Pirelli World Challenge, SprintX, Round 1: Virginia International Raceway – Race 2:
Ben Barnicoat and K-PAX Racing team-mate Alvaro Parente bounced back from a tough opener to score a second place finish in Sunday’s final one-hour Pirelli World Challenge SprintX race around the Virginia International Raceway.
Having suffered a difficult start to the weekend by finishing 29th in race one following opening lap damage, Barnicoat set the sixth fastest lap when their McLaren 650 S GT3 machine returned to the track on Saturday. That set the grid for Sunday’s finale with Barnicoat starting the race from the outside of the third row.
Having made a good start and into fifth position in the opening stages, Barnicoat solidified the place before a lengthy full course yellow flag to remove the #77 Porsche of Alec Udell.
When the track did eventually return to green flag conditions, the pit window opened and Barnicoat pitted after a single flying lap to swap over to Portugese racer Parente.
After exiting the pits, Parente was forced to both attack and defend with the #4 Audi R8S LMS of Pierre Kaffer ahead with the #8 Cadillac of Michael Cooper looking to take advantage of any mistakes.
Having passed Kaffer, Parente weaved his way through traffic, narrowly holding on to the position from Cooper. Once worked his way past the backmarkers, Parente managed to edge clear in a resulting second place once the pit stop window had closed, but he was still 12 seconds behind the leading Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Ryan Dalziel.
The race was suspended with seven minutes remaining however, after a large shunt involving two Am cars – the #7 Ferrari 458 GT3 of Stefan Johansson and #018 Porsche Cayman GT4 piloted by Philip Bloom.
Despite the cars being cleared away, officials decided that there was sufficient damage to the barriers for the race to be ended early, and the chequered flag was waved with two minutes remaining behind the safety car.
“It’s been a great turnaround for us as qualifying didn’t quite go to plan, and a small tap in race one cost us a lot,” Barnicoat said. “Despite it being only my second start in a sportscar, I made a good getaway so the pressure was on.
“I managed to make a spot up and had to do some fuel saving which was tricky as I’ve not had to do that before. I did what I could and handed it over to Alvaro who did a great job in the end to get us second. I couldn’t be happier with my first race start in the USA.”
|Virginia International Raceway (5.253km / 3.270 miles): Race 2 results|
|Pos||Driver||Team||Car||Time / Gap|
|1||Ryan Dalziel / Daniel Morad||CRP Racing||Mercedes-AMG GT3||57m 53.754s|
|2||Alvaro Parente / Ben Barnicoat||K-PAX Racing||McLaren 650 S GT3||+0.537s|
|3||Michael Cooper / Jordan Taylor||Cadillac Racing||Cadillac ATS-V.R||+1.227s|
|4||Andrea Montermini / Daniel Mancinelli||TR3 Racing||Ferrari 488 GT3||+1.782s|
|5||Pierre Kaffer / Spencer Pumpelly||Magnus Racing||Audi RS8 LMS||+3.496s|
|6||Alex Riberas / Kyle Marcelli||R. Ferri Motorsport||Ferrari 488 GT3||+4.412s|
|7||Mike Skeen / Andrew Davis||McCann Racing||Audi RS8 LMS||+7.292s|
|8||Adderly Fong / Vincent Abril||Absolute Racing||Bentley Continental GT3||+8.598s|
|9||Jonathan Summerton /JD Davison||Dime Racing||Lamborghini Huracan GT3||+12.066s|
|10||Jeroen Bleekemolen / Tim Pappas||Black Swan Racing||Mercedes-AMG GT3||+13.193s|
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. Race 1: 29th, +7 laps. Race 2: 2nd, +0.537s.
Photo: K-PAX Racing. Copyright-free Racing Steps Foundation images are available from the RSF Image Bank at www.jakobebrey.com/rsf