LEXINGTON, Ohio – Alvaro Parente of Porto, Portugal secured the GT Round 14 win at the Pirelli World Challenge Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio presented by Honda Racing HPD. In GTA, Glen Cove, N.Y.’s Michael Schein took the top of the podium, while GT Cup points leader and Woodlands, Tex. native Alec Udell posted another class win.
Parente, driving the No. 9 K-PAX Racing McLaren 650S GT3, came into the weekend with a small lead in points but managed to qualify for P2 next to teammate Austin Cindric in the pole position, in spite of the lack of practice on-track Friday due to inclement weather. Taking advantage of a full-course yellow just after the rolling start, Parente put himself in the position to overtake Cindric in the third lap in Turn 5. Even with two more full-course yellow conditions in the 30-lap race, Parente managed to keep a lead over Cindric until the checkered flag.
Cindric, 17, driving the No. 6 K-PAX McLaren 650S GT3 car, finished just 1.009-seconds behind Parente to secure second place from his qualifying pole position, running a fastest lap of only 0.2-seconds behind Parente’s.
Bryan Heitkotter, of Fresno, Calif., held the stellar third-place position he earned in the No. 05 AE Replay XD Nissan GT Academy Nissan GT-R GT3 during qualifying while simultaneously planning attacks for second place positioning and fending off fourth-place qualifier and finisher Jon Fogarty in the No. 99 Gainsco/Bob Stallings Racing McLaren 650S GT3.
Said Parente, “Mid-Ohio is a very unique track. It’s not like anything really in Europe. It’s a tricky place too. You seem to be sliding before you get grip. But it is fun to drive. I think Austin (Cindric) got a little loose and wide as we came on to the back straightaway and I was able to get a run on him for the lead (on lap three). He is a very talent young driver. He may be only 17 years old but he has a lot of racing laps under him already. He has a very bright future in motorsports. While the U.S. tracks are new to me this year, I am having a very fun time.” He continued, “Of course, we had a tough first weekend at Austin (COTA) but since then it’s been a great time. Obviously, winning is always nice too. The K-PAX team is doing a great job with the cars as you could see today. Poor Colin (Thompson, Parente’s teammate) has had some really tough luck this year and it happened again today to him. Having been a McLaren factory driver for five years, I do have a lot of experience with these types of cars. I’m not that old (age 31) but I do help Austin and Colin, who are 17 and 21 years old. I think we have a very good relationship as teammates. It’s a fun experience racing in the U.S. this year.”
In GTA, Michael Schein drove the No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R from his record-setting qualifying pole position consistently through the race traffic and yellow-flag conditions to take the top of the podium in the class.
GTA points leader Martin Fuentes, piloting the No. 07 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia GT3, avoided an incident early in the race that took out number-two GTA qualifier Michael McCann (No. 82 McCann Racing Dodge Viper GT3) allowing Fuentes to move into second position from P3 where he qualified and ultimately held on to take the second step on the GTA podium.
Joseph Toussaint (No. 90 Autometrics Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R) made his fourth season start from the back of the GTA qualifying grid but a trip to the GTA podium, running in third place.
Schein explained, “The start of the race was pretty wild with many spins and cars going off track. I had to concentrate on my lines and be ready for each restart. The Wright Motorsports crew did a great job with the Porsche 911 since we tested here last week. I think that gave us a head start over the other guys due to Friday’s cancelled practice session due to the rain. Once we started running consistently with no yellow flags in the race, I could drive a good pace and stay out front. As for the championship, I missed three races early in the year and Martin (Fuentes) won the first seven races, so I need him to have some trouble in the next few events to close in on him in the points. My goal now is just to go and win races. Then we will see how the points fall at the end of the year.” He concluded, “Overall, it was a very good race for us.”
Porsche GT Cup’s field saw qualifying record-setter Alec Udell (No. 17 GMG Porsche 911 GT3 Cup) hold off repeated attacks from number-two qualifier Sloan Urry (No. 20 TruSpeed Autosport Porsche 911 GT3 Cup) and P3 holder Corey Fergus (No. 00 Motorsports Promotions Porsche 911 GT3 Cup) as they strategically jockeyed for the lead. Ultimately, the trio finished the race in the same order in which they qualified.
