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K-PAX Racing Sweeps VIR, Earns 11th Consecutive Victory
Team Undefeated in ’22, Streak Extends Into Last Year
Rounds 5 and 6 of the Fanatec GT World Challenge America Powered by AWS took place at VIRginia International Raceway, known to the racing community as “Heaven on Earth”, which translated to “fairytale” in describing the way the weekend ended up going for K-PAX Racing.
Andrea Caldarelli & Michele Beretta swept both races in the No. 1 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO, with teammates Jordan Pepper & Misha Goikhberg in the sister No. 3 Huracán GT3 EVO taking 3rd place in the Pro class each time.
“Really excited, that was a great run this weekend,” said K-PAX Racing Program Manager Darren Law. “I have to give credit to not only the drivers, but the crews and their execution. A P1 and P3 again, really working on extending that points lead further… I’m very proud of this program.”
Both pairings fought harder for Sunday’s race results compared to Saturday’s effort, having started the race down the order after the No. 3 was caught up in a post-race penalty from Round 5. In the opening laps, Caldarelli & Pepper were 5th and 8th overall, but slowly starting their fight to the front. Several rotations of caution periods added complications, but both drivers stood tall and charged on the restarts to get to the pit stop & driver exchanges.
Pepper brought the No. 3 in first, turning the car over to Goikhberg, but unfortunately had a slower stop after experiencing a slow tire leak on the in-lap and lost some spots. Caldarelli brought the No. 1 in on the following lap, and Beretta exited the pits with a successful undercut to move from P3 to P2 in class. He methodically worked his way to the front, first taking the lead in class, then the overall lead soon after.
“A mega stop for the No. 1 especially, and we were able to come out of the pits ahead of the car we had been chasing,” added Law. “That really put us in position to win, and then the guys just drove it home to a great finish.”
Goikhberg, who found himself as low in the overall order as 10th (4th in class) with 30 minutes remaining, kicked on the afterburners and charged forward. He fought his way to an eventual 3rd in class (5th overall), nearly moving up and additional two spots overall and one in class. For his part, Beretta held strong against a pair of charging competitors, and after unforced errors by both of the rivals, he extended his lead to cross the finish line 28 seconds ahead of 2nd place.
K-PAX Racing has now swept every round of the 2022 GT World Challenge America season, as well as bringing the team’s win streak to 11 consecutive victories. That total stretches back into 2021, including the final two rounds of that GT World Challenge America season, as well as an Intercontinental GT Challenge event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“11 wins in a row, that’s… that’s unprecedented,” said Law. “The cars were flawless, so thanks to Lamborghini for their support as always.”
Next up on the GT World Challenge America schedule is Watkins Glen International, where Rounds 7 and 8 will take place on July 22-24. Visit gt-world-challenge-america.com for more event information. All races are streamed live and archived for on-demand viewing at www.youtube.com/gtworld or www.twitch.tv/sromotorsports. SRO America championships also feature broadcasts on CBS Sports.
Andrea Caldarelli – No. 1 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO (Race 1 – 1st, Race 2 – 1st) – “It was quite a good race, though a bit eventful at the start. After Turn 1 I didn’t have space inside, so I went outside and got sandwiched and lost the position. Then we had a lot of safety car time, but after I really pushed hard on the in-lap to give Michele [Beretta] a good position, and it worked. The guys did a great stop with no mistakes, very positive. We will need to do some work on our setup for Watkins Glen, analyze data and such, but I’m looking forward to the next rounds.”
Michele Beretta – No. 1 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO (Race 1 – 1st, Race 2 – 1st) – “I think we did a perfect job again with the strategy. The pit call, the pit stop, there was fighting in the beginning but he did a great job keeping towards the front. I don’t think it was a very fun stint for him with all of the long safety cars. But my stint was fairly clear and it felt good in the car. Our main competitors were struggling a bit more, and we just all did a great job again.”
Jordan Pepper – No. 3 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO (Race 1 – 3rd, Race 2 – 3rd) – “Firstly, it was quite frustrating having to start in the back because of the penalty. I got smashed off fairly quickly, so the two places I gained on the start, I lost again. Then we had a couple of safety cars, then a slow puncture, so boxed as early as we could. Pit stop didn’t go great so we’ll do some work there, but I’m quite impressed with Misha [Goikhberg]’s pace through his stint. We ended up with two podiums and I have a test with Misha coming up at Watkins Glen, and we’ll maximize these gains. A win for us is super close.”
Misha Goikhberg – No. 3 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO (Race 1 – 3rd, Race 2 – 3rd) – “It was good, definitely challenging in the car. The pit stop with the slow leak in the tire really forced our hand, and then we got held up by some traffic. I feel our pace is getting really close to the No. 1’s, and hopefully we’ll be challenging them for a win very soon. Good job to the team, good job to the sister car, and I really think we’re finding a rhythm we can be proud of.”
About K-PAX Racing
Based in Sonoma, Calif., K-PAX Racing has celebrated a total 174 podiums, 71 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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