Young Hong Kong Racer bests veterans O’Connell, Fogarty and Long
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – The Bentley Continental GT3 sports car speed continued at Road America Saturday morning qualifying with young Adderly Fong of Hong Kong scoring Bentley’s third consecutive Pirelli World Challenge GT pole position at the legendary four-mile road circuit north of Milwaukee.
The 27-year-old driver recorded his second straight Road America pole with a time of two minutes, 4.223 seconds for an average speed of 117.31 miles per hour, just three-tenths off the RA GT track record set by Butch Leitzinger in the Dyson Racing Bentley Continental GT3 at 2:03.912 (117.606 m.p.h) in 2015. Last year, Fong’s pole time was 2:05.352 (115.279 m.p.h.)
“I like Road America,” said Fong. “It’s one of those old school tracks. I like the nature of the circuit; it’s really high speed; it’s iconic, the name being Road America. I didn’t realize it but I have actually done a lot of laps here on the Playstation when I was a kid. So I guess that helped. I would always pick either Silverstone for the high-speed esses, or Road America for the carousel and the kink. As a kid I was driving the Bentley Speed 8 on Playstation. Who would have thought I would be driving for Bentley?”
“I think we’re in the best spot for the race today. That should make the start a little bit easier for us but I’m side-by-side with Johnny O’Connell and he’s super-experienced around here and quick with the Cadillac. Jon Fogarty is also one to watch. It won’t be an easy fight for the whole 50 minutes.”
Fong’s pole run just nipped four-time PWC GT champion Johnny O’Connell of Flowery Branch, Ga., in the No. 3 Cadillac Racing Cadillac ATS-V.R. for the top slot at the historic Road America circuit after O’Connell clocked in at 2:04.252 (117.28 m.p.h.) to settle for the runner-up position and will start on the outside of the front row in GT Sprint Round 4 Saturday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. CDT.
A pair of Porsche drivers will make up row two in Saturday’s 50-minute GT Sprint event with veterans Jon Fogarty of Bend, Ore., at 2:04.471 (117.07 m.p.h.) in the No. 99 GAINSCO/Stallings Racing “Red Dragon” Porsche 911 GT3 R and Patrick Long of Manhattan Beach, Calif., at 2:04.663 (116.89 m.p.h.) in the No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
Rounding out the top-five in GT qualifying Saturday was Italy’s Daniel Mancinelli in the No. 31 TR3 Racing/The Collection Ferrari 488 GT3 with a 2:24.756 (116.81 m.p.h.) followed by current GT overall point leader Michael Cooper in the No. 8 Cadillac Racing Cadillac ATS-V.R. at 2:24.992 (116.58 m.p.h.).
Completing the top-ten in the 22-car field was veteran sports car racer Peter Kox of The Netherlands in the No. 93 RealTime Racing Acura NSX GT3 at 2:05.166 (116.42 m.p.h.), defending GT champion Alvaro Parente of Portugal in the No. 9 K-PAX Racing McLaren 650S at 2:05.191 (116.40 m.p.h.), 2016 Road America double winner Ryan Eversley of Atlanta in the No. 43 RealTime Racing Acura NSX GT3 at 2:05.331 (116.27 m.p.h.) and Scotland’s Ryan Dalziel, the VIR SprintX GT winner, in the No. 2 CRP Racing/DeVilbiss Mercedes-AMG GT3 at 2:25.365 (116.24 m.p.h.).
In the GTA division, James Sofronas of Villa Park, Calif., drove his No. 14 GMG Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R to the pole position with a 2:06.722 (114.99 m.p.h.) followed by Tim Pappas of Boston in the No. 54 Black Swan Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 at 2:07.286 (114.48 m.p.h.) and John Potter of Salt Lake City, Utah., in the No. 44 Magnus Racing Audi RS8 LMS at 2:07.301 (114.47 m.p.h.).
“This is by far my favorite track,” said Sofronas. “I have my family here, which balances out my emotions, but I definitely have a lot of work ahead with the whole team pushing hard. To get the pole is nice and we went through massive changes on the car. It definitely felt the best all weekend during qualifying. It’s early and I think we have a good pace. I’m very pleased for Preston (Calvert) in GTA with his fastest lap (113.53 m.p.h.) ever here. And I’m a little disappointed that we didn’t give Alec (Udell in GT) a better car for qualifying. He is faster than the time sheets say right now. But we’ll get his car better too.”