“I got a good start but Sloan (Urry) made a some aggressive moves and we touched a few times,” Udell stated. “Luckily I was able to open up a gap and get the win. It was a very competitive race. This win helps towards our goal of the championship. I’ll drive to Clemson (S.C.) next week for my junior year in college. It’s a 14-hour drive from Houston. I’ll get moved into my house there and start school in two weeks. I’m majoring in mechanical engineering and we start to work on car-based activities this year. In the meantime, I’ll race at Utah before school starts in the middle of August. It’s been a busy summer with my racing and my internship in Austin also. But I’m anxious to get back to school and see a few football games too. Go Tigers!”
The Optima Batteries Best Start Award went to Udell (GT Cup No. 17) for his 6-position gain.
The Cadillac Move of the Race Award was given to Alvaro Parente (GT No. 9) for his pass of Austin Cindric (GT No. 6) to take the lead during lap three.
The KIA Turning Point of the race was determined to be Pat Long’s (GT No. 58) avoidable-contact penalty and subsequent service of the assigned drive-through penalty.
The MotorTrendOnDemand.com Clean Pass was awarded to Bryan Heitkotter (GT No. 05) for his pass of Jon Fogarty (GT No. 99) for third place.
The VP Racing Fuels Hard Charger award was given to Alec Udell (GT Cup No. 17) for his movement of 8 positions up from his point on the qualifying grid.
In each class, the best laps were turned by: Alvaro Parente (GT No. 9) with a 1:20.778; Michael Schein (GTA No. 16) with a 1:21.790; and Sloan Urry (GT Cup No. 20) with a 1:24.717.
GT, GTA and GT Cup classes next take to the track on Sunday at 11:15a.m. for GT/GTA Round 15 and GT Cup Round 14. Live streaming will be available on MotorTrendOnDemand.com while live timing will be available at World-Challenge.com. Watch extended coverage on CBS Sports Network starting Sunday August 7th at 4p.m. Eastern.
Lexington, OH – Results from Saturday, Jul 30, 2016 Pirelli World Challenge Championship GT-GTA Round 14 GT Cup Round 13 part of the Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio presented by Honda Racing HPD. Results are provisional until posted Final.
Pos. PIC, Class, Name, Hometown, Car, Laps, Status
1. 1, GT, Alvaro Parente, Porto Portugal, McLaren 650S GT3, 30, Running
2. 2, GT, Austin Cindric, Charlotte NC, McLaren 650S GT3, 30, Running
3. 3, GT, Bryan Heitkotter, Fresno CA, Nissan GTR GT3, 30, Running
4. 4, GT, Jon Fogarty, Bend OR, McLaren 650S GT3, 30, Running
5. 5, GT, Ryan Eversley, Atlanta GA, Acura TLX-GT, 30, Running
6. 6, GT, Johnny O’Connell, Flowery Branch GA, Cadillac ATS-V.R. GT3, 30, Running
7. 7, GT, Michael Cooper, Syosset NY, Cadillac ATS-V.R. GT3, 30, Running
8. 8, GT, Michael Lewis, Laguna Beach CA, Porsche 911 GT3R, 30, Running
9. 1, GTA, Michael Schein, Glen Cove NY, Porsche 911 GT3 R, 30, Running
10. 10, GT, Patrick Long, Manhattan Beach CA, Porsche 911 GT3 R, 30, Running
11. 2, GTA, Martin Fuentes, Mexico City Mexico, Ferrari 458 Italia GT3, 30, Running
12. 3, GTA, Joseph Toussaint, Houston TX, Porsche 911 GT3 R, 30, Running
13. 1, GT Cup, Alec Udell, The Woodlands TX, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 30, Running
14. 2, GT Cup, Sloan Urry, Park City UT, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 30, Running
15. 3, GT Cup, Corey Fergus, Columbus OH, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 29, Running
16. 4, GTA, Preston Calvert, Potomac MD, Porsche 911 GT3 R, 16, Not Running
17. 17, GT, Colin Thompson, Doylestown PA, McLaren 650S GT3, 8, DNF
18. 18, GT, Kyle Marcelli, Barrie ON, Audi R8 LMS GT3, 8, DNF
19. 19, GT, Spencer Pumpelly, Atlanta GA, Acura TLX-GT, 2, DNF
20. 20, GT, JD Davison, Denver CO, Nissan GTR GT3, 1, DNF
21. 21, GTA, Michael McCann, North Canton OH, Dodge Viper GT3, 0, DNF
22. 22, GT, Adderly Fong, Hong Kong, Bentley Continental GT3, 0, DNF