Lakeville, Conn. – Alvaro Parente, Michael Schein and Sloan Urry won in GT/GTA Round 10, GT Cup Round 9 respectively for the Pirelli World Challenge Grand Prix of Lime Rock presented by Bentley. Temperatures were in the mid-80s with scattered clouds and high humidity.
From the rolling start, Andrew Palmer, in the No. 87 Bentley Team Absolute Bentley Continental GT3, took the early lead with a move going into turn one on the outside of pole-sitter Parente, in the No. 9 K-PAX Racing Pfaff/McLaren Toronto McLaren 650S, who slotted into second ahead of Patrick Long, in the No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R. Rounding out the top five were Kyle Marcelli, in the No. 2, CRP Racing Audi R8, and Johnny O’Connell, in the No. 3 Cadillac Racing ATS-V.R. after the opening lap. Palmer’s opening-lap pass earned him the Motortrendondemand.com Clean Pass of the Race.
In GTA, pole-sitter Martin Fuentes, driving the No. 07 Scuderia Corsa Hublot Underarmour Ferrari 458 Italia, held off Frankie Montecalvo, in the No. 66 DIME Racing Dime R&D Mercedes AMG SLS GT3 on the start with Race Control issuing a warning to the two drivers for contact as they battled for the GTA lead. Schein, in the No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche GT3-R, slotted third place.
In GT Cup, pole-sitter Urry, in the No. 22 TruSpeed Autosport Security National Mortgage/Avasis Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, led early over Alec Udell, in the No. 17 GMG Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, and Corey Fergus, in the No. 00 Motorsports Promo Byers Porsche, US LED, Motul Porsche 911 GT Cup.
Just a few minutes into the race the story turned back to the leaders, as Parente ran just a few tenths behind Palmer’s Bentley as those two traded fast laps and started to develop a gap on Long in third.
In GTA, Fuentes was managing a close one-second lead over Montecalvo, as Urry held onto the lead over Udell.
At the 10-minute mark, as the GT leaders were working through traffic, Parente looked high and then low into turn one to take the race lead back from Palmer. The deft pass won Parente the Cadillac ATS-V Best Move of the Race.
Parente would then pull a gap and a big race lead over Palmer, who continued to lead a closing Long followed by Marcelli and O’Connell. In sixth was Adderly Fong, in the No. 88 Bentley Team Absolute Bentley Continental GT3.
Through lap 21, Fuentes continued to lead over Montecalvo and Schein in GTA, while Urry led in GT Cup over Udell and Fergus. Montecalvo then pulled off in turn one with a mechanical issue, allowing Schein to pull into second. Montecalvo eventually retired from the race pulling his car off the track in the chicane area after trying to limp the car back to the pits.
At the 27-minute mark, Ryan Eversley, in the No. 43 RealTime Racing Acura/HPD/Red Line Oil/RealTime Acura TLX-GT, passed Austin Cindric, in the No. 6 K-PAX Racing Pfaff/McLaren Toronto McLaren 650S, for seventh with a move on the front straight as the drivers worked through traffic. The pass moved Cindric back to eighth with Michael Cooper, in the No. 8 Cadillac Racing Cadillac ATS-V.R., running in ninth.
As the race neared, hit and passed its halfway mark, Palmer was busy holding off Long and Marcelli for second place as the three cars ran nose-to-tail around the 1.5-mile circuit. Long was able to get alongside the Bentley multiple times but couldn’t make a pass stick. A bit behind them, O’Connell ran in fifth while Fong closed in on the red Cadillac before O’Connell was able to gap him again.
In GTA, Fuentes continued to lead Schein by two seconds, while Urry had built a 14-second lead on Udell.
With eight minutes to go, Palmer went off course in turn one following contact with Long, which sent Palmer down a number of positions – Race Control handed Long a drive-through penalty for contact. With Long serving the penalty, Marcelli and O’Connell found themselves second and third, respectively.
In GTA, Schein closed to within a second of Fuentes late in the race and pulled up to the bumper of the Ferrari with two laps to go igniting a battle for the class lead. Schein then passed Fuentes for the lead through the chicane section of the track.
Ahead of them in GT, Parente took the checkered flag for the GT victory, and Marcelli scored his best finish of the season with a second place. O’Connell completed the podium and was followed by Fong in the Bentley, and teammate Palmer, who managed to salvage a fifth place finish despite the earlier contact with Long. Ryan Eversley, in the No. 43 RealTime Racing Acura/HPD/Red Line Oil/RealTime Acura TLX-GT, finished sixth, winning the VP Racing Fuels Hard Charger, advancing four spots during the race. Long came home seventh in the No. 58 Porsche after the penalty, just behind Eversley and in front of Cooper’s Cadillac in eighth.
