Parente scores second straight PWC victory
K-PAX McLaren driver Alvaro Parente may have been gifted World Challenge's GT-class Long Beach victory due to a technical infringement by the victorious Cadillac, but today he beat the Caddys fair and square.
The Portuguese took the lead from polesitting Cadillac of Michael Cooper at the drop of the green flag and never let go. Despite occasionally revealing the pressure by dropping a wheel from the McLaren 650S in the dirt, he held on so well that neither Cooper nor the second Cadillac ATS-V.R of teammate Johnny O’Connell were able to mount a serious challenge.
At the end of the prescribed 50mins, Parente was one second clear, with Johnny O a further half-second behind his junior teammate.
This trio were in a separate class from the rest. James Davison made a brilliant start in the Nissan Nismo GT-R to leap from eighth to fourth, but spent most of his time watching his mirrors. Before the full-course caution, Davison had teammate Bryan Heitkotter right behind him.
Following the restart, when Patrick Long’s EFFORT Racing Porsche jumped the second Nissan, JDD had quite a few moments where the black 911 was alongside him, inside and outside. However, ultimately the Australian held off the American to take fourth place by half a second.
Right behind them, their respective teammates fought a similar duel, with again the Nissan prevailing, Heitkotter beating EFFORT’s Michael Lewis to the checkers by 0.4sec.
Both Bentley Continentals finished in the top 10, with Andrew Palmer claiming eighth, and Adderly Fong snatching 10th when he pressured K-PAX Racing’s Austin Cindric into an overly late braking error at Turn 5. Splitting the Bentley bruisers at the finish was Andrew Davis (Porsche).
The 13-minute caution at the lap 8 mark was caused by Colin Thompson bouncing the third K-PAX McLaren off the inside Armco barriers at Turn 4 and bouncing to a broken halt right in the middle of the track. The driver emerged unscathed.
Buford blows it, then blows past them all
Cooper masters Barber to earn victory for Cadillac