K-PAX to Run McLaren MP4-12Cs in PWC

pwc

K-PAX Racing, winners of three GT Class championships in the Pirelli World Challenge sports car series, today announced it will field a pair of McLaren MP4-12C GT3 cars in in its quest to win a fourth championship in 2014.

Driving the McLarens will be Alex Figge, 33, of Denver, Colo., a veteran sports car and open-wheel racer who has won five Pirelli World Challenge races in the last three seasons and Robert Thorne, 23, of Littleton, Colo., a talented road racer who most recently won a class championship in the 2012 U.S. Touring Car Championship.

The McLaren MP4-12C GT3 made its competitive debut in multiple European race series in 2012, winning 19 times in 98 starts. In 2013, the car accounted for 22 victories in 101 races – a staggering winning percentage of more than 22 percent.

“2014 sees the competitive debut for the 12C GT3 in the USA,” said Andrew Kirkaldy, McLaren GT’s managing director. “K-PAX Racing has a formidable record in the Pirelli World Challenge and we are excited about the prospect of working closely with them. It’s quite simple, McLaren GT want to win and K-PAX Racing prepares cars that have a proven track record at that. Seems like a perfect combination.”

Featuring the lightweight carbon fiber MonoCell chassis with aluminum front and rear subframes, the rear-wheel-drive McLaren MP4-12C GT3 carries a race-prepared 3.8-liter V8 twin turbo McLaren M838T engine mated to a six-speed sequential transmission actuated by steering wheel-mounted paddles.

For the last five seasons, K-PAX Racing has fielded a pair of Volvo S60s and won more GT class races in the Pirelli World Challenge than any other manufacturer.

“We beat Porsche, Cadillac, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Ford and many others,” said Jim Haughey, K-PAX Racing’s team owner. “We expect to win races this season and maybe even win a championship. Our upcoming trip to Estoril is the first step toward that goal.”

Estoril, Portugal, is the site of the legendary road course at which Figge and Thorne will be testing the McLaren GT3 cars later this week. Engineers from McLaren GT will be on site to oversee the testing along with race engineers from K-PAX Racing.

“I’ve never been to Estoril but I can’t wait to drive on such an historic track,” Figge said. “Formula 1 raced there for 13 years and, even though I’ll only be testing a race car, I know I’ll be reminding myself that Niki Lauda, Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna raced on the same track. I can’t wait!”

10 Comments

  1. Jason

    February 17, 2014 at 11:26 am

    Awesome! Volvo to McLaren is a huge step up. Makes the PWC much more exciting now.

    • Bakkster

      February 17, 2014 at 1:15 pm

      Sad to see the 4WD 5-cylinder Volvos go away, but McLaren definitely makes the loss more palatable.

  2. Tim

    February 17, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    I never gave 2 s***s about PWC before but this year I’m very excited. RA should be an awesome race!

    • Jason

      February 17, 2014 at 5:13 pm

      Well I wanted to give PWC a shot last year but I did not feel it had enough of a GT3 presence to it. I stopped watching altogether when Black Swan stopped running the Merecedes in the second half of the year. I hope they will be back though.

  3. Jeff Robertshaw

    February 17, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    So what happens to POBST and the old Volvos? All out in the dumpster? Shoddy!

  4. Eric Niemi

    February 17, 2014 at 10:07 pm

    Pobst switched to Freedom Autosport in the CTSC. P-KAX was looking for more funded drivers for 2014.

    Volvo admittedly stepped out of supporting K-PAX in PWC, no secret’s there.

  5. scottypinthemix

    February 18, 2014 at 9:54 am

    That’s killer news.
    Makes me even more upset that they don’t run WC the same weekend as PLM.
    Looks like I might make a trip from ATL across to Barber to check them out

  6. Southcoveracing

    February 18, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    The flip side to that news is that it may start a new arms race…read more $$$ for extreme cars that some teams will never be able to fund.

    As cool as the Mclaren entry is, are we going to have to look at a price point (ala P2, DP, etc) that cars from the factory cannot cost over…?

    • NBCoverFS2

      February 18, 2014 at 4:36 pm

      It helps that PWC is shown on the growing NBC Sports Network. NBC Sports will even show both Rally America and the Global RallyCross in 2014. Who has FS2? I tried watching the Rolex 24 on FS2 during the announced coverage only to watch some stick and ball game that often ends in a tie. Furthermore, DP needs to be scrapped.

    • Anthony

      February 21, 2014 at 9:31 pm

      Arms race? And just how much was GM spending to beat up on mostly Amateurs?

      I never understood why fans are always concerned about cost increases. If you can afford to race you will race, if you can’t then you don’t race.

      K-Pax has been successful and that’s why they will continue. With the addition of FIA GT3 cars, its grown the field, not strank it.

      The sky is not falling and the rich have not suffered in this crisis, stop with the boo-hoo.

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