K-PAX Racing Maintains Championship Lead Following Difficult Weekend - Road AmericaJun. 26 2016
Following what was expected to be a difficult weekend at Road America for Rounds 12 and 13 of the Pirelli World Challenge, K-PAX Racing and its trio of McLaren 650S GT3s continue to lead the 2016 GT Team and Driver Championship standings.
The team entered the race weekend with realistic expectations, knowing the long straights of the 4.048-mile, 14 turn road course would be a point of struggle. Utilizing the testing, practice and qualifying sessions to best prepare the cars for the races ahead, the K-PAX Racing crew worked diligently with drivers Alvaro Parente, Colin Thompson, and Austin Cindric to create the best possible race set up.
Race one played out to be somewhat uneventful for the K-PAX Racing McLarens, with the field spreading out fairly early in the race. Parente climbed two positions from eighth to sixth on the opening lap, with teammates Austin Cindric and Colin Thompson in 12th and 14th. Just past the halfway mark, Cindric broke into the top 10, and Thompson pitted with mechanical issues on the No. 13 McLaren 650S GT3. Parente closed out race one in sixth position, Cindric ninth and Thompson in 22nd.
Parente started race two in the No. 9 McLaren 650S GT3 in 8th, racing hard into turn one with Johnny O’Connell and Michael Cooper in the pair of Cadillacs. A lengthy full course caution took up roughly the first 15 minutes of the race, and once back to green, he battled the Cadillacs for the remainder of the race, keeping focus on the points battle. He finished sixth, just one position behind his closest points contender, Patrick Long. Colin Thompson started 17th, but gained two positions on the start to sit 15th before the full course caution. He continued to climb his way up the charts as the field went back to green flag racing, finishing an impressive eighth place. His run up the field earned him the “Hard Charger of the Race” award, for passing the most cars during the 50 minute sprint. Austin Cindric had a solid start to race two, but an on track issue forced him to come to pit lane, resulting in a 17th place finish. Of the four McLarens racing in the Pirelli World challenge this weekend, Cindric set the fastest race lap for the manufacturer in race two.
With seven rounds remaining, the battle for the championship remains close. Unofficially, McLaren GT factory driver Alvaro Parente leads the charge over Patrick Long by 52 points, but the seven races remaining allow for much to happen. Next on the calendar are Rounds 14 and 15 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course July 29-30.
Parente // No. 9 McLaren 650S GT3
We did the best we could with the car we had this weekend. We all tried as hard as possible. The set up was good, and the car was reliable, but we just didn’t have enough power to match the other cars. We didn’t have the pace for the leaders. In spite of that, we maximized our points earned and I’m happy with how I performed, as well as the team. It was a tough weekend, but we are looking forward to the next race.
Colin Thompson // No. 13 McLaren 650S GT3
After doing a lot of work on set up throughout the weekend and starting last, I couldn’t have had a better race as far as results. There was a big gap to the next car and I was able to walk away with the best start in both races, and the hard charger award. I started the weekend off with a lot of hard work, and today was the best we could do.
Austin Cindric // No. 6 McLaren 650S GT3
Yesterday, I started 13th, which wasn’t an ideal spot. I’m quite happy with the race. I fought hard to take a few positions and made a few overtakes in Canada Corner. I’m really happy with the race pace and hopefully we get some better performances for Mid-Ohio, Sonoma and Laguna, which are tracks I think we’ll be good at. I’m looking forward to moving on there and getting some good results there.