli, in the No. 2 DeVilbiss Hawk Performance CRP Racing Audi R8 LMS, with a 1:14.352
At the eight-minute mark, Davison then went faster with a 1:13.872. Cooper, driving the No. 8 Cadillac Racing Cadillac ATS-V.R, slotted into third with a 1:14.284.
In GTA, Frankie Montecalvo, in the No. 66 DIME R&D Mercedes AMG SLS GT3, posted a 1:14.925, 10th fastest overall. In GT Cup, Sloan Urry, in the No. 20 Security National/Avasis Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, topped the charts with a 1:18.276, followed by Alec Udell, in the No. 17 Amsource Capital/Panther Pipeline Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, with a 1:18.914.
Race Control issued a red flag at the nine-minute mark to remove Udell’s Porsche that sat wounded on the outside of Turn 1 after it contacted the wall.
The session resumed at the 20-minute mark. GTA points leader Martin Fuentes, in the No. 07 Hublot/Under Armour Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia, went to the top of the charts in class with a 1:14.564.
At the 23-minute mark, Michael Lewis in the No. 41 Curb-Agajanian EFFORT Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R, went to the top with a 1:13.639, followed by Parente who clicked off a 1:13.848. Lewis then improved his time to a 1:13.609.
Jon Fogarty, in the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance McLaren 650S then slotted into second with a 1:13.735. In GTA, Fuentes improved his time to a 1:14.011.
Defending, and four-time GT champion Johnny O’Connell, in the No. 3 Cadillac Racing ATS.V.R, went to the top of charts posting a 1:13.411 followed by Lewis at 1:13.609.
Austin Cindric then posted the third fastest time in the No. 6 K-PAX Racing McLaren 650S with a 1:13.655. Cooper then went to the top of the charts with five minutes remaining in the session with a 1:13.059. Cooper then bettered his time with a 1:12.965.
When the checkered flew to end the session, Cooper’s time topped the charts in GT, Fuentes posted the fastest time in GTA with a 1:14.011, and Urry sat atop the GT Cup charts with a 1:16.498. Second on the charts in GT Cup was Corey Fergus, in the No. 00 Motorsports Promo Byers Porsche, US LED, Motul Porsche 911 GT Cup, with a 1:17.895.
GT, GTA and GT Cup drivers next take to the track Friday morning at 9:35 a.m. eastern for Round 3 qualifying. Follow live timing and scoring at world-challenge.com.