Michael Lewis has secured the GT pole for Round 3 of the Pirelli World Challenge at St. Petersburg, while Martin Fuentes and Sloan Urry will start on pole in GTA and GT Cup respectively.
Early on, Michael Cooper, in the No. 8 Cadillac Racing Cadillac ATS-V.R. went to the top of the charts with a 1:13.964, before being deposed by Alvaro Parente in the No. 9 K-PAX Racing McLaren 650S GT3 with a 1:13.504 and teammate Austin Cindric in the No. 6 K-PAX McLaren with a 1:13.776.
Eight minutes into the session, Parente, Cindric, Cooper sliced over half a second from their fastest times.
However, at the 12-minute mark, Lewis, piloting the No. 41 EFFORT Racing/Curb-Agajanian Porsche 911 GT3 R, went to the top with a 1:13.017 - a lap that couldn’t be beaten, although Parente came close, just 0.06sec behind.
Defending 2015 GT Driver’s Champion Johnny O’Connell, in the No. 3 Cadillac Racing Cadillac ATS-V.R, grabbed third, while Cindric posted P4, with Cooper fifth and JD Davison sixth, in the No. 33 Nissan/GT Academy Nissan GT-R GT3.
“We got our first pole position of the season for the No. 31 Porsche, and also my first outright GT pole with EFFORT Racing,” said Lewis. “Thank you to Porsche Motorsport North America, Stefan Pfeiffer and everybody at EFFORT Racing for digging deep. Thanks to them for not only making the car quick, but for also preparing Patrick’s car. We’re pretty strapped on time and personnel this week, so to get a pole position is going to make the guys more pumped for racing tomorrow.”
In GTA, Martin Fuentes took his third straight pole of the season in the #07 Hublot/Under Armour Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia with a 1:13.708 lap, while Urry starts on pole in GT Cup (also his third straight). His No. 20 Security National/Avasis Porsche 911 GT3 Cup posted a time of 1:17.200 for top spot in class, before lowering it to a 1:16.643.
He commented: “In my first hot lap, I made a little mistake and then calmed down after that. Usually I try to set fast time on my second timed lap, but sometimes it is the third or fourth lap. On a street circuit, you have to be much more cautious than at COTA.”