K-PAX Racing Names 2022 Indy Line-Up
Team welcomes back Mapelli; Perera makes team debut
K-PAX Racing proudly announced Friday its 2022 Indianapolis 8 Hour line-up. The team, after clinching the Fanatec GT World Challenge America Powered by AWS Championship early in the penultimate rounds of the season at Sebring International Raceway, will stage its regular two-car Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO effort at the famous Brickyard at “Racing’s Capital of the World,” with an expanded driver line-up to meet the requirements of the endurance race format.
K-PAX Racing will recruit from the Lamborghini Squadra Corse driver core for its third-running of the event. Andrea Caldarelli and Michele Beretta will continue their partnership in the No. 1, adding Marco Mapelli to the car’s rotation to complete an all-Italian lineup. Jordan Pepper and Misha Goikhberg will also complete the 2022 season as teammates, with help from newcomer Franck Perera. The sound team-manufacturer relationship that has been built in back-to-back championship seasons will reflect in an Indy line-up highlighted by four factory drivers.
“We are all really excited about our line-up in both cars for the Indy 8 Hour,” K-PAX Racing Program Manager Darren Law said. “Both cars have a strong driver pairing and both stand a chance to take the win. Last year we came home third, and we hope to reach the top step of the podium this year. The competition is always extremely fierce in these events with so many factory drivers, and we are looking forward to the challenge.”
Mapelli has made sporadic appearances in the team’s endurance endeavors since its shift to Lamborghini in 2021. Mapelli made his team debut at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but he will see two new drivers accompany him this season for the race. The six-year Lamborghini driver notably joined K-PAX Racing earlier this season in Belgium for the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa, where he worked closely alongside Caldarelli – ultimately setting the pace as the top-Lamborghini in the field. Mapelli also has developed a strong relationship on and off the track with Beretta, starting from a very young age in Northern Italy where the two lived in the same area.
“I’m really looking forward to rejoining K-PAX Racing,” Mapelli said. “Last year (Indy 8 Hour) was our first race together – an up-and-down weekend but overall, it was nice to work with this group of people. They’re very motivated and professional. Especially after Spa, I’m looking forward to seeing the guys in the U.S. and fighting through the weekend.”
“Andrea and I have been teammates for many years, and we got split-up this year because we’re not doing endurance in Europe anymore. We’ve done Daytona, Sebring and lastly, Spa with K-PAX Racing. Michele’s family owns a meat business here in Italy, and they have been supporting me since I was young. I think every time Michele’s dad points his finger at me, it’s because it’s my fault that Michele started racing. I’m really looking forward to teaming up with him.”
Perera will make his debut with K-PAX Racing. The Frenchman has been a Lamborghini factory driver since 2018, and in his first race with the honor that year, became a winner of the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Perera first competed in the U.S. full-time during the 2007 and 2008 race seasons, where he was crowned vice champion in Champcar Atlantic and raced in open-wheeled. While he has yet to compete alongside Pepper, Perera has a strong rapport with Goikhberg. The two teamed up stateside in a Huracán GT3 EVO for the 2021 season.
“It will be my first time working with Jordan,” Perera said. “He is a really young and talented driver, and he is doing good job. I’m sure things will go well together. Misha is different story: I know him from 2021 spending the season together in IMSA with GRT, so I’m happy to see him again. I’m sure we have good package to fight in front during the race weekend.”
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 Fanatec GT World Challenge Powered by AWS (GTWCA) series. The No. 1 Huracán GT3 EVO will be the Italian manufacturers’ designee to earn points in IGTC, while also seeking to secure its second consecutive title in GTWCA. Simultaneously, Pepper and Beretta will be vying for runner-up in the GTWCA Drivers’ Championship. Both series will share the event, hosted by SRO Motorsports Group.
“Having just captured the SRO GT World Challenge America Driver and Team titles last weekend, we have one more we are fighting for and that is to help Lamborghini claim the Manufacturer title,” Law said. “They have been such a great partner to us and have provided us with so much support, we would love to add this to our and their resumes.”
For more information about the Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli / Fanatec GT World Challenge America Indianapolis 8 Hour, visit intercontinentalgtchallenge.com.
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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