Christensen Wins PWC GT SprintX Pole Position Saturday at Portland International Raceway
PORTLAND, Ore. – Porsche’s Michael Christensen of Denmark easily won the pole position Saturday morning at Portland International Raceway for Saturday’s Round 7 60-minute, two-driver GT SprintX race in the 58th Rose Cup Races featuring the Pirelli World Challenge Presented by Honda Racing/HPD.
Christensen, driving the No. 24 Alegra Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R this weekend with veteran Spencer Pumpelly, comes to Portland after a month of sensational wins at Lime Rock Park, Le Mans and Road America and continues his dominance with a new track record at the 1.97-mile, 12-turn road course north of downtown Portland.
The Dane’s top lap Saturday was a one minute, 10.177 seconds for an average speed of 101.05 miles per hour for the pole position for the 1:10 p.m. PDT Round 7 GT SprintX race.
Rounding out the front row in the GT SprintX Pro-Pro contest is currently GT Overall point leader Toni Vilander of Finland in the No. 61 R. Ferri Motorsport Ferrari 488 GT3 at 1:10.439 (100.68 m.p.h.), just nipping Daniel Morad of Canada in the No. 2 CRP Racing/DeVilbiss Mercedes-AMG GT3 at 1:10.441 (100.68 m.p.h.). In the afternoon race, Vilander will team with Miguel Molina of Spain, while Morad is pairing with Matthew Brabham of Australia.
Making up the top-five in the GT SprintX qualifying at PIR were the K-PAX Racing teammates – young Rodrigo Baptista and 2016 GT champion Alvaro Parente – in their matching Bentley Continental GT 3 sports cars. Baptista drove his No. 3 K-PAX Racing Bentley Continental GT3 to a 1:10.518 (100.57 m.p.h.) with Parente at 1:10.548 (100.52 m.p.h.) in the No. 9 K-PAX Racing Bentley Continental GT3.
Leading the Pro-Am division was 17-year-old Parker Chase of Texas in the No. 19 TruSpeed Autosport Audi R8 LMS with a 1:10.974 (99.92 m.p.h). Chase will co-drive with veteran Ryan Dalziel of Scotland this weekend.
Caesar Bacarella of Miami, Fla., was the leading the Am qualifier Saturday in the No. 07 Squadra Corse Italia Ferrari 488 GT3 at 1:11.837 (98.72 m.p.h.) as Bacarella teams up with 2016 GTA series champion Martin Fuentes of Mexico at PIR.
Sunday’s GT SprintX race is scheduled for 2:25 p.m. PDT.
All Pirelli World Challenge races this weekend can be viewed live on www.world-challenge.com with radio broadcasts on SiriusXM Satellite Radio (channels 383/983).