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K-PAX Racing Early Leaders into VIR
Leads Championship into next rounds of series action
It had never been done before. K-PAX Racing enters Rounds 5 & 6 of Fanatec GT World Challenge America Powered by AWS at VIRginia International Raceway, carrying unprecedented momentum and one it had not seen in its history – until now. The team, since teaming up with Lamborghini Squadra Corse, has swept the first two events of the year in consecutive seasons.
“We have had a great start to this season and continue to enjoy early success, but we always need to be cautious to about the early results,” K-PAX Racing Program Manager Darren Law said. “There are several teams that are fast and have good driver lineups. We still have a long way to go in the season. We have had a good deal of success previously at VIR, so we will continue to focus on executing well on track and in the pits.”
K-PAX Racing will not only have the opportunity to build upon this milestone, but also extend it at a track that has been the site of many team triumphs throughout its history. VIRginia International Raceway ties as the team’s third-most successful series venue of 25 courses throughout North America, earning six total victories in five appearances. The team’s first victory was in its 2010 debut there, sweeping the multi-race event. Notably, the team’s last victory there was last season, when the team’s eventual championship-winning Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO was awarded the win in the event opener from pole.
“VIR is such a great track,” Law said. “It is an amazing facility, and it is not only challenging to drive but also challenging to engineer. The Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO works well here because it is good in high-speed corners and really excels in the braking zones, and because of that we have had success here in the past.”
The team has established itself as a strong force in the series’ 2022 championship, earning at least one podium in each of the four races. While the No. 1 Huracán GT3 EVO of Andrea Caldarelli and new addition Michele Beretta has finished at the top of the charts in each, the No. 3 Huracán GT3 EVO of now Misha Goikhberg and Jordan Pepper has finished on the podium in the last three races.
K-PAX Racing leads the team championship standings by 44 points (100 points), also helping Lamborghini lead the manufacturers’ race (100 points). Three of the four drivers who entered 2022 with the team make up the top-three in the drivers’ category. Caldarelli (100 points) has a slight edge on Pepper (83 points), with Goikhberg close behind in third (63 points).
Visit gt-world-challenge-america.com for more event information. All races are streamed live and archived for on-demand viewing at youtube.com/gtworld or twitch.tv/sromotorsports. SRO America championships also feature broadcasts on CBS Sports.
Andrea Caldarelli – No. 1 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO – “It was the first race week in NOLA [Motorsports Park] for me and Michele [Beretta]. It was quite smooth working with him as of course we knew each other, and we speak same language. However, we never shared a car before, and so we kind of discovered our driving styles in NOLA. To be fair, it was quite easy as Michele is very flexible with his driving style. So, I don’t see big problems to build up our confidence for the next races.
I loved this track last year. There is everything a track should have – high-speed, low-speed, chicanes, blind corners and no room for mistakes. Especially the uphill chicanes, you have to commit and stay flat. I love that part of the track. It was a very nice feeling as I really enjoy racing at VIR. I really enjoyed my stints [in 2021], and I had good fun trying to keep good pace from the first lap to the last.
Last year we were very competitive, especially in the first sector. However, this year with new spec Pirellis, we might struggle bit more with front grip as we have seen from last two weekends.”
Michele Beretta – No. 1 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO – “First of all, I think we had a great weekend in NOLA [Motorsports Park]. As I said, it is very easy to work with such a driver as Andrea [Caldarelli]. We know the car very well, and we are working in the same direction to improve every little detail. I can only push myself more when comparing to him. I once competed at VIR back in 2017 with Super Trofeo. I loved this track, and I can’t wait to race with the GT3. I love the high-speed section going uphill. I honestly don t know if it as a good track for us, but we have a good car on high-speed corners and braking compared to other competitors.”
Jordan Pepper – No. 3 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO – “My first race weekend with Misha [Goikhberg], we had a good bout with a second and third [place]. We’re aiming for victories – always. We have a bit to work on, but I think it should be better with Misha because he has been to the track before. We have some testing there, and we proved to be good there last season with a victory in the event opener. I enjoy the track and it’s a really nice one to drive. I’m looking forward to being back.”
Misha Goikhberg – No. 3 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO – “The driver pairing (with Jordan Pepper) is working out well. I value Jordan’s experience in the car and with the team, and we like similar setups, so I see us working on building the momentum. I have raced at VIR before – it’s a very nice flowing track. Passing is not easy but possible, which makes it rewarding. I am sure it will suit our car, as it’s got a wide window and works well on most tracks.”
About K-PAX Racing
Based in Sonoma, Calif., K-PAX Racing has celebrated a total 170 podiums, 69 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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24 Hours of Spa 2022