Andrea Caldarelli was all smiles when he met teammate Michele Beretta in Sebring International Raceway Victory Lane. Following a win that sealed the Fanatec GT World Challenge America Powered by AWS Team Championship for K-PAX Racing, a sweep of the weekend rewarded Caldarelli with a crown of his own. K-PAX Racing earned four podiums in Rounds 11 & 12, on its way to clinch multiple titles ahead of the season finale.
“It was a phenomenal weekend for K-PAX Racing,” K-PAX Racing Program Manager Darren Law said. “It’s hard enough to win races. So do what we did, backing up our Team and Drivers’ Championship, it says so much about this entire organization – from the crew and management to the drivers.”
The two K-PAX Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO locked-out the second row of the grid for the highly anticipated event finale. Pepper made a quick pivot to the outside and into the first corner and was able to safely sweep by Caldarelli. The battle persisted into about the 15-minute mark, when Pepper ceded the spot to Caldarelli into the first turn – in strikingly similar fashion. The No. 1 Huracán GT3 EVO continued to settle in, as Caldarelli thereon set a series of CrowdStrike Fastest Laps to 2:00.812 by the pit window. The No. 1 opted to pit late into the window, as Caldarelli continued to press for runner-up position. A quickly executed joker stop not only allowed the No. 1 to make the jump to second, but also to the lead following a slower stop by the leader.
Beretta was able to manage the pace, unthreatened, and the No. 1 ultimately finished more than 40 seconds ahead of the field. Meanwhile, the No. 3 of Misha Goikhberg endured a multi-car battle for most of his stint, finishing third. Both the team’s two Huracán GT3 EVOs have finished on the Pro podium in nine races this season.
Caldarelli has been a kingpin in the K-PAX Racing organization since it partnered with Lamborghini Squadra Corse in 2021. In 12 regular series events – 90-minute race length, two-driver format – the Italian talent has won 17 times, besting the record for most wins in team history set by former team driver Álvaro Parente (16). This includes back-to-back sweeps of Sebring International Raceway – both which secured the Pro Drivers’ Championship. Caldarelli is the only driver since Randy Pobst to win multiple and consecutive Driver Championships under the K-PAX Racing banner. This year’s clinch of the drivers’ title marks the team’s sixth.
“We didn’t have a great last couple of events, so there was a lot of pressure coming into Sebring,” Caldarelli said. “There was a lot of hard work behind the scenes, and the guys did an awesome job. This title goes to them because honestly, we know how hard it was.”
“[RE: Most wins in team history] That’s really special. I’m really happy with that one. It’s sometimes hard to build a great relationship with a team, and there are a lot of ups-and-downs. Keeping it all together isn’t the easiest thing, but to do that and make history is always something special.”
Andrea Caldarelli – No. 1 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO (Race 1 – 1st, Race 2 – 1st) – “It was definitely a very positive weekend. We knew we had to finish the race, which means not having any mistakes and racing clean. I tried to take an easy start, still keeping up with the guys up-front. I didn’t want to take a lot of risks, and we knew that we had pace. So, we focused on the pit-stop. The guys did a very good job, as we were able to jump the two cars ahead of us. That was a very good call.”
Michele Beretta – No. 1 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO (Race 1 – 1st, Race 2 – 1st) – “Again, it was a perfect race. A big ‘thanks’ to everyone for the effort they put into this weekend. We had a great car for both races. It looks easy from the outside, but we are always trying to push inside and outside of the car. We try to make the car perfect. In previous weekends, the pace was not our pace. So, we tried to look at every little detail to get back on that pace. We found it. Now, we’ll focus on the finale.”
Jordan Pepper – No. 3 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO (Race 1 – 3rd, Race 2 – 3rd) – “We moved from fourth to third at the start. I felt like once the race settled in, we’d have good pace. Throughout testing and everything, we showed great pace. But I feel like we somehow lost it this race weekend. It’s unfortunate. I did my best to hold off Andrea [Caldarelli] but he was just too good. It was a matter of time. When he got by, I just tried to conserve the car because of the brake issue and to give Misha [Goikhberg] the car in the best condition. It’s frustrating. We need to regroup.
I have to congratulate the No. 1 crew and Andrea for a phenomenal season as always. They deliver to the highest standard – winning the championship, and again, with one round to go. It’s impressive.”
Misha Goikhberg – No. 3 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO (Race 1 – 3rd, Race 2 – 3rd) – “It was another tough race for us. We struggled from the very beginning with braking, so from that point we were just managing. I think we did a pretty good job with what we had. We’ll need to have another big regroup and put all our eggs in the Indy basket. We need to have a good weekend right from the beginning and find that setup.”
Source. K-Pax Racing