(BOWMANVILLE, ONT.) – Patrick Long and Alvaro Parente scored the Blancpain GT World Challenge Round 5 and Round 6 poles respectively at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park's renowned 3.957-km (2.459-mi.) Grand Prix circuit Friday afternoon. For the Wright Motorsports pair, it is their first pole of the season, while the K-PAX duo counts this as their fourth pole of 2019.
The 35-minute qualifying session (divided into two 15-minute heats) was held under sunny, 13 degrees Celsius/57 degrees Fahrenheit weather conditions.
Early in the first session as tires came up to temperature, Pro division driver Rodrigo Baptista paced the #3 Bentley Continental GT3 to the top of the charts with a 1:16.373. What followed was a frenetic number of fastest laps set as Long, a two-time series champion piloting the #58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R entry posted a 1:16.257 to go to the top. A lap later Miguel Molina driving the #61 Ferrari 488 GT3 for Canadian team R. Ferri Motorsport eclipsed Long’s time with a 1:16.173. Long then posted a 1:16.023 to take the pole for Round 5.
In the Pro/Am division, Anthony Imperato in the #91 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R posted the early fast time of 1:21.733 to lead the class and then posted a 1:17.619 as tires came up to temperature. George Kurtz piloting the #04 Mercedes-AMG GT3 posted a 1:17.684, while #43 Acura NSX driver Bret Curtis posted a 1:17.684.
Teams then brought their cars in for driver changes to get set for the second 15- minute session for the Round 6 pole.
In the second session, former series champion Parente, driving the #9 Bentley Continental GT3 posted an early quick time of 1:15.568 followed by Maxime Soulet, piloting K-PAX Racing’s other entry – the #3 Bentley Continental GT3 – who posted a 1:16.317. Toni Vilander, piloting Canadian team R. Ferri Motorsport’s No. 61 Ferrari 488 GT3 then posted a 1:15.775 to slot into second. Vilander improved a few laps later to post a 1:15.711 but couldn’t overtake Parente’s top mark.
In the Pro/Am class Dane Cameron in the #43 Acura NSX posted a 1:16.76, followed by Canadian Kyle Marcelli driving the #80 Acura NSX entry with a 1:16.429. Ryan Dalziel then jumped to the top with a 1:15.979 to momentarily take over the top spot in Pro/Am. Dennis Olsen piloting the #91 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R then set the fastest lap in the class with a 1:15.824, third overall on the grid.
Results are provisional until posted final. Blancpain GT World Challenge America competitors now get set for their first race of the weekend scheduled for a green flag start of 2:10 pm Eastern Saturday. Watch the race at gt-world-challenge-america.com.
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