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Intercontinental GT Challenge

K-PAX Managing Split Duties Between Spa Test, Indy 8H

K-PAX Bentley squad managing transatlantic challenges of Spa test and Indy 8H in same week…

Photo: Dirk Bogaerts/SRO

Bentley customer squad K-PAX Racing is splitting its duties this week with cars and crews active in both the Total 24 Hours of Spa test days and the Indianapolis 8 Hour.

The California-based team has a single car running at the official Spa test taking place today and tomorrow, despite having two entries confirmed for the race as part of its GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS campaign and Bentley’s renewed commitment to the Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli.

Alvaro Parente, Andy Soucek and Rodrigo Baptista are sharing driving duties at Spa this week whilst Jules Gounon, Jordan Pepper and Maxime Soulet are racing at Indianapolis.

All three Indianapolis 8 Hour drivers were at the Nürburgring 24 last weekend competing for different teams in Audi, BMW and Mercedes-AMG machinery, and are set to travel to the second round of the IGTC season on Wednesday.

The trio won the season-opening Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour back in February and Bentley has prioritized this crew composition for the remaining rounds to keep all three drivers on an equal footing in the championship standings.

However, their unavailability for the Spa test days means K-PAX is only practicing for the Belgian enduro with one of its cars.

While the team’s No. 9 Bentley is testing this week with a host of other outfits including factory squad M-Sport, its No. 3 car has been given dispensation to test at Spa during the race week.

Additionally, K-PAX lead engineer Steve Conover will direct the Spa testing program while race engineer Sebastien Constans will do the same for the Indianapolis entry.

Aside from the IGTC points-leading trio, K-PAX has yet to name the drivers making up the rest of its 24 Hours of Spa squad.

Another team juggling the two events is WRT, which has four Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evos on the ground at Spa plus crew members assisting with the running of Team Hardpoint’s Indianapolis entry for Mirko Bortolotti, Spencer Pumpelly and Markus Winkelhock.

“We felt this was the best strategy to bring the most success to K-PAX Racing as a whole,” said K-PAX program manager Darren Law.

“We had the option to test both of our cars in Europe next week but we would not have had proper time to prepare for the Indy event.

“So we felt it best to split up the test program at Spa and use just one car for the two-day test and have the Indy group run at the Spa test on the other car Tuesday of race week.

“Our goal is to show that we are a championship-caliber team that can compete with the best in the world anywhere we race.

“Although it has presented challenges we have been very pleased with our performance in Europe so far and having the opportunity to compete on two continents in two championships is a milestone for K-PAX Racing.”

The car that K-PAX is preparing for Indianapolis is a U.S-based model that was used in the early stages of the GT World Challenge America powered by AWS season.

K-PAX has not returned to domestic competition since it withdrew from the VIR round in March and has since focused on its GTWC Europe program with two Bentleys, as well as its approach to the IGTC global series enduros at Indianapolis and Spa.

Both the Indy 8 Hour and the 24 Hours of Spa double up as rounds of the IGTC and the regional GTWC series of their respective continents.

“Although this car has not run in the U.S. since the COTA event in March we have had it race prepared and ready to go since that event,” Law said, referring to the Indy entry.

“Our team has been flat out all season with our European program so they have stayed very busy, they are sharp and are very comfortable with the running and engineering of this car.”

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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