Mike Skeen takes Texas-based Lone Star Racing Mercedes-AMG To PWC GT SprintX Pole Saturday at COTA

Parente (Bentley), Vilander (Ferrari) place 2nd & 3rd for Round 1 Race

Austin, Texas – Veteran Mike Skeen of Charlotte, N.C., piloted the Texas-based No. 80 Lone Star Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 sports car to the pole position Saturday in the GT SprintX qualifying round at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in the Pirelli World Challenge Grand Prix of Texas.

Skeen, a multi-time GT race winner, is teaming with young Scott Heckert of Ridgefield, N.J., in the Mercedes-AMG GT3 for the first time and clocked a best lap of two minutes, 5.664 seconds for an average speed of 98.2 miles per hour and start from the pole in Saturday’s 60-minute, two-driver race set for 3:25 p.m. CDT.

Starting alongside Skeen in row one Saturday is 2016 GT champion Alvaro Parente of Portugal, who drove the No. 9 K-PAX Racing Bentley Continental GT3 to a time of 2:205.751 (98.2 m.p.h.) after his massive incident two weeks ago in the streets of St. Petersburg. Parente and Andy Soucek of Spain are driving a backup Bentley due to the damages from the St. Pete crash.

Third in the GT SprintX Pro-Pro class was the St. Pete pole winner Toni Vilander of Finland in the No. 61 R. Ferri Motorsports Ferrari 488 GT3 at 2:05.800 (98.1 m.p.h.). Vilander is teaming with Miguel Molina of Spain this weekend.

The top Pro-Am qualifying duo was Jeff Segal and Wei Lu in the No. 31 TR3 Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 at 2:06.259 (97.8 m.p.h.) with the GT Cup pole winner being Alan Metni in the No. 99 AM Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.