Pirelli World Challenge, SprintX, Round 1: Virginia International Raceway - Qualifying
Ben Barnicoat will begin his campaign in the SprintX category of the Pirelli World Challenge in ninth position following a tough qualifying session from his K-PAX Racing team-mate Alvaro Parente at the Virginia International Raceway.
With one of the Pro/Pro driver pairing tasked with qualifying the car, Parente took to the wheel in hot and sunny conditions.
With the McLaren 650 S GT3 finding life difficult around the 3.27-mile circuit, Parente set a time of 1m 43.970s mid-way through the session. That was only good enough for 11th position however with 14 Pro drivers on track.
Portugese racer Parente was able to improve with two minutes remaining in the session, a time of 1m 43.807s was good enough to move the car up to ninth position, but still eight tenths of a second behind the pole position time set by Mike Skeen’s Audi RS8 LMS.
“We’re struggling a lack of grip in the car,” Barnicoat said. “The balance is okay, but the Balance of Performance is really hindering us. We needed a whole second of time to make up to be towards the top of the times. That wasn’t going to happen. We’ve made up some time but ninth is not where we wanted to be.
“We have to hope that today’s first race goes well. Our position at the end will be where we start tomorrow’s second race. That will be so important.”
Mike Skeen and Michael McCann will start from pole position after Skeen set a time of 1m 42.989s, one tenth of a second ahead of the the Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Ryan Dalziel who will start alongside on the front row.
|Virginia International Raceway (5.253km / 3.270 miles): Qualifying results (Race 1 grid)|
|Pos||Driver||Team||Car||Time / Gap|
|1||Mike Skeen / Michael McCann||McCann Racing||Audi RS8 LMS||1m 42.989s|
|2||Ryan Dalziel / Daniel Morad||CRP Racing||Mercedes-AMG GT3||+0.108s|
|3||Andrea Montermini / Daniel Mancinelli||TR3 Racing||Ferrari 488 GT3||+0.306s|
|4||Pierre Kaffer / Spencer Pumpelly||Magnus Racing||Audi RS8 LMS||+0.368s|
|5||Alex Riberas / Kyle Marcelli||R. Ferri Motorsport||Ferrari 488 GT3||+0.391s|
|6||Patrick Long / Joerg Bergmeister||Wright Motorsports||Porsche 911 GT3 R||+0.517s|
|7||Michael Cooper / Jordan Taylor||Cadillac Racing||Cadillac ATS-V.R||+0.657s|
|8||Adderly Fong / Vincent Abril||Absolute Racing||Bentley Continental GT3||+0.701s|
|9||Alvaro Parente / Ben Barnicoat||K-PAX Racing||McLaren 650 S GT3||+0.818s|
|10||Jonny Kane / Bryan Sellers||K-PAX Racing||McLaren 650 S GT3||+0.833s|
Free practice 1: P14, 1m 45.167s, +1.581s. Free practice 2: P11, 1m 45.175s, +0.895s. Qualifying (Race 1 grid): Barnicoat/Parente P9, 1m 43.807s, +0.818s.
Photo: World-Challenge.com. Copyright-free Racing Steps Foundation images are available from the RSF Image Bank at www.jakobebrey.com/rsf