Canadian Daniel Morad Sets Track Record in GT SprintX Qualifying Saturday at VIR in PWC Grand Prix of Virginia with Mercedes-AMG
Baptista Takes Pole in Pro-Am; Bacarella Scores Am Pole
ALTON, Va. (April 28, 2018) – Young Daniel Morad of Toronto, Ont., Canada, provisionally recorded a new track record Saturday in the GT SprintX qualifying with his No. 2 CRP Racing/DeVilbiss Mercedes-AMG GT3 sports car at VIRginia International Raceway as part of the Pirelli World Challenge Grand Prix of Virginia presented by Audi Sport.
Saturday’s GT SprintX Round 3 60-minute, two-driver race is scheduled to start at 1:25 p.m. EDT and will be live-streamed on www.world-challenge.com and broadcast on SiriusXM radio channel 383 (App 983).
Morad, teaming this weekend with Germany’s Fabian Schiller, made his PWC GT SprintX debut last year at VIR with an impressive drive to victory in the No. 2 Mercedes-AMG, and clocked a one minute, 41.953-second qualifying lap for an average speed of 115.4 m.p.h., easily bettering last year’s track mark set by Mike Skeen at 1:42.989 (114.30 m.p.h.).
The top seven qualifying drivers broke the previous qualifying mark Saturday morning at VIR.
“I’m so happy with that lap,” said Morad, who also won at COTA in GT SprintX in 2017. “It was probably one of the best laps of my life. It’s too bad because right before that lap, I had another one that was going well, but I was blocked by Jeff Segal. It was a bit unfortunate, but I knew I had to gather it up. I took a cool down lap and pushed for one more. The Mercedes-AMG GT3 was perfect today. We made one set-up change just before qualifying based on the conditions. We knew the pace was going to be really high today, so we took a risk and it paid off. We’re in the best place in the house to start. We’ll see if we can repeat our win from last year.”
Skeen, the Charlotte, N.C., veteran, just missed Morad’s pole position time Saturday with a 1:42.041 (115.3 m.p.h.) in the No. 80 Lone Star Racing Mercedes-AMG. Skeen will co-driver this weekend with Scott Heckert, also of Charlotte.
Third on the GT SprintX grid was Am driver Rodrigo Baptista of Brazil in the No. 3 K-PAX Racing Bentley Continental GT3 with a 1:42.251 (115.1 m.p.h.). The young racer is teaming up with veteran Bentley driver Maxime Soulet of Spain this weekend at VIR.
Rounding out the top-five in the GT SprintX qualifying was 2016 GT champion Alvaro Parente of Portugal in the No. 9 K-RAX Racing Bentley Continental GT3 with a 1:42.251 (115.0 m.p.h.) and current GT overall point leader Scott Hargrove of Canada in the No. 96 Pfaff Motorsports/Castrol Porsche 911 GT3 R with a 1:42.377 (114.9 m.p.h.). Parente will partner with Spain’s Andy Soucek, while veteran Wolf Henzler teams with Hargrove this weekend.
After Baptista and Soulet in the GT SprintX Pro-Am division in qualifying was 17-year-old Parker Chase of New Braunfels, Tex., in the No. 19 TruSpeed Motorsports Audi R8 LMS with a 1:43.717 (113.5 m.p.h.) followed by Wei Lu of Vancouver, B.C., Canada in the No. 31 TR3 Racing/Ferrari of Vancouver Ferrari 488 GT3 with a 1:43.971 (113.2 m.p.h.) and Long Beach GTA winner Yuki Harata of Japan in the No. 55 Dream Racing Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan GT3 with a 1:44.399 (112.7 m.p.h.).
Caeser Bacarella of Miami, Fla., topped the Am class in the No. 07 Squadra Corse Garage Italia Ferrari 488 GT3 at 1:44.557 (112.5 m.p.h.), while Ryan Hardwick of Atlanta, Ga., was quickest in the GT Cup division in the No. 27 Dream Racing Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo at 1:48.023 (108.9 m.p.h.)
ALTON, Va. – GT SprintX Qualifying results Saturday from the Pirelli World Challenge Grand Prix of Virginia presented by Audi Sport Friday at VIRginia International Raceway. Results are provisional until posted Final.
Pos,PIC,Class,Name,Hometown,Car,Laps,Status,Fastest Lap Time,Fastest Lap Avg. Speed
1,1, Pro/Pro,Daniel Morad,CRP Racing,,,Mercedes-AMG GT3,7,Not Running,1:41.953,115.4
2,2, Pro/Pro,Mike Skeen, Lone Star Racing,,,Mercedes-AMG GT3,5,Not Running,1:42.041,115.3
3,1, Pro/Am,Rodrigo Baptista, K-PAX Racing,,,Bentley Continental GT3,6,Not Running,1:42.251,115.1
4,3, Pro/Pro,Alvaro Parente, K-PAX Racing,,,Bentley Continental GT3,10,Not Running,1:42.350,115.0
5,4, Pro/Pro,Scott Hargrove, Pfaff Motorsports,,,Porsche 911 GT3 R (991),9,Not Running,1:42.377,114.9
6,5, Pro/Pro,R. Toni Vilander, Ferri Motorsport,,,Ferrari 488 GT3,11,Running,1:42.423,114.9
7,6, Pro/Pro, Michael Christensen, Alegra Motorsports,,,Porsche 911 GT3 R (991),6,Not Running,1:42.533,114.8
8,7, Pro/Pro,Alec Udell, GMG Racing,,,Porsche 911 GT3 R (991),11,Running,1:43.593,113.6
9,2, Pro/Am, Parker Chase, TruSpeed AutoSport,,,Audi R8 LMS,5,Not Running,1:43.717,113.5
10,3, Pro/Am, Wei Lu, TR3 Racing,,,Ferrari 488 GT3,10,Not Running,1:43.971,113.2
11,4, Pro/Am, Yuki Harata, Dream Racing Motorsport,,,Lamborghini Huracan GT3,9,Not Running,1:44.399,112.7
12,1, Am, Caeser Bararella, Squadra Corse Garage Italia,,,Ferrari 488 GT3,9,Not Running,1:44.557,112.5
13,5, Pro/Am,Tim Pappas, Black Swan Racing,,,Porsche 911 GT3 R (991),10,Not Running,1:45.372,111.7
14,6, Pro/Am, Dory Chaponick, TruSpeed AutoSport,,,Audi R8 LMS,9,Not Running,1:45.377,111.7
15,2, Am, David Askew, DXDT Racing,,,Mercedes-AMG GT3,7,Not Running,1:47.057,109.9
16,1, ,Ryan Hardwick, Dream Racing Motorsport,,,Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo,9,Not Running,1:48.023,108.9
17,7, Pro/Am, Lawrence DeGeorge, DXDT Racing,,,Lamborghini Huracan GT3,7,Not Running,1:54.950,102.4