Fuentes, Baptista Prance to GT World Challenge America Poles at COTA

Fuentes, Baptista Prance to GT World Challenge America Poles at COTA

Austin, TX - Ferrari pilots Martin Fuentes and Rodrigo Baptista guided their prancing horse in a sweep of both GT World Challenge America powered by AWS Series poles at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) Saturday morning. The Acura team of Shelby Blackstock and Trent Hindman scored both Silver division poles.

Saturday morning's 30-minute qualifying session was split into two 15-minute heats to determine the grids for both Saturday's and Sunday's races.

In the first heat to determine the starting positions for Saturday's race, Silver division competitors Alec Udell and Shelby Blackstock traded the top spot early on. Udell, in the #33 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3, set the early fast time of 2:07.682. Blackstock, in the #93 Racers Edge Motorsports Acura NSX GT3 fired back with a 2:07.256. Udell then came back with a 2:06.738.

Pro/Am driver Fuentes, in the #1 Squadra Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 then went to the top with a 2:06.395. Blackstock though on his last flying lap of the session came back with a 2:06.366, only to have Fuentes return the favor on his last flier to solidify the pole with a 2:05.886.

In the second heat to set the grid for Sunday's race, Pro/Am pilot Ryan Dalziel in the DXDT Racing #63 Mercedes-AMG GT3 set the early fast time with a 2:05.389. Baptista, now behind the wheel of the #1 machine went to the top with a 2:04.745, followed by Jan Heylen in the #20 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R (991.II) (2:04.803). Baptista then solidified his top position going faster to a 2:04.523. Hindman, now behind the wheel of the #93 machine had the fastest Silver division time of 2:05.449 and will start fourth overall on Sunday.

Results are provisional until posted final. Drivers now look ahead to Saturday's 90-minute Round 9 race scheduled to go green at 2:15pm local time. Watch the race live on youtube.com/GTWorld.