Since its championship campaign in 2016, K-PAX Racing has annually tested the limits by competing in both sprint-race formats as well as adding endurance-focused events, which included a full schedule of longer races seen in the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup in 2020. After a nearly complete season of racing the 90-minute race format in SRO’s American-based series, the team will again be competing in the longer-form racing, entering a two-car Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO effort for its second consecutive appearance October 15-17 at the Indianapolis 8 Hours held in the “Racing Capital of The World.”
“We have some unfinished business at the eight-hour event at Indianapolis,” K-PAX Racing Program Manager Darren Law said. “Last year, we had a very fast car and were leading the race when we were hit by a GT4 car and taken out of contention. We have had a full season with the Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO and are becoming more comfortable every weekend with the setup and things required to get the most out of the car. The competition will be extremely strong, and we are looking forward to the challenge.”
Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be the landing spot for the final round of the Fanatec GT World Challenge America Powered by AWS and the Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli (IGTC), featuring some of the most elite GT3 teams worldwide on a reconfigured 2.439-mile, 14-turn “roval.” K-PAX Racing made its debut at the course last season – its 24th American course since 2007 – and in eight hours, battled to a top-10 and sixth in class finish. K-PAX Racing had been the quickest in both the testing and practice sessions, and an average qualifying time of 1:23.452 between the team’s three drivers in 2020 was the third quickest in a 22-car field.
While Jordan Pepper returns to the K-PAX Racing roster for the team’s second appearance at the Indianapolis 8 Hours, the line-ups will also feature current and new drivers to the team – all which have racing rapport with Lamborghini Squadra Corse. Newly crowned 2021 GT World Challenge America Champions Andrea Caldarelli and Pepper will finish their season in the No. 3, with Lamborghini Factory Driver Mirko Bortolotti joining them. Corey Lewis and Giovanni Venturini will pilot the No. 6 as they have throughout this season, also welcoming Lamborghini Factory Driver Marco Mapelli to share the seat.
Five of the six drivers on the K-PAX Racing Indy 8 Hour roster are a part of the Lamborghini family. Bortolotti, who joined Lamborghini in 2014 and was promoted to the Factory roster the following season, helped the manufacturer to a victory in the GTD class of the 24 Hours of Daytona in 2018 and 2019. Mapelli, who has been with the program since 2017, shared an overall sweep of the GT World Challenge Championship in 2019 in both Europe’s Sprint and Endurance Cup series.
“Our driver line-up for this race is as strong as any team coming into this event,” Law said. “We are very proud of the performance we have shown this season and also very thankful for the support and trust that Lamborghini Squadra Corse has placed in K-PAX Racing. To be representing Lamborghini in this race and helping to support the effort in the Intercontinental GT Challenge means a lot.”
K-PAX Racing stepped into the world of endurance racing in 2016 with the Sepang 12 Hours, where the team earned a top-10 finish. K-PAX Racing has three appearances in four years in a stateside IGTC eight-hour endurance race (WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, 2017-2018; Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 2020). The team has collected three Top-10 finishes, with a podium finish in 2017 when it was one of three cars to finish on the lead lap at Laguna Seca. Notably, K-PAX Racing split crew last season during the 24 Hours of Spa testing and the inaugural Indy 8 Hour, scoring a top-10 in both events that season.
“We are very comfortable with the longer distance events and having spent a full season last year in the SRO GT World Challenge Endurance Cup Series in Europe, it gives us not only experience with this form of racing, but we also have a better understanding and respect for the level of competition we will be up against,” Law said.
Andrea Caldarelli – No. 3 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO – “It’s the first time for me to be racing at Indy – a very cool thing when you get to visit new tracks. We’re going to have Mirko [Bortolotti] coming up with us in the No. 3, and I’ve already shared the car with him in Europe. It’s not new to me, but it’s going to be exciting working with him for this race. It’s a long race, so it’ll be important that we are consistent, make no mistakes and have a good starting speed. Hopefully, we bring a good result home for the team. Everyone of course has a different driving style, but at the end of the day it’s important to have a quick car, which mean we’ll need to adapt to every conditions. You have to adapt yourself, really, and it’s always difficult when you have three drivers. But, we’ll be setting up the car not so much for the drivers but for this race.”
Jordan Pepper – No. 3 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO – “I have some really good memories there with a not so good result, so it’ll be good to grab redemption heading back. I think the team wants to win this race badly, and we should rightfully so be able to compete for it again this season. What will make this year more interesting is that there will be more cars on-track compared to last year, which should make the battles more intense. We should be pretty strong with the package we have. It’s not as old-school as you’d think because of the nature of the infield track not having any camber corners or any of that. But I think just the atmosphere at Indy is quite special – you know exactly where you’re racing which makes it unique and special. There are slight differences in track layout this season which will be interesting, especially the first sector. It’s a good, fast-pace track and hopefully it makes for some good racing like last year. It’s good we’ve had a year of competing in America with Lamborghini – the team knows the car well, and from a driving standpoint, I know it quite well. To share the car with Andrea [Caldarelli] and Mirko [Bortolotti] – both who have great experience with this car – I think we’ll be strong.”
Mirko Bortolotti – No. 3 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO – “I’m delighted to be given the opportunity to race at Indianapolis with K-PAX Racing and to be back again this year for the Indy 8 Hour. I’ve been following the Team’s GT World Challenge America campaign closely and I can’t wait to get down to business with them and my teammates at Indianapolis.”
Giovanni Venturini – No. 6 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO – “Racing at Indy is a dream – like racing Monte Carlo for Formula One or Le Mans. It will be exciting to share the car with Marco [Mapelli]. I shared the car with Marco for the first time in 2017 (Lamborghini Huracán GT3, GT World Challenge Europe), so it’s sort of a ‘back to the future’ scenario. I will do my best to secure a good result for the team, and we’ll see what happens. It will be a long race, but I am excited.”
Corey Lewis – No. 6 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO – “It’s definitely special. Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the mecca of tracks in my opinion, especially stateside. The Indy 500 is globally known, and any time you get to kiss the bricks and say you’ve won at Indianapolis, regardless of what direction you are going in – whether it be for sports car or around the oval – it’s special to me.”
Marco Mapelli – No. 6 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO – “I’m really looking forward to compete with team K-PAX Racing and support their championship assault. Racing in the U.S. is always special and so is on such an historic racetrack.”
Source. K-Pax Racing