K-PAX Racing will make its final grand entrance of the 2019 Blancpain GT World Challenge America season October 18-20 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. There, the team will make its last push for multiple championships that are still in play.
“We are looking forward to closing out the season this coming weekend,” K-PAX Racing Program Manager Darren Law said. “We have had a good year with several wins and podiums and given that this was the first season in the new car, we are very pleased with its performance.”
Las Vegas Motor Speedway – under a 12-turn configuration that will use the speedway’s front stretch, infield road course and apron – will be the team’s 23rd new track on the series schedule since 2007. The team has made its impression at each of the series stops before, capturing a podium at every track and winning at 20 of them.
Through 12 rounds of the 2019 season, the team has found success in its pair of second-generation Bentley Continental GT3s. K-PAX Racing has finished in the top-three at least twice at each track this far and has the opportunity to close the season having podiumed at each track. The team has also been represented on the podium in each round.
“We are still in the fight for several of the Championships, so it will be an interesting weekend in Las Vegas,” Law said. “This is a new track for the teams and the drivers with an unproven configuration. It is hard to predict what the track will give us as far as grip level and advantages or disadvantages for each type of car.”
K-PAX Racing is still in the hunt for both a Team and Manufacturers Championship. In the team rankings, K-PAX Racing trails by only 14 points heading into the final two rounds of competition. The team’s pair of Continental GT3s look to make a run at the manufacturers’ title and are in striking distance at a 17-point gap. The team has its sights on capturing both ahead of the year-end award ceremonies following the event finale.
“We will be working hard to get to the setup as quickly as possible,” Law said. “The year-end banquet is always fun for us to get together as a group and let loose a little bit, and what better place to do that than in Las Vegas.”
Álvaro Parente – No. 9 Bentley Continental GT3 – “This is a new track for us, and I haven’t been there before, so it’ll be a new challenge. After a difficult last race weekend for us, we will go into the final rounds giving all we have to get the best result possible. After a hard-fought year of racing, we want to end on a high-note and try and get the best result possible for everyone on the team.”
Andy Soucek – No. 9 Bentley Continental GT3 – “I had a look at the track map, and it looks a bit like a go-cart track. They put a lot of chicanes and slow corners into the configuration, which does not benefit our car. There aren’t a lot of corners, so I don’t think it will be difficult to learn. We’ve been adapting well to every new track we’ve been to this year [with Max Soulet as Bentley Factory drivers]. For all the tracks we did not go testing at prior to the races – Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and Road America – we were on-pace right away. So, I don’t think this track will be any different, considering it’s going to be slower and shorter. I’m more worried about the grip-level and that the car may struggle here a little more than the other tracks.
I feel a little sad – though I shouldn’t. The season is coming to an end, and it feels like it just started. It has been a very intense season, where Álvaro [Parente] and I fought for the title. We have done a very good campaign, and it’s nostalgic to look back at all the good moments from this season. We enjoy driving together, and we’ve been fast. We can be proud of what we’ve achieved.”
Rodrigo Baptista – No. 3 Bentley Continental GT3 – “I am looking forward to race under the lights in Vegas. It will be the very first time for Blancpain GT World Challenge there, so I think we can put on a great show for the fans. The track is a bit tricky with the heat and dryness of the region, but it will be the same for everybody. I will do my best to finish the season with a great result for K-PAX Racing and for Bentley.
So far, 2019 is a good year. We’ve started the season very strong being the very first to win with the new car worldwide at Circuit of The Americas. Then the race at VIRginia International Raceway, when we went from zero on Saturday to a great win Sunday. We struggled a little bit at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and Sonoma and then the unfortunate incident with the Ferrari at The Glen, but overall it’s been a great season. I am really happy for the team and really fortunate to drive with Max [Soulet]. I think we are a great combination.
Now let’s focus on Vegas and also 2020. I’m hoping to come back to K-PAX Racing and fight for the championship by learning from our mistakes in 2019.”
Max Soulet – No. 3 Bentley Continental GT3 – “I’m looking forward to Vegas. I always excited to be in the car – anytime and anywhere in the world. A long season comes to an end, but I’m looking forward to seeing everyone. My second year with K-PAX Racing has been great, and it’s been a joy working with them. The car has always performed well. I hope I can come back next year. Rodrigo has shown some speed the last two years.”
Source. K-PAX Racing/Photo. Gavin Baker