LAS VEGAS – K-PAX Racing’s driver duo of Andy Soucek and Alvaro Parente dominated Friday afternoon’s Blancpain GT World Challenge America qualifying session at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Soucek will start on the pole for Saturday’s race, while his teammate Parente will lead the field to the green in the nightcap later that evening. The series closes out its season Saturday.
The 30-minute session was split into two 15-minute segments to determine grids for both of Saturday’s races. In the first segment Soucek, behind the wheel of the No. 9 K-PAX Racing Bentley Continental GT3, claimed the overall and Pro class poles after clocking a fast time of 1:32.437. It’s Soucek’s third pole of the season.
Scott Hargrove will start alongside Soucek after posting the second fastest time of the session (1:32.518) in his No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R (991). Soucek’s teammate Rodrigo Baptista, in the No. 3 Bentley Continental GT3 qualified third clocking a time of 1:32.751.
Till Bechtolscheimer and the No. 5 Gradient Racing Acura NSX GT3 claimed the Pro-Am category pole, and will start fifth overall, after posting a 1:33.292 fastest lap. Naoto Takeda in the No. 96 Turner Motorsports BMW M6 GT3 will start on the Am-class pole, 12th overall.
“It’s exactly what we wanted for the last weekend of the year. I did a pretty solid lap and the car felt pretty good, very stable and as the track continues to rubber in, I think it will suit the car even better,” said Soucek.
Parente then took the wheel of the No. 9 K-PAX Racing Bentley Continental GT3 from Soucek for the second qualifying session and promptly clocked a 1:32.062 fast lap to claim his fourth pole of the season. Miguel Molina will start alongside Parente in the No. 61 R. Ferri Motorsport Ferrari 488 GT3 after clocking the second fastest time of the session with a 1:32.354. Patrick Long behind the wheel of the No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R will start third (1:32.482). Maxime Soulet in the No. 3 Bentley Continental GT3 qualified fourth with a 1:32.614.
Dane Cameron put the No. 43 RealTime Racing Acura NSX GT3 on the Pro-Am class pole, fifth overall, after a best lap of 1:32.681.
“It was a really good qualifying, I was very happy with my lap and I’m really looking forward to the race. Let’s see what we can do tomorrow,” said Parente.
Takuya Shirasaka will start the No. 96 Turner Motorsports BMW M6 GT3 on the Am-class pole, 12 overall.