In GT Cup, Yuki Harata of Japan was the quickest at 2:14.247 (108.55 m.p.h.) in the No. 55 Dream Racing Motorsports Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo.
Saturday afternoon’s GT race will be live-streamed at World-Challenge.com/streamvideo and for free at MotorTrendOnDemand.com.
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. –Qualifying results for Round 4 of the GT/GTA/GT Cup Pirelli World Challenge classes Saturday at Road America. All results are Provisional until posted Final.
Pos,PIC,Class,Name,Hometown,Car,Laps,Status,Fastest Lap Time,Fastest Lap Avg. Speed
1,1, Pro,Adderly FONG,Hong Kong,Bentley Continental GT3,8,Not Running,2:04.223,117.3
2,2, Pro,Johnny O’CONNELL,Flowery Branch, GA,Cadillac ATS-V.R,8,Not Running,2:04.252,117.2
3,3, Pro,Jon FOGARTY,Bend, Oregon,Porsche 911 GT3 R,5,Not Running,2:04.471,117.0
4,4, Pro,Patrick LONG,Manhattan Beach, CA,Porsche 911 GT3 R,5,Not Running,2:04.663,116.8
5,5, Pro,Daniel MANCINELLI,Italy,Ferrari 488 GT3,9,Not Running,2:04.756,116.8
6,6, Pro,Michael COOPER,Syosset, NY,Cadillac ATS-V.R,4,Not Running,2:04.992,116.5
7,7, Pro,Peter KOX,Eindhoven, Netherlands,Acura NSX GT3,7,Not Running,2:05.166,116.4
8,8, Pro,Alvaro PARENTE,Porto, Portugal,McLaren 650S GT3,6,Not Running,2:05.191,116.4
9,9, Pro,Ryan EVERSLEY,Atlanta, GA,Acura NSX GT3,9,Not Running,2:05.331,116.2
10,10, Pro,Ryan DALZIEL,Windermere, FL,Mercedes AMG GT3,10,Not Running,2:05.365,116.2
11,11, Pro,Alec UDELL,The Woodlands, TX,Porsche 911 GT3 R,11,Not Running,2:05.446,116.1
12,12, Pro,Bryan SELLERS,Braselton, GA,McLaren 650S GT3,6,Not Running,2:05.640,115.9
13,13, Pro,Alexandre NEGRAO,Campinas, Brazil,Mercedes AMG GT3,7,Not Running,2:06.389,115.3
14,1, Am,James SOFRONAS,Villa Park, CA,Porsche 911 GT3 R,6,Not Running,2:06.722,114.9
15,14, Pro,Pierre KAFFER,Germany,Audi RS 8 LMS,7,Not Running,2:07.011,114.7
16,2, Am,Tim PAPPAS,Boston, MA,Mercedes AMG GT3,9,Not Running,2:07.286,114.4
17,3, Am,John POTTER,Salt Lake City, UT,Audi RS 8 LMS,6,Not Running,2:07.301,114.4
18,4, Am,Mike MCCANN,North Canton, OH,Audi RS 8 LMS,10,Not Running,2:08.250,113.6
19,5, Am,Preston CALVERT,Potomac, MD,Porsche 911 GT3 R,9,Not Running,2:08.350,113.5
20,6, Am,Mike HEDLUND,Redwood City, CA,McLaren 650S GT3,4,Not Running,2:09.410,112.6
21,7, Am,Marc MUZZO,Toronto, ON/ Hialeah, FL,Ferrari 458 GT3,12,Not Running,2:09.431,112.5
22,1, GT Cup,Yuki HARATA,Japan,Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo,4,Not Running,2:14.247,108.5
23,8, Am,Jorge DE LA TORRE,McAllen. TX,Aston Martin Vantage GT3,2,Not Running,2:22.325,102.3
24,2, GT Cup,Marko RADISIC,Belgrade, Serbia,Ferrari Challenge Evo,4,Not Running,,