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K-PAX Racing Enters SRO E-Sport Series
Teams up with SIRIO eSports in a combined effort to compete for multiple class titles
K-PAX Racing, which is set to make its GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS debut in 2020, announced Wednesday its unwavering pursuit toward series glory, expanding its efforts in the virtual GT racing world to the SRO E-Sport GT Series. The team will join forces with SIRIO eSports for the six-round series, fielding its real-world second-generation Bentley Continental GT3s.
“K-PAX Racing is excited to embark on this new journey into the virtual world of racing with SIRIO eSports,” K-PAX Racing Team Owner Jim Haughey said. “We are committed to bring a successful product to the SRO E-Sports GT Championship, presenting a winning equation similar to what fans have seen in real-life since 2007.”
SIRIO eSports is a specialized gaming consultant and hands-on organization with a firm determination to excel inside the e-sports space, offering more than 20-plus years of real racing team management experience and vast gaming expertise.
“We are honoured to have partnered with K-PAX Racing, taking them into the esports arena,” SIRIO eSports Director Emilio De Villota said. “They are a multi-championship-winning team in the real world and are preparing to represent Bentley in the GT World Challenge Europe. It’s therefore important that we approach the SRO E-Sports GT Championship with the professionalism and sportsmanship that they are renowned for, and we are experienced in working with global brands so perfectly placed to work alongside them.”
The joint effort of K-PAX Racing and SIRIO eSports will see a total of five entries – two cars in the series’ “Pro” class and three in the “Silver” class. Real-world team drivers Andy Soucek and Bentley Factory Driver Jordan Pepper will fill the seats in the Pro class, while proven sim racers Philippe Simard, Tariq Gamil and Alberto Garcia will wave the team banner in Silver.
The combination of K-PAX Racing’s real-world experience and SIRIO eSport’s gaming expertise went into the hand-selection of those representing the team in the Silver class. Last week, the team held a private shootout for the spots, testing the sim racers’ race-craft in multiple scenarios and engineering capabilities.
Garcia notably qualified for the final seat on the roster, climbing to the top of the charts as the fastest Bentley in Assetto Corse Competizione during hot laps that determined the final series’ lineup. Garcia topped the charts at Silverstone Circuit (U.K.) – the opening round for the championship – with a 1:56.406, which was two-tenths faster than the next car in line.
“We’ve worked 24/7 for the last week to select the K-PAX Racing by SIRIO eSports professional sim racers and prepare their real-world pros for the huge challenge ahead,” De Villota said. “We have some long days of testing ahead, but we’re all totally focused and ready to fight for the win.”
The team’s decision to help foster the K-PAX Racing by SIRIO eSports relationship completes an international team takeover in the sim world. K-PAX Racing is also represented by the real-world driver pairing of Guy Cosmo and Patrick Byrne in the series’ SRO America GT Rivals Invitational, where both are fielding Continental GT3s for eight rounds of action through May 21st.
“We are really pleased to see K-PAX Racing moving fast in the world of virtual motorsport during this difficult time,” Bentley Director of Motorsport Paul Williams said. “We look forward to developing our esports competencies together with K-PAX Racing by SIRIO eSports and its team of real-world racers and experienced sim drivers.”
Andy Soucek – Bentley Continental GT3 (PRO) – “Despite not being able to drive the real race car, I’m delighted to be joining the SRO e-sports GT series. I’m proud to announce that I will be joining K-PAX Racing by SIRIO eSports to enjoy the online battles against some of my current competitors in the virtual world. During lockdown, this is the best way to stay sharp and I can’t wait to get started.”
Jordan Pepper – Bentley Continental GT3 (PRO) – “I’m extremely excited to be lining up on the grid for the first SRO E-Sports Championship on ACC this weekend. What makes it even more exciting is I’ll be driving my virtual Bentley Continental GT3 for the newly formed K-PAX Racing by SIRIO eSports team alongside my good friend Andy Soucek in the Pro class. When I found out the ideas that K-PAX Racing had, I couldn’t miss the chance to be a part of such a strong assault. Jim [Haughey] is a truly motivated racer and wants nothing more than to win, and together with Emilio De Villota from SIRIO eSports, we definitely will have a strong package to fight for some strong results and hopefully put on a great show for all K-PAX Racing and Bentley fans.”
Philippe Simard – Bentley Continental GT3 (SILVER) – “I’m very excited to get on-board with K-PAX Racing by SIRIO eSports. It’s quite a thrill as a sim racer to be part of an organization like this. I cannot wait to get on track and show what those Bentleys can do.”
Tariq Gamil – Bentley Continental GT3 (SILVER) – “I am very excited, honoured and privileged to be driving for K-PAX Racing by SIRIO eSports. I remember watching GT World Challenge at VIRginia International Raceway last year on television and seeing the absolute dominance by K-PAX Racing there. I hope to achieve the same dominant performances, along with my teammates, Philippe Simard and Alberto Garcia, and bring victories – and eventually the championship – to KPAX Racing, SIRIO eSports and Bentley Motorsport in the virtual world in the SRO E-Sport GT Championship.”
Alberto Garcia – Bentley Continental GT3 (SILVER) – “Belonging to a team of these characteristics is a dream come true after spending a lifetime as a virtual pilot. I think being surrounded by such professional people will make me a better pilot. Thank you all for trusting me – rest assured that I will give my all.”
About K-PAX Racing
Based in Sonoma, Calif., K-PAX Racing has celebrated a total 148 podiums, 59 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.
About Bentley Motorsport
Bentley Motorsport is based at the Bentley Motors headquarters in Crewe. From there, the operation runs Bentley Team M-Sport, and oversees customer racing operations around the world.
The Continental GT3 is built by the Bentley motorsport team in conjunction with M-Sport. The Bentley Motorsport team is led by Bentley Director of Motorsport, Paul Williams supported by M-Sport’s Chief Engineer, Christian Loriaux.
Bentley Motors’ headquarters in Crewe is home to all of its operations including design, R&D, engineering and production of the company’s four model lines, Continental, Bentayga, Flying Spur and Mulsanne. The combination of fine craftsmanship, using skills that have been handed down through generations, alongside engineering expertise and cutting-edge technology is unique to UK luxury car brands.
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