Inside K-PAX: McLaren trio of GT drivers on the rise (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Parente and Thompson with four-time defending champion Johnny O'Connell. Photo: K-PAX Racing
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As the Pirelli World Challenge resumes from its July summer hiatus and heads to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for next week’s doubleheader, the trio of K-PAX Racing drivers are keen to recapture their form from earlier this season at a track that should suit the McLaren 650S GT3s fairly well.

K-PAX maintains the technical work and support partnership from Flying Lizard Motorsports, one of sports car racing’s most well-known teams, led by program manager Darren Law.

Alvaro Parente, McLaren GT factory ace, has enjoyed a strong start to his season while young chargers Austin Cindric and Colin Thompson have rounded out up K-PAX’s new lineup this year. Parente’s starred while the younger pair has had somewhat roller coaster campaigns in their first year in World Challenge’s marquee GT class.

Parente, the 31-year-old Portuguese driver, has been on McLaren GT’s factory roster since 2011. In that time, Parente has starred in the Blancpain Endurance Series, FIA GT1 World Championship and International GT Open (2015 series champion), among other solid GT ranks.

In 13 races this year, Parente leads the points standings heading to Mid-Ohio. He has four wins (Long Beach, Barber 1 and both Lime Rock races) and has finished in the top-eight in all but one race. He leads Patrick Long, 1143 to 1095, in the standings.

A quick video on Parente is below via K-PAX Racing, as are a few photos.

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Parente after Lime Rock double. Photo: Bob Chapman/Autosport Image
Parente ready for battle. Photo: Bob Chapman/Autosport Images
Parente ready for battle. Photo: Bob Chapman/Autosport Image

Cindric, 17, is based in North Carolina and has already made a career out of versatility in the last few years. He heads to Mid-Ohio this weekend set to commemorate the two-year anniversary of when he made his series debut, then in a GTS class Ford Mustang Boss 302.

Cindric’s already run races in NASCAR (Camping World Truck Series), ARCA, open-wheel (USF2000), sports cars (Mercedes at the Bathurst 12 Hour, Ford in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge) GRC Lites and World Rallycross, before making his McLaren GT effort with the K-PAX team his primary focus in 2016.

In his 13 starts this year, Cindric has a best finish of fifth (St. Petersburg 1) and five top-10 finishes; he’s currently 13th in points. But he’s also busy juggling his studies with his racing commitments.

Here’s his video and photos.

Cindric preps his helmet. Photo: Bob Chapman/Autosport Image
Cindric preps his helmet. Photo: Bob Chapman/Autosport Image
Cindric and Flying Lizard program manager Darren Law. Photo: Bob Chapman/Autosport Image
Cindric and Flying Lizard program manager Darren Law. Photo: Bob Chapman/Autosport Image

Thompson, 22, out of Pennsylvania, stepped up to GT after dominating the 2015 GT Cup class in World Challenge, having won 13 of 18 races. It was his second straight title after winning the 2014 IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup USA title.

Thompson’s year thus far has featured four top-10 results and a best finish of fourth (Circuit of The Americas 2), which places him 17th in points.

Here’s his video and photos.

Thompson with his fellow competitors. Photo: Bob Chapman/Autosport Image
Thompson with his fellow competitors. Photo: Bob Chapman/Autosport Image
Thompson's game face. Photo: Bob Chapman/Autosport Image
Thompson’s game face. Photo: Bob Chapman/Autosport Image

Here’s the full team at large.

World of Outlaws release 2023 Sprint Car Series schedule

2023 Outlaws Sprint schedule
World of Outlaws
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The 2023 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series schedule features 87 races, almost identical to the last year’s number, to be contested at 36 venues across 19 states. With cancelations for mostly weather, they closed out this year’s calendar on November 5 with 69 events in the books. Carson Macedo won a series high 11 races.

In 2022, David Gravel chased Brad Sweet into the three-race finale on the Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway in one of the most hotly contested championships in Outlaws history. Sweet emerged victorious for the fourth straight year.

For the 19th consecutive season, the Outlaws Sprints will begin their season at Volusia Speedway Park for the DIRTcar Nationals from Feb. 9-11 and will return March 5-6 for another two-day show before hitting the road with a three-track swing into Pennsylvania to take on the Posse.

MORE: 2023 World of Outlaws Late Model Schedule

“Every year we continue to build the best schedule we can for drivers and fans across the country,” said World of Outlaws CEO Brian Carter is a series release. “I’m excited for the journey we’ve put together, which includes the biggest races in Sprint Car racing, our new Spring Swing through Pennsylvania, the thrill of combining