Steady Sailing into New York’s Finger Lakes
K-PAX Racing Brings Winning Streak to Watkins Glen International for Rounds 7 & 8
When K-PAX Racing announced that it was teaming up with Lamborghini Squadra Corse in 2021, it was not without some sort of confidence behind how strong of a partnership it would be. Fast-forward to about the half-way mark to the 2022 season: The team has created what its Team Owner, Jim Haughey, has long considered as a perfect equation for a formidable team. Behind a strong crew, drivers and manufacturer, the team has since established itself at the top of the Fanatec GT World Challenge America Powered by AWS rankings, and arguably, has the credentials of a dynasty alongside the Italian marque.
K-PAX Racing sets its sights to the Northeast July 22-24, where Watkins Glen International can play host to the extension of a myriad of streaks and successes – some crucial to this year’s points standings and title defenses. So far this season, the team has swept the first three events (Sonoma Raceway, NOLA Motorsports Park, VIRginia International Raceway), which is historically the best start to the season the team has seen. The start even exceeds its 2021 start, where the team won five-straight to open its debut season with the Huracán GT3 EVO.
“We have had a great season so far and now at the midway point, we are in a great position, but we can’t back off,” K-PAX Racing Program Manager Darren Law said. “Watkins Glen has traditionally been a great track for us, so we feel good about the upcoming race. We just have to stay focused and execute because knowing this Championship is a real possibility is a strong motivator.”
While the team’s current success is magnified by its importance in retaining the title, it has not casted a shadow over its two-year handle on a series, which is comprised of some of the most competitive GT3 competition stateside. K-PAX Racing has won 10 straight races under the series’ 90-minute race format, dating back to last year’s June installment at Road America. Tack on a series class victory of the Indianapolis 8 Hours, and that makes it 11. K-PAX Racing has swept seven of the nine multi-race events held since 2021 — Watkins Glen being one of them.
“This team is truly amazing and has so many people that contribute to keep us at the top-level year after year,” Law said. “The majority of crew has been together for multiple championships, from the mechanics to the engineering staff to everyone back at the shop for over seven years now, and that is a big factor as to why we work so well and can deliver the successful results we have. Add in the close relationship and support Lamborghini Squadra Corse provides, and you can see why we have had so much success over the years.”
“The Glen” has been home to multiple event sweeps in team history (Single race: 2007, 2008; Multi-race: 2018, 2021). Three of the four resulted in a Drivers’ Championship that year, and two helped K-PAX Racing to a Team Championship. Last season, Andrea Caldarelli and Jordan Pepper — still on the team roster — completed their third sweep of 2021. It was also the fourth time the two K-PAX Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVOs finished one-two.
Caldarelli can join team-legend Randy Pobst for sweeping consecutive seasons at The Glen, though Pobst won both years (2007-2008) in a single-race format. Pobst went on win back-to-back championships in the team’s first two seasons. Rodrigo Baptista also swept the event during his 2018 campaign.
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 – “Watkins Glen was very positive for us last year. We came off a very difficult weekend at Road America, where we struggled with car setup. We came back here and found our feeling again. So hopefully we will be starting from there again. The high grip level of this track should fit our car. But our competitors showed a strong performance in the last two rounds, so I will not be surprised if they are here. Normally our car suits high-speed corners, so we will work to keep it strong there. I am looking forward to this race as it will be before our 24 Hours of Spa race, and it will be good to race at such an iconic track before a very iconic race.”
Michele Beretta – No. 1 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO – “I’m looking forward to the Watkins Glen International race week. I have been there before – in 2017 with (Lamborghini) Super Trofeo, and I have great memories. This is probably my favorite circuits of the championship. I could not test previous the race weekend at this track, but I am very confident that I can get up to speed straight from the first free practice. The goal is to keep going with the same effort and results of the previous weekends.”
Jordan Pepper – No. 3 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO – “Last year was a great race with the double-win. We were in a crucial part of the championship, and coming off a tough event at Road America, we turned it around. This is where the momentum swung, and it is the start of K-PAX Racing’s undefeated streak into now. It was a great event for us, and the track definitely suits the car. It allows for change in direction and strong braking. It’s high-grip and enjoyable to drive. I really enjoy it as one of my favorite tracks. This year will be quite different, so it’ll be interesting to see how we get on through the week. Misha [Goikhberg] and I came off a great two-day test, and we feel quite confident. Hopefully, we can get our first win together as a driver pairing.”
Misha Goikhberg – No. 3 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO – “This is a very fun track, with lots of high-speed corners, high commitment, but it still produces good racing, with some good passing spots. It’s one of favorite tracks for many drivers, myself included. This place is special to me, because this is essentially my home race this year as our championship doesn’t go to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. It’s still a short drive away from Toronto. Winning here in 2018 was sweet but winning here in 2022 would be even sweeter. We had a positive test here with Jordan [Pepper], so we are aiming to have a smooth weekend, and execute to our potential.”
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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