FACTORY DRIVER ALVARO PARENTE SET TO DEFEND PIRELLI WORLD CHALLENGE TITLE WITH K-PAX RACING
23 Jan 2017
Factory Driver Alvaro Parente will return to racing in the USA during 2017 to defend the Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) title with customer team K-PAX Racing. Parente will be part of a three-car assault on the championship with the McLaren 650S GT3.
On his series debut, Parente stunned the PWC regulars winning six races of the 11 races during 2016, en route to a last-gasp title win at the final round at Laguna Seca. Outside of the overall race wins, Parente scored five pole positions and three further podiums throughout the season, showing off his talents and ability to adapt quickly to new surroundings. He also showcased the versatility of the 650S GT3, which boasted front-running pace ran on the wide variety of circuits, up against one of the most diverse and competitive GT3 fields throughout the year.
The Portguese driver will tackle the 2017 season with two new teammates as K-PAX Racing aims to help secure McLaren the Manufacturers’ Championship for the second year in a row. American sportscar veterans Bryan Sellers and Mike Hedlund will steer the #6 and #98 650S GT3s for the Californian team respectively, up against what is set to be yet another ultra-competitive GT and GTA field.
The 2017 Pirelli World Challenge season is set to start with a pair of 50-minute sprint races on the streets of St Petersburg, Florida on March 10-12, as part of its tough 11-round calendar that features multiple iconic venues including Long Beach, Lime Rock Park and Laguna Seca.
Commenting on his return to the Pirelli World Challenge in 2017, Factory Driver Alvaro Parente said: “I’m very happy to be back with K-PAX Racing for this season. I get along very well with everyone on the team, and feel we all have the same goals and will push hard to win further races. Now that I have experience of the tracks and a strong working relationship with the team, it’s time to attack and fight hard from the start of the season. There are some changes in the championship, and together with the team, I’m sure we will be working hard to have a great 2017! I’m really looking forward to start working with the guys soon and start fighting for those results!”
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McLaren Automotive is a British manufacturer of luxury, high-performance sports and super cars, located at the McLaren Technology Centre (MTC) in Woking, Surrey. For the past 30 years, McLaren has pioneered the use of carbon fibre in vehicle production and since introducing a carbon chassis into racing and road cars with the 1981 McLaren MP4/1 and 1993 McLaren F1 respectively, McLaren has not built a car without a carbon fibre chassis.
Following the global launch of McLaren Automotive in 2010, the groundbreaking 12C was revealed in 2011, the 12C Spider in 2012, and the limited-run McLaren P1™ went into production in 2013. In keeping with its plan to introduce a new model each year, the company unveiled the 650S, in Coupé and Spider form in 2014, while 2015 proved to be a year of unprecedented growth of the product portfolio with five new models launched across the full range. The strictly limited edition 675LT Coupé premiered at the Geneva Motor Show alongside the track-only McLaren P1™ GTR which, with 1,000PS, became the most powerful model ever produced by the brand. The much-anticipated Sports Series became the third – and final – model tier in the McLaren range with the 570S Coupé and 540C Coupé debuting in New York and Shanghai respectively, less than one month apart. The end of 2015 saw the launch of the fifth model, the 675LT Spider, which was as a direct response to customer demand. The year also saw the end of production for the first model in the Ultimate Series as the 375th McLaren P1™ was completed, closing what had become a defining year for the British brand. 2016 continued where 2015 had left off with the introduction of the 570GT - a second bodystyle for the Sports Series and the most luxurious car McLaren has ever built, as well as the 570S GT4 and 570S Sprint track variants. 2016 also marked the introduction of the company’s new business plan, Track22, which sees the company investing £1 billion in Research and Development to deliver 15 all new cars or derivatives by the end of 2022, of which at least 50 percent will feature hybrid technology. The uplift in sales in 2016 also saw the launch of the second shift at the McLaren Production Centre as well as the company’s third year of profitability in just six years of trading.
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