Alvaro Parente led flag-to-flag to score his third Pirelli World Challenge win of the season and first win since his triumph at Long Beach in April with a dominant run at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
The defending series champion got a strong start and quickly pulled away from the field in the No. 9 K-PAX Racing McLaren 650S GT3, building a lead of more than five seconds by the time the lone full course caution of the race came out with 16 minutes to go.
Even bunching up the field behind the safety car could not derail Parente, a winner at Mid-Ohio in Race 1 last year, from picking up the win.
The Portuguese driver got another great jump on the ensuing restart with just under 10 minutes to go and left the field in his wake.
Michael Cooper was second for Cadillac Racing in the No. 8 Cadillac ATS-V.R, leading home his teammate Johnny O’Connell.
Parente’s teammate Bryan Sellers scored a fourth-place result in No. 6 McLaren, moving up to fourth from sixth on the grid in the opening sequence of corners. Patrick Long completed the top five in the No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
R. Ferri Motorsport’s Kyle Marcelli performed admirably despite a rough first lap which saw him drop multiple positions, fighting his way back up to sixth at the finish.
Marcelli provided one of the highlights of the race when he and Daniel Mancinelli made contact in Turn 11, allowing Marcelli through and capping off an intense internecine battle between the pair of Ferrari 488 GT3 machines.
James Sofronas took GTA class honors with a 13th place overall result for GMG Racing, while Dream Racing’s Yuki Harata survived contact with his GT Cup class competitor Marko Radisic to win his class.
The 50-minute race’s only yellow came due to Pablo Perez Companc’s single-car spin in the No. 69 Champ1 Mercedes-AMG GT3.
Parente logged the fastest lap of the race, securing pole position for Race 2 on Sunday.
The race is scheduled for 12 p.m. ET with same-day delay television coverage on CBS Sports Network to follow at 2 p.m. ET.
RESULTS: Race 1