The Fanatec GT World Challenge America Powered by AWS stop at VIRginia International Raceway presented a variety of challenges, but the unrelenting willpower in the pits and on the track demonstrated by K-PAX Racing still cultivated success for the championship-hopeful team. The team leaves a scorching fifth and sixth round of series action with two podiums, including a victory that also helped Lamborghini Squadra Corse to a milestone in its history.
“It was a great rebound for the No. 6 car from the beginning of the weekend,” K-PAX Racing Program Manager Darren Law said. “It was tough early-on, but they persevered and did a great job getting to the podium.”
A true testament to the team’s adaptability was its second-place finish in the event finale – from the No. 6 Lamborghini Squadra Corse supported Huracán GT3 EVO that had been in and out of the team garage in the preceding 48 hours. The team was able to rebound from front-end damage and electrical issues in that time, delivering a highly competitive car for the final race of the weekend. Its sister car, the No. 3, also added to its winning streak over three events by taking the checkered flag in the opener – the car’s fourth win in five rounds of series action. The team also helped Lamborghini Squadra Corse to its 100th victory globally for the Huracán GT3, which made its debut in 2015.
“To me, GT3 racing is so competitive worldwide,” Law said. “It’s for one an amazing accomplishment for Lamborghini. For us to be a part of that and contribute to that winning percentage – have our name in the books – we’re really proud of that.”
The two podium finishes, and victory add to the team’s magical title run over the first three events –nine podiums and five wins over six rounds, which stands as one of the most dominate starts the team has had in its history. The team has at least one podium in each of the first six rounds – a feat it has not accomplished since its last full stateside campaign in 2019.
K-PAX Racing was lined up fourth (second in PRO) and ninth (fourth in PRO) overall on the grid for the event finale. Pepper recorded a 1:44.414 in qualifying and Venturini a 1:45.069 for those positions and while the qualifying times set the pair mid-pack for the race, the Huracán GT3 EVOs made their swift climb up the field once the green flag waved in the 16-car field. Pepper was quick on the accelerator and into podium position, while Venturini – in a revitalized No. 6 car – gained two spots into seventh overall.
Unfortunately for the opening race-winner, the No. 3 experienced some setbacks with the anti-lock braking system (ABS), forcing Pepper to pit ahead of the mandatory driver window for a set of old Pirelli P Zero tires – and make an additional stop taking the team off the lead-lap. Venturini continued to climb, making his way into fourth overall and on the cusp of having a share of the overall podium.
The No. 6 team opted to pit early in the window, exchanging Venturini for Lewis during a quick stop. At the official close of the window, the No. 6 filed into the field in fourth (second in class). The No. 3, in the position to gain points while bearing with the ABS failure, pit shortly after for Caldarelli to take control of the wheel.
Lewis was able to out-match two out of class competitors early for second overall, and he continued to chip away at the lead – gaining about three seconds over the first 20 minutes of his stint. Lewis ran out of real-estate at the end but helped the No. 6 team to its fourth podium of the season. The No. 3 finished fourth in class, completing the objective of gaining points in the championship.
“It happens,” Law said. “But the most important thing is that we completed 70 percent of the race, which is where we score points. Yes, we lost some. But they did what they needed to do, and we scored what we could. We’ll move on to the next race.”
Andrea Caldarelli – No. 3 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO (Race 1 – 1st, Race 2 – 4th) – “Even though we had a negative Sunday, I would still say it was a pretty positive weekend. Again, we showed our strength, and we drove well all weekend. It was just an unlucky event on Sunday. We have to still be positive, and know we are making great progress on the car moving forward. To achieve the 100th win for Lamborghini is definitely a great milestone, and I’m really happy we did it here with Jordan [Pepper] and K-PAX Racing in the states.”
Jordan Pepper – No. 3 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO (Race 1 – 1st, Race 2 – 4th) – “Overall, it was a bittersweet weekend. We managed to get Lamborghini’s 100th win for the Huracán GT3 and our fourth victory of this championship. Everything was perfect yesterday – from pole position to the race. Today, we had a really good start, and I directly went from fourth to third. The car felt amazing. Unfortunately, I had an ABS failure that sent me off the track. From there on, we were in survival mode and managed to keep it on track to extend the championship lead from 20 points to 39. We’re super happy about that. Maybe everything didn’t go as planned for the whole team – we went through adversity, but the sister car bounced back which is nice to see and they deserve it. The fight is definitely on at Road America, and we just need to build a strong package for that weekend.”
Giovanni Venturini – No. 6 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO (Race 1 – NC, Race 2 – 2nd) – “After starting ninth overall, I did not expect the podium – but we’re here. I’m really happy for the team and their effort. At the end, we finally finished a session and with a podium which is even better. We earned great points for the championship and for the team, and we’ll see how we can carry this momentum into the next round.”
Corey Lewis – No. 6 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO (Race 1 – NC, Race 2 – 2nd) – “It feels good to be on the podium, especially after the start of the weekend. I cannot thank everyone at K-PAX Racing enough, especially the No. 6 crew. They busted their butts all weekend long, and to rebound to a second-place finish is great for the points. Hopefully we can continue this momentum into the next round.”
Source. K-PAX Racing