LAKEVILLE, Conn. – This weekend at Lime Rock Park, K-PAX Racing earned back to back wins with McLaren GT factory driver Alvaro Parente, claiming back the top spot in the Pirelli World Challenge GT driver championship standings..
For race one, in a heated qualifying session, Parente set the fastest lap, holding provisional pole position for the majority of the session. Bentley driver Andrew Palmer set an identical lap time, tying the two drivers as the session came to an end. Per the Pirelli World Challenge rule book, the tie was broken by the duo’s second fastest laps of the session, putting Parente on pole position and Palmer second. Austin Cindric qualified the No. 6 McLaren 650S GT3 in 7th, and Colin Thompson struggled with gremlins to qualify 13th.
The field took the green flag for Race 1 in hot and muggy conditions, with Parente leading the pack. Palmer made a pass on the outside of the outside of turn one, moving Parente back to second. As the field fought for a strong opening, Cindric held his line, and kept seventh in the opening laps. Despite heavy pressure from behind, the young American impressively held his position until the balance of the car fell off, moving him back to eighth. Thomson showed an impressive opening run, earning the best start of the race award by jumping from 13th to 10th. Back at the front of the pack, Parente and Palmer pulled away from points leader Patrick Long in third. The two remained close, and about ten minutes into the race, Parente set up a decisive pass into turn one. He took the lead position back in turn one when Palmer got into the corner too deep, giving Parente the opportunity on the inside. From there, Parente pulled away from the pack, working through traffic to earn his third Pirelli World Challenge win of the season, officially assuming the points lead. In the final moments, Thompson and another car had contact, causing minimal damage, but enough for the No. 13 McLaren to retire early. Cindric and the No. 6 McLaren finished 11th.
Saturday’s warm up on race day two was cut short when a big crash happened in turn one, taking pole-sitter Andrew Palmer out of contention for the final race. The morning’s incident changed the starting order, with Parente starting first, Cindric ninth and Austin 10th. Parente kept the lead position on the start, quickly working a several car gap ahead of Patrick Long in second. The field ran in a tight pack at the start, and Thompson was forced off course in turn 2, but was able to rejoined in 12th. Cindric climbed a spot to eighth, where he stayed, keeping his No. 6 McLaren in front of the No. 99 McLaren of Jon Fogarty. While the leaders worked their way through slower lapped traffic, Patrick Long was able to keep the gap close to Parente. In the end, Parente dominated to take both wins of the weekend with teammates Cindric finishing eighth, and Thompson 11th.
Competitors of the Pirelli World Challenge will have almost a month free of racing, with the next rounds in the championship taking place June 23-26 at Road America in Elkhart Lake Wisconsin.
Although we had a phenomenal weekend, we also want to make sure we send our wishes and prayers to both Andrew Palmer and Jorge De La Torre who had a horrible accident in morning warm up and we hope for a speedy recovery for both of them. We’re very proud of the K-PAX Racing and Flying Lizard operation. This is a very hard championship with a lot of good teams and drivers and we really put in a stellar performance this weekend. All of our drivers drove very well. Alvaro had a mega run in qualifying and both of the races. It’s great to come away with solid points as well as the points lead. There’s obviously a long way to go, but we’re operating at the top of our game right now.
It was a great weekend and a tough second race. The first one was a lot easier. I’m very happy. It’s a shame what happened this morning. Fingers are crossed for Andrew Palmer and Jorge De La Torre. I’m really happy for my weekend, but it’s definitely with mixed emotions.
I think today was about the best we could do. We had a good start and made the best with other’s mistakes. We were able to hold on to eighth to the end and hopefully we can just keep improving from where we finished.
After having a good job at the start, we had some bad luck at turn one and lost it. I got pushed wide, went four wheels off track in turn two and dropped a few spots. From there, it was a parade. Similar to Mosport, nobody was catching each other and we ran one after another. I was trying to catch the group Austin was in, but nothing eventful happened. We brought the car home in one piece and look forward to the next one.
K-PAX Racing with Flying Lizard Motorsport
Since joining the Pirelli World Challenge in 2007, K-PAX Racing has celebrated a total 72 podiums, 25 wins and three driver championships, solidifying the team as a continuous championship contender. in 2014, K-PAX Racing expanded it’s relationship with McLaren GT, bringing two new 2015 McLaren 650S GT3 race cars into competition. The team also hired Flying Lizard Motorsports, utilizing the team’s engineering, crew and marketing to strengthen the fight for the championship. The renewed effort kept K-PAX Racing at the forefront of competition, earning four wins and an additional four podiums. For 2016, the team will run three full season McLaren 650S GT3 race cars full season in the Pirelli World Challenge.
About McLaren GT
McLaren GT is the GT race car manufacturing arm of McLaren Group established to develop, build and support the GT racing and track derivatives of the 12C sports car, and the 650S GT3. Based in Woking, Surrey at the former home of McLaren Racing, the company is responsible for the design, development and production of the GT3 variants of the 12C and 650S, the 12C GT Can-Am Edition and the 12C GT Sprint.