AUSTIN, Tex. (7 March 2020) – Matteo Cressoni earned a Pro-Am pole position on Saturday as three Ferrari teams tackled challenging conditions at Circuit of The Americas in preparation for the opening SRO GT World Challenge America races of the 2020 season.
Conditions in the opening 15-minute session to set the grid for Saturday’s opening race went from dry to a drizzle to steady rain. The rain let off early in the second 15-minute session for drivers starting the Sunday race, allowing drivers to post fast times in the closing minutes on the challenging 20-turn, 3.426-mile circuit.
Cressoni turned the second-fastest lap in the second session to earn a front-row start for Sunday’s race, with his time of 2:15.917-seconds the best in the Pro-Am class. He is making his World Challenge America debut in the No. 24 TR3 Racing Ferrari 488 GT3.
Co-driver Ziad Ghandour also had an impressive series debut, running fourth fastest in the opening session with a lap of 2:32.666-seconds.
Martin Fuentes, the defending GT America champion, qualified third overall and second in the Pro-Am class in the No. 1 Hublot/Ferrari of Fort Lauderdale/The Concours Club 488 GT3 in the opening session. Fuentes turned a best lap of 2:30.888-seconds.
Racing a Ferrari in the World Challenge America for the first time, Rodrigo Baptista struggled early but turned in a lap of 2:17.171-seconds late in the second session, good for third in Pro-Am.
Jeff Westphal had an impressive finish to the second qualifying group, running fifth best in Pro-Am with a lap of 2:17.545-seconds in the yellow No. 7 Metier Studio/Vital Enterprises/Novus/Sift Flatwater/Cinder Ferrari. Co-driver Trevor Baek was eighth in Pro/Am in the opening session, turning a best lap of 2:37.839-seconds.
Mark Issa had an early spin early in the opening session in the No. 6 Metier Studio/Vital Enterprises/Novus/Sift Flatwater/Cinder Ferrari. He managed a best lap of 2:37.839-seconds, good for 13th overall but second in the Am category. Rich Baek – the 2020 Ferrari Challenge winner at Daytona – was also second-fastest in Am in the second session with a lap of 2:41.848-seconds.
The opening 90-minute race is scheduled to take the green flag Saturday at 1:35 p.m. CT, featuring starting drivers from the opening qualifying session. Race two is set for Sunday at 1:15 p.m. CT.
For a live stream and live timing and scoring, visit gt-world-challenge-America.com.