LONG BEACH, Calif. – Defending Long Beach winner Alvaro Parente has taken the pole position for Sunday’s 50-minute single race of the Pirelli World Challenge season, driving his No. 9 K-PAX Racing McLaren 650S GT3.
Parente uncorked a 1:18.883 lap time around the 1.968-mile street circuit, exactly one tenth clear of sparring partner and California native Patrick Long, driving the No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
Parente won this race last year after Johnny O’Connell was moved to second post-race, following an overboost penalty. Parente’s pole time last year was a 1:18.947 to O’Connell’s 1:18.955, but O’Connell passed him early en route to the win on the road.
Bryan Sellers was third in the second of three K-PAX McLarens, with Ferrari driver and St. Petersburg polesitter Daniel Mancinelli fourth and fellow Ferrari driver Alex Riberas fifth.
The pair of Cadillac Racing Cadillac ATS-V.Rs struggled with Michael Cooper ninth and O’Connell only 12th on the grid.
PWC veteran James Sofronas took his No. 14 GMG Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R to the GTA class pole position, good enough for 14th overall.
The pair of RealTime Racing Acura NSX GT3s in their home race qualified 10th and 13th, Peter Kox ahead of Ryan Eversley on this occasion.
Mancinelli, who drew the ire of several competitors at St. Petersburg, speared Tim Pappas’ No. 54 Black Swan Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 at Turn 10 during the session. Pappas resumed but it was another incident where it appeared Mancinelli missed his braking window.
Adderly Fong did not qualify the No. 88 Bentley Team Absolute Bentley Continental GT3 after an accident in the practice session just before qualifying. Fong attempted to pass another car around the outside of Turn 10, but the two collided, which pitched Fong into the wall. The team will need to repair the right side of the car.
The race runs Sunday morning at 10 a.m. PT and local time.