K-PAX Racing Surges to Sweep in Austin
Finishes one-two from mid-pack in Circuit of The Americas finale
There is one trait K-PAX Racing demonstrated in the third and fourth round of Fanatec GT World Challenge America Powered by AWS: Adaptability. Under adverse weather conditions and stacked against a highly competitive series field, the team was able to accomplish a feat that it has yet to do in its 15 seasons of operation. K-PAX Racing has swept back-to-back events in a multi-race format.
The two K-PAX Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVOs shared the top-step in two races that were drastically different. While K-PAX Racing represented the top row of the grid in the opener, the team started mid-pack in the finale. While Mother Nature ruled the opener with inclement weather and increasingly slicker track conditions, the clouds made way for a clear Sunday stroll. The one constant was winning. K-PAX Racing earned its fourth consecutive victory of four rounds through the weekend – three of those rounds where both team line-ups shared the first and second step of the podium.
“Overall, it was a phenomenal race again for the team,” K-PAX Racing Program Manager Darren Law said. “Congratulations to the team for their car preparation, to Lamborghini for providing us a great product, and to the drivers of course for being flawless and driving it up to the front. It was a bit of a difficult start from mid-pack, but both cars drove very well up through the field.”
K-PAX Racing started eighth and ninth on the grid for the event finale, with Andrea Caldarelli fielding the No. 3 and Corey Lewis kicking off the No. 6 campaign. At the drop of the green flag, 16 cars bunched into the sharp first turn of COTA, which gave space for Lewis to successfully get under the bulk of the field and pick up three spots early. Caldarelli was swept into the flow of cars exiting the first corner and further back into the field. After a first lap of intense position battles and wheel-to-wheel exchanges throughout the course, the field settled in single-file. Caldarelli, in 11th overall, then set the quickest lap of the race with a 2:08.422 in his pursuit back into the top-10.
Caldarelli was able to make his way up to seventh overall before pulling down pit-lane at the opening of the mandatory pit window, making the change to yesterday’s pole-sitter Jordan Pepper. Lewis swapped out for Venturini soon after. The No. 6 and No. 3 reentered the field for the second half of action in 12th and 13th respectively and at the end of the window, broke into the top-five. A full-course yellow regrouped the field nearing the hour-mark, with Venturini fourth and Pepper fifth – in striking distance of the three competitors ahead.
“For me, the pivotal moment was when the yellow came out,” Law said. “That bunched the entire group up and gave us the opportunity to take advantage of our drivers and cars and get them out front. I’m happy, no matter which position, to have both cars up front and one-two again. It’s great for the points, and it’s nice to see the No. 6 car have a great finish.”
Venturini surged into second on the restart, overtaking two Pro-Am entries for podium position. Caldarelli followed suit, making quick work into third overall. Pepper made his move shortly after, safely completing the pass on Venturini and then engaging in a quick battle for the lead. While Pepper boosted into the lead, Venturini took advantage of the battle and made the pass for second. From as far back as 15th, the No. 3 was in familiar territory back on-top. In the closing laps – and distancing from the field by more than seven seconds – the two K-PAX Racing swapped spots in the final corners as the No. 3 exhausted the right-rear tire from its relentless run up the field. The final lead change made way for the No. 6 team’s first victory of the season.
“Looking at everything we’ve done so far, we’re still learning with these cars,” Law said. “But we’re getting better every weekend. I mean especially the crew to the pit-stops – we were a tenth or two above the minimum. Everything was executed well, and we’re looking forward to the next rounds.”
Andrea Caldarelli – No. 3 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO (Race 1 – 1st, Race 2 – 2nd) – “It was a hard start. I decided to go outside in the first turn and unfortunately, I got pushed out. I lost a couple of positions there. After that I got hit very hard from the back, and I lost quite a bit of more time. I just put my head down and tried to recover as much as I could. We set the fastest lap of the race which is very good. We made some adjustments to the car on Friday because we felt it could have been improved, and we used the race as sort of a test session. So, it was good to also learn.”
Jordan Pepper – No. 3 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO (Race 1 – 1st, Race 2 – 2nd) – “The weekend was not as easy as Sonoma. The weather was a factor, and it was a new track for a lot of us, but we had an incredible performance again. I felt like I was on the back-foot with everyone testing, but the team put their heads down and worked incredibly hard. We had a really competitive car, and that shows after a difficult qualifying where we finished on pole and turned the result around from eighth and ninth. I’m really happy for the sister car getting its first win of the season, and I’m sure we’re going to be fighting neck-and-neck to the finish. Andrea [Caldarelli] got hit a few times at the start – not his fault – and he put in the hard bits really pulling up to the leaders. It allowed us to undercut everyone. I just had to put my head down and go as fast as I absolutely could.”
Giovanni Venturini – No. 6 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO (Race 1 – 4th, Race 2 – 1st) – “After the safety car, I was able to get by two cars ahead of me, and then Jordan [Pepper] was a little bit faster than me, so I gave him the position. I don’t know what happened at the end, whether he had a problem or not, but he gave me the position for the one-two. After yesterday, we deserve it. We had back luck. But we’re focused on the championship and victories are the best way to do it. The championship is long, so we’ll see.”
Corey Lewis – No. 6 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO (Race 1 – 4th, Race 2 – 1st) – “The start of this race is always an extreme challenge with the first turn. It’s so wide and with the stewards allowing us to cross over the blend line coming out of pit-lane, you can go five or six wide if you really wanted to. It’s a luck of the draw. Andrea [Caldarelli] and I spoke about what we were going to do – he opted to go on the outside and I went inside. Fortunately for our car, we were able to pick up three spots on the inside, and we just tried to manage the car as best we could from there. I’m very happy with the result.”
About K-PAX Racing
Based in Sonoma, Calif., K-PAX Racing has celebrated a total 156 podiums, 63 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.
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