Reigning Pirelli World Challenge champion and Long Beach winner Alvaro Parente will start tomorrow’s Pirelli World Challenge round at Long Beach from the pole, having edged out Patrick Long in a frantic qualifying session.
Parente re-wrote his own track qualifying record from last season, setting the new mark at 1:18.883 in the No. 9 K-PAX Racing McLaren 650S GT3.
The McLaren GT factory driver earned his second straight pole position in the event for K-PAX, besting Long’s Porsche 911 GT3 R by one-tenth.
Parente’s teammate Bryan Sellers, who led Practice 2 just before qualifying began, clocked the third fastest time, followed by the Ferrari 488 GT3 machines of Daniel Mancinelli and Alex Riberas.
James Sofronas, meanwhile, locked down pole position in GTA in his GMG Racing Porsche.
While there were no stoppages, the 20-minute session was marked by several instances of contact, spins, and other close calls.
Riberas made left side contact with the wall, removing the mirror on that side of the car, although the damage appeared to be mostly cosmetic.
GTA competitors Tim Pappas and John Potter made light side-to-side contact earlier but both cars continued on, while Pappas also was hit by Mancinelli and several cars made use of the runoff sections.
Adderly Fong’s Bentley Continental GT3, damaged in a Practice 2 accident, was the lone car to miss qualifying, while the DIME Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 did get on track after sitting out Practice 2.
PWC does not return to the track again until the race Sunday morning.
Same-day television coverage of the third round of the World Challenge season is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. ET/11:30 a.m. PT tomorrow on CBS Sports Network.