GRANTSVILLE, Utah – Portugal’s Alvaro Parente continued his Pirelli World Challenge learning curve Friday at Utah Motorsports Campus by recording the fastest time in GT practice.
Parente, 31, is making his initial showing in the PWC this year and has been spectacular thus far with four wins in his No. 9 K-PAX McLaren 650S sports car in the first 15 rounds. Alvaro leads the GT point standings entering the Utah weekend by 95 points over Porsche’s Patrick Long.
On Friday at the 3.048-mile, 14-turn road circuit southwest of downtown Salt Lake City, Parente took his time evaluating the Utah race surface and then clocked the top time of one minute, 48.321 seconds for an average speed of 101.299 miles per hour late in the 30-minute practice session.
St. Petersburg double winner Michael Lewis of Laguna Beach, Calif., held the top spot in practice for most of the session before Parente jumped to the No. 1 slot with less than five minutes remaining. Lewis, 26, clocked a 1:48.514 (101.119 mph) reading in the No. 98 Calvert/Curb-Agajanian/Circle Porsche Porsche 911 GT3 R for the runner-up spot. Mid-Ohio victor Michael Cooper of Syosset, N.Y., rounded out the top-three Friday with his No. 8 Cadillac Racing Cadillac ATS-V.R. at 1:48.541 (101.094 mph).
Former Utah Grand-Am winner Jon Fogarty of Bend, Ore., drove the No. 99 Gainsco “Red Dragon” McLaren 650S to fourth at 1:48.775 (100.876 mph) with Kyle Marcelli of Barrie, Ont., Canada completing the top-five in his No. 2 CRP Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 at 1:48.951 (100.713 mph).
In the GTA division, last year’s Utah winner Frankie Montecalvo of Highlands, N.J., was the fastest driver Friday at a 1:49.620 (100.099 mph) in the No. 66 DIME Racing Mercedes AMG SLS GT3 followed by current point leader Martin Fuentes of Mexico City, Mex., at 1:50.609 (99.204 mph) in the No. 07 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 and Mid-Ohio double winner Michael Schein of Glen Cove, N.Y., in the No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R at 1:50.766 (99.063 mph).
Current GT Cup point leader Alec Udell of the The Woodlands, Tex., continued his impressive performance as the Clemson University junior posted the best Porsche GT Cup time Friday at 1;53.684 (96.520 mph) in the No. 17 GMG Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. Local Utah star Sloan Urry of Salt Lake City was second with his No. 20 TruSpeed Autosport Porsche 911 GT3 Cup at 1:54.161 (96.117 mph) followed by another Utah driver McKay Snow of Lehi, Utah, at 1:54.778 (95.600 mph) in the No. 56 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
The next GT/GTA/GT Cup practice round is schedule for Friday at 3:05 p.m. MDT.