Team builds steam heading into pivotal event
LAKEVILLE, Conn. – Following a successful weekend in Pirelli World Challenge Sprint GT at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (Ont.), K-PAX Racing is motivated to carry its momentum into the series’ SprintX classes Memorial Day weekend for the fifth and sixth rounds at Lime Rock Park (Conn.). The GT SprintX class will headline the Grand Prix of Lime Rock where the team will also reunite with its SprintX co-drivers Andy Soucek and Max Soulet from Bentley Motorsport.
Despite Soucek and Soulet’s unfamiliarity with the historic seven-turn, 1.5-mile road course, K-PAX Racing has seen success there in its last two stops. Over the last two seasons, the team has been on the podium each time – four races, which includes the team’s introductory season into SprintX in 2017. In 2016, Álvaro Parente swept the weekend which was the turning point in his eventual series championship.
“For me, the track experience is going to help a lot,” Parente said. “We’ve seen success there in the past. As for Max and Andy, they’re going to have to learn the track. But, it’s not a super-long track so they’re going to catch up really quickly. I enjoy the track a lot, and hopefully the car is going to be working well there.”
Parente is not the only K-PAX Racing driver who has been triumphant at Lime Rock Park. Rodrigo Baptista, who shared the podium with Parente in last weekend’s Sprint GT stop at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, swept last season’s event in the GTS class. Prior to the weekend Baptista had only seen the track on a simulator, but notably he managed to win the finale by a 9.780-second margin. Baptista said he is hoping for a similar outcome this season with a GT3-spec car in the Pro-Am class.
K-PAX Racing Program Manager Darren Law said the Continental GT3 has shown some promise at Lime Rock Park in the past, and he expects the cars to be “very solid” with the setup the team has in place.
“Lime Rock Park in previous years has been a very good track for Bentley,” Law said. “They’ve qualified on the front row in the past. We also believe we have a great setup for that place. I think we’ll be very solid there, so we’re looking forward to that event.”
For more information about the Grand Prix of Lime Rock May 25-26, 28 at Lime Rock Park, visit world-challenge.com.
Álvaro Parente – No. 9 Bentley Continental GT3 – “The SprintX guys are back with us, and we’ve done well there the last two years. We’re hoping the car is going to work well there this season, we’re hoping for some good weather, and we’re hoping for some good luck over there. Hopefully, we’re changing things for the rest of this season.”
Andy Soucek – No. 9 Bentley Continental GT3 – “I’m looking forward to Lime Rock Park. I heard it’s a fast track that is kind of old-fashioned and short like Brands Hatch (U.K.). It should suit our car well.”
Rodrigo Baptista (Pro-Am) – No. 3 Bentley Continental GT3 – “So, Lime Rock is a small track and I won both races there last year. It was a pretty good weekend, but I’m not sure what to expect for the Bentleys there. Maybe we will be good, but we’ll have to see for practice.”
Max Soulet (Pro-Am) – No. 3 Bentley Continental GT3 – “The team is coming in with a good spirit from its success at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, so that’s really good. I think the whole team is pumped-up from that. I think the Bentleys are going to be quite good around Lime Rock from what I’ve heard from the other guys. I think I’m going to rely a lot more on Rodrigo and Álvaro this weekend, and we’ll try to have a good result. It’s really nice to come back to the States when you’ve been on the podium as much as Rodrigo and I have. I k now I’m confident in Rodrigo and he’s confident in me. We trust each other, and we’ll try for a double podium again this weekend.”