Factory McLaren GT driver Alvaro Parente is disappointed after missing out on a Top 5 finish in the Hampton Downs 500 with co-driver Fraser Ross.
The YNA Autosport/McElrea Racing duo finished sixth in Round 3 of the Australian Endurance Championship after challenging for the lead early on, but a fault in the pits hampered Ross and Parente’s chances in the later stages.
While serving their second pit stop of the race, the team had one too many crew members over the designated red line on the pit apron, with the stewards handing down a drive through penalty to the #58 entry.
Parente served the infringement on Lap 70, dropping him down to ninth before the Portuguese driver came in on Lap 81 again to complete their final compulsory pit stop, pushing them off the lead lap.
The penalty added another blow to Ross and Parente’s race, which was already compromised after they had to make an extra fuel stop early on and were affected by a Safety Car on Lap 33.
“It was a tough race for us, I’m a bit disappointed with the end result,” said Parente after the gruelling 500km race.
“We caught a Safety Car at the exact moment we didn’t want – so things didn’t go so well there.
“When Fraser [Ross] was at the wheel in the first stint, the Safety Car killed us a little bit – even though we were having a great stint.
“Fraser was doing a great job and things were looking good because we were second and almost got in the lead.
“Then with me in the car, we had a penalty for a technical problem in the pits with the guys, it was just hard from there, we struggled.”
Parente reflected on his Australian Endurance Championship debut, and first visit to Hampton Downs, saying that their focus now shifts to the final round at Highlands in two weeks.
“Overall, the weekend was alright,” he added.
“We had some good running, the Qualifying was exciting with all the rain and the car was quick so it’s a shame we aren’t getting out of here with a better result.
“We’ll look ahead to Highlands now.”
The Australian Endurance Championship now heads to Highlands Motorsport Park, where the season will conclude from November 10-12.