Wins both races by nearly a seven-second margin
LEXINGTON, Ohio – Alvaro Parente and K-PAX Racing continued their prowl toward a GT championship in the Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) Sunday, and used Round 7 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course as an opportunity to gain some more ground. Despite a slight miscue in the opener, sending Parente back two spots from an initial second place starting position, the 2016 defending class champion used the week’s momentum to rebound. He swept the Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio presented by Honda Racing HPD, dominating both races throughout the weekend.
“We are really pleased with the results today,” said Program Manager Darren Law before embracing Parente in pit lane. “Of course, Alvaro did a phenomenal job in the car, and the team did a phenomenal job on the setup. This is great for us and great for McLaren GT. We really needed the points. It was a great weekend all the way around.”
The win marks Parente’s fourth of the season. With two strong performances from Parente, K-PAX Racing placed within the top-10 all weekend – including the two victories. Sellers contributed with the other two solid performances, finishing 10th in the finale despite a hiccup on the formation lap, which sent him to the back. K-PAX Racing has won the last three of four PWC races at the 13-turn, 2.258-mile course.
Parente, driver of the No. 9 K-PAX Racing McLaren 650S GT3 car, ultimately started third in the finale. Despite an already solid starting position, Parente made quick-work of the two ahead of him. His strong starts allowed him to overtake TR3 Racing’s Kyle Marcelli for second place.
Toward the end of the opening lap, Parente was side-by-side with race leader and polesitter Patrick Long of Wright Motorsports. Through “The Carousel” in Turn 12, he positioned his car to overtake Long for sole possession of the lead – a move that was deemed the Cadillac Racing “Move of the Race.” After securing the spot entering the first turn of the second lap, he maintained nearly a two-second buffer for the first half of the race.
“I knew tire temperatures take a while to start working at the beginning of the race,” Parente said. “I pushed hard on [the tires] that first lap. I knew Patrick was doing the same thing, but I managed to do it a little bit better at the end of the lap, which created an opportunity through the main straightaway. That pass felt really good.”
Parente said he managed the race “very well,” and he began to extend his lead with 15 minutes remaining. In an 11-minute span toward the end of the race, Parente’s lead grew to 4.830 seconds. He won the race by a 6.628-second margin over Long.
“We had a great car,” Parente said. “Again, a big thanks to K-PAX Racing and McLaren GT. [We managed the race] pretty similar to yesterday. We attacked without destroying the rear tires, and we were able to do that well having a very fast car.”
Sellers, driver of the No. 6 K-PAX Racing McLaren 650S GT3 car, was initially set to start the race in second position before spinning-out on the formation lap. In the face of adversity, Sellers battled back to the front. He not only salvaged the day with a 10th place finish, but also demonstrated how strong his McLaren GT car was during the weekend by weaving through the field at an astonishing pace. It took Sellers less than half the race to climb back to 10th.
“I was really focused on getting some rear-tire temperature in [during the formation lap],” Sellers said. “We had a really strong racecar, and I felt that I could’ve raced anybody. The car was the best racecar we’ve had since the beginning of the year. That really goes to my crew guys. Unfortunately, that’s how the day went. But, I am really happy with the work that the guys did and all the hours they spent on it.”
K-PAX Racing will return to SprintX competition August 11-13 at Utah Motorsports Campus. For more information, visit world-challenge.com.
Alvaro Parente – No. 9 McLaren 650S (Race 1 – 1st, Race 2 – 1st) – “It was a perfect weekend for us. We knew our car worked very well at this track. Some cars are going to be good at some tracks, other cars at other tracks; that’s why GT racing is so good. But, we are very happy to take these two wins this weekend. It’s very important to capitalize on those moments and that’s what we did so I feel amazing. I managed to warm up my tires better than Patrick and that created an opportunity coming out of the last corner. This allowed me to go quicker through the carousel and prepare for overtaking, always giving each other room and being fair so I had the best start today and finished well.”
Bryan Sellers – No. 6 McLaren 650S (Race 1 – 4th, Race 2 – 10th) – “We had a really strong racecar. I just put us in a position where I couldn’t deliver us a good result. But, I am happy with how hard the guys worked and how the car was. We’ll go to Salt Lake (Utah) and try again. For me, redemption is a big thing. So, when I get back in the car we’ll get to swinging at this thing again.”
About K-PAX Racing
Since joining the Pirelli World Challenge in 2007, K-PAX Racing has celebrated a total 104 podiums, 42 wins and four driver championships, solidifying the team as a continuous championship contender. In 2014, K-PAX Racing expanded its relationship with McLaren GT, bringing two new 2015 McLaren 650S GT3 race cars into competition. The renewed effort kept K-PAX Racing at the forefront of competition, becoming a serious championship contender in the seasons to follow. In 2016, the team expanded to three full season McLaren 650S GT3 race cars, and clinched the Pirelli World Challenge Team, Driver, and Manufacturer Championships.
About McLaren GT
McLaren has been a pioneer and setting benchmarks on the tracks around the world for 50 years, and the latest range of GT racing models based on the road-going McLaren Automotive range is no different. McLaren GT was established in 2011 to develop, build and support all GT race activities. Based in Woking, Surrey at the former home of McLaren Racing, the company is responsible for the design, development and production of the 650S GT3, 570S GT4, and 650S and 570S Sprint models