One flying lap was all Daniel Serra needed to capture the pole position for Saturday’s Blancpain GT World Challenge America race at Road America.
PRO. Serra ran a quick lap of 2:04.588-seconds to lead the opening qualifying session in the No. 61 R. Ferri Motorsport Ferrari of Ontario/Toronto/Alberta, Zekelman Industries Ferrari 488 GT3 co-driven by Toni Vilander. The race takes the green flag at 3:20 p.m. ET.
Vilander was fifth fastest – second in the Pro class – in the second qualifying to set the field for Sunday’s race, with a lap of 2:05.765-seconds.
Serra’s pole lap led both of the 15-minute qualifying sessions. He gapped the opening session by a healthy 1.871-seconds, and was also 0.881-seconds quicker than the pole winner in round two.
“We were not expecting this, because I struggled a bit in yesterday’s practice,” said Serra, who made his series debut with a weekend sweep in the most recent event at Watkins Glen International. “This is my first time at this track, and tire degradation is quite high, so I’m starting to understand the track. Since you don’t have the grip, you don’t know exactly where you are. We had to change the car from yesterday, and now everything is better, everything is fine.
“In qualifying, I just wanted to push and do our best,” Serra continued. “I wasn’t expecting to go this fast, compared the yesterday, but the car is much better and it’s cooler today. I had some moments, and was quite on the limit. It’s nice when you can go to the limit and be super-fast and not lose anything. Now for the race, we will have to look at our competitors and manage the race to score as many points as we can to help Toni win the championship.”
Vilander enters the weekend with a 28-point advantage with four races remaining after scoring six consecutive top-two finishes – including four victories. His qualifying effort was hampered by a red flag 8:30 into the session, just after he ran the sixth-fastest lap. Since the clock was stopped during the red flag, Vilander had another short opportunity on the 14-turn, 4.048-mile circuit, improving to a fifth-fastest lap of 2:05.765-seconds.
PRO-AM. With the season Am championship already clinched, Squadra Corse moved up to the Pro-Am ranks for Road America for the No. 7 Hubolt/Issa Castro Law/Ferrari of Fort Lauderdale Ferrari 488 GT3 for Martin Fuentes and Mark Issa
Issa – coming off an Am sweep for the team at Watkins Glen in his series debut – was eighth in the Pro-Am class and 12th overall in the opening session, with a best lap of 2:10.278-seconds.
Fuentes has won all eight events he entered this season in the Am class. He spun into a gravel trap on his fast lap in Saturday’s second session, negating his time and resulting in a start from the back of the grid for Sunday’s race.
RACE SCHEDULE. Today’s 90-minute race takes the green flag at 3:20 p.m. (all times ET), while Sunday’s event begins at 3:15 p.m.
Both races and qualifying will be streamed live on gt-world-challenge-america.com, with Sunday’s contest live on the CBS Sports Network beginning at 3 p.m. ET.
The 2019 season will come to a close at Las Vegas, with a pair of races on Saturday, October 19.