K-PAX Racing’s entry for next month’s Indianapolis 8 Hour representing Bentley is a “welcome opportunity” to help the British manufacturer’s Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli title hopes according to program manager Darren Law.
The California-based squad confirmed a single Bentley Continental GT3 for the Oct. 3-4 enduro at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Wednesday, as part of Bentley’s recommitted IGTC effort around its customer teams.
Bentley’s factory M-Sport operation pulled the plug on its planned two-car full-season effort in June amid the coronavirus pandemic, leaving question marks over the brand’s participation in the globe-trotting GT3 series.
K-PAX will campaign IGTC points leaders Jordan Pepper, Maxime Soulet and Jules Gounon for the next two races at Indianapolis and the Total 24 Hours of Spa, which doubles as a round of GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup that the American team is already participating in.
“We have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to race in Europe this season with our two-car Bentley effort, but we are missing racing here in the USA, so this is a welcome opportunity for us,” said Law.
“We have raced this event for the past three years, but teams do not have data yet with a GT3 car at Indy, so it will be very important to get up to speed quickly.
“This season has had its challenges for everyone, but Bentley has been such a great partner for K-PAX Racing.
“So, to be able to compete at this level against some of the best teams and drivers in the world at Indy will be special.”
K-PAX had initial plans to contest the full GTWC America season with a single Bentley for Guy Cosmo and Patrick Byrne, although that entry was withdrawn due to COVID-19 concerns.
It has thus freed up the team’s U.S.-based chassis for the eight-hour IGTC round, which also doubles as the season finale for SRO America’s GT3 series.
“With the limited number of races this year in Intercontinental GT Challenge, teams have to execute every race perfectly if they want to win this championship,” Law added.
“Having our U.S. car available and being able to use all of the same team members that we are using for our European endurance program just makes sense.”
Pepper, who won this year’s season-opening Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour in the works M-Sport entry with Soulet and Gounon, said he’s grateful to K-PAX for keeping their IGTC championship hopes alive.
“A big thank you to Jim [Haughey] and K-PAX Racing for making this deal happen with Bentley,” he said.
“We’re leading the championship off of Bathurst, and although the championship has been different – the races being so spread out due to COVID-19 – it’s good that we’re not missing any rounds.
“Indy is super important, followed by Spa, so we’re excited that we can all make this happen.
“It was a race that I’ve really looked forward to going to this year, and I’m really excited that me, Jules [Gounon] and Max [Soulet] are really motivated to do a great job for the team and push for the win on their home soil.”