K-PAX Racing Resumes Pirelli World Challenge Sprint GT Action in Long Beach
Parente tries for third-consecutive victory with new manufacturer
K-PAX Racing returns to the streets of Long Beach (Calif.) April 13-15 for the third round of Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) Sprint GT competition.
Traveling 400 miles from its Northern California base in Sonoma, Calif., the team will make its 12th consecutive appearance on the 1.968-mile, 11-turn temporary circuit located in the heart of Long Beach, Calif. K-PAX Racing has had many season-defining moments there, including back-to-back victories (2016-17) and a total of six podium performances.
“There is no room for error on the street courses,” K-PAX Racing Program Manager Darren Law said. “But, I believe the Bentley will be good there. Long Beach is a hard place to execute a pass and with the very high-speed, long straightaway, it should give us an advantage in this section. We understand the demands of this track and we’ve had success there in the past. This is always a great venue with a large spectator attendance we’re looking forward racing there again this weekend.”
Last season, both the team’s Sprint GT drivers shared the podium. Álvaro Parente, who has won the last two seasons at the track, led all 31 laps for his second win of 2017. Parente also recorded the fastest time in qualifying with a 1:18.883. He not only holds the PWC track record from his qualifying time, but he also recorded the series’ fastest race lap to-date with a 1:19.070.
“Long Beach is a track I really like, and I’ve had a lot of success there the last two seasons,” Parente said. “It’s always good to know that place well as we will have limited practice time there. We will have to go there with a lot of determination and hunger to do well. We will try to extract the best performance possible from the Bentley and try to get a good result from both cars.”
In Baptista’s debut season in GT3 racing (GTA / Pro-Am), he has stood on the podium in each of his starts – four races over two events. For Baptista, Long Beach will be a new test for him as the GTS class was not in the event line-up last season.
“It’ll definitely be different for me because I don’t know the track,” Baptista said. “I’m going to do some practice on the simulator before the race week. It’s going to be a challenge for us because it is a street course, but we’ll go out there and give it our all. The car is strong, so we’ll just have to see when we get there.”
The action starts on Friday, April 13 with the team’s first practice session at 3:30 p.m. (PDT). For more information about the series’ stop at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, visit world-challenge.com.
About K-PAX Racing
Based in Sonoma, Calif., K-PAX Racing has celebrated a total 111 podiums, 44 wins, four Driver Championships and three Manufacturer Championships, solidifying the team as a continuous championship contender. In the GT Class K-PAX 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.
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, Brian Gush 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.
Optimum Polymer Technologies, the manufacturer of Opti-Coat, was founded in Memphis, Tenn., on July 1, 2001 by Dr. David Ghodoussi. Prior to this, Dr. Ghodoussi worked for over 12 years as an Organic Chemist overseeing research and development focused in polymers and automotive paint formulations.
For more than a decade, Opti-Coat has been setting the industry standard with their unique coating technologies developing and manufacturing proprietary resins utilizing Silicon Carbide (SiC) chemistry. Opti-Coat’s purpose is to provide clients with a product that is the most durable, innovative and protective coating available.
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