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K-PAX Switches to Bentley for 2018

K-PAX Racing to make switch from McLaren to Bentley in Pirelli World Challenge next year…

Image: K-PAX Racing

K-PAX Racing will make the switch to Bentley Continental GT3s in Pirelli World Challenge, the team announced on Wednesday, confirming a three-car program for 2018.

The team has campaigned McLarens in PWC for the last four years, including the 650S GT3 under the operation of Flying Lizard Motorsports since 2015.

As revealed by Sportscar365 last month, the California-based squad had been evaluating a potential shakeup to its program, including a change of manufacturer despite the success achieved with the British manufacturer.

“Working with McLaren GT for the past four years has been a great experience and produced tremendous results,” said Program Manager Darren Law.

“At the end of each season we evaluate the performance of our team and our program as well as what the future looks like.

“With the introduction of the new Bentley Continental GT3, we see a lot of potential.”

K-PAX will run the current-generation Bentleys next year, with an eye to upgrading to the newly announced Continental GT3 model in 2019.

Despite the new-for-2018 car being available to customers mid-year, Law told Sportscar365 they would unlikely get their hands on them until “very late” in the PWC season. 

The K-PAX program is set to replace Absolute Racing’s Bentley PWC effort, which concluded in September after a two-year campaign in the series.

“I’m delighted to welcome K-PAX Racing to the Bentley Motorsport family,” said Bentley Motorsport Director Brian Gush.

“They are a team with an impressive and proven track record in the Pirelli World Challenge and together we will take the fight to the competition. I look forward to working together.” 

Revised Lineup for K-PAX

While drivers for the three-car effort are not expected to be announced until early next year, it will feature multiple changes, including the expected departure of 2016 PWC champion Alvaro Parente.

Parente, a McLaren GT factory driver, along with fellow works pilots Ben Barnicoat and Jonny Kane, featured in the team’s lineup this year.

Law told Sportscar365 last month that he expects one of the entries to feature a factory driver and another to be run in GTA.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Kyle

    December 6, 2017 at 11:01 am

    Well this is really cool and unexpected.

  2. Tim

    December 6, 2017 at 11:08 am

    This is cool….but also disappointing. The Bentleys are awesome but I think the McLaren is my favorite GT3. Hope someone runs one with a good driver.

  3. southcove

    December 6, 2017 at 11:10 am

    The Bentley factory certainly is not shy about changing teams every two years or so…Dyson, then Absolute, now K-Pax. Will be interesting to see how the new car shakes out against strong competition in Europe then in the USA.

  4. the boot

    December 6, 2017 at 11:16 am

    Not sure losing the McLaren GT3’s for a trio of older generation Bentley’s is big positive for the series.

  5. Tater

    December 6, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    The K-Pax livery looks damn good on the Bentley though.

  6. jason

    December 6, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    Nothing in the article about the Flying Lizard partnership?

    • Curtis

      December 6, 2017 at 1:32 pm

      They’re still partnering in 2018. Darren Law is the Program Manager and K PAX is essentially operated by Flying Lizard Motorsports.

  7. Matt

    December 6, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    So Abolsute won’t be returning. The car count in PWC’s GT seems like it’s going to be way lower than last year unless a bunch of little teams have yet to join.

  8. Mike S.

    December 6, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    Yeah I like the Mclaren. I am bummed more so that a factory driver and one with the penchant of Parente is not going to be in PWC. So losing a quality driver is a bigger concern. I know driver changes aren’t an issue in the sprint races but the Mclaren is hard to setup up for 2 different drivers especially if its a pro/am duo. Look at Cindric and Thompson a few years ago they had some bad luck but weren’t able to handle the Mclaren consistently and Parente being the pro motored that Mclaren. Doubt that was an issue but if they are doing Sprint-X races maybe that was a factor.

    • Curtis

      December 6, 2017 at 1:49 pm

      It’s always possible that another team could go with the McLaren and put Parante in the seat. I’m still wondering if the whole Andretti Autosport/McLaren GTD rumor will come to fruition. IF it does perhaps he’ll land in one of their cars.

    • Curtis

      December 6, 2017 at 1:52 pm

      John, have you heard anything about the possibility of an Andretti Autosport GTD entry?

  9. David Chaste

    December 6, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    “At the end of each season we evaluate the performance of our team and our program as well as what the future looks like.”

    Sure. That’s the public posturing.

    What Darren Law really means is Bentley threw a bag of money at us and we saw it would be bigger than McLaren’s pot of money so we took it instead.

  10. TK3

    December 6, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    Cool to see them in a different livery than the traditional green and white.

  11. WesGTR

    December 6, 2017 at 9:49 pm

    As a McLaren fan, I’m sad to see the cars won’t be on the grid this year, but more worriesome yet is the fact that the big McLaren programs are switching cars, as seen with Strakka in Europe (switched to Mercedes) and now K-Pax (to Bentley) in the US. With the planned 720S GT3 car on the pipeline, I don’t see a bright future for McLaren. Hopefully things will get better.

  12. tracer

    December 7, 2017 at 11:16 am

    K-Pax and Bentley seem like a great fit, and I’d readily trade more Bentleys on the grid for the McLaren… the Bentley is just more of a beast to take in trackside. It seems 2018 will be a regrouping year for McLaren in PWC as they prepare for the transition to the 720S GT3. I do wonder if Parente will be active at all stateside as he will surely be back in with Garage 59 in Blancpain.

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