K-PAX Racing, which has quickly shown its speed in its first laps around the Total 24 Hours of Spa circuit, has momentarily shifted its focus leading into one of the year’s most anticipated races to making repairs on one of its two Bentley Continental GT3 entries. The No. 9, piloted by Álvaro Parente, Andy Soucek and Rodrigo Baptista, will undergo an engine change following pre-qualifying, sidelining the car for Thursday afternoon’s qualifying sessions, as well as the evening practice.
“Overall, this weekend started very well for us,” K-PAX Racing Program Manager Darren Law said. “We ran in the top-10 during practice. Unfortunately in the final lap and while Álvaro was coming in, the car developed a misfire. After further inspection, we had discovered a fuel pump failure and will have to miss qualifying and this evening’s practice while we change the engine.”
The absence of the No. 9 in qualifying will test the team’s strong driver pairing in its pursuit toward the top of pack during the main event, however, the team has proved to be an elite contender in the opening sessions. The team recorded a seventh-best 2:19.383 in free practice – sixth-quickest in class and improved to fourth-fastest (3rd in class) in pre-qualifying with a 2:18.105. Law said the drivers felt very positive about the results, feeling that the team had a strong package ahead of the race.
“It is unfortunate because the guys really liked the car, and the No. 3 team was as strong in practice,” Law said. “The weather has taken a turn for the worst which will make things interesting, but, the crew will work together to get the car back up and running.”
The No. 3, driven by Intercontinental GT Challenge Drivers Championship Leaders Jordan Pepper, Maxime Soulet and Jules Gounon, recorded a 13th-best overall (12th in class) practice time of 2:19.741 and stayed consistent with a 2:19.106 in pre-qualifying. While the No. 9 is under repair, its sister car will race the clock in qualifying, with its driver core seeking to earn its second-consecutive Super Pole status in the series’ last three rounds.
Source. K-PAX Racing/Photo. SRO Motorsports Group