Will return to Watkins Glen International for first time since 2010 for Sprint GT finale
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – Through the 2018 Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) season, K-PAX Racing has cultivated great success – with a new manufacturer in Bentley and with the addition of three new drivers on the roster. With two rounds remaining in the series’ Sprint GT schedule, K-PAX Racing will return to a track that was the site of its very first win that launched the team as one of the most dominant forces in the series.
Watkins Glen International will host the series for the season finale Labor Day weekend, the Grand Prix of Watkins Glen presented by TM Performance, which will be K-PAX Racing and the series’ first appearance at the track in eight years. In four visits to the Northeastern road course at the southern tip of New York State’s Finger Lakes, K-PAX Racing earned four podium finishes and two victories.
“I’m really excited to go to Watkins Glen,” K-PAX Racing Program Manager Darren Law said. “I’ve personally raced this track many times in the past, and it’s one of my favorites. It’s a very high-speed, challenging course that will require the car to have a lot of stability in those high-speed sections which should lend itself to our cars. It’s great that the Pirelli World Challenge Series is going back to this track, and it should be a great event.”
K-PAX Racing battled to consecutive wins in 2007 and 2008. In the team’s fifth-ever race during the 2007 PWC season, former team driver and eventual three-time series champion Randy Pobst helped solidify K-PAX Racing’s first championship with a victory at The Glen.
Though the team and series have taken nearly a decade-long hiatus from Watkins Glen International, K-PAX Racing’s current driver roster has had recent experience at the track. Driver of the No. 9 Bentley Continental GT3, Álvaro Parente, competed in Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen in July. Though Parente has yet to compete on the 11-turn 3.4-mile road course in the Continental GT3, he said he enjoyed the layout and looks forward to heading back with K-PAX Racing.
“I really enjoyed the track when I raced there this year during the Six Hours of the Glen, and we came out with a good second-place finish,” Parente said. “Let’s go there with the same mentality and will-power like usual, and let’s work hard for a good, clean race.”
While Parente has tested and competed at the track this race season, teammate Rodrigo Baptista will be making his debut. Baptista, driver of the No. 3 Bentley Continental GT3, prepared for the upcoming weekend with simulator training. He said the track seems to match the strengths of the Continental GT3.
“I am looking forward to a great weekend in Watkins Glen,” Baptista said. “After some sessions over the simulator, the track seems to match our Bentley Continental GT3’s characteristics. The track is quick. This will be my first time at the Glen, but I want leave my mark – especially because it’s the last race of the season.”
K-PAX Racing comes into the final rounds of the 2018 PWC season in a tight points battle for the series’ GT Team Championship, trailing the points leader by only five points. In the Sprint GT Drivers Championship, Parente sets his sights on a top-three finish – currently six points from third-place and 12 from second. As for the Manufacturers’ Championship, Bentley has a 12-point cushion in third place.
For more information about the Grand Prix of Watkins Glen presented by TM Performance August 31 – September 2, visit world-challenge.com.
Álvaro Parente – No. 9 Bentley Continental GT3 – “I’m really looking forward to racing the Bentley at The Glen. I think the car could work well at the track, and after a really tough last weekend of SprintX, I will try to get a good result. It would be great to finish of the season with a couple of podiums.”
Rodrigo Baptista – No. 3 Bentley Continental GT3 – “The 2018 season has been a great one for me – from winning races, racing close to Álvaro with all his experience, learning a little bit more about the car each weekend to always doing my best. I need to thank the entire K-PAX Racing crew, everyone on the staff, and Jim Haughey and Darren Law for the opportunity as well as everyone on my own crew for the season. This is a great team which is turning a family for me.”