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Alvaro Parente in Pirelli World Challenge title shootout at Laguna Seca

8 October 2016

Blancpain GT Series-regular Alvaro Parente is the GT Drivers’ standings leader at the eve of the final round of the Pirelli World Challenge at the Californian track of Laguna Seca. However, the Portuguese McLaren-driver only has a mere nine point advantage over Porsche-ace Patrick Long, so anything can still happen.

“I am leading the championship by nine points and everything is still wide open. It is a one-race event this weekend. I am totally focused and pushing hard. It has been a new challenge for me this year and I have been working hard the whole season. The team is new, I drive a new track every time, so I had to learn everything as quickly as possible. It is the first time I race in the States and the environment is a bit different. The mentality is different too: the starts and restarts are different from the Blancpain GT Series, with people moving over and giving room, there are three or four things quite different from what I am used to in Europe and Asia. But if you are a professional you have to adapt, adapt quickly and hope to be on pace fast.” said Alvaro Parente. 

“Our pace today (during practice, ed.) was not too bad, and I am really motivated to get the big win at the end of the year. The McLaren is a reliable car. At some tracks we were strong, others less so, but it has been a good year. I like some of the tracks here and there is something that we don't have in Europe. Driving the car by yourself, doing everything by yourself, it doesn't exist anywhere else in the world, so that is very nice. In the Blancpain GT Series we are used to share the car, which is also good, and I like both. But here it is a different challenge, it reminds me of the old days with the formula cars. I am doing all the work and the car is only set up for me. So it is quite a unique thing that you don't have anywhere else in the GT World and I think it is a good thing to have.”

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photocredits Pirelli World Challenge