Daniel Morad second and Scott Hargrove fifth at COTA
FIRST PRACTICE WITH TOP TEN WITHIN ONE SECOND. R. FERRI MOTORSPORT FROM TORONTO SIXTH AND KYLE MARCELLI FIFTH IN PRO-AM(11TH OVERALL)
Another championship has its season opener this weekend. Previously called Pirelli World Challenge now Blancpain GT World Challenge America, it is at COTA in Austin(TX) that the first round takes place.
The GT3 class divided in Pro and Pro-Am has 23 cars competing this weekend. The first practice was led by the Bentley Continental GT3 of K-Pax Racing with drivers Alvaro Parente and Andy Soucek with a time of 2:06.001. Alegra Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R of Daniel Morad and Michael de Quasada were a mere 0.048 of a second behind the leader. Scott Hargrove, who co-drives the Porsche 911 GT3 R with Patrick Long, ended the session fifth(seventh in class) in the PRO class less than four tenths from first. Toronto based R. Ferri Motorsport Ferrari 488 GT3 of drivers Miguel Molina (ESP) and Toni Vilander(FIN) classified sixth in class(10th overall). Kyle Marcelli, driving the Racers Edge Motorsports Acura NSX with fellow Canadian Martin Barkey were fifth in class(11th overall).
The second practice session was lead by US RaceTronics Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Steven Aghakhani (USA) and Richard Antinucci (USA) with a time of 2:06.516. Canadian duo Kyle Marcelli/Martin Barkey were second in class(third overall). Daniel Morad and teammate Michael de Quesada ended the session third in class(fifth overall) while Scott Hargrove with Patrick Long recorded a time good enough for fifth in class(11th overall) driving the Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R. R. Ferri Motorsport Ferrari 488 GT3 ended the second practice second in class(fourth overall).
Other Canadians taking to the track this weekend are Karl Thompson(McLaren 570S GT4), Samantha Tan(BMW M4 GT4), Thomas Collingwood(Porsche Cayman GT4 CS-MR) and Karl Wittmer(BMW M4 GT4) competing in the Pirelli GT4 SprintX class.
In the TCR class, Nelson Chan and Alain Lauzière are each driving an Audi RS3 LMS for Alphasonic Motorsport. Nick Wittmer and Damon Surzyshyn are in the TCA class driving a Subaru BRZ tS for TechSport Racing.
Saturday morning will be qualifying for all and the first race of the weekend will take place in the afternoon for everyone. The first 90 minutes race of two of Blancpain GT World Challenge America is scheduled for 3:50pm local time.