In GTA, Schein took the victory ahead of Fuentes, with Jorge De La Torre, in the No. 4 Delgac LLC Aston Martin Vantage GT3 finishing third. In GT Cup, Urry led from flag-to-flag to win ahead of Udell, winning by about a second after Udell closed the gap late in the race. Fergus completed the podium.
Of note, Colin Thompson, in the No. 13 K-PAX Racing Pfaff/McLaren Toronto McLaren 650S GT3, earned the Optima Batteries Best Start, advancing three positions on the first lap.
Saturday’s grid will be set by fast laps from Friday’s event, with Palmer on the GT pole, Fuentes on the GTA pole and Urry starting first in GT Cup.
“That was a great race. It was the pace we planned,” said Parente. “I lost the first position in the first corner of the first lap, so that wasn’t great. But then I made the pass, and it felt good to get that top position back. It was great. I was pushing from then onwards. I was very comfortable with the car. It’s a very abrasive track, but the bite isn’t there. It’s flowing, and I like that. I maximized it. Big thank you to all the guys. They did a great job and I’m very proud of all the work we did leading up to this. Let’s see what happens tomorrow. I’m very happy.”
“It was really a wild race,” said Schein. “I never had a win like that before, a late pass for the lead. At the start of the race they (Fuentes and Montecalvo) had a decent lead on me. I let the race settle in and run my pace. Wright Motorsports set up the car for the long run and it really showed. At the end of the race I was able to run quicker laps and slowly but surely reel them in. In the last 10 minutes we had the best car on the track. This Wright Motorsports Porsche GT3 R was awesome today.”
“We had a few issues with the car and handling and also my wrist has been giving me some troubles,” said Urry. “The wrist is still there, but the guys fixed the issues and the car is handling really well. It’s the best it’s been in a while, I owe it to them. It really came together well. I almost threw it away but luckily the gap was big enough so we were able to retain and keep the lead.”
Results are provisional until posted final. GT, GTA and GT Cup drivers next take to Lime Rock Park for Saturday morning warm-up followed by their second race of the weekend, scheduled for 4 p.m. Eastern on Saturday. Watch the race live on Motortrendondemand.com.
Lakeville, Conn. — Results from Friday, May 27, 2016 Pirelli World Challenge Championship GT/GTA Race Round 10; GT Cup Race Round 9, part of the Lime Rock GP presented by Bentley. Results shown by driver position, place in class, class, name, hometown, car and number of laps completed.
1. 1, GT, Alvaro Parente, , McLaren 650S GT3, 56
2. 2, GT, Kyle Marcelli, , Audi R8 LMS GT3, 56
3. 3, GT, Johnny O’Connell, , Cadillac ATS-V.R. GT3, 56
4. 4, GT, Adderly Fong, , Bentley Continental GT3, 56
5. 5, GT, Andrew Palmer, , Bentley Continental GT3, 56
6. 6, GT, Ryan Eversley, , Acura TLX-GT, 56
7. 7, GT, Patrick Long, , Porsche 911 GT3 R, 56
8. 8, GT, Michael Cooper, , Cadillac ATS-V.R. GT3, 56
9. 9, GT, Jon Fogarty, , McLaren 650S GT3, 56
10. 10, GT, Bryan Heitkotter, , Nissan GTR GT3, 56
11. 11, GT, Austin Cindric, , McLaren 650S GT3, 56
12. 12, GT, JD Davison, , Nissan GTR GT3, 56
13. 13, GT, Andrew Davis, , Porsche 911 GT3 R, 56
14. 1, GTA, Michael Schein, , Porsche 911 GT3 R, 56
15. 2, GTA, Martin Fuentes, , Ferrari 458 Italia GT3, 56
16. 16, GT, James Sofronas, , Porsche 911 GT3 R, 55
17. 1, GT Cup, Sloan Urry, , Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 53
18. 2, GT Cup, Alec Udell, , Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 53
19. 3, GT Cup, Corey Fergus, , Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 53
20. 3, GTA, Jorge De La Torre, , Aston Martin Vantage GT3, 51
21. 18, GT, Colin Thompson, , McLaren 650S GT3, 50
22. 4, GT Cup, Preston Calvert, , Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 50
23. 4, GTA, Frankie Montecalvo, , Mercedes AMG SLS GT3, 21