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K-PAX Racing Completes the Sweep at Sonoma
Achieves multiple milestones in strong showing at home to kick-off 2021 championship campaign
K-PAX Racing was first introduced to consistent, multi-race events hosted by the Fanatec GT World Challenge Powered by AWS in 2010. Since, the team has swept nine times in GT competition. The 2021 season-opener at Sonoma Raceway makes ten. K-PAX Racing completed the sweep in Sunday’s finale at home, earning two wins and four podiums in its debut with Lamborghini Squadra Corse and in the Huracán GT3 EVO.
“What a great weekend,” K-PAX Racing Program Manager Darren Law said. “It was a lot of hard-work switching manufacturers, but we had great support from Lamborghini and it’s just great for the team. All of our work was rewarded here at home. We could not have asked for anything better than a sweep of the weekend.”
The sweep marks the sixth track where the team has won both rounds – VIRginia International Raceway (2010, 2018, 2019), Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (2012, 2013, 2017), Lime Rock Park (2016), Watkins Glen International (2018) and Las Vegas Motor Speedway (2019). In addition to the team’s peak performance during the first two rounds of 2021, the No. 3 of Andrea Caldarelli and Jordan Pepper also topped the charts in both practice and qualifying sessions. The Caldarelli-Pepper pairing was the quickest of each practice session, leading the field with a 1:36.798 and in an abbreviated second practice, a best time of 1:37.700.
The No. 3 went on to earn back-to-back poles, with Caldarelli in the first group recording a 1:36.186 and Pepper with a 1:36.026 in the second. The pole-sitters soon became pace-setters later in the day, as the No. 3 carried a substantial gap from the field to the team’s first win of the season and 60th in history – also a monumental first victory for the team in its new relationship with Lamborghini. The two were able to double-down on their successes, mirroring the same result in the finale by a comfortable margin.
“I switched from the Bentley to the Lamborghini, so everything is different,” said Pepper, who competed under the K-PAX Racing banner last season. “The only way I could make it work – even though I have gained a lot of knowledge over the last five years – is if I was a sponge. Andrea was really good and open with all the information, and I have tried to take in as much of it as I can.”
“It’s so cool to have a guy with that much experience as my teammate. He’s been with Lamborghini since 2017 doing so many races – knows the car inside and out. I’d be silly not to learn from him. We both work really hard, and it’s a matter of us just getting along with our job to bring the best results back to the team.”
The No. 6 had an impressive showing, with Giovanni Venturini and Corey Lewis making their K-PAX Racing debut. Venturini and Lewis, both familiar with the Huracán GT3 EVO as factory-backed drivers, were able to finish as a close runner-up in practice – a 1:37.207 and 1:37.738 in Friday’s two sessions. The driver pairing brought that speed to qualifying, where they were able to share the front-row with their teammates in the opener with a 1:36.877 and start third on the grid in the finale with a 1:36.499. The No. 6 followed a steady pace by its sister-car in each round, earning two runner-up finishes.
A bobble at the start of the finale saw both K-PAX Racing Huracán GT3 EVOs paired in third and fourth position overall but leading comfortably one-two in the Pro class. K-PAX Racing gained the overall lead through its perfectly executed pit-strategy – an earlier stop, soon reentering the field with six cars yet to pit ahead of them, two which were Pro-Am cars making a switch to the amateur ranked driver. Caldarelli and Lewis began their stints with clear air, opening up a 23-second advantage with 30 minutes remaining. Caldarelli built an eight-second margin of victory over his teammate by the checkered flag, and together, created more than a one-minute gap from third. K-PAX Racing owned two of the three cars that finished on the lead lap.
The weekend’s four podium finishes earned K-PAX Racing yet another milestone in its illustrious history – eclipsing 150 podiums in its history. The next two rounds of series action will be held at Circuit of The Americas (Tex.) April 30 – May 2.
Andrea Caldarelli – No. 3 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO (Race 1 – 1st, Race 2 – 1st) – “This weekend was sort of a test for us – it was the first race of the season after just receiving the cars. We knew we were going to be competitive despite not having any expectations, We just tried to run smoothly with no mistakes, and the results speak quite well. We had a very good weekend and collected a lot of data, so we can continue to get stronger with every round.”
Jordan Pepper – No. 3 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO (Race 1 – 1st, Race 2 – 1st) – “It was such a positive start to the new venture with K-PAX Racing and Lamborghini Squadra Corse. I’m proud to be a part of this program, and I’ve been looking forward to 2021 for the opportunity to drive alongside Andrea [Caldarelli]. We hit the ground running, and this double victory and pole is all credited to everyone who has spent countless hours, days and nights to get these cars up and running. We have a lot of data collected to move forward with, which is exciting.”
Giovanni Venturini – No. 6 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO (Race 1 – 2nd, Race 2 – 2nd) – “It was an amazing weekend for K-PAX Racing. I’m really happy because the guys put in a lot of effort testing – just within the last two weeks. We finished second, which gives us very important points for the championship. We finished one-two again, so I am very happy for the team and for Lamborghini. We made our debut the best possible.”
Corey Lewis – No. 6 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO (Race 1 – 2nd, Race 2 – 2nd) – “It’s an honor to drive for K-PAX Racing and to continue their winning ways with a one-two finish. It is great for the overall championship. We made developments on the car every day, and each made the car better. I cannot thank the whole team enough for their efforts this weekend. All-in-all, strong weekend for K-PAX Racing and Lamborghini Squadra Corse.”
About K-PAX Racing
Based in Sonoma, Calif., K-PAX Racing has celebrated a total 152 podiums, 61 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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