Magical Monza: K-PAX Racing set for season opener with eyes on the podium
K-PAX Racing is set for the opening round of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS season, taking place at Autodromo Nazionale Monza in Italy this weekend (April 22/23).
The team, which clinched all three Fanatec GT World Challenge America titles last season, has refocused its efforts on Europe this year. Once again it will be supported by Lamborghini Squadra Corse, fielding a brand-new Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO2.
Climbing behind the wheel will be a formidable trio of talented, Lamborghini Squadra Corse Factory Drivers: Franck Perera from France, Sandy Mitchell from the United Kingdom, and Marco Mapelli from Italy.
All three will be battling hard to be at the front of the field during the three-hour race, held on the historic 3.600 miles / 5.793 km circuit. Built in 1922, it was the world’s third purpose-built motor racing circuit, after Brooklands and Indianapolis, and has hosted the Italian Grand Prix every year since 1948, with the exception of 1980.
The race will also mark the debut of the Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO2 on Italian soil, just a few hours from the prestigious manufacturer’s headquarters. The car is based on the Huracán STO, with which it shares important design elements, rear-wheel drive only, and a naturally aspirated V10 engine.
Franck, Sandy, and Marco will first hit the track on Saturday, April 22, with Free Practice taking place at 09:00 CEST (00:00 PDT), followed by Pre-Qualifying at 13:40 (02:40). Each driver will get just 15 mins in qualifying, with the combined average times of the trio counting towards pole position. The race itself is set to begin at 15:00 CEST (06:00 PDT), with live coverage available on the GTWorld channel on YouTube.
“Monza is my home circuit because my family lives 15 minutes away. I am looking forward to going back there and hope we can get on the podium as it is always a special feeling there. The fast corners, Lesmo 1 and 2 for example, are really challenging, especially through the race because the tire degradation means you are fighting to take as much speed through as possible.”
“It’s my first time in Pro and my first time with K-PAX Racing, so there’s a lot of excitement going into the first race and I’m looking forward to fighting for the overall victory. The field looks really strong this year and there will be a lot of Pro cars, so it’s going to be tough to get a clear lap in qualifying, but we’ll do the best job we can. Traffic is always an issue in GT World Challenge, just because there’s so many cars with different classes. In the race, it’s not so bad, but in qualifying you have Am drivers on the track at the same time.
“Monza is a track that I’ve not been to since 2019, but it’s super quick and has a lot of long straights and big braking zones, so we’ll see how the new EVO2 goes around there. It’s an interesting one and it’s always good fighting because the slipstream keeps everyone close, so there should be lots of overtaking. Sometimes you can get the benefit of the slipstream if you get the gap just right, and it can work in your favor. That makes Monza quite interesting, and you just never know what’s going to happen when you race there.”
“I love Monza, it is an historic track and I think we will have the chance to fight for the victory. It is a high-speed track, and it is exciting to drive with the heavy braking zones into the chicanes. It has been a while since we have been there in the championship, so it is good to be going back.”
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