Ferrari’s Daniel Mancinelli Steals Pirelli World Challenge GT Pole Saturday; Italian holds off Christensen, Parente & Hargrove in Tight Field for Round 6

Ferrari, Porsche, Bentley, Mercedes-AMG, Audi & Lamborghini make up Saturday’s field

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – Italy’s Daniel Mancinelli came back from a Friday crash to steal the Pirelli World Challenge GT pole position Saturday morning at the historic Road America four-mile road circuit for Saturday’s 50-minute GT Round 6 event.

Mancinelli, the Long Beach GT race winner this year, spun his No. 31 TR3 Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 late Friday afternoon in the fast Carousel section of the Road America course and his Ferrari landed on top of the outside tire barrier in turn nine. Mancinelli walked away from the incident but the TR3 Racing crew worked all Friday night to repair the race car for Saturday morning’s qualifications.

In the 20-minute time trials, Mancinelli made a late dash to grab the pole position from recent 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Michael Christensen of Denmark with a time of two minutes, 4.960 seconds and an average speed of 115.94 miles per hour. Daniel was the only driver to break the 2:05 mark in qualifying.

“In the Friday crash, the front splitter was a little bit broken, the body work on the right side, the rear bumper, and a little bit of the front bumper,” said Mancinelli. “The mechanics worked all night to repair and fix the car properly and it felt like a new car today. The suspension was fine, the mechanical parts were fine, so I have to thank the team a lot. They didn’t sleep last night. I’m proud that I took the pole here at Road America and this pole is for them.

“I felt the second sector was a little bit stronger and we got a little bit of top speed. I changed a few things there and got the pole, so we’ll see how we do in the race. I love Road America race track. It’s an historical track. Last year at PWC was my first year here, so I’m glad to be back.”

Christensen’s time of 2:05.014 (115.89 m.p.h.) in the No. 24 Alegra Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R secured the outside of the front row for Saturday’s afternoon GT event set for 4:35 p.m. CDT.

Rounding out the top-three in GT qualifying was 2016 GT series champion Alvaro Parente of Portugal in the No. 9 K-PAX Racing Bentley Continental GT3 machine at 2:05.033 (115.87 m.p.h.) as the first three drivers were separated by less than a tenth of a second over the four-mile, 14-turn track north of Milwaukee.

“I believe I’m starting on the inside, so I would call this a pole and I’m happy with that,” said Christensen, a GT SprintX race winner last month at Lime Rock Park. “The pace is good and we’ll see what the race will bring. For now, it’s looking good.”

“We had relatively good qualifying laps,” said Parente. “The car was performing well. So, congratulations to the guys in the front because we felt we gave all we had. We’ll see what we can do on the race. I thought we had a chance for pole after all of the free practices, but there were probably too many free practices and that’s why they all got up to speed. Let’s see what we have for the race.”

Completing the top-five in GT qualifying was GT Sprint point leader Scott Hargrove of Canada in the No. 96 Pfaff Motorsports/Castrol Porsche 911 GT3 R at 2:05.250 (115.67 m.p.h.) and young Rodrigo Baptista of Brazil in the No. 3 K-PAX Racing Bentley Continental GT3 at 2:05.299 (115.63 m.p.h.). Current GT Overall point leader Toni Vilander of Finland will start sixth Saturday in his No. 61 R. Ferri Motorsport Ferrari 488 GT3 with 2:05.467 (115.47 m.p.h.).

Leading the GTA division in Saturday’s qualifying was 2016 GTA champion Martin Fuentes of Mexico in the No. 07 Squadra Corse Italia Ferrari 488 GT3 at 2:06.445 (114.58 m.p.h.), breaking the previous GTA record of 2:06.566 (114.173 m.p.h.) set by Frankie Montecalvo in 2015.

Second in GTA was 17-year-old Parker Chase of New Braunfels, Tex., in the No. 19 TruSpeed Autosport Audi R8 LMS at 2:06.506 (114.52 m.p.h.) with third going to Anthony Imperato of Brooklyn, N.Y., in the No. 91 Wright Motosports Porsche 911 GT3 R at 2:06.734 (114.32 m.p.h.)

Saturday’s combined GT/GTS 50-minute event is set for 4:35 p.m. CDT. On Sunday, the GT/GTS combined 50-minute race will begin at 2:45 p.m. CDT.

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – Qualifying results of the GT/GTA classes Saturday in the Pirelli World Challenge Round 6 50-minute sprint event at Road America. Results are provisional until posted Final.

Pos,PIC,Class,Name,Hometown,Car,Laps,Fastest Lap Time,Fastest Lap Avg. Speed
1,1, GT,Daniel MANCINELLI,Fabriano, Italy,ITA,Ferrari 488 GT3,6,2:04.960,115.9 m.p.h.
2,2, GT,Michael CHRISTENSEN,Karlslunde, DNK,DNK,Porsche 911 GT3 R (991),7,2:05.014,115.8
3,3, GT,Alvaro PARENTE,Porto, Portugal,PRT,Bentley Continental GT3,5,2:05.033,115.8
4,4, GT,Scott HARGROVE,Tsawwassen, BC,CAN,Porsche 911 GT3 R (991),6,2:05.250,115.6
5,5, GT,Rodrigo BAPTISTA,São Paulo,BRA,Bentley Continental GT3,5,2:05.299,115.6
6,6, GT,Toni VILANDER,Kankaanpää,FIN,Ferrari 488 GT3,5,2:05.467,115.4
7,7, GT,Daniel MORAD,Toronto, ON,CAN,Mercedes-AMG GT3,5,2:05.798,115.1
8,1, GTA,Martin FUENTES,Mexico City, MX,MEX,Ferrari 488 GT3,6,2:06.445,114.5
9,2, GTA,Parker CHASE,New Braunfels, TX,USA,Audi R8 LMS,6,2:06.506,114.5
10,3, GTA,Anthony IMPERATO,Brooklyn, NY,USA,Porsche 911 GT3 R (991),5,2:06.734,114.3
11,4, GTA,Yuki HARATA,Narita, JP,JPN,Lamborghini Huracan GT3,3,2:09.067,112.2
12,5, GTA,David ASKEW,Salt Lake City, UT,USA,Mercedes AMG-GT3,7,2:10.889,110.6
13,6, GTA,Andy WILZOCH,Denver, CO,USA,Porsche 911 GT3 R (991),5,2:11.092,110.5
14,1, ,GT Cup,Ryan HARDWICK,Atlanta, GA,USA,Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo,4,2:12.105,109.6
15,7, GTA,Lawrence DEGEORGE,Jupiter, FL,USA,Lamborghini Huracan GT3,0,No Time