K-PAX Racing will focus its Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS championship-winning No. 3 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo on the full-length Indianapolis 8 Hour presented by AWS, forgoing the chance to score points in the domestic series.
Team manager Thomas Blam confirmed to Sportscar365 that the Jordan Pepper, Andrea Caldarelli and Mirko Bortolotti-driven Lamborghini has been withdrawn from the GTWC America segment of the race due to having already wrapped up the Pro class title.
Focusing a car on the Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli provides a team with more flexibility in driver rotation as GTWC America teams are limited to utilizing its two full-season drivers only in the points-paying opening three hours of the race.
“Just in case we want to give Mirko in before the first three hours, so we didn’t have to worry about anything like that at all,” Blam told Sportscar365.
“It’s really not a detriment to only have the first two guys in for [the first] three hours. [But] we couldn’t think of a good reason to keep it in.”
K-PAX’s No. 6 Lamborghini will still compete for GTWC America points in the three-hour segment as both the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 and No. 33 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo hold an outside chance of taking second place in the championship.
“I think we have a 27-point lead with the 6 car over the 96,” Blam said. “I think there’s only going to be three cars in the class so at 70 percent of the three hours, even if we’re in third, we’ll clinch it at that point.”
Blam said wrapping up the drivers’, teams’ and manufacturers’ titles last time out at Sebring International Raceway took a big weight off the California-based team this weekend, knowing it can focus on full race itself.
“We felt badly how it happened with the BMW and the Mercedes having issues,” he said. “But it just takes such a weight off here not worrying about what happens in Turn 1 at the start.”
While facing limited Pro class competition in GTWC America this year, Blam said the team is relishing the increased competition in the Pro class, which features 11 cars this weekend.
An additional five entries in the Silver Cup could also play a factor in the battle for the overall win.
He compared it to K-PAX’s stint in Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup last year when it campaigned a pair of Bentley Continental GT3s.
“For the guys, they’re really pumped because it feels like the racing we did last year in Europe,” Blam said.
“Nothing against the competition we had in SRO America this year, but obviously Jim [Haughey, team owner] and everyone else is really pumped to fight these guys again.
“I feel like we have unfinished business.”
Blam feels they could have a leg-up on the European teams competing for the first time at Indy or in SRO America altogether, due to the series-specific rules that this event presents compared to other IGTC rounds.
“We feel with the rules that are different with the safety cars that hopefully we’ll have a bit of an advantage there, since we had similar rules last year — they’re not exactly [the same] as last year,” he said.
“For sure from the grip level of the track and engineering side. We feel it’s helpful [too]. It’s a different car but still knowing what the tendencies of the track was.
“Certainly with [mixed] conditions, we feel like we have the knowledge.”