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Hargrove third in Blancpain GT World Challenge America in race 1 at COTA

CLOSE BATTLES THROUGHOUT THE RACE. DRIVE THROUGH FOR NO. 22 OF MORAD/DE QUESADA, PODIUM FOR R. FERRI MOTORSPORT FERRARI

Race 1 of the Blancpain GT World Challenge America sure had its tight battles especially in the first 45 minutes of 90.

The two Bentley Continental GT3 of K-PAX Racing took the front row for the race in a wet qualifying session with the No. 9 of drivers Andy Soucek and Alvaro Parente on pole. Daniel Morad qualified in fourth while Scott Hargrove(Patrick Long had qualified the car) started fifth, Kyle Marcelli(Martin Barkey qualified the car) started 12th(sixth in Pro-Am class) and finally R. Ferri Motorsport Ferrari 488 GT3 started third.

Off the start, the Bentleys fought off a charging Morad who took third at the first corner. Throughout the first 45 minutes, the two Bentley were quite confortable in front with a great battle that developed towards the end of the stint between Daniel Morad in the Alegra Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R and Miguel Molina in the R. Ferri Motorsport Ferrari 488 GT3. Holding on to third place as long as he could, while receiving warnings for exceeding track limits, Morad finally got passed by Molina just before they stopped for the driver change. All the while giving a chance to Scott Hargrove’s teammate Patrick Long to catch up to the battle.

After the pit stops and driver changes, the Bentley fought between them initially as they were well in front of the third place Ferrari of S. Ferri Motorsport. Scott Hargrove took the wheel and started his charge to the front.

Michael de Quesada, taking over from Daniel Morad, was also in the battle until he was hit with two drive through penalties for exceeding track limits.

At the end, the Bentley No. 3 of Rodrigo Baptista(BRA)/Maxime Soulet (BEL) took the checkered flag with the No. 9 Bentley in its shadow. In third, Scott Hargrove got passed the R. Ferri Motorsport Ferrari of Toni Vilander. With the penalties, Daniel Morad and Michael de Quesada ended up ninth(fifth in class).

In the Pro-Am class, Kyle Marcelli and co-driver Martin Barkey finished third(seventh overall). The Pro-Am win went to Canadian Wei Lu and Jeff Segal(USA) driving the TR3 Racing Ferrari 488 GT3.

In earlier races, Karl Wittmer took fifth in the Pro-Am class of the GT4 America East series driving the Precision Driving Tech BMW M4 GT4 with Marki Radisic(SRB). In the AM class, Thomas Collingwood with co-driver John Tecce(USA) came in second(seventh overall). In the America West division, Samantha Tan(CAN) / Jason Wolfe(USA) finished second in Pro-Am(third overall).

In the TCR Cup, Alain Lauzière took the win and fastest lap at the wheel of Alphasonic Motorsport Audi RS3 LMS and teammate Nelson Chan finished third. Nick Wittmer won the TCA class driving the Subaru BRZ tS with teammate Damon Surzyshyn(CAN) ended up 10th.

For tomorrow’s race 2 of the Blancpain GT World Challenge America, Kyle Marcelli will start on pole for Racers Edge Motorsports Acura NSX. R. Ferri Motorsport Ferrari 488 GT3 will start third(first in class), Wei Lu(CAN) and Jeff Segal (USA) are to start fourth(third in class), Scott Hargrove and Patrick Long(USA) will start 10th(third in class) and Daniel Morad with co-driver Michael de Quesada are to start 11th(fourth in class).

Race 2 is also 90 minutes and is scheduled for 2:15 local time.

Image: PMstills Photography

Patrice Marchessault View All

Photographer & Editor

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