Ferrari teams turned competitive laps at Austin’s Circuit of The Americas, putting the brand in promising starting positions for the opening races of the Blancpain GT World Challenge America season.
Qualifying consisted in a pair of 15-minute sessions on the 3.4-mile track, which was drying out following rain earlier in the morning. The opening group set the grid for Saturday’s opening race at 3:40 p.m. (all times Central), with the co-drivers getting behind the wheel next to set the field for Sunday’s race two at 2 p.m.
PRO. Ferrari factory driver, Miguel Molina saved his best for last in the opening session, turning in a time of 2:11.835-seconds on his final lap to secure the third starting position for the opening race. Molina, who led earlier in the session, is driving the No. 61 R. Ferri Motorsport Ferrari 488 GT3.
Fellow factory pilot Toni Vilander then took over the car for the second session, and was fourth overall but second in the Pro class with a lap of 2:07.691.
PRO-AM. Wei Lu took the outside front row in qualifying for the opening race, running a lap of 2:18.433 in the No. 31 TR3 Racing Ferrari 488 GT3. Jeff Segal took third in the second session, running a 2:07.754. The duo are no strangers to victory lane at COTA, having won together here in 2018, as they look to repeat the result for this year’s race.
Matt Plumb took the seventh position in qualifying for the Sunday event, running 2:09.009 on the No. 99 One11 Competition Ferrari 488 GT3. Alfred Caiola placed ninth in the opening session, turning a best lap of 2:23.455.
AM. Ferraris swept the top four positions in the second AM qualifying session and thus put the marque in an excellent position to achieve a strong result in Sunday’s race.
Martin Fuentes earned the pole in the second qualifying session with a lap of 2:07.957 in the No. 7 Squadra Corse Garage Italia Ferrari 488 GT3. Caesar Bacarella qualified second for the first race, with a lap of 2:23.744.
Anthony Lazzaro took the second position for Sunday’s race, running a lap of 2:09.011 in the No. 82 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GT3. In the opening session, Pierre Mulacek qualified sixth, running 2:27.375.
Taking third for Sunday’s event was Christopher Cagnazzi with a 2:10.247 in the No. 19 One11 Competition Ferrari 488 GT3. Brian Kaminskey was also third in the opening session, running 2:24.972 on the damp track.
Vital Speed Motorsports has the father-son combination of Rich and Trevor Baek. The younger Baek qualified fourth for Sunday’s race, 2:11.298, while Rich Baek ran fifth in the opener, 2:26.267.