LONG BEACH, Calf. – Alvaro Parente, driver of the No. 9 K-PAX Racing McLaren 650S GT3, which maintains its technical partnership with Flying Lizard Motorsports, has scored the pole for the fifth race of the Pirelli World Challenge season on the streets of Long Beach.
Not bad considering the Portuguese driver had never seen the track before.
Parente laid down a best time of 1:18.947, which edged Johnny O’Connell in the No. 3 Cadillac Racing Cadillac ATS-V.R at 1:18.955 and Colin Thompson in the No. 13 K-PAX McLaren at 1:18.988.
“It’s a great feeling to be on pole position. We were so close in St. Petersburg, and we’ve been performing well all the time,” he said.
“This is great for K-PAX Racing and Flying Lizard Motorsports. Again, the third time was the qualifying, and it was really close, by a few hundredths of a second or something. I’m happy to be in this position on a street track.”
Three Porsche 911 GT3 Rs were next, with Patrick Long, Andrew Davis and Michael Lewis. The two EFFORT Racing drivers – Long and Lewis – are both California natives.
Martin Fuentes led the GTA field in his No. 07 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia. Meanwhile O’Connell’s Cadillac teammate, Michael Cooper, did not post a time during the session.
The race runs at 10 a.m. PT and local time on Sunday. Times are linked here.