Four Podiums Highlight K-PAX Racing Run at Road America
Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVOs Make Charge in Second Half of Finale
In the last three trips to “America’s National Park of Speed,” K-PAX Racing has demonstrated the ability to not only get up to speed quickly, but also use the regular Fanatec GT World Challenge America Powered by AWS stop as an opportunity to gain valuable championship points late in the season. In the seventh and eighth rounds of the 2021 championship, the team collected four podiums with its Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVOs – a victory to keep the streak alive, as well as tighten its hold on the championship.
K-PAX Racing has earned a podium in each race of its last three appearances at Road America since 2018 – all multi-race events – and have collected two wins and 10 podiums in that time. K-PAX Racing has climbed the top step in each of the series’ first four events of 2021 – five of six total wins coming from pole position. To follow-up its victory from pole in the event opener, K-PAX Racing battled to a second and third place finish in Sunday’s finale.
“In the end, it was a great finish for us — second and third which got us great points,” K-PAX Racing Program Manager Darren Law said. “There was a bit of a different strategy going on, and we knew we’d have an advantage in the second half of the race. Most of the cars started on stickers and we started on our qualifiers, which means they were going to be better in the end. Our lap times were good, and the guys really persevered and drove well. We came out with a great finish.”
The opening sequence of the 90-minute finale saw the 15-car field shuffle often, Pepper dropping back five spots to 11th and Lewis improving four positions to sixth. Aggressive exchanges continued throughout the first 10 minutes of action, as Lewis intensely battled out-of-class competitors around him, trying to set a steady pace third in class. Lewis found his groove in seventh overall, but still in podium position running third in class. Four Pro-Am entrants ahead of Lewis led with their Pro driver, lending the possibility of gaining ground in the second half following the driver change. K-PAX Racing notably devised a tire strategy to also benefit its drivers into the late stages of the race.
The No. 6 made its pit-stop early in the window, followed by the No. 3 which served a 15-second penalty from an incident earlier in the race. The team’s Huracán GT3 EVOs settled back into the field in seventh and eighth overall (third and fourth in class) after the in-lap of five Pro-Am competitors and close of the pit window – Giovanni Venturini closing out the event in the No. 6 and Andrea Caldarelli in the No. 3.
Venturini and the No. 6 improved three spots to fourth overall, and Caldarelli’s No. 3 closing on its sister-car in fifth. Venturni was able to make an additional pass, and in the final laps of the race, the second-place car was forced to pit – bumping the two K-PAX Racing cars up one more position. The No. 6 held steady in second, while the No. 3 crossed the line third in class. The charge by K-PAX Racing saw the No. 6 climb eight spots – the most of any car in the field. K-PAX Racing has collected at least two podiums from each of the four series’ events so far this season – 13 total in eight rounds.
“We are doing well in all three title races, and the No. 3 car has a very comfortable lead right now — although it’s still not over,” Law said. “We’re in a tight battle with the No. 6 car because the No. 33 is within a few points, so it’s very tight in the Drivers’ Championship there.”
Next up: K-PAX Racing heads to Watkins Glen International for the ninth and 10th rounds of the championship September 17-19. The team will continue to execute its testing schedule – similar to other tracks earlier this season – next week, which will benefit the drivers who have not seen track time at the course and the engineers when finding the best setup for the Huracán GT3 EVO.
“We’re really looking forward to Watkins Glen,” Law said. “We’re testing and doing some developmental work in another week there, so that will be good. None of the drivers have been there but Corey [Lewis], so it’ll be a great experience for them. We believe that it should be a good track for us.”
“Testing is critical for a couple reasons. The drivers have not been at the tracks and are learning, but from the other side, this is our first season with Lamborghini. Even though we have a lot of good information, the engineers and team as a whole are still learning. So, we’re doing a lot of work on items such as setup, so it’s critical for us.”
Andrea Caldarelli – No. 3 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO (Race 1 – 1st, Race 2 – 3rd) – “It was solid to finish today, to be honest. We just need to keep working. We were not the quickest car out there, and that’s what we need to work on. It was good points for the championship, but we need to put our heads down to get where we need to be. I’m looking forward to Watkins Glen.”
Jordan Pepper – No. 3 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO (Race 1 – 1st, Race 2 – 3rd) – “It was a tough weekend in general, but a first and third place finish is not bad considering we extended our points lead — which is the most positive takeaway this weekend. We’re making steps forward, but we’re not quite there yet. We need to come back stronger at Watkins Glen, where I believe I think we have the package for our Lamborghini and the team has the ability. We just need to put everything together, and I’m sure we will. I’d much rather get back to a point where you feel you executed everything perfectly. We’re not quite there yet, but we shouldn’t give up. A big positive is that we extended our points lead, but big apologies to the team for the day I had. I made a mistake and we had to take a penalty. But let’s move on.”
