ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – 2016 GT series champion Alvaro Parente of Portugal jumped to the top of the timing charts Friday afternoon in Pirelli World Challenge GT practice two at the legendary Road America with his No. 9 K-PAX Racing Bentley Continental GT3.
Parente, the CTMP GT Sprint race 2 winner, recorded a blistering time of two minutes, 5.551 seconds at the four-mile, 14-turn road circuit for an average speed of 115.40 miles per hour as he prepares for the two GT 50-minute races set for Saturday and Sunday.
After suffering two early incidents at St. Petersburg, Fla., and VIRginia International Raceway, Parente has returned the front of the GT field in recent races with a win CTMP and a second in the GT SprintX event at Lime Rock Park.
Second in the Practice 2 round was Long Beach GT Sprint race winner Daniel Mancinelli of Italy in the No. 31 TR3 Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 at 2:06.860 (114.20 m.p.h.) followed by Toni Vilander of Finland in the No. 61 R. Ferri Motorsport Ferrari 488 GT3 at 2:07.042 (114.04 m.p.h.), GT Sprint point leader Scott Hargrove of Canada in the No. 96 Pfaff Motorsports/Castrol Porsche 911 GT3 R at 2:07.104 (113.99 m.p.h.) and young Rodrigo Baptista of Brazil in the No. 3 K-PAX Racing Bentley Continental GT3 at the 2:07.124 (113.97 m.p.h.) and recent Le Mans winner Michael Christensen of Denmark, the quickest driver in Practice 1 Friday, in the No. 24 Alegra Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R at 2:07.138 (113.95 m.p.h.)
Martin Fuentes of Mexico was the quickest GTA driver in the No. 07 Squadra Corsa Italia Ferrari 488 GT3 at 2:07.834 (113.33 m.p.h.)
In the GTS classes, Jake Buford of Nashville, Tenn., paced the 24-car field in Practice 2 with his No. 55 PF Racing Ford Mustang GT4 with a time of 2:19.729 (103.69 m.p.h.) as the GTS SprintX two-time race winner looks to defeat the perfect record of Lawson Aschenbach this weekend at Road America.
Aschenbach, the veteran Florida driver in the No. 1 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R, was quickest in the morning GTS practice but settled for second in the practice 2 at 2:19.863 (103.59 m.p.h.) followed by the top GTSA driver, Drew Staveley of Salt Lake City, Utah., at 2:19.866 (103.58 m.p.h) in the No. 12 Ian Lacy Racing Ginetta G55.
Fourth was current GTS Overall point leader James Sofronas of Villa Park, Calif., in the No. 14 GMG Racing Audi R8 LMS at 2:20.056 (103.44 m.p.h.) followed by Road America GTS double-winner Ian James of Paradise Valley, Ariz., in the No. 50 Team Panoz Racing Panoz Avezzano GT4 at 2:20.230 (103.32 m.p.h.) and GTSA veteran Mike Hedlund of Redwood City, Calif., in the No. 45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Audi R8 LMS at 2:20.234 (103.31 m.p.h.).
The final GT/GTS practice round Friday at Road America is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. CDT.