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K-PAX’s Soucek, Parente Score Las Vegas Poles

K-PAX Racing tops both GT3 qualifying sessions on the Las Vegas roval course…

Photo: Gavin Baker/SRO

K-PAX Racing drivers Andy Soucek and Alvaro Parente put the No. 9 Bentley Continental GT3 on pole for both of Saturday’s Blancpain GT World Challenge America races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Soucek scored pole for Race 1 with a time of 1:32.437 in the first qualifying session on Friday afternoon, before Parente went even quicker with a 1:32.062 effort in Q2.

This handed the No. 9 Bentley its sixth and seventh poles of the season for the final round of the 2019 campaign on the new Las Vegas roval.

Race 1 qualifying was largely controlled by Soucek, although the Spaniard came under late pressure from Scott Hargrove who got the No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R to within two-hundredths of a second of the pole.

Hargrove ended up splitting the two Bentleys, with Rodrigo Baptista qualifying the team’s sister No. 3 car in third, ahead of drivers’ champion-elect Toni Vilander in the No. 61 R. Ferri Motorsport Ferrari 488 GT3.

Rounding out the top five for Race 1 was Pro-Am driver Till Bechtolsheimer, who came to within nine-tenths of the overall pole time in the Gradient Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo.

The British driver will share the front row of the Pro-Am grid – and the third row overall – with Wright Motorsports Porsche driver Anthony Imperato.

Parente Sets Fastest Lap of Weekend in Q2

Friday’s second qualifying session featured multiple changes of provisional pole sitter, with Parente and Wright pilot Patrick Long exchanging the top spot a couple of times.

But Parente ended up with the fastest lap, as the Portuguese driver pushed his Bentley to make two consecutive improvements.

A late improvement from Miguel Molina put the R. Ferri Ferrari second on the grid, bumping Long down to third, while Maxime Soulet finished fourth in the No. 3 Bentley.

While most of the field came into the pits with around five minutes to go, Dane Cameron continued to set laps in the RealTime Racing Acura and ultimately managed to lodge an improvement to go fifth-fastest.

The recently-crowned IMSA DPi champion’s time of 1:32.681 was also good enough for the Pro-Am pole.

The first of the weekend’s two 90-minute races starts tomorrow at 10:55 a.m. PT.

RESULTS: Qualifying 1
RESULTS: Qualifying 2

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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