On a busy weekend on both sides of the Atlantic for McLaren, Factory Driver Alvaro Parente starred in the 650S GT3, securing pole position and winning in his first appearance at Long Beach in the Pirelli World Challenge. Closer to home, the 650S GT3 and 570S GT4 – the latter making its competitive global debut – both scored points in the British GT Championship, finishing P7 and P5 in the respective classes at Brands Hatch, UK.
Stateside, Parente put the #9 K-PAX Racing 650S GT3 on pole with a 1m18.947s tour of the two-mile Californian street circuit – a new qualifying lap record for the series.
In the race, Parente held the lead from the start in what turned out to be a heavily interrupted affair, which saw two lengthy safety car periods limit the amount of competitive laps. On the second restart, Parente lost the lead going into Turn 1, and on the tight and twisty course was unable to regain it – finishing just over a second behind the eventual winner. However, a post-race penalty for a technical infringement saw Parente and K-PAX Racing take the race win.
At Brands Hatch meanwhile, customer team Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse scored a successful weekend in the British GT Championship with a double-points scoring finish. The new McLaren 570S GT4 made its competitive race debut with championship debutants Ciaran Haggerty and Sandy Mitchell qualifying in P7, and finishing in P6 in class. On the challenging Brands Hatch GP circuit, the 570S GT4 ran faultlessly all weekend, and was immediately competitive in the 16-car strong GT4 field. Factory Driver Rob Bell and teammate Alisdair McCaig in the 650S GT3 finished the 120-minute race in P7 overall.
Commenting on the win, Factory Driver Alvaro Parente explained: ‘It is an incredible feeling to have won on my first trip to Long Beach. We showed strong pace all weekend, and it was great to be on pole position on a track I have never raced at before. The K-PAX Racing team did a fantastic job with the set up of the car, and everything ran faultlessly. Long Beach is a tough circuit to master, but the 650S GT3 performed perfectly all weekend and we were unfortunate to lose the lead on the Safety Car restart. I’m really pleased for the team that we have secured the overall win, and looking forward to being back in the car next weekend at Barber Motorsport Park.’