Cadillac Racing’s Johnny O’Connell finished fourth in Race 1 of this weekend’s World Challenge double header from St. Petersburg, with teammate Michael Cooper crossing the finish line behind him in seventh.
Pole-sitter Daniel Mancinelli lost the lead on the second lap to reigning GT champion Leo Parente, who easily held the lead through to the end. Mancinelli, making his World Challenge debut in a Ferrari 488, gave way to James Davison in his Aston Martin Vantage on the final lap after running wide and was then pushed by O’Connell at Turn 8. He turned up 14th.
O’Connell shuffled in behind the lead pack in fourth, but not after enjoying a good battle with Porsche’s Patrick Long, who worked his way past the Cadillac driver to come up third.
“We had quite a battle with Johnny (O’Connell) early in the race and later on with James (Davison),” Long told Racer. “I had to look into passing in several areas today and it was extremely competitive. ”
R. Ferri Motorsport’s Alex Riberas will start on pole for Race 2 on Sunday after setting the fastest lap of the session. Parente will start second, with Long in third.