K-PAX Racing program manager Darren Law says they are “very excited” to soon be taking delivery of Bentley’s new-generation Continental GT3s and is using this weekend’s California 8 Hours as preparation for its 2019 program.
The California-based team will be receiving the two 2018-spec cars that Bentley Team M-Sport will campaign in Sunday’s Intercontinental GT Challenge season finale, as part of a unique handoff strategy from the British manufacturer.
The chassis, which competed in July’s Total 24 Hours of Spa, will run alongside K-PAX’s previous-generation Bentley this weekend and will then be delivered to the team following a full rebuild.
“Obviously the cars are new to us, and they’re beautiful,” Law told Sportscar365.
“Everything they brought over, they just leave, and we take everything back with us.
“The cars showed up at the shop last weekend in containers and we spent several days working with M-Sport at the shop prepping them.
“After this event, they’ll go back to the shop and for two to three days we’re going to strip them and rebuild the cars, so we have a full complete go-through for all of our crew.”
Law said they are getting a jump start on preparations for the 2019 Blancpain GT World Challenge America season by having embedded several of its crew and an engineer with M-Sport this weekend.
“They’ve unbelievably helpful and supportive,” Law said.
“It’s not like somebody just buying a car and trying to figure it out, we’re working with M-Sport and the factory right now to learn everything before we start the season.
“We will have a testing program, for sure, for next season. Obviously we’re based at Sonoma so we’ll be able to run there then we actually have a test plan for the season.”
Parente to Return; Team Working on Remainder of Driver Lineup
Law said 2016 PWC GT champion Alvaro Parente will return to the team next year, although the remainder of its two-car lineup remains to-be-determined.
The new-look championship, which will feature 90-minute two-driver races, will require a total of four drivers for the seven-round season.
“I can’t say that anything is confirmed yet, other than Alvaro,” Law said. “Alvaro signed a two-year agreement with us, starting last [season].
“The intention is to have Rodrigo [Baptista] back. We’d like to do that but it’s not confirmed yet.”
Up to two factory drivers are expected to again be part of the lineup, following Andy Soucek and Maxime Soulet’s runs in the SprintX rounds with the team this year.
Bentley Motorsport director Brian Gush told Sportscar365 that K-PAX will have the freedom of selecting factory drivers, although details are still being worked out.
“The main thing we want to do is work with the factory,” Law said. “Working with the factory, we hope to have factory drivers with our program for the season.”
Jake Kilshaw contributed to this report