K-PAX Racing returned to speed in the AWS-based Fanatec GT World Challenge America and was greeted by the challenging, fast Road America circuit. While the team has a firm grip on the championship trophies yet to come, their struggles on the pitch become more intense in the second half of the season. In the conditions of tough competition and mixed weather in the ninth round, the team won two podiums.

“We have to thank the team after the amazing turnaround,” said K-PAX Racing Program Manager Darren Law. “We struggled a bit in practice but were solid in the race. It was a really good day for us. Coming back with second and third places is a lot of motivation for tomorrow’s race.”

Mother Nature greeted the GT3 field in its first official session at the track at the weekend, with heavy downpours forcing crews to tackle the track in wet gear. K-PAX Racing and the No. 3 jumped to the top of the charts in tough conditions as Jordan Pepper, known for his finesse in the rain, posted a fastest time of 2:22.395. Although the weather improved towards the end of the session, the time was the fastest of any Pro competitor.

Saturday morning qualifying saw the K-PAX Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO battle it out on a dry track. Misha Goichberg produced the team’s best run in the first group, clocking the third time among professionals (fourth overall) of 2:06.009. Michele Beretta is less than half a second off his mark, finishing fourth in class (fifth overall) with a time of 2:06.445. Goichberg started fourth on the grid in the No. 3, while Beretta was fifth in the No. 1 subsidiary.

The team benefited from a chaotic start – an unrelated multi-car incident leading to a yellow. The stop didn’t come before Beretta improved to second, followed by Goichberg in third. The two Huracán GT3 EVOs entered the pits at the start of the window, holding their positions.

Pepper set the race’s fastest time on the opening laps (2:05.837), closing the gap from a second to four-tenths of a second. With less than 30 minutes remaining, Pepper successfully pulled off a daring maneuver against Caldarelli in turn five. After that, he made a significant gap, moving away at breakneck speed.

“Both cars were quick and Jordan set the fastest lap of the race, which is good,” Law said. “We always fight each other no matter what. There is a rule between teammates that we never touch or take out another car. It was a tough pass from Jordan vs. Andrea, but they fought each other cleanly. That’s the point.”

Pepper and Goichberg achieved their best result in a pair of drivers. Caldarelli and Beretta extended their streak of four consecutive pairs podium finishes. Caldarelli has finished on the podium in every event since joining K-PAX Racing – a total of 11 events since March 2021.

After nine rounds, all four K-PAX Racing drivers sit atop the Drivers’ Championship standings. Caldarelli (195) leads the way, followed by Pepper (151), Beretta (145) and Goichberg (131).

Pepper and Caldarelli represented the team in the 10th round of qualifying. Pepper will start third in Pro (fourth overall) after a 2:04.029 road trip at Road America. Caldarelli will battle from fourth in class (10th overall) with a time of 2:05.030. The final of Sunday’s event is scheduled for 1:15 PM (CT).

DRIVER QUOTES

Andrea Caldarelli – #1 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO (Race 1 – 3) – Not available for comment.

Michele Beretta – #1 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO (Race 1 – 3) – “It was a tough first lap in turn two. We were lucky to be in the right place at that moment. Our start was good in the first turn. I went for the outside line and it paid off. I was lucky enough to get around everything without wasting any time and actually did another position on Misha [Goikhberg]. Our pace is not very high, especially at the end with the old tires. Andrea [Caldarelli] it worked out well but jordan [Pepper] there was another show. Third place was the best today. We will try to recover well tomorrow, as we have shown in the past races.”

Jordan Pepper – #3 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO (Race 1 – 2) – “Misha was ashamed [Goikhberg] because he had an incredible start but then had to avoid a spinning competitor. We gave way to the sister car, and it is so difficult to walk through the dirty air here. He did a good job of keeping the gap. I closed it as much as I could for Andrea [Caldarelli], and we were both crossing the line. I think I left enough room – maybe a little aggressive on my part – when driving, but I had to go for it. I saw this as my only option because he had made zero mistakes up to that point. I just took advantage of one mistake and got a nice slipstream. It was a cool move and then I put my head down and tried to catch the leader. Let’s set up the car for tomorrow and try again.”

Misha Goichberg – #3 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO (Race 1 – 2) – “It’s a shame we had to take the dodge because it put us back a bit and we lost position to our sister car. We couldn’t really attack P1. We have all the ingredients to win, but it hasn’t happened yet. The first step to the podium was elusive but it was a good performance from everyone and a great bounce from Glenn Watkins [International].”

The source. K-Pax Racing

https://sportscarracingnews.com/2022/08/21/strong-points-day-for-k-pax-racing-at-road-america/