K-PAX Racing has scored a dominant victory in Saturday’s first Blancpain GT World Challenge America race of the day at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The No. 9 Bentley Continental GT3 of Alvaro Parente took a 8.405-second win over the No. 61 R. Ferri Motorsport Ferrari 488 GT3 of Miguel Molina following a late-race puncture for Patrick Long, who was running second at the time.
Andy Soucek, who started on pole, dropped to third on the opening lap after the No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R of Scott Hargrove dived through the infield portion to briefly take over the lead.
Hargrove, however, was forced to surrender the position on Lap 6 due to having deemed by officials to have exceeded track limits, giving Soucek the lead following the Spaniard’s move around Toni Vilander for second on Lap 3.
Soucek’s co-driver Parente managed to extend the margin in the second half of the 90-minute race, which ran caution-free.
It marked the Bentley pairing’s third win of the season and has more importantly closed the gap in the GT3 manufacturers’ championship to within ten points to Ferrari heading into this evening’s season finale.
Seven points now seperate R. Ferri and K-PAX in the teams’ championship.
The No. 3 K-PAX Bentley of Maxime Soulet and Rodrigo Baptista completed the overall podium after a tire issue for Long’s Porsche with less than two minutes to go.
Long and Hargrove were classified sixth overall, after possible contact with the No. 61 Ferrari of Molina.
Campbell, Imperato Take First Pro-Am Win
Wright, meanwhile, claimed its first GT3 Pro-Am win of the season, with Matt Campbell and Anthony Imperato finishing fourth overall.
The Pro-Am results remain provisional, following post-race reviews between an incident between Campbell and the No. 5 Gradient Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo of Mark Miller, who had been leading at the time.
Campbell got around Miller for the class lead with about 20 minutes remaining in the race.
Miller provisionally came home third in class, behind the No. 43 RealTime Racing Acura of Dane Cameron and Mike Hedlund, who finished 5th overall.
The No. 80 Racers Edge Motorsports Acura of Kyle Marcelli and Martin Barkey finished fourth in class, although an incident between Marcelli and the No. 7 Squadra Corsa Ferrari of Renger van der Zande is also under review.
The final race of the year gets underway at this evening at 7:30 p.m. PT.
RESULTS: Race 1 (Revised)