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GT World Challenge America

Caldarelli, Pepper Survive Rain to Score Race 1 Win

K-PAX Racing claims third straight victory in rain-shortened Race 1 at COTA…

Photo: Fabian Lagunas/SRO

Andrea Caldarelli and Jordan Pepper survived the treacherous weather of Circuit of The Americas to keep their win streak alive in Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS competition.

The K-PAX Racing duo claimed another commanding victory in Saturday’s opening round of the weekend, which was brought to an early end due to heavy rain.

Caldarelli, in the No. 3 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo, finished ahead of the No. 33 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Phillip Ellis following a red flag with ten minutes to go.

Track conditions worsened in the closing stages of the scheduled 90-minute contest, with officials ultimately deciding to call the race early.

Ellis’ co-driver Russell Ward ran as high as third in his stint in the dry behind the pair of K-PAX Lamborghinis, which emerged as the dominant cars after an early battle with Michael Dinan in the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3.

Dinan faded to fourth after briefly leading ahead of Jordan Pepper and enjoyed a fight with Giovanni Venturini prior to the arrival of the rain mid-race and switch to wet-weather Pirelli tires.

A full course caution was called with 14 minutes remaining for track conditions, followed by the red and early checkered flag.

The Turner BMW of Dinan and co-driver Robby Foley completed the Pro class and overall podium in third ahead of the Pro-Am class-winning No. 70 inception racing McLaren 720S GT3 of Ollie Millroy and Brendan Iribe in fourth.

The win for the UK-based team, in its series debut came despite a spin for Iribe on slick tires amid the arrival of the rain.

Jan Heylen and Fred Poordad finished second in Pro-Am in the No. 20 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R while Corey Lewis limped his No. 6 K-PAX Lamborghini home to a sixth place overall finish without functional ABS.

The No. 9 TR3 Racing Lamborghini was classified seventh overall and third in Pro-Am ahead of Rearden’s Lamborghini, which also benefited from multiple stops by the trio of DXDT Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evos in the race.

Colin Braun and George Kurtz was the highest-placed DXDT entry in 9th overall and fifth in Pro-Am.

There were no major on-track incidents despite the challenge weather conditions.

Race 2 is scheduled to get underway Sunday at 1:15 p.m. CT with live coverage on CBS Sports Network and on SRO’s GT World YouTube channel.


John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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