McLaren’s Alvaro Parente Has Strong Start in 2017 Pirelli World Challenge

McLaren Factory Driver Alvaro Parente continued his strong start to the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge season on the streets of Long Beach California, breaking the lap record to score pole position, before claiming a lights-to-flag victory. Close behind the reigning champion, K-PAX Racing’s Bryan Sellers teammate secured the final podium position in the #6 650S GT3.

2017 IMSA - Long Beach

During qualifying, Parente set a time of 1m 18.883s in the #9 K-PAX Racing 650S GT3, to score pole position by exactly a tenth of a second. This lap broke his own lap record which was set during the same session last year. From the front of the grid, the Portuguese driver could control proceedings during the 50-minute sprint race around the tight and twisty 3.1-km street course, creating healthy margins at each of the three restarts. 

A burst water pipe on the back straight caused a prolonged red flag period after 10 laps of racing, but Parente remained calm and in control on the restart, steadily building a 1.7-second lead. A Full-Course Yellow was then called a handful of laps later for an on-track incident at the final hairpin. When the action resumed once again, the 2016 PWC champion pulled out a gap to the rest of the field one final time, crossing the line in style to score his second win of the season, and his second in as many races at Long Beach.

2017 IMSA - Long Beach

Sellers also put in an equally impressive performance, qualifying P3 with a 1m 19.088s. From the second row of the grid, he maintained his position throughout the race to score his first podium with the K-PAX Racing team. 

Note: Press release courtesy of McLaren Automotive.