K-PAX Racing Captures Victory, Double Podium At VIR
Round 5 Sees 1st & 3rd Place Finishes For Both Lamborghinis
After a week of testing in extreme heat at VIRginia International Raceway, the weather turned friendly for Saturday’s Round 5 of Fanatec GT World Challenge America Powered by AWS. The beautiful day was capped off with victory from the pole for Andrea Caldarelli & Michele Beretta, who share the No. 1 K-PAX Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO.
“That was an interesting race, had its ups and downs, but obviously we’re very proud of the No. 1 car with Andrea and Michele,” said K-PAX Racing Program Manager Darren Law. “It was a great run, and they had a solid first and second stint without really any problems, so no need to say much more than that for them.”
Beretta held the lead from the start in the No. 1 Huracán GT3 EVO, followed closely by teammate Misha Goikhberg in the No. 3, who took 2nd place before the first turn of the fist lap after starting 3rd. The duo fought at the front through several rounds of full course yellows, constantly battling competitors on the restarts.
Just before the halfway pit stop cycle began, Goikhberg was spun and had to nurse a cut tire back to the pits, losing time. He turned over driving duties to co-driver Jordan Pepper, with Beretta handing the No. 1 over to Caldarelli on the following lap. Caldarelli drove off into the sunset, building to a lead of 17.57 seconds before the checkered flag on lap 47. Pepper was charging towards the front, but complications presented themselves, and Jordan had to call off his pursuit.
“Earlier, Misha [Goikhberg] was hit by another car and was spun, that did some damage to the right rear corner of the car,” explained Law. “It was enough that Jordan [Pepper] had to back off to bring it home to maximize our points for the season.”
Despite the 7th overall, 2nd in class finish for the No. 3 Huracán GT3 EVO, K-PAX Racing captured a strong result in the big picture.
“It was great for the team and we extend our lead in the championship as well as our win streak,” said Law.
That win streak features victory in every single round of the GT World Challenge America season so far, five wins total. To date, K-PAX Racing now holds 70 wins and 172 podiums in the series.
The green flag is scheduled to drop on Round 6 of GT World Challenge America at 1:15 p.m. local tomorrow afternoon, with the No. 1 and No. 3 starting P6 and P4, respectively. Visit gt-world-challenge-america.com for more event information. All races are streamed live and archived for on-demand viewing at www.youtube.com/gtworld or www.twitch.tv/sromotorsports. SRO America championships also feature broadcasts on CBS Sports.
Andrea Caldarelli – No. 1 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO (Race 1 – 1st) – “It went quite well. Michele [Beretta] did a good job to keep it in front. The start was intense with all of the fighting at the front. We knew that it was going to be a very hard race because we were struggling on pace a bit, as we saw this morning in qualifying. But we did some setup changes, and it was quite a lot better. We are here to improve all the time, and I think we took some steps forward. Looking forward to tomorrow.”
Michele Beretta – No. 1 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO (Race 1 – 1st) – “It felt good in the first few laps. I think the safety car laps did not help, we could have really built up a good gap with our pace. It was very tricky on the restarts, with the low pressure and a lot of pickup on the tires, so I had to be very careful. I tried to pull away the maximum I could, because I knew that the second stint would be the tougher one, especially for Andrea [Caldarelli] with the speed of our competitors. He drove well and we were able to take the victory.”
Jordan Pepper – No. 3 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO (Race 1 – 3rd) – “We finished P3, which was very good on one hand, but still frustrating because we had the pace to get to P2. The car was very good and Misha [Goikhberg] did an incredible job at the start. Then we got bashed off & taken out again just before the pit window, and I pushed as hard as I could in the car, but there was definitely something wrong in the rear and nothing more I could do, so we’ll take P3.”
Misha Goikhberg – No. 3 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO (Race 1 – 3rd) – “Everything seemed under control at first, we had good pace and it felt like we would have driven away to fairly controlled one-two. Unfortunately we kept getting yellows, so whatever gaps we made would evaporate, and then on my last restart I was passed. After that I was fighting in traffic the rest of my stint, and then on my in-lap I was hit, which set us back.”
About K-PAX Racing
Based in Sonoma, Calif., K-PAX Racing has celebrated a total 172 podiums, 70 wins, five Driver Championships, and four Team and 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 debuted 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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