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USCC Point Standings
Final 2016
Prototype Drivers
Pos Drivers Total
1 Dane Cameron 314
1 Eric Curran 314
2 Joao Barbosa 311
2 Christian Fittipaldi 311
3 Jordan Taylor 309
3 Ricky Taylor 309
4 Oswaldo Negri Jr. 282
5 Marc Goossens 273
6 Tom Long 258
6 Joel Miller 258
7 Tristan Nunez 257
7 Jonathan Bomarito 257
8 John Pew 255
9 Ryan Dalziel 247
10 Katherine Legge 247
11 Sean Rayhall 196
12 Scott Sharp 128
12 Johannes van Overbeek 128
12 Luis Felipe Derani 128
13 Olivier Pla 113
14 Max Angelelli 113
15 Ryan Hunter-Reay 109
16 Spencer Pigot 95
17 Andy Meyrick 91
18 Filipe Albuquerque 88
19 Ed Brown 72
20 Ben Devlin 70
21 Scott Pruett 62
22 Simon Pagenaud 55
23 Rubens Barrichello 53
24 Nicolas Minassian 52
25 Byron DeFoor 46
25 Jim Pace 46
25 David Hinton 46
25 Dorsey Schroeder 46
26 Henrik Hedman 29
26 Nicolas Lapierre 29
27 Brendon Hartley 27
27 Andy Priaulx 27
27 Lance Stroll 27
27 Alex Wurz 27
28 Jonny Adam 26
29 Jamie McMurray 25
29 Scott Dixon 25
29 Tony Kanaan 25
29 Kyle Larson 25
30 Gabby Chaves 25
31 Thomas Gruber 24
32 Keiko Ihara 24
33 Maurizio Mediani 23
33 Kirill Ladygin 23
33 Mikhail Aleshin 23
34 AJ Allmendinger 21
35 Carlos de Quesada 21
35 Dominik Farnbacher 21
35 Cameron Lawrence 21
35 Daniel Morad 21
36 Andreas Wirth 20

Prototype Teams
14 #37 SMP RACING 23

Prototype Manufacturers
1 Chevrolet 338
2 Ligier 324
3 Mazda 304
4 Oreca 56
5 BR 30
Who is McLaren's Alvaro Parente?

The Story Behind Parente, K-PAX Racing and McLaren GT Title Run
Wednesday, December 14, 2016


Alvaro Parente
Alvaro Parente
SONOMA, Calif. -- You had figured this new guy, Alvaro Parente (ALVA-ROW PAW-RENT), was going to be a factor in the Pirelli World Challenge GT series in 2016.

Coming from single-seaters in Europe and a four-year McLaren factory sports car racer, Parente had some impressive credentials. He was scheduled to be the leading driver for the K-PAX Racing squad that included youngsters Colin Thompson (age 21) and Austin Cindric (age 17).

He had just won the 12 Hours of Bathurst in Australia last February too. So, when he hit the U.S. scene later that month for his first Pirelli World Challenge test at Circuit of the Americas, you had to think he was going to be in the mix for the coveted GT title.

But, let's be honest, Parente had last been at a U.S. track in 2007, the A1GP race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. In fact, it was the only U.S. track he had ever seen previously.

"I raced in the A1GP race at Laguna Seca and then I drove from Monterey to Las Vegas to see that city," said Parente, the new 2016 Pirelli World Challenge GT champion. "Other than that, I never saw any of the U.S. tracks in person. I did watch video of the tracks but it's not quite the same."

Parente was also taking on the likes of sports car champions Johnny O'Connell, Patrick Long, Jon Fogarty, Michael Cooper, Ryan Eversley and Peter Cunningham as well as young stars Thompson, Cindric, Bryan Heitkotter, Michael Lewis, Kyle Marcelli and Adderly Fong. It was not an easy task to battle for the GT title.

The personable Portugal native did not worry about any of those elements when he took to the COTA track for the PWC season opener. But the weekend didn't go quite Parente's way with a race penalty.

By the time he hit the streets of Long Beach, Parente was a contender everywhere and scored the pole position and later his first race win. This was followed by another victory at Barber Motorsports Park, a double victory weekend at Lime Rock, a win at Mid-Ohio and then the wild, crazy Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca finish in October.

That triumph helped Parente claim the PWC GT championship and helped McLaren take the GT Manufacturer's crown while elevating Parente's K-PAX Racing to the team title.

At Laguna Seca, Parente was running third behind race leader O'Connell and Parente's championship rival, Long. On the final lap, O'Connell and Long made contact, Long went wide and Parente took the checkered flag in second place to clinch the crown.

Parante in the McLaren
Parente in the McLaren
Later in the afternoon, O'Connell was docked 2.1 seconds for his "avoidable contact" with Long on the final lap and Parente was awarded the victory.

"That last lap, I thought it was over under yellow flag, then suddenly it was a little bit of a confusing time when the race got started again on the final lap," said Parente. "That last lap, when Pat [Long] went for the pass in Turn 5, he didn't clear Johnny before he got to the corner. Johnny had a great race weekend. In my opinion, he was the fastest one out there and he wanted to win the race. He didn't want to let Pat by, so he fought for his position, they touched. Pat risked the move, and it didn't go so well. Pat went wide and I took the opportunity and passed him."

Parente made the most of the wild final lap to secure the GT title in his PWC debut season.

"I couldn't believe it when I saw them hit, and then I crossed the finish line and found out I had won the championship," Alvaro explained. "I don't know how to explain it. It was a crazy moment. I thought the race was over before that and to have that happen on the last lap, what drama!"

The first-year PWC GT racer had shown the talent that everyone had mentioned back in February with a season-high six wins and five pole positions.

Parente was essentially unknown in America in February and now stands as GT Drivers champion in North America's top production-based sports car series.

"When the season kicked off, I said to my guys from race one that I'm here to fight for the championship," he admitted. "When we found ourselves in a good position, I started to win races and really getting a look at the championship. It was very good until the Utah weekend where, unfortunately, Michael Cooper took me out of the first race where I was in position two."

That's when Patrick Long took a 21-point lead in the GT category with three races remaining.

"But from then onwards, the championship was a lot closer. We lost a lot of points that weekend which would have made my position a lot more comfortable for the last rounds of the season. But it wasn't the case, so it was a last-lap thing, so what can I say?"

Entering the finale in Monterey, Parente held a small two-point lead over Long and basically had to finish in front of the Porsche factory driver to claim the GT title.

"I was trying to put some pressure on Pat (who ran second to Parente in third) the whole race but he had a good pace," Parente said. "There was really one or two chances where I could have risked a bit more. There wasn't a very clear opportunity and Pat defended well all race long."

Parente celebrating at Lime Rock
Parente celebrating at Lime Rock
But when Long slid wide in turn 5, Parente seized the opportunity.

"I talked to (Pat) a little bit (after the race), but I didn't know what to say!" Parente said. "Pat is a racer, a hard racer. What a great fight we had all season. He went for the win there."

"What a bunch of great competitors. Pat Long, Johnny O'Connell, my teammates, all of the GT guys. It was a great season for K-Pax Racing, McLaren and myself."

It was a classic last lap championship for a guy who no one in North America racing really knew in February. Now, sports car racing knows Alvaro Parente as the Pirelli World Challenge GT champion.

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