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Parente Dominates GT Race 1 in St. Pete

Alvaro Parente wins PWC GT Race 1 in St. Pete…

Photo: K-PAX Racing

Photo: K-PAX Racing

Alvaro Parente got his Pirelli World Challenge GT title defense off to the best possible start, with a dominant win in Saturday’s opening round on the streets of St. Pete.

Parente took his No. 9 K-PAX Racing McLaren 650S GT3 to a 10.135-second win over a hard-charging James Davison in the No. 007 TRG Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3, who ended up second.

Davison got around the pole-sitting No. 31 TR3 Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 of Daniel Mancinelli on the final lap, with the Italian, in his PWC debut, running wide and nearly hitting the wall.

Mancinelli lost the lead to Parente on the second lap, who charged from third on the grid in the McLaren, behind the No. 4 Magnus Racing Audi R8 LMS of Pierre Kaffer.

Davison, meanwhile, jumped from fourth to second in the closing laps, getting around Kaffer with five minutes to go, prior to a right-rear puncture by the Audi, after contact with the wall.


The late-race chaos promoted  the No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R of Patrick Long to third at the end, ahead of  Johnny O’Connell in the No. 3 Cadillac ATS.V-R and Bryan Sellers, who completed the top-five in the No. 6 K-PAX McLaren.

Alex Riberas was sixth in the No. 61 R. Ferri Motorsport Ferrari, with Michael Cooper seventh and Peter Kox bringing the No. 93 RealTime Racing Acura NSX GT3 home eighth in its series debut.

Pole-sitter Mancinelli, meanwhile, finished 14th following the last-lap drama.

GTA class honors went to Alec Udell, who took his No. 17 GMG Racing Porsche to an impressive 9th place overall finish, ahead of GT drivers Jon Fogarty and Adderly Fong.

Michael Schein and James Sofronas were second and third in class, giving GMG a double podium finish.

The 50-minute race saw only a single full-course caution, when Marko Radisic’s Ferrari 458 Challenge car caught fire and stopped on the front-straight.

It resulted in a lengthy cleanup, and also handed GT Cup honors to Preston Calvert in the No. 77 Calvert Dynamics Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, as the only other car in the class.

Race 2 for GT/GTA/GT Cup is set for 3:15 p.m. ET on Sunday.


John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John



  1. J~

    March 11, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    Sorry but TV coverage is garbage for this series. And the website is worse! And what did I watch yesterday…GS? Why does US racing always have to come up with different names than GT3 or GT4? And the start yesterday??? Did the safety car ever “speed up”? Fish and Creamer def tried to convince us of that.
    If this is our version of Blancpain, I would be embarrassed. Maybe GT race today was a better showing…I’ll find out next week when its on tv, SMH

    • J~

      March 11, 2017 at 12:33 pm

      Actually its on TV while I’ll be watching Sebring and Mugello. Good timing CBSsports. You really know your audience

    • Satan

      March 11, 2017 at 12:47 pm

      blah blah blah. dont watch it then, go watch nascar. its the best we got over here and babies like you just ruin it for no reason.. especially when you have NO IDEA what youre talking about.

      this series has been around for over 25 years as more of an “amateur” series.. the past few years, its changed big time and theyre still evolving, as it was the best startin g point to try a new “blancpan style” of racing…give it timne. shit doesnt happen in 2-3 years.

      coverage will get better, as well.. they never really had any other then the “speed GT and Touring”

      the whole “GT, and GTS” categories have been around along time, all over the world. the GT3 and GT4 names only just started comming around. because dumb people (clearly like you) dont get the whole “Grand Touring or Grand Touring Sport” anymore.

    • Alric8

      March 11, 2017 at 1:10 pm

      I live in the UK and watch the live stream on the website. I don’t understand what everyone is complaining about.

      • Satan

        March 11, 2017 at 1:53 pm

        me too, i dont get it. americans cry all the time for nothing.

        • N8

          March 12, 2017 at 9:19 am

          I had no trouble with the stream either. Works just as well as my pay subscription streams. Thanks to PWC for good free coverage.

  2. J~

    March 11, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    I followed SpeedWC. Haven’t watched in years though, that’s why I figured website could catch me up to speed. Not.
    Amateur? Pat Long, JohnnyO?
    And how’s my complaint ruining anything? Its an opinion…so suck it up Snowflake, I have a lot of em

    • Satan

      March 11, 2017 at 1:41 pm

      Amateur league is what it was. you clearly cant read what i said… the first factory backed team was Cadillac in 2004. before then, its just small teams with their own built cars to the SCCA rule book at the time. buy a car, toss in a cage and other race bits, and off you go.

      Now, theres more factory support because the SCCA adopted the FIA rulebook for their GT3 and GT4 cars. its just a spec. thats it. its about cost, and drawing manufactures in who can also attrack big name drivers, like JonnyO (an old factory GTS/GT1 champ) or Pat Long(a former porsche factory driver racing for a small ass race team)

      you dont have an idea. go watch nascar.

      • J~

        March 11, 2017 at 3:56 pm

        OK, the website isn’t so bad. Did find some good info there on classes, teams, rules, etc…

        My point started as just being able to watch. If I miss live webcast I gotta wait until next weekend (when there is a major sports car event already going on) to see it.

        If you want to grow a series shouldn’t you get as many eyeballs on it as you can? Maybe that leads to Joe Fan buying new Pirelli’s instead of Continental’s lol

        The class thing is what it is. Its normal structure I guess but having to look up which class is going to which track and your top class only sees 5 different tracks…even you (I assume a longtime PWC fan) can’t say that’s great.

        The track action I have seen so far has been fantastic. Mustang v Camaro v a kid in a Ginetta! Just give me more options to watch

  3. Satan

    March 11, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    It’s still a small series, and like I said, it was once a small amateur series. Opening support races for ALMS and indy car for almost two decades. They only recently have had afew of their own “headling” event weekends. They’re trying a new apporch. You can watch the race live live onine on their own website, youtube, or motor

    As an North American sportscar racing fan for over 30 years, it reminds me of trying group C racing here in 80s. I had to wait for a month to see a shorten version of the race. It’s better now. And they’re getting better pwc is listening and trying. You also need money and sposors. Something that the SCCA sucks at getting in general. But they want to be competitive to IMSA,they gotta step up abit more and surpass.

    • thomas

      March 12, 2017 at 9:08 am

      SCCA doesn’t own or even sanction PWC

      • BartHoleMy

        March 12, 2017 at 3:15 pm

        Most of the boots on the ground are the same people from wc vision.

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