Giovanni Venturini – No. 6 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO (Race 1 – 3rd, Race 2 – 2nd) – “We did a great job from starting the race 10th, so finishing second is like a victory to us. The car worked really well for the finale, and now I’m looking forward to Watkins Glen.”
Corey Lewis – No. 6 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO (Race 1 – 3rd, Race 2 – 2nd) – “The opening laps were entertaining. We were trying to make up as much ground as we could, because qualifying was not ideal for our starting position today. But I think early-on, we picked up two or three positions right away, had some fun battles early-on, and just set into a groove. I tried to give the car to Giovanni [Venturini] in the best condition as possible. We had strong pace there at the end which was great. One-by-one, Giovanni was able to pick cars off, which put us back on the podium overall. It was a decent points day and a great recovery from where we began. There’s room for improvement for sure, and we need to start thinking about the championship ahead, finishing both K-PAX Racing cars one-two.”
About K-PAX Racing
Based in Sonoma, Calif., K-PAX Racing has celebrated a total 162 podiums, 65 wins, four Driver Championships and three Manufacturer Championships, solidifying the team as a continuous championship contender. In the GT Class, K-PAX Racing has fielded Porsche 911 GT3s during the 2007 – 2008 seasons, Volvo S60s during the 2009 – 2013 seasons, McLaren 12C GT3s in 2014 and McLaren 650S GT3s from 2015 – 2017. The team made a switch to Bentley for 2018, fielding the first-generation Continental GT3 in its first season and the second-generation model in 2019 and 2020. K-PAX Racing will debut the 2021 season in the Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO.
About Lamborghini Squadra Corse
Squadra Corse is the motorsport department of Automobili Lamborghini. Born in 2013 within the Research & Development department, Squadra Corse provides an integrated approach to driving experiences of the brand; from driving course programs with road vehicles to motorsport competitions, through the Lamborghini Super Trofeo or championships of the GT class.
Esperienza is the first step for those who are interested in the world of Lamborghini: Its aim is to share the thrill and emotions of the super sports cars from Sant’Agata Bolognese with fans and potential customers alike, by advanced driving course programs. Esperienza Dinamica is divided into five programs in order to face every type of surface: Corsa, Neve, Sabbia, Strada, Terra. Esperienza Accademia is the program dedicated to advanced drivers, offering driving course programs not only on the racetrack but also on ice in order to improve the driving skills of the pilots.
The Lamborghini Super Trofeo is an international motor racing series with drivers competing in identical Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo EVOs, the racing version of the production model, that features the same 5.2 l naturally aspirated V10 engine. Inaugurated in 2009, Super Trofeo hosts regional championships in Europe, Asia and North America and is divided in four categories: Pro, Pro-Am, Am and Lamborghini Cup bringing together passionate gentleman drivers and young professional pilots. At the end of each season, the teams and drivers of all regions compete against each other in the World Finals, the highlight of the season.
The most challenging tests are those which see Lamborghini’s Customer Racing Teams competing in the principal international GT championships driving the Huracán GT3. The GT3 differs from the Huracán Super Trofeo EVO through its more sophisticated aerodynamics, kinematic suspension control and other technical specifications respecting official FIA regulations. In 2017 the Huracán GT3 won the Blancpain GT Series; in 2018 and 2019 the Huracán GT3 completed a double victory at the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring in GTD Class. Lamborghini is the only company in the world to win both of the prestigious races, that are also known as 36 Hours of Florida, in two consecutive years. Another premiere in 2019: The GT3 won the Triple Crown of the Blancpain GT Series with the titles in the categories Overall, Endurance and Sprint. In 2020 Lamborghini celebrated third victory at the 24 Hours of Daytona with sensational one-two finish.
Both the Huracán Super Trofeo and the Huracán GT3 are constructed and built at the plant in Sant’Agata Bolognese on the same production line as the road vehicles. Specialized technicians of the Lamborghini Squadra Corse are present at every station along the line.
Moreover, Lamborghini Squadra Corse is trying to develop new talents in motor sports, for example through the Young Drivers Program (open for drivers under 26 that will compete in the Super Trofeo championship) and the GT3 Junior Program (for future GT drivers). Both the programs aim to offer young drivers the possibility to improve their driving skills helping them to take a career as professional pilots.
In 2018 Squadra Corse inaugurated its first One-Off, the SC18 Alston, followed by open-top SC20 in 2020. In the same year Squadra Corse unveiled Essenza SCV12 the track-only hypercar in a limited edition of 40 units, fitted with the most powerful V12 naturally aspirated engine ever developed by Lamborghini: over 830 hp.
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