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Intercontinental GT Challenge

K-PAX Left Questioning Red Flag Restart Procedure

American squad’s Lamborghini allegedly loses lap while under red flag at 24H Spa…

Photo: Patrick Hecq/SRO

K-PAX Racing team manager and chief strategist Thomas Blam has questioned the restart procedure used following the overnight red flag period in the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa, stating that “a mistake was made” in the process.

The American squad, which believes it was wrongfully stripped of its pole position, was embroiled in another incident during the race when the red flag came out in the 10th hour due to an accident for the No. 16 Earl Bamber Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R of Matthew Payne at Blanchimont.

Andrea Caldarelli, who was in the No. 6 K-PAX Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo at the time, had returned to the tail end of the lead lap when the No. 98 ROWE Racing BMW M4 GT3 of Nick Yelloly pitted for service.

Blam told Sportscar365: “I’d love to talk to the series. From my side they clearly didn’t follow their process.

“Us and the 32 [Audi] and I believe one of the Emil Frey cars had jumped back on the lead lap when the 98 [BMW] came into the pits and came out behind us under that caution that eventually became the red flag.

“We crossed over start/finish at least one time, if not twice, on the tail end of the lead lap.

“Our expectation was that when it went back to green, they would place the cars in the crossing order, which is what the sporting regs say.”

Cars were directed to their pit boxes and placed under parc ferme conditions during the red, with the race director ordering cars back on track 49 minutes later while behind the safety car.

Per Article 47.4 of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS sporting regulations: “A document will be issued giving the restart order based on the last passing of the Line before the Red Flag was declared.”

However, Blam indicated that this did not occur.

“I’m not sure why they lined everybody up basically in the order of the race as opposed to the crossing order, which would have put us and a few other cars back on the lead lap,” he said.

“At some point in time I’d like to understand how that — in my opinion — a mistake was made. At this point it is what it is.”

Despite not being in a position to fight for the race win, Blam admitted they likely didn’t have the outright pace for a podium in the end.

Caldarelli and co-drivers Jordan Pepper and Marco Mapelli finished 11th overall as the highest-placed Lamborghini in the attrition-filled race.

“We sure would have liked to have the opportunity but I don’t think our pace was quite there with the other cars towards the end,” Blam said.

“It sure would have been fun to try and give them something. Probably not, but it would have been nice to give it a shot on the lead lap.

“We had our issues as everybody else did. It was tricky navigating the tires. We had too many punctures that set us back but we kept fighting back.

“We were in 11th forever. We were just hoping we could get some way to put together a strategy to get us back on the lead lap [after the red].

“With the leaders all off-strategy amongst themselves, it makes it so tough to pull something off.

“We gave it all we had we just didn’t quite have it this weekend.”

Blam praised the team, a combination of Lamborghini Squadra Corse mechanics and core members of its Calfiornia-based crew, for what he believes was a flawless performance all weekend, despite the disappointing result.

“It’s not what Lamborghini wanted. It’s not what we wanted. We were here to try to help them win the race,” he said. “Obviously it was a great weekend up until the issues at tech that we’ve obviously spoken of.

“Being the top-finishing Lamborghini in our second trip with K-PAX and finishing 11th — we were 10th and 12th when we were here in 2020… It’s a start.

“It’s one of the most intense races there is. To come over here in a one-off and finish where we did is a testament to the team and the relationship we have with Lamborghini and all our guys from K-PAX.

“I’m very proud of our guys for the way they handled all the adversity and where we ended up.”

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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