Last minute pit stop puts brakes on strong result for K-Pax Racing in 1000km enduro
K-PAX Racing was denied a top ten finish in the 1000km Paul Ricard held at the weekend (2/3 June) when a pit stop in the final hour was required to change the brake pads on the team’s Lamborghini Huraćan GT3 EVO2.
The Pro line up of Sandy Mitchell, Franck Perera, and Marco Mapelli performed well across both days and the team battled hard to get into position for a strong result before that late stop caused heartbreak.
The team came into the weekend aiming to return to the front of the field after a strong showing in Monza to open the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS Endurance Cup season but found themselves battling to unlock the ultimate pace in the car through practice and pre-qualifying.
In qualifying itself, all three drivers lapped within 0.7s of each other, underlining their consistency, but it was a frustrating session where the speed still wasn’t quite there, meaning the team would start 16th in Pro for the six-hour race.
Scot Sandy took the opening stint but had only half a lap of action before a Safety Car was called, before starting to make his way up the overall order, gaining nine places in the opening hour. Marco continued the forward progress, himself making up four spots, before Franck climbed up another five to leave the team closing in on the top ten after three hours of racing.
The three drivers then cycled back through stints in the car as darkness fell, but sadly during the final pit stop the team was forced to change the brakes on the car, dropping it down the order and denying it the strong finish everyone had worked so hard to achieve.
Despite the setback, with good pace over long race distances, everyone remains optimistic for success at the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa at the end of June, which will begin with the famous Spa town center parade, before track action begins in earnest on Thursday, June 29th.
“This weekend has been up and down. We had a tricky start and then a difficult qualifying where all three drivers seemed to struggle and it didn’t seem to come together, but our pace in the race just seemed to get better and better, and we were making more and more progress through the field.
“Overall, I really enjoyed the race because I did a lot of overtaking in the first stint, and then we were pretty quick in the middle. It’s a shame that we’ve had some issues which have put us outside of the top ten where we would have been able to score some points.
“I’m really looking forward to Spa, it’s my favorite race of the year and it’s the one everyone wants to win the most, so we’ll be fighting. I think we’ve got a very good racecar over a long distance, so we’ll give it a good go.”
“We started the weekend pretty well, and I think we improved the car quite a lot. We were expecting to get better when the track was rubbering in, in fact, we saw during the race that the car was getting better and better towards the end. Then, unfortunately we had an issue, so there were no rewards for the hard work of the team.
“At the end of the day, we were in contention for a good top ten position and good points. We started far back, and we didn’t have any full course yellows, so no chance to regain the time lost in traffic. I’m looking forward to Spa as we have a good package, and we know that we can race well. If we can fix some of the issues we’ve had, then we have a chance.”
“We finished the race, which is already better than Monza. We can be happy because the pace was really strong, and I hope we can take that with us to Spa. We had double disappointment this weekend after the pace in qualifying and then the issues we faced in the race, but we have strong pace and the ingredients for success, we just have to put it all together and finish in a proper position.”
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