Christensen Proves Porsche is Quickest in GT Practice Friday In the Pirelli World Challenge GP at Watkins Glen
Dane Leads Parente, Baptista, Farnbacher in GT; Fuentes Tops GTA
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – Denmark’s Michael Christensen drove his No. 24 Alegra Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R to the quickest practice time Friday at Watkins Glen International in preparation for this weekend’s Pirelli World Challenge of Watkins Glen presented by TM Performance, the final doubleheader of the 2018 season.
Christensen, the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans class winner, was the only driver to break the one minute, 44 second barrier Friday with a 1:43.921 and an average speed of 116.81 miles per hour at the famed 3.4-mile, 11-turn road course.
“Practice has been quite good for us today,” said Christensen, currently third in the GT Overall Sprint point standings entering Rounds 18 and 19 this weekend. “Everything has been straight forward with the car from the first practice. We are now focusing on the details. This is not the first time for me here and we know what to do at this track. I really enjoy driving here. There are a lot of emotions going through the body driving here. There are fast corners, a lot of elevation changes and banked corners. It’s high speed. It’s quite exciting to drive.”
Taking the second-fastest spot in the GT division Friday was former GT champion Alvaro Parente of Portugal in the No. 9 K-PAX Racing Bentley Continental GT3 with a 1:44.119 and 116.59 m.p.h. followed by current GT Overall point leader Toni Vilander of Finland in the No. 61 R. Ferri Motorsports Ferrari 488 GT3 to third in GT with a 1:44.206 and 116.49 m.p.h.
Rounding out the top-five in the GT division Friday in the GT category during the first Friday session was young Rodrigo Baptista of Brazil in the No. 3 K-PAX Racing Bentley Continental GT3 at 1:44.325 (116.36 m.p.h.) and Mario Farnbacher of Germany in the No. 93 HART Acura NSX GT3 at 1:44.370 (116.36 m.p.h.).
GT Sprint point leader Scott Hargrove of Canada finished sixth Friday in the No. 96 Pfaff Motorsports/Castrol Porsche 911 GT3 R at 1:44.425 (116.24 m.p.h.).
Leading the GTA division in Friday practice was GT SprintX Am-Am champion Martin Fuentes of Mexico in the No. 07 Squadra Corse Italia Ferrari 488 GT3 at 1:44.990 (115.62 m.p.h.) followed by Anthony Imperato in the No. 91 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R at 1:46.140 (114.37 m.p.h.).
Saturday GT action begins at 9:40 a.m. EDT with qualifying followed by the 50-minute GT Round 18 event set for 1:50 p.m. EDT.
Sunday’s GT Round 19 race will take place at 1:15 p.m. EDT.
Both GT events will be live-streamed on www.world-challenge.com and the World Challenge YouTube channel.