Factory Driver Alvaro Parente secured P2 on the grid for customer team K-PAX Racing ahead of this weekend’s Motul Sepang 12 Hours, continuing his strong season with the US-based team. After progressing through the qualifying sessions to the Top 15 shootout, the Portuguese driver set a blistering laptime of 2m 02.764s driving the #9 McLaren 650S GT3 – just 0.130s off pole.
Parente’s best lap in the session driving the 650S GT3 – which he has claimed six race wins this season, helping secure three 2016 Pirelli World Challenge titles – came following a strong run of form in the three practice sessions ahead of Qualifying at the event. The Portuguese driver was consistently among the fastest on track, ending two of the three free practice sessions at the top of the timesheets. During the final top 15 shootout, he was also the first driver to break the 2m 03s barrier during qualifying, beating last year’s pole position time in the process.
The 2016 running of the Sepang 12 Hours is set to be K-PAX Racing’s debut endurance event, and first trip to Asia as a team. Despite that though, it is rightly aiming for silverware at the event. The Californian team, which is partnered with endurance racing specialists Flying Lizard Motorsports, will see Parente share driving duties with fellow McLaren Factory Drivers Côme Ledogar and Shane van Gisbergen.
The race will run from midday to midnight local time in Malaysia (GMT +8hrs) on the full layout of the Hermann Tilke-designed Sepang International Circuit, which plays host to the Formula 1™ Malaysian Grand Prix, as well as many other high profile motorsport events each year.
Keep up to date with the K-PAX Racing and the 650S GT3 throughout the race weekend by following @McLaren_GT on Twitter, and join the conversation using #McLarenatSepang.