Blancpain GT World Challenge America kicks-off in Texas
The season-opening round of the Blancpain GT World Challenge America took place this weekend at Circuit of the Americas. The North American GT competition, previously known as Pirelli World Challenge, came under the umbrella of Stephane Ratel Organisation (SRO) to join globally spread list of championships under the Blancpain banner, together with Blancpain GT Series and Blancpain GT World Challenge in Europe and Asia.
Twenty-two crews, divided to Pro, Pro-Am and Am categories, participated in the inaugural round of the Blancpain GT World Challenge America. Two 90-minute races took place at the 3.4-mile circuit with Bentley and Ferrari taking overall victories.
On Saturday, K-PAX Racing’s Maxime Soulet and Rodrigo Baptista won the race in the #3 Bentley Continental GT3. They defeated their teammates Andy Soucek and Alvaro Parente in the #9 Bentley. The #58 Porsche 911 GT3 R of Wright Motorsports crossed the finish line in the third place, driven by Patrick Long and Scott Hargrove.
The victory in Pro-Am class went to the #31 Ferrari 488 GT3 of TR Racing driven by Jeff Segal and Wei Lu. The 2018 World Challenge Am class champions Martin Fuentes and Caeser Bacarella won the first race of the 2019 season in the #7 Ferrari 488 GT3 of Squadra Corse Garage Italia.
On Sunday, Miguel Molina and Toni Vilander clinched a victory in the #61 Ferrari 488 GT3 of R. Ferri Motorsport. There were the same drivers on the other two steps of the podium as the day before – Bentley’s Andy Soucek and Alvaro Parente finished second while Porsche’s Patrick Long and Scott Hargrove were third again.
In the Pro-Am class, the winners were Martin Barkey and Kyle Marcelli in the #80 Acura NSX GT3 of Racers Edge Motorsports. Martin Fuentes and Caeser Bacarella wom again in the Am class.
The 2019 Blancpain GT World Challenge America’s calendar features seven rounds from March to October at famous North American race tracks – COTA, Virginia International Raceway, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Sonoma Raceway, Watkins Glen International, Road America and Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The next round is scheduled for April 27-28 in Virginia.