K-PAX Racing continues its journey through the virtual world of racing with two Bentley Continental GT3s driven by real-world racers Guy Cosmo and Patrick Byrne. The two team drivers took their talents abroad for the second round of the SRO America GT Rivals Esports Invitational Sunday, competing at Misano World Circuit in Italy.
The K-PAX Racing driving duo continues to show its promise and progression in the GT racing simulation game Assetto Corsa Competizione, which at Misano, featured nearly 30 entries set to compete around the 2.53-mile, 16-turn circuit. During the series’ 20-minute qualifying round, Guy Cosmo earned the 14th spot on the grid (1:35.211) and Patrick Byrne 24th (1:37.260).
Déjà vu from the opening round saw the field in a scramble during the first lap of the 60-minute contest, with Cosmo’s No. 8 car being forced to pit after becoming a victim by contact. Cosmo reentered the field at the back of the pack but managed to pick up four spots during his rest of his 55-minute run. Cosmo said that he spent long nights in preparation for Misano and although the performance does not reflect his total effort, he is feeling reassured by his growth as a new sim racer.
“It’s frustrating because I’ve spent an entire week – hours and hours of trial and error – preparing for this race and was finally making some head-way with setups and becoming acclimated,” said Cosmo, who felt steering wheel vibration for the remainder of the race following the incident. “I put in so much time and effort – only to get crashed-out on the first lap. You’re down-and-out at that point.”
“The proof is in the lap times. In practice I was really starting to put together some lap-times, and I’m definitely getting better with it. I’m getting faster and closer to the ultimate lap times, and I’m doing it all on my own. It’s been quite the learning experience.”
Byrne was able to climb up the field from his starting spot, gaining two positions early in the race. The No. 9 thereon picked up valuable track position nearing the end of regulation, crossing the line in 16th place. Byrne said the course in itself was a steep learning curve, but he was able to catch his stride with every lap to better his position.
“There was a learning curve to every corner, but Misano is a fun track,” Byrne said. “My strategy going into the race was just making sure my nose was clean and to stay away from wrecks. I feel toward the end, a lot of wrecks happen and through that, you can gain a lot of spots. We had a good finish, though I would have liked to be up in the front. But in all reality, I had a really great drive among some of these other guys who really know how to drive well on these simulators.”
The SRO America GT Rivals Esports Invitational continues with Circuit Paul Ricard (France) April 26th. Coverage begins at 3 p.m. ET.
Guy Cosmo – No. 8 Bentley Continental GT3 (Race 1 – 23rd) – “[Your performance] just depends on the car and identifying what the proper setup for that car is. You are just infinitely doing trial and error on your own to find that, making the best of what you have based on your driving style. I’m getting better.”
Patrick Byrne – No. 9 Bentley Continental GT3 (Race 1 – 16th) – “I’ve had to adapt [my driving style], but if I get on a server without anyone else, I can drive it like I normally drive it – and it works. There are no nuances, and everything works the exact same. But your times aren’t as fast, and with these sim drivers, they run a little bit more unrealistically in order to get a fast, digital time. So, I’ve had to change my way of driving a bit to compete with these guys. It is realistic in the way of racing – making a pass and figuring out how to gain quickly. It goes back to when I first started to learn how to race. You were trained to look up and look ahead, and that’s a little more difficult on a screen, especially when I’m more accustomed to it in real-life. I’ve had to retrain that because virtually it doesn’t come naturally. We have to change our driving style to some degree to become competitive in the game.”
About K-PAX Racing
Based in Sonoma, Calif., K-PAX Racing has celebrated a total 148 podiums, 59 wins, four Driver Championships and three Manufacturer Championships, solidifying the team as a continuous championship contender. In the GT Class, K-PAX Racing has fielded Porsche 911 GT3s during the 2007 – 2008 seasons, Volvo S60s during the 2009 – 2013 seasons, McLaren 12C GT3s in 2014 and McLaren 650S GT3s from 2015 – 2017. The team made a switch to Bentley for 2018, fielding the first-generation Continental GT3 in its first season and the second-generation model in 2019.
About Bentley Motorsport
Bentley Motorsport is based at the Bentley Motors headquarters in Crewe. From there, the operation runs Bentley Team M-Sport, and oversees customer racing operations around the world.
The Continental GT3 is built by the Bentley motorsport team in conjunction with M-Sport. The Bentley Motorsport team is led by Bentley Director of Motorsport, Paul Williams supported by M-Sport’s Chief Engineer, Christian Loriaux.
Bentley Motors’ headquarters in Crewe is home to all of its operations including design, R&D, engineering and production of the company’s four model lines, Continental, Bentayga, Flying Spur and Mulsanne. The combination of fine craftsmanship, using skills that have been handed down through generations, alongside engineering expertise and cutting-edge technology is unique to UK luxury car brands.