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Hargrove Wins; Parente Crash Ends Race 2 in St. Pete

Scott Hargrove sweeps Pirelli World Challenge weekend on streets of St. Pete…

Photo: Brian Cleary/BCPix.com

Scott Hargrove collected his second career Pirelli World Challenge victory in as many starts, in Sunday’s GT Sprint race on the streets of St. Pete.

The 50-minute race ended under a red flag following a massive accident by the No. 9 K-PAX Racing Bentley Continental GT3 of Alvaro Parente, who had brake failure and slammed heavily into the barriers in the Turn 10 run-off area.

Parente climbed from his Bentley, which landed on top of a stack of tire barriers, escaping serious injury.

The race did not resume following the red flag.

Hargrove led from the start in his No. 96 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R, although came under increasing pressure from the No. 26 Callaway Corvette C7 GT3-R of Daniel Keilwitz, who finished second.

The German driver, who started on the front row, slipped to fourth after the opening lap but managed to pick off both Toni Vilander and Daniel Morad for position.

Morad completed the podium in third in his No. 2 CRP Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3, ahead of the No. 24 Alegra Motorsports Porsche of Michael Christensen, who was fourth. 

Martin Fuentes made it a sweep of the weekend in GTA, finishing fifth overall in his No. 07 Squadra Corse Garage Italia Ferrari.

Vilander was another victim of the 1.8-mile street circuit on Sunday, with the Finn ending his day in the wall on Lap 13.

The accident triggered the race’s first of three full-course cautions, with the second yellow for Spencer Pumpelly, who also made contact with the wall in his No. 00 TRG Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3.

Rodrigo Baptista finished sixth overall in his no. 3 K-PAX Bentley, with Parker Chase completing the GTA podium in seventh.

RESULTS: Race 2

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Max

    March 11, 2018 at 5:05 pm

    Glad that Callaway had a good run after their rough start to the season.

  2. Andy Flinn

    March 11, 2018 at 7:11 pm

    Me too.

    Good show for Callaway. It looks like their Corvette is very competitive.

  3. David

    March 11, 2018 at 9:16 pm

    John, what is PWC doing about the low numbers? Are they going to combine the GTS with them again? The grid is so small. I think they went wrong way with no factory teams.

  4. Sol Shine

    March 12, 2018 at 11:01 am

    Terrible show from what used to be a great series. PWC gone way off track with the adoption of the hyper-expensive SRO GT3 cars. And the silly SprintX thing to bring more pay drivers in. Hard core race fans aren’t stupid, they know this is contrived nonsense by a series that is in steep decline. Such a shame, it used to be great racing, now it’s just dumb. Given the growth in GTS, it would seem 250K is the limit that teams can afford to spend on factory race cars, and GT3s are 3 and 4 times that cost. Too bad there’s no room anymore for shop built cars, that’s a big mistake, clearly.

    • bob

      March 12, 2018 at 7:40 pm

      Uh Sol Shine, you couldn’t more wrong. Last 2 years has been great, and GT4/S is poised to explode. The FIA just mandated production runs of atleast 20 GT3 cars from manufacturers to keep the very BS that Cadillac (and a couple others) have been pulling for years, with full factory efforts that have ZERO intention of being a customer based program. What they need to do is ensure that the “factory” supported efforts remain in GT3, where the budgets and costs are higher but still do-able with gentlemen drivers and teams actually buying cars.

      That’s why Cadillac folded. Because they couldn’t build their cheater-one-off race cars with costs actually HIGHER than today’s GT3 cars, anymore. Even then they couldn’t manage to build one that was competitive, it was a heavy pig. Which is why they just punted everybody out of their way, but that’s how GM roles.

      “Shop built” and developed GT3 and GT4 cars actually have MORE cost, than if you go out and buy one from any manufacturer. You can buy Porsche GT4CS MR for less than 200K. That’s the point, now anybody can buy virtually any type of car and can be competitive if they have decent drivers. “development” costs are now gone, which are WAY more than just buying a car that has already been developed. It levels the playing field.

      The problem is when you wad up a ton of cars on the first corner at these street courses. They just aren’t built for big GT cars, St. Pete, Macau and these other step-kids for race courses are more to blame than anything. My guess is that you will conveniently see the GT field grow after this past weekend. If I owned a beautiful GT3R, I’m not sure I’d be willing to risk it there either.

      If anything, the GTLM/GTE are the cars that need to just go away and all manufacturers should all be Works-racing their GT3 cars, as the top tier. They are just as fast, and look better anyway. GT3 is a phenomenal creation, and SRO is doing everything they can to keep it around.

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