Portland International Raceway marks 22nd series track for team
PORTLAND, Ore. – For the first time since K-PAX Racing joined the Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) in 2007, the series’ will tour the Pacific Northwest for the 58th Annual Rose Cup Races at Portland International Raceway. The penultimate event of the SprintX Championship will add to K-PAX Racing’s season of many first, as the series has not raced at the course since 2005.
The team will be making its track debut in its two Bentley Continental GT3s. K-PAX Racing Program Manager Darren Law said though the 12-turn, 1.967 road course will be a new test for the team, it is looking forward to carrying its momentum to a track that has characteristics that are suitable for the Bentley.
“It will be new to everyone but the layout of the track – with its medium to high speed sections – should work well for the Bentley,” Law said. “We look forward to carrying our momentum to that event.”
Over the course of the last two months, K-PAX Racing has caught its stride. In the last three events, the team’s two Bentley Continental GT3s have earned seven podiums – including four victories.
Aside from the venue being uncharted territory for K-PAX Racing – a long-standing team in the series that has had the opportunity of competing at 21 tracks nationwide and winning at 19 of them – the team will also break new ground in the series’ SprintX Pro-Pro class.
Since his promotion to the series’ highest ranks in June, young-talent Rodrigo Baptista will accompany Max Soulet in the No. 3 Bentley Continental GT3 as a Pro-Pro entry. The Rose Cup Races will be the first time this season all four team drivers will compete alongside some of the world’s top drivers in the series premiere class.
“It’s going to be nice to be running Pro-class with Rodrigo,” Soulet said. “It’s very different for him. In the last round he showed the speed, but he was just unlucky – between the starts and everything. But, I can tell he is really motivated, and I think he will be happy to have me with him this week for Portland.”
In the series’ last event, Álvaro Parente wheeled the No. 9 Bentley Continental GT3 into victory lane for his 12th victory with the team in three years – and simultaneously the team’s 50th career win. In both Sprint GT and SprintX, the No. 9 Bentley Continental has shown its resiliency by accounting for four podiums and two wins in the last three events. Co-driver Andy Soucek said that the team is “moving in the right direction” in its first season with the Bentley Continental GT3.
“Since Lime Rock Park – where we scored a fourth and second place that we worked really hard for – our level of motivation is much higher now, and we’re moving in the right direction,” Soucek said. “Álvaro did a very nice job in the last Sprint GT rounds being one of the quickest cars on track. The last couple of races have gone well for us, and hopefully we can extend K-PAX Racing’s 50 wins.”
For more information about the 58th Annual Rose Cup Races with Pirelli World Challenge at Portland International Raceway, visit world-challenge.com.
Álvaro Parente – No. 9 Bentley Continental GT3 – “I’m looking forward to Portland and learning the track because we haven’t been there before. We are coming off strong results from Road America, and we’re very determined to keep doing a good job and to get those good results. We are focusing on getting the car balanced just right for the track and learning it as quick as possible.”
Andy Soucek – No. 9 Bentley Continental GT3 – “For Portland, we don’t know the track but plan to use a simulator and watch some on-board cameras before the race week – what we usually do before heading to the states. We’re going to prepare for the race as best as we can – setting the car up in practice for a strong qualifying session and from there trying to score another podium finish. I think that’s important for everyone. We love racing in America, and the feeling with this team has always been good but it’s even better now.”
Rodrigo Baptista – No. 3 Bentley Continental GT3 – “I am looking forward to the Portland race because it’s another SprintX round with Max Soulet, and it’s a new track for everyone. It should be a good weekend for the K-PAX Racing crew. I did some laps on the simulator to see the lines, and the track looks a lot like Lime Rock Park. So, I think will be a very competitive weekend. The track is not long, and the cars will be racing at the same tenths. Another good thing about this venue is the events Bentley is putting together. We will have guests at the track and events at night, so it will be a very busy weekend for us.”
Max Soulet – No. 3 Bentley Continental GT3 – “I’m very excited to come back to the team. It looks like everything is going well since Lime Rock Park, and I’m looking forward to seeing the team. We’re very happy to be racing with K-PAX Racing. We have a great relationship with the team, and I’m looking forward to competing at Portland in the Pro class.”