Victory for Parente headlines double podium for McLaren 650S GT3 at Long Beach
10 Apr 2017
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.
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.
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.
Notes to Editors:
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McLaren Automotive is a British manufacturer of luxury, high-performance sports and super cars, located at the McLaren Technology Centre (MTC) in Woking, Surrey. For the past 30 years, McLaren has pioneered the use of carbon fibre in vehicle production and since introducing a carbon chassis into racing and road cars with the 1981 McLaren MP4/1 and 1993 McLaren F1 respectively, McLaren has not built a car without a carbon fibre chassis.
Following the global launch of McLaren Automotive in 2010, the groundbreaking 12C was revealed in 2011, the 12C Spider in 2012, and the limited-run McLaren P1™ went into production in 2013. In keeping with its plan to introduce a new model each year, the company unveiled the 650S, in Coupé and Spider form in 2014, while 2015 proved to be a year of unprecedented growth of the product portfolio with five new models launched across the full range. The strictly limited edition 675LT Coupé premiered at the Geneva Motor Show alongside the track-only McLaren P1™ GTR which, with 1,000PS, became the most powerful model ever produced by the brand. The much-anticipated Sports Series became the third – and final – model tier in the McLaren range with the 570S Coupé and 540C Coupé debuting in New York and Shanghai respectively, less than one month apart. The end of 2015 saw the launch of the fifth model, the 675LT Spider, which was as a direct response to customer demand. The year also saw the end of production for the first model in the Ultimate Series as the 375th McLaren P1™ was completed, closing what had become a defining year for the British brand. 2016 continued where 2015 had left off with the introduction of the 570GT - a second bodystyle for the Sports Series and the most luxurious car McLaren has ever built – as well as the 570S GT4 and 570S Sprint track variants. 2016 also marked the introduction of the company’s new business plan, Track22, which sees the company investing £1B in Research and Development to deliver 15 all new cars or derivatives by the end of 2022, of which at least 50 percent will feature hybrid technology. The uplift in sales in 2016 also saw the launch of the second shift at the McLaren Production Centre as well as the company’s third year of profitability in just six years of trading.
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