BOWMANVILLE, Ontario – K-PAX Racing teammates Alvaro Parente and Andy Soucek piloted their Bentley Continental GT3 to victory in Sunday’s Blancpain GT World Challenge event at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
Canadians Martin Barkey and Kyle Marcelli won in the Pro/AM class.
The 90-minute, 68-lap race was held under sunny conditions. Pro division pole sitter Parente from Portugal, in the No. 9 Bentley Continental GT3 led the pack to the line and the green flag ahead of second-on-the-grid Finland’s Toni Vilander, co-winner of Saturday’s race in the No. 61 Canadian team R. Ferri Motorsport Ferrari 488 GT3.
In the Pro/Am division, pole sitter Norwegian Dennis Olsen, piloting the No. 91 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R, slotted into third overall with Scottish driver Ryan Dalziel slotted into fifth overall and second in class. The Japanese team of Naoto Takeda and Takuya Shirasaka led the Am/Am division.
At the end of the first lap Parente held a .572-second lead over Vilander, with Olsen in third, Belgium’s Maxime Soulet in the second K-PAX Racing Bentley Continental GT3 in fourth and Dalziel in fifth.
The leaders held their positions through lap 20 with Parente building his lead to over a second. In the Pro/Am division Marcelli in the #80 Racers Edge Acura NSX entry began to close on Dalziel for second in class running sixth overall. By lap 26 Parente and Vilander had gapped the rest of the field by more than three seconds.
The pit window opened on lap 30. The first to enter the pits was Soulet who changed over to Brazilian teammate Rodrigo Baptista. By lap 33 with the pit window still open, Vilander closed to .600 of a second on leader Parente. Two-laps later the lead was down to .461 of a second. On lap 34 Dalziel passed the car over to teammate American David Askew.
The leaders came in on lap 36, with Parente changing out for teammate Soucek, and Vilander changing out for Molina from Spain. Soucek was able to leave the pits just ahead of Molina.
When the pit window closed on lap 38, Soucek had the No. 9 Bentley out front with Molina in the #61 Ferrari in pursuit. Baptista remained in third, while Olsen’s teammate Anthony Imperato maintained the lead of the Pro/Am division.
By lap 47, Soucek pushed his lead over Molina to 7.5 seconds, with Baptista in third and Pro/Am leader Imperato in fourth overall.
On lap 50, Imperato entered the pit for a mechanical issue putting Barkey into the Pro/Am lead, seventh overall in the race. Imperato exited the pits back in 10th overall and third in class.
At the checkered, Soucek crossed the line first to claim the second race win of the season for the team. Molina and Baptista finished second and third, respectively. In Pro/Am Barkey crossed the line eighth overall and first in Pro/Am.
“Looking at the results from the weekend, second yesterday, first today we are really happy with that and got great points,” said Parente. “Andy’s qualifying session makes it look even better because unfortunately it happened but if it hadn’t happened, maybe we would’ve put it on pole for both races. Really good race weekend with good points, we both drove well, and the team did perfect.”
“Perfect race today. Good start from the beginning, a lot of pressure from Toni (Vilander),” said Soucek. “I think they started on new tires, we started on used which was the difference for the opening laps, but Alvaro held Toni behind which was key for the pit. We know K-PAX does a very good job on the pit stops, we also did a good job on the driver change so we were spot on, I think. I could push on the first few laps to make a bit of a gap on the new tires from Miguel (Molina) and after that I was just talking to the team instead of looking back to know the gap to the guys behind. Clean race, all perfect. The car felt really good and I want to thank K-PAX for another great car because every time we come to the U.S., the car is just phenomenal, and Alvaro did a mega job yesterday in qualifying. We are a good driver pairing, I just hope we can keep winning the races and be on the podium to get the points and be right up there at the end of the championship.”