K-PAX Racing with Flying Lizard Motorsports has announced its lineup for the Pirelli World Challenge season, with McLaren factory ace Kevin Estre joining Robert Thorne in the pair of new McLaren 650S GT3s.
Both drivers tested at Sebring International Raceway earlier this month for a two-day test, which marked the first test for the upgraded McLarens since the K-PAX Racing with Flying Lizard Motorsports partnership was announced.
“The test went really well, we did quite a lot of laps, and Sebring is a really demanding track so it was important to drive there and get a feel from the car on this kind of track,” Estre said. “The biggest gain was to get mileage on the car for the mechanics, engineers and drivers.”
Estre raced most of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season last year with Park Place Motorsports, but will make his first voyage into PWC this season.
He co-drove the new McLaren 650S GT3 at its debut at the Gulf 12 Hours in Abu Dhabi in December, and replaces Alex Figge in the No. 9 entry for 2015.
“K-PAX and Flying Lizard Motorsports are looking really professional,” he said. “I felt a lot of experience in the mechanics and engineers, and I’m really glad to be part of this awesome team. I love sprint races so I think this championship is going to suit me.”
Thorne returns for his second full season in K-PAX Racing’s No. 6 McLaren after finishing seventh in the 2014 championship. He won his first GT race at the Miller Motorsports Park season finale, and had two other podium finishes.
“It felt great to get back on track in a McLaren and test the new 650S GT3,” Thorne said. “The new car is so agile and a lot of fun to drive.
“In addition to the new car, we have this new team, which is a combination of two incredibly strong efforts. My engineer, Will Moody and I were able to get to know the Flying Lizard Motorsports guys very well at Daytona, so it was nice to come into this test and already have that familiarity.”
Program manager Darren Law praised the car after the Sebring test.
“I have to say, I am seriously impressed with the new McLaren 650S GT3,” Law said. “It is honesty one of the most impressive GT cars I have had a chance to be involved with. We spent last weekend at Sebring, rolled off the truck, and ran for two solid days without issue.”