K-PAX Racing completes its full transition to a Lamborghini Squadra Corse customer team, complimenting its two-car Huracán GT3 EVO effort with three newcomers and one returning driver to its line-up, which is set to take on the 2021 GT World Challenge America Powered by AWS all-Pro Championship.
Three drivers familiar behind the wheel of the Huracán GT3 EVO will accompany the team in its manufactuer change – Lamborghini Factory Drivers Giovanni Venturini (ITA), Andrea Caldarelli (ITA) and long-time developmental driver on the manufacturer’s customer program Corey Lewis (USA). Returning to the K-PAX Racing fold is Jordan Pepper (SFA), who helped lead the team into its first full season competing in Europe in 2020.
“We are all very excited about the potential this season,” K-PAX Racing Program Manager Darren Law said. “All four drivrs are of championship caliber and have the credentials to prove it. Having three Factory Lamborghini drivers will bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to our program and I have no doubt Jordan will be up to speed quickly. This past season he did a phenominal job, He is very talented, he is fast and also has great race craft. He proved to us this year that he is the right driver for this program. We are all looking forward to testing and getting the race season started.”
Caldarelli and Pepper will join forces in the team’s No.3 entry, while Venturini and Lewis will co-pilot the No. 6 for seven events across six states and one Canadian province listed on the series schedule. Having competed regularly in the series since its inception in 2007, K-PAX Racing will have the advantage of revisiting each circuit listed – including Indianapolis Motor Speedway from last season, which was the final new track stateside needed to have experience at each entering an highly-anticipated season of firsts.
Caldarelli, hailing from Pescara, Italy, brings a wealth of experience to the K-PAX Racing program as it welcomes Lamborghini into its legacy. Caldarelli, 30, helped Squadra Corse to a 2019 title in GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS, as well as climbed the top-step in last season’s 24 Hours of Daytona. He joined the Lamborghini family in 2017 as a factory driver.
“I’m really excited to race with K-PAX Racing this year in GT World Challenge America,” Caldarelli said. “It is going to be an amazing experience for me to race with such a high-level team. It will be very exciting, but we will have a lot to learn. At the same time, we will definitely deliver great results. I will try my absolute best to offer all my knowledge about the Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO, in hopes that we can win this championship.”
K-PAX Racing will retain Pepper, a young, South African talent who showed his racecraft in the team’s debut in GT World Challenge Powered by AWS Endurance Cup last season. The 24-year-old spent the last two season’s under the Bentley Motorsport banner, with a major victory at the Bathurst 12 Hours and a top-10 showing at Nürburgring with the team in 2020.
“When the opportunity came up that K-PAX Racing was going to switch to Lamborghini, Darren asked me if I wanted to join the team and drive – something I could not say ‘no’ to,” Pepper said. “Jim [Haughey]’s team is one of the best teams I’ve ever had the priveledge of driving for. It was a tough first year, but I really enjoyed myself in 2020. This was a partnership that I did not want to let go, and it was something I wanted to continue. When the chance was there for 2021 and beyond, it was something I could not miss.”
Venturini, 29, joins K-PAX Racing as an addition from the Squadra Corse factory effort. Racing out of Vicenza, Italy, Venurini is entering his sixth season as a factory driver and in that time, earned the 2017 GT Open International Championship.
“Thank you to K-PAX Racing and Lamborghini Squadra Corse for this amazing opportunity,” Venturini said. “I’m really grateful and excited to can compete with a team like this with a lot of history and success. My first impression about my new ‘home’ is really great, I already saw a really good organization and harmony between them and drivers. It’s my first time in America but I’m sure with the help of my teammate Corey [Lewis] who has a lot of experience in all of these circuits I’m sure will be quite easy to learn everything. The team is ready and I’m sure will be a successful season.”
Lewis, 29, has been in the Lamborghini fold since 2014, working with its customer teams worldwide. The American racing veteran has made much of his success stateside, which includes a 2018 Lamborghini Trofeo USA Championship and sharing a 24 Hours of Daytona victory with Caldarelli.
“Being a part of K-PAX Racing is a very big deal with their accolades and history of winning,” Lewis said. “Having this opportunity come together with K-PAX Racing and Lamborgini, a manufacturer I’ve been driving for since 2014, is pretty sweet. I cannot wait to get to work with the team.”
Andrea Caldarelli – No. 3 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO – “Looking at the schedule, I’m very excited and focus to do a good job at these new tracks for me. We know this Lamborghini Huracán GT3 pairs very well with these Pirelli tires, and that’s the most important thing. We have a couple of years of experience with this car, and we will be doing our best starting with the first round.”
Jordan Pepper – No. 3 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO – “Back in America will be something new for me, but I love the style of racetracks – very old-school and I really have enjoyed the ones I’ve driven. We have some iconic tracks on the schedule, which will make it even more special. I’m really grateful for this opportunity.
