GRANTSVILLE, Utah – The 90-degree plus heat affected Friday afternoon practice in the GT class at Utah Motorsports Campus as Alvaro Parente continued to hold the No. 1 slot for this weekend’s Pirelli World Challenge Grand Prix by Energy Solutions.
Parente, quickest in the first practice, posted the best time in the second practice with a reading of one minute, 49.064 seconds (100.609 mph), some seven-tenths off the morning practice rounds as the wind and heat became a factor for the 24-car GT/GTA/GT Cup field. Parente, 31, of Porto, Portugal, recorded a 1:48.321 (101.299 mph) in the morning time trials in the No. 9 K-PAX McLaren 650S.
The five-time race winner and current PWC GT point leader is making his first appearance at the 3.048-mile, 14-turn outer road circuit in Utah but has kept his winning pace on Friday over second place Jon Fogarty of Bend, Ore., in the No. 99 Gainsco McLaren 650S by less than a tenth of a second. Fogarty, the Utah Grand-Am sports car winner in 2009, clocked a 1:49.141 (100.538 mph) in Friday afternoon action.
Road America double winner Ryan Eversley of Atlanta, now fifth in the current GT points, drove his No. 43 RealTime Racing Acura TLX-GT to the third quickest time in the afternoon session with a 1:49.152, less than a second from Parente’s best afternoon clocking.
Mid-Ohio pole winner Austin Cindric, 17, of Charlotte, N.C., placed fourth in the afternoon with his No. 6 K-PAX McLaren 650S at 1:49.224 (100.461 mph), while PWC newcomer Craig Dolby of Melton Mowbray, England took the No. 33 AE Replay XD Nissan GT Adacdemy Nissan GTR GT3 to a top-five position at 1:49.239 (100.448 mph). Dolby is replacing regular Nissan driver JD Davison for this weekend in the No. 33 car as Davison was suspended from Round 16 in the GT division.
Qualifying for Round 16 in the GT category will take place Saturday at 8:45 a.m. MDT at Utah Motorsports Campus.