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K-PAX Racing Perseveres with Podium in VIR Finale
Team helps manufacturer to 100-win milestone during weekend
The Fanatec GT World Challenge America Powered by AWS stop at VIRginia International Raceway presented a variety of challenges, but the unrelenting willpower in the pits and on the track demonstrated by K-PAX Racing still cultivated success for the championship-hopeful team. The team leaves a scorching fifth and sixth round of series action with two podiums, including a victory that also helped Lamborghini Squadra Corse to a milestone in its history.
“It was a great rebound for the No. 6 car from the beginning of the weekend,” K-PAX Racing Program Manager Darren Law said. “It was tough early-on, but they persevered and did a great job getting to the podium.”
A true testament to the team’s adaptability was its second-place finish in the event finale – from the No. 6 Lamborghini Squadra Corse supported Huracán GT3 EVO that had been in and out of the team garage in the preceding 48 hours. The team was able to rebound from front-end damage and electrical issues in that time, delivering a highly competitive car for the final race of the weekend. Its sister car, the No. 3, also added to its winning streak over three events by taking the checkered flag in the opener – the car’s fourth win in five rounds of series action. The team also helped Lamborghini Squadra Corse to its 100th victory globally for the Huracán GT3, which made its debut in 2015.
“To me, GT3 racing is so competitive worldwide,” Law said. “It’s for one an amazing accomplishment for Lamborghini. For us to be a part of that and contribute to that winning percentage – have our name in the books – we’re really proud of that.”
The two podium finishes, and victory add to the team’s magical title run over the first three events –nine podiums and five wins over six rounds, which stands as one of the most dominate starts the team has had in its history. The team has at least one podium in each of the first six rounds – a feat it has not accomplished since its last full stateside campaign in 2019.
K-PAX Racing was lined up fourth (second in PRO) and ninth (fourth in PRO) overall on the grid for the event finale. Pepper recorded a 1:44.414 in qualifying and Venturini a 1:45.069 for those positions and while the qualifying times set the pair mid-pack for the race, the Huracán GT3 EVOs made their swift climb up the field once the green flag waved in the 16-car field. Pepper was quick on the accelerator and into podium position, while Venturini – in a revitalized No. 6 car – gained two spots into seventh overall.
Unfortunately for the opening race-winner, the No. 3 experienced some setbacks with the anti-lock braking system (ABS), forcing Pepper to pit ahead of the mandatory driver window for a set of old Pirelli P Zero tires – and make an additional stop taking the team off the lead-lap. Venturini continued to climb, making his way into fourth overall and on the cusp of having a share of the overall podium.
The No. 6 team opted to pit early in the window, exchanging Venturini for Lewis during a quick stop. At the official close of the window, the No. 6 filed into the field in fourth (second in class). The No. 3, in the position to gain points while bearing with the ABS failure, pit shortly after for Caldarelli to take control of the wheel.
Lewis was able to out-match two out of class competitors early for second overall, and he continued to chip away at the lead – gaining about three seconds over the first 20 minutes of his stint. Lewis ran out of real-estate at the end but helped the No. 6 team to its fourth podium of the season. The No. 3 finished fourth in class, completing the objective of gaining points in the championship.
“It happens,” Law said. “But the most important thing is that we completed 70 percent of the race, which is where we score points. Yes, we lost some. But they did what they needed to do, and we scored what we could. We’ll move on to the next race.”
Andrea Caldarelli – No. 3 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO (Race 1 – 1st, Race 2 – 4th) – “Even though we had a negative Sunday, I would still say it was a pretty positive weekend. Again, we showed our strength, and we drove well all weekend. It was just an unlucky event on Sunday. We have to still be positive, and know we are making great progress on the car moving forward. To achieve the 100th win for Lamborghini is definitely a great milestone, and I’m really happy we did it here with Jordan [Pepper] and K-PAX Racing in the states.”
Jordan Pepper – No. 3 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO (Race 1 – 1st, Race 2 – 4th) – “Overall, it was a bittersweet weekend. We managed to get Lamborghini’s 100th win for the Huracán GT3 and our fourth victory of this championship. Everything was perfect yesterday – from pole position to the race. Today, we had a really good start, and I directly went from fourth to third. The car felt amazing. Unfortunately, I had an ABS failure that sent me off the track. From there on, we were in survival mode and managed to keep it on track to extend the championship lead from 20 points to 39. We’re super happy about that. Maybe everything didn’t go as planned for the whole team – we went through adversity, but the sister car bounced back which is nice to see and they deserve it. The fight is definitely on at Road America, and we just need to build a strong package for that weekend.”
Giovanni Venturini – No. 6 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO (Race 1 – NC, Race 2 – 2nd) – “After starting ninth overall, I did not expect the podium – but we’re here. I’m really happy for the team and their effort. At the end, we finally finished a session and with a podium which is even better. We earned great points for the championship and for the team, and we’ll see how we can carry this momentum into the next round.”
Corey Lewis – No. 6 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO (Race 1 – NC, Race 2 – 2nd) – “It feels good to be on the podium, especially after the start of the weekend. I cannot thank everyone at K-PAX Racing enough, especially the No. 6 crew. They busted their butts all weekend long, and to rebound to a second-place finish is great for the points. Hopefully we can continue this momentum into the next round.”
About K-PAX Racing
Based in Sonoma, Calif., K-PAX Racing has celebrated a total 158 podiums, 64 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.