Looking forward: the 2023 K-PAX Racing season preview
Popular motorsport outfit K-PAX Racing is closing in on the start of its 2023 season, as the team finalizes testing and preparations for its Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS campaign.
Making a full racing return to Europe after sweeping the board with all three championship titles in GT World Challenge America last year – a successful partnership with Lamborghini, having secured 19 race wins and 42 podiums since switching to the Huracán GT3 EVO.
It is all change this season however, as the California-based team fields one of the Italian manufacturer’s brand-new Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO2 machines with an all-star line-up of Lamborghini Squadra Corse Factory Drivers: Franck Perera, Sandy Mitchell, and Marco Mapelli.
The trio – who have been part of the new car’s development – will be aiming to compete at the very front of the grid throughout the season, though all know there is also a key prize in the summer: victory at the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa.
There is, however, another early goal, with the first round of the year at the famous Autodromo Nazionale Monza in Italy, where scores of Lamborghini fans will be willing the car on during the three-hour race on the high-speed circuit known as “The Temple of Speed.”
From there the team will head to Circuit Paul Ricard for a six-hour race into the night, Spa for the 24 Hours, the Nürburgring for three hours, and finishing the season at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, another three-hour event.
“I think testing has been going well. We have been getting everybody on point with the new car and trying to find the right way to work with the tires, which are slightly different compared to last year. We have been doing our job without watching the performance too much, because it’s related to the BoP which was not in the window at Paul Ricard. Apart from that, we are concentrating on what we need to in the right way. Things have been going in the right direction and the team is growing together so we will be ready for the start of the season.
“I have worked with Franck already and we know each other very well, because we undertook the development of the EVO2 together. Sandy is very cool, and it is really nice to work with him. We are on the same page, which is which is the best thing, and everybody in the team is working together.
“We need to find some solid pace with the new car as the EVO2 is a step forward from the previous car, but when we get there, we will be fighting for the championship. It is a step forward in balance, downforce, and tire management, so that should help us in the hot conditions through the summer. Victory at the Spa 24 Hours is missing for both Lamborghini and me, so that is one of the big goals of the year.”
“I’ve had my first tests with K-RAX Racing and everyone at the team has been super welcoming. We’ve got some excellent mechanics and engineers and everyone’s working really well together so far, which has been really positive. I raced in the United States in 2020 in Lamborghini Super Trofeo, so I have learned to tone down my Scottish accent and everyone can understand me just fine!
“I’m looking forward to the season, being my first time in the Pro class and I can’t wait to get stuck in. My teammates have lots of experience and won races overall at this level, so I don’t see why we can’t be aiming for that this year.”
“Testing has been going well and it has been good working with K-PAX again after racing at Indianapolis with the team. We will see how things go at the first round, but it is looking good so far and it’s good to be back in GT World Challenge.
“The new EVO2 has lots of improvements and we are working on those as a team to get the best out of the car. The expectations are high as we have the package to fight for victories in both the team and drivers’ championships, plus us drivers have a good relationship, so we will be preparing as much as possible for Monza.”
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2023: Round Five – Barcelona