Alvaro Parente led from flag to flag to claim his third Pirelli World Challenge GT Championship win of the 2017 Season at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. He also recorded the fastest lap in his No. 9 K-PAX Racing McLaren 650S GT3, finishing 6.875 seconds ahead of Michael Cooper in the No. 8 Cadillac ATS-V.R. The win comes as Parente’s ninth career sprint victory in his second season of U.S. competition.
There were no changes in position in the Top 5 throughout the 50-minute sprint race. Johnny O’Connell looked to hound his Cadillac teammate in the early going, but settled for the final step on the podium.
Parente opened a gap of over five seconds by the midpoint of the race. The only obstacles left were a short yellow and restart, which where executed flawlessly on the McLaren’s way to victory.
One of the best battles of the field featured yellow and red Ferrari 488 GT3’s when Kyle Marcelli charged by Daniel Mancinelli. The two prancing horses made contact in Turn 11, allowing Marcelli to capture sixth place while Mancinelli fell behind Ryan Dalziel’s Mercedes AMG GT3 and Alex Udell’s Porsche for eighth place.
A full course yellow was called with with 14 minutes to go for Pablo Perez Companc who beached his AMG GT3. The interruption in action reset the field for the final 10-minute dash to the checkers, but Parent jumped out to a lead that mimicked the gap he created early in the race.
James Sofronas defended against Michael Schein in a Porsche battle for the top GT Am spot. Yuki Harata claimed the top spot in GT-Cup, his Dream Racing Motorsports Lamborghini outlasting Marko Radisic’s Ferrari Challenge Evo.
Parente will start Race 2 from the pole, but series rival Long recorded the second fastest lap of the race, allowing his Porsche to start next to the McLaren.
The GT field will take the green for the second time this weekend tomorrow at 12-noon for Round 7 of the 2017 Championship. The race will be same-day broadcast on CBS sports at 2:00 p.m. Eastern.