I like the mid-engine though very different than the Bentley – it’s very twitchy and edgy which is something I’ll have to get used to. But, the car is very nimble and competing against them for so many years, I feel I know the strengths and weaknesses already.Hopefully I can jump in and adjust my driving style. I’m sure it’ll be a rocket ship. The team will obviously have to wrap their head around it, but we have a lot of test days, and I’m sure we’re going to open the season 110 percent prepared.”
Giovanni Venturini – No. 6 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO – “The car will be new for K-PAX Racing but honestly, I don’t see any kind of problem because we set already a lot test days together and with Lamborghini support we will be competitive already in our first weekend in Sonoma.
What can I say about the car? In 2018 I did a lot of the job during the development to make the Huracán GT3 EVO really competitive and to be honest I’m proud of it. We can wait and see what the future bring us, but I’m quiet sure will be nice.”
Corey Lewis – No. 6 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO – “I think it’s massive to have Andrea [Caldarelli], Giovanni [Venturini] and myself, and Jordan [Pepper] is a quick-study and blazing-fast in every car he drives. I’ve worked very closely with Andrea and winning the 24 Hours of Daytona with him last season, he’s been great to work with. I’m looking forward to working with K-PAX Racing, and having worked with Andrea in the past and also having Venturini, it will speed up the new car process and dial things in quickly. All-around, it’s one of the better line-ups we could have.
Seeing the developmental process from the first-generation Huracán GT3 EVO, the driveability and technology have been night-and-day. Every year we continue, as a brand, increasing performance. I think through the accolades and the race results we’ve shown, the Huracán is a very strong car. Moving forward, I feel we will be very dominant.”
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 and 2020. K-PAX Racing will debut the 2021 season in the Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO.
About Lamborghini Squadra Corse
Squadra Corse is the motorsport department of Automobili Lamborghini. Born in 2013 within the Research & Development department, Squadra Corse provides an integrated approach to driving experiences of the brand; from driving course programs with road vehicles to motorsport competitions, through the Lamborghini Super Trofeo or championships of the GT class.
Esperienza is the first step for those who are interested in the world of Lamborghini: Its aim is to share the thrill and emotions of the super sports cars from Sant’Agata Bolognese with fans and potential customers alike, by advanced driving course programs. Esperienza Dinamica is divided into five programs in order to face every type of surface: Corsa, Neve, Sabbia, Strada, Terra. Esperienza Accademia is the program dedicated to advanced drivers, offering driving course programs not only on the racetrack but also on ice in order to improve the driving skills of the pilots.
The Lamborghini Super Trofeo is an international motor racing series with drivers competing in identical Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo EVOs, the racing version of the production model, that features the same 5.2 l naturally aspirated V10 engine. Inaugurated in 2009, Super Trofeo hosts regional championships in Europe, Asia and North America and is divided in four categories: Pro, Pro-Am, Am and Lamborghini Cup bringing together passionate gentleman drivers and young professional pilots. At the end of each season, the teams and drivers of all regions compete against each other in the World Finals, the highlight of the season.
The most challenging tests are those which see Lamborghini’s Customer Racing Teams competing in the principal international GT championships driving the Huracán GT3. The GT3 differs from the Huracán Super Trofeo EVO through its more sophisticated aerodynamics, kinematic suspension control and other technical specifications respecting official FIA regulations. In 2017 the Huracán GT3 won the Blancpain GT Series; in 2018 and 2019 the Huracán GT3 completed a double victory at the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring in GTD Class. Lamborghini is the only company in the world to win both of the prestigious races, that are also known as 36 Hours of Florida, in two consecutive years. Another premiere in 2019: The GT3 won the Triple Crown of the Blancpain GT Series with the titles in the categories Overall, Endurance and Sprint. In 2020 Lamborghini celebrated third victory at the 24 Hours of Daytona with sensational one-two finish.
Both the Huracán Super Trofeo and the Huracán GT3 are constructed and built at the plant in Sant'Agata Bolognese on the same production line as the road vehicles. Specialized technicians of the Lamborghini Squadra Corse are present at every station along the line.
Moreover, Lamborghini Squadra Corse is trying to develop new talents in motor sports, for example through the Young Drivers Program (open for drivers under 26 that will compete in the Super Trofeo championship) and the GT3 Junior Program (for future GT drivers). Both the programs aim to offer young drivers the possibility to improve their driving skills helping them to take a career as professional pilots.
In 2018 Squadra Corse inaugurated its first One-Off, the SC18 Alston, followed by open-top SC20 in 2020. In the same year Squadra Corse unveiled Essenza SCV12 the track-only hypercar in a limited edition of 40 units, fitted with the most powerful V12 naturally aspirated engine ever developed by Lamborghini: over 830 hp.