Alvaro Parente has scored a dominant win in Friday’s Pirelli World Challenge round at Lime Rock Park, taking over the GT points lead as a result in the 10th round of the GT/GTA class season.
Parente took his No. 9 K-PAX Racing McLaren 650S GT3 to a 6.156-second victory over the No. 2 CRP Racing Audi R8 LMS ultra of Kyle Marcelli, following an incident-filled second half of the race.
Andrew Palmer led the opening 20 minutes, after an impressive start from the Bentley Team Absolute driver. Palmer, however, lost the top spot to Parente, who stretched his lead to the checkered flag.
While it marked Parente’s third win of the season, the story of the race was for the battle for the remaining podium positions.
Contact between Palmer and Patrick Long’s No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R with 8 minutes to go sent the Bentley off-course and resulted in Long serving a drive-through penalty for avoidable contact.
Palmer finished 5th while Long crossed the line in 7th. The incident cost the Porsche factory driver significant points, having entered the weekend tied with Parente for the championship lead.
It promoted Marcelli to career-best second place finish, with the No. 3 Cadillac ATS-V.R of Johnny O’Connell completing the podium in third.
Adderly Fong was fourth in the No. 88 Bentley, while Ryan Eversley came home in sixth in the lone RealTime Racing Acura TLX GT this weekend.
A late-race pass, meanwhile, gave Michael Schein his third consecutive class victory in GTA.
Schein got around the class pole-sitting No. 07 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 of Martin Fuentes with less than 2 laps to go for the win.
Jorge de la Torre completed the GTA podium, following a left-front puncture for the No. 66 DIME Racing Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 of Frankie Montecalvo early.
Montecalvo parked his car on-track and was the only retirement in the 50-minute race.
GT Cup saw Sloan Urry return to victory lane, as the TruSpeed Autosport driver edged out championship rival Alec Udell for his fourth class win of the season.
Race 2 for GT/GTA/GT Cup gets underway Saturday at 4 p.m. ET.