Dec 12

K-PAX Racing Returns to Dominance

SONOMA, Calif., 2022
K-PAX Racing Returns to Dominance

  • Awarded Fifth Team Championship
  • Caldarelli Crowned Champion
  • Lamborghini Earns Second-Straight Title


It was almost a feeling déjà vu at the conclusion of the 2022 Fanatec GT World Championship America Powered by AWS Championship – almost. While K-PAX Racing celebrated a duplication of the previous season, sweeping the series three major championships, in hindsight it did not come without new challenges. In fact, how the team reacted to this season’s unforeseen adversity casted a much different light upon 2022.

K-PAX Racing reintroduced its Lamborghini Squadra Corse supported program for a second season, revolving its effort around the manufacturer’s Huracán GT3 EVO. Lamborghini factory driver Andrea Caldarelli and three-year team driver Jordan Pepper – the 2021 co-champions – returned to the line-up. Giacomo Altoè, also a Lamborghini factory driver, and Misha Goikhberg initially joined forces in Pro-Am to complete the team’s multi-class chase.

“Coming into this season was the second year of our program with Lamborghini Squadra Corse, so we had both confidence and momentum coming from our experience in 2021,” K-PAX Racing Program Manager Darren Law said. “It was a great season, and we knew what we had to do to go for championships. Although it was lofty, we felt confident that we could compete for the Drivers’, Manufacturers’ and Team titles and I am glad we were able to deliver those.”

The Sonoma, Calif. based operation enjoyed home-field advantage in the first two rounds of action. Sonoma Raceway had not only been a true testing ground in the team’s 2021 transition to the Huracán GT3 EVO, but also a successful starting point of a new era. The Caldarelli-Pepper power pairing, concluding the 2021 regular season with back-to-back sweeps, extended its streak at Sonoma. This feat was also reminiscent of the 2021 opener, as the team kicked-off the year with back-to-back victories. While Sonoma is especially – and literally – near and dear, the proceeding rounds would be the first major shift and hurdle for the defending champions.

GT World Challenge America made a strategic audible on short notice that welcomed NOLA Motorsports Park to the schedule. The decision challenged the team to prepare for a new course it had yet to experience in North America – a 2020 stop at Indianapolis Motor Speedway being its last debut among the series’ regular circuits. An additional unforeseen change saw an abrupt shuffling of the team’s driver line-up ahead of the team’s track debut. Adhering to the series decision to reclassify its premiere Pro category – requiring one FIA categorized “Silver” licensed driver per entry – the team split Caldarelli and Pepper into its two Huracán GT3 EVOs, as well as invited Lamborghini driver Michele Beretta to the fold to replace Altoè.

Amidst the major changes, including a promotion of the team’s Pro-Am entry, the team’s tenacity shined. Caldarelli and Beretta swept the weekend and went on to do the same in the following rounds at VIRginia International Raceway. Three consecutive team sweeps to open 2022 not only marked the best start the team has had in its history but was also just a piece of a more spectacular accomplishment. K-PAX Racing remained unbeaten through 10 regular season rounds over the span of a 10-month period, as well as an additional round win after the first three hours of the 2021 Indianapolis 8 Hour.

While the following two series events, Watkins Glen International and Road America, tested the team’s fortitude – the longest winning streak in team history snapped – K-PAX Racing created a major effort with Squadra Corse for the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa in-between to contest for one of racing’s most coveted titles on arguably the biggest GT racing stages in the world. The team combined the racing talents of Caldarelli, Pepper and Lamborghini factory driver Marco Mapelli in an Orange1 supported Huracán GT3 EVO. The team battled to an 11th place finish – even leading the race at one point – in the second-largest grid the event has seen in the past two decades. The team has finished the race with all three of its entries in two appearances in the event (2020, 2022).

“The return to the 24 Hours of Spa was a very big effort, and we came into this race with a strengthened relationship with Lamborghini,” Law said. “They were an integral part of this event as was the support from Orange1, and it showed with our performance. Although luck was not totally on our side, we showed how fast we were. We are proud to finish as the top Lamborghini in the race. This is a race we felt we could have won, and it is still on our list of accomplishments to achieve in the coming years.”

K-PAX Racing had celebrated continuous success up until the mid-season stretch, but whether it experienced triumph or defeat, the drivers and team neither basked nor dwelled in it. There was always room for improvement. The team regrouped heading into the penultimate rounds – Sebring International Raceway was a special place for the team, as it clinched all three 2021 titles there with a sweep of the weekend. It was nearly reprised this season, as Caldarelli and Beretta completed the double victory, which was their third in five events as a driver pairing. Caldarelli not only secured the Drivers’ Championship, but also became the wins leader in K-PAX Racing history (17). Simultaneously, K-PAX Racing clinched its fourth Team Championship over the last five seasons.

“Although it may have looked easy, it never is,” Law said. “We had our share of struggles this year but to lock things up at Sebring shows the determination of the drivers, the team and the dedication Jim Haughey has for this sport.”

There was one final title within close reach – the Manufacturers’ Championship. K-PAX Racing had its chance to not only help Lamborghini to its second-straight, but also decide the rest of the order in the drivers’ standings. Indianapolis Motor Speedway was the final stop for the team, as it contended in its third eight-hour endurance race there. Teams participating in the SRO Motorsports Group hosted event, shared by GT World Challenge America and Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli, were able to earn points in each series.

K-PAX Racing expanded its line-up by welcoming Mapelli back to the roster and inviting Lamborghini factory driver Franck Perera to the team. The team was able to finish the race with one of its Huracán GT3 EVOs, powered by Pepper, Goikhberg and Perera. The finish locked-up the team’s second-straight “triple crown” of GT World Challenge America, as it helped Lamborghini to a title. All four regular season drivers also finished at the top of the series’ driver rankings.

In total: Eight wins, 20 podiums and five poles. K-PAX Racing was able to earn pole position in the first four events of the season. It was also able to turn four of those five poles into a race win. In two seasons with Lamborghini, K-PAX Racing has won 19 races and earn 42 podiums – its most successful start with any manufacturer over the first two seasons.

“It is hard to ask for much more than what we achieved this season,” Law said. “Locking up the three championships and adding to the winning K-PAX Racing history is very special. We are looking forward to the new Huracán EVO2 and can’t wait to get 2023 started.”


Andrea Caldarelli – No. 1 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO – “I came back after a first great season, so obviously we already had a good relationship. But we had to keep the bar high, so it was never easy. We didn’t change the attitude, the anger to win, compared to the first year. It was a very enjoyable, but it was also a harder second season.

The decision to split-up me and Jordan [Pepper] shuffled everything up, as we used to do car setup together. We were ‘against’ one another, which was bit strange… but at the same time it pushed us to do better. We had struggled to find speed in the middle of the season and that was a very tough moment, until we have found the issue in Sebring.

[RE: Driver Pairing with Michele Beretta]: We already knew each other and spoke the same language, so it was very easy to click from the beginning and we could crack on straight away. So, I was very happy to share the car with Mike. We enjoyed a lot even though we had tough moments.

It was, for me, a very positive second year with the team and we have achieved a lot together. I am very proud as I feel part of the successful K-PAX Racing and Lamborghini relationship since Day 1. Two championships in row are definitely something special.

[RE: Memories from the season]: There are many nice memories from this year, but one that stands out a bit more is definitely when we went play top golf in Indianapolis together. It was very good fun!”

Michele Beretta – No. 1 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO – “Initially, GTWC America was not the plan for my season, but after the first race I found myself in the No. 1 K-PAX Racing Huracán GT3 EVO defending the 2021 Championship title with one of the fastest Lamborghini drivers.

The goal was to win. Together, with Andrea [Caldarelli] and the team, we worked hard – especially mid-season where we were struggling to find some performances. Everyone was committed and motivated, and that’s how we got back up to speed for Sebring and Indy.

Andrea is a great guy to work with, and he is pushing everyone on the team to get the best from the car in every session. I did not know Jordan [Pepper] before this year, but it took very little to get comfortable around the team atmosphere. I enjoyed every moment on-track with these guys – everyone pushed each other to get the best, especially through difficult moments.

I had a fantastic experience, and I have to thank K-PAX Racing and Lamborghini to get me in the best condition to fight for this championship. Unfortunately, we had a bittersweet end with the last race in Indianapolis. I was looking for good results in the eight-hour – it would have been the cherry on top.”

Jordan Pepper – No. 3 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO – “The 2022 season was an interesting one to be honest. A lot of adversity got thrown our way with the change in driver line-ups, but I think how the team reacted is a great testament of the determination by every team member. No matter what was thrown at us and with all the changes that were made throughout the year, it only added to our success. Instead of having a possibility with two cars, we had four drivers fighting for the championship. We ended up clinching one, two, three and four. Overall, it was a great season. My goal going into the championship was to fight for the title again and defend it with Andrea [Caldarelli], but ultimately, we were against each other from the second event. I didn’t get the best of it, as he beat me in the battle. But it was great to have a ‘go’ at it and finish second. It’s something I’m still really proud of.

K-PAX Racing has been my home now for three years. Every year the relationship gets stronger and the trust has been there from the first day. It’s what you need in a good working relationship. I’m very proud to have delivered some great results for them this year – for Jim [Haughey] and every single team member. A big ‘thank you’ to everyone in the No. 3 crew for all the hard work they put into this. It was difficult at points – a lot of lows when we should have been celebrating highs. But, we never gave up in the end.

The pairing with Misha [Goikhberg] was thrown at us in the beginning, but I understood right away just sharing the drivers’ room with him during the opening event what a hard-working guy he is – and very down to Earth. He took up the sport late, but it doesn’t affect how determined he is. He’s probably one of the hardest working teammates I’ve ever had. I was able to learn from him, even being a professional driver. You learn from his determination. I was also able to share a lot of my knowledge as well, and he has come a long way and has become a lot faster. He improved every step of the way.

It was a long, tough year. But overall, it was a good one. I’m very happy for the whole K-PAX Racing organization, as well as Lamborghini Squadra Corse.”

Misha Goikhberg – No. 3 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO – “I really enjoyed 2022 with K-PAX Racing, and I hope to build on that in the future. We had some difficult moments, but we had definitely grown. For me the challenge was getting used to the Pirelli tire, and the championship was new for me. I really enjoyed the format of the weekends and having two races was a big plus. Working with JP (Jordan Pepper) has been a great pleasure. We found good chemistry and usually wanted the same things from the car. Thank you to everyone at K-PAX Racing, Lamborghini, Jim [Haughey] and Darren [Law] to make all this happen. I’m really happy to help Lamborghini secure the Manufacturers’ Championship.”

About K-PAX Racing
Based in Sonoma, Calif., K-PAX Racing has celebrated a total 183 podiums, 73 wins, six Driver Championships, and five 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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