K-PAX Racing Dotting the “I” in Indy Return
Team to settle Intersquad battle, help Lamborghini in points race
K-PAX Racing enters the 2022 Indianapolis 8 Hour having secured multiple titles in the Fanatec GT World Challenge America Powered by AWS (GTWCA) Championship, but it will be “business as usual” for the multi-year winners. In fact, this year’s edition October 7-9 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is motivated mostly by “unfinished business.”
The team has a myriad of goals entering the SRO Motorsports Group hosted season finale and favorite. When it comes to the GTWCA Championship, drivers between the team’s Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVOs will settle a closely contested battle for runner-up honors in the series championship. The team can also help the Italian marque lock-up its second-consecutive title. It is not only the present points race, but also past results for a team, as it is determined to win the overall after a coming close with a third-place finish last season.
“Knowing that we are fighting for a podium position in the championship is always a great feeling, but also knowing K-PAX Racing will take those positions no matter what is great,” K-PAX Racing Program Manager Darren Law said. “We will see how it plays out, and we will let the drivers race hard against each other. The key factor is that we can’t have any contact between the cars – both need to finish as we have another championship on the line for Lamborghini with the manufacturer’s title up for grabs as well.”
K-PAX Racing, its drivers and Lamborghini will have the opportunity to earn points in both the Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli (IGTC) and GTWCA series. While Andrea Caldarelli earned his second-straight crown in the penultimate rounds of the championship, teammate Michele Beretta (213) and former co-champion Jordan Pepper (199) will decide runner-up. All four regular K-PAX Racing drivers have been up-top the standings, including Misha Goikhberg in the four-spot (179). Lamborghini enters the week with a 44-point lead in GTWCA (254).
K-PAX Racing has made a claim as a true contender in its last two visits at The Brickyard. The team entered the inaugural 2020 running of the event, where Pepper shined through adverse weather early by giving K-PAX Racing a tremendous 50-plus second lead – until damage inflicted by a competitor took the car off-pace to ultimately a Top-10 class finish. The team returned to Indy the following year, this time with Lamborghini Squadra Corse. K-PAX Racing carried steam from a GTWCA Championship clinch, winning the three-hour series race in the Pro class with one of its Huracán GT3 EVOs. The other, battling in IGTC, earned a third-place finish after the full eight hours.
“This has really become one of the great races added to our calendar,” Law said. “We have had success here in the past and were close to winning last year. With so many of the factory drivers coming and several international teams from the Intercontinental GT Challenge, it is always a hard race. But we have the driver line-ups, and the team is ready. The goal is to get to the top-step of the podium this year.”
For more information about the Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli / Fanatec GT World Challenge America Powered by AWS Indianapolis 8 Hour, visit intercontinentalgtchallenge.com.
Andrea Caldarelli – No. 1 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO – “It’s a full-Italian line-up, isn’t it? I know Marco [Mapelli] very well as a longtime teammate and Michele [Beretta] as well. The old-school boy band is coming back together. I think we’re going to have good fun because we have such a great relationship between the three of us. For an endurance race, that’s always a plus.
We come back to doing some endurance racing since Spa, and I’m really looking forward to it. Intercontinental GT Challenge is very competitive, so it’s a good thing if you’re doing well. I feel like we have a bit of redemption to gain here after such an unlucky race – even though we scored a podium. I think we’ll go there with great motivation. I know there will be a lot of cars on-track and it’ll be a challenge, but that’s why it’s special.”
Michele Beretta – No. 1 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO – “I’m super happy to pair with Andrea [Caldarelli] and Marco [Mapelli]. I know both of them very well, and Marco is a really good friend – we raced together in the 2019 [ADAC] GT Masters. I think this race is going to be good fun. It’s my first time at Indy, and I don’t know what to expect from the track. So, we’ll have to see. We’ll be aiming for a good result.”
Marco Mapelli – No. 1 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO – “When you enter Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the historical point of view is crazy. You really feel the energy. I think it suits our car, especially with the layout this year. There is a lot of flow like Sebring [International Raceway]. So, I believe this year will be better than last year.”
Jordan Pepper – No. 3 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO – “It’ll be different this year than the previous two seasons. It was an all-Pro line-up when it was all IGTC, and this year it includes one Silver. So, we’ll stick to the line-up of Misha [Goikhberg] and I, adding Lamborghini factory driver Franck Perera. From what I hear, he is very quick. I know him from the paddock, but I have yet to share a car with him. It’ll be interesting to see the dynamic. What’s good is that Misha and him have driven together in the past. I’m sure he’ll fit in quite seamlessly. Let’s hope we can hit the ground running.
Every year I’ve been pretty quick at Indy – always fighting for the win. Let’s see if we can get it this year. This race is special because it’s at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The atmosphere of Speedway and when you’re driving into the track… walking down Gasoline Alley… it’s pretty cool. You can tell it’s a well-supported motorsports city.”
Misha Goikhberg – No. 3 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO – “I think it’s a stellar line-up. I worked with Franck [Perera] last season in some other competitions. He’s a very strong driver for Lamborghini factory. So, I think it’s going to be about gelling together and seeing what works well for us and executing. I think, what this series has shown us, is that it’s not about having the fastest racecar but having a consistent car through different conditions. You are not going to find one car that fits the entire eight hours, so we must find something consistent that works across the range. We’ll also have to execute flawlessly, which includes the pit-stops. I haven’t been there yet, but it’s a historic racetrack and this is an international race which will make it special.”
Franck Perera – No. 3 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO – “It’s big pleasure to join K-PAX Racing for the Indianapolis 8 Hour. I’m really looking forward to work with everyone. I’m really happy to be back in Indianapolis, because when I was leaving there in 2008, I was able to test at Indy… but things changed before the [Indianapolis] 500 in 2008 due to economy crisis at that time. I’m really looking to be back in such iconic place, in GT car now.”
About K-PAX Racing
Based in Sonoma, Calif., K-PAX Racing has celebrated a total 183 podiums, 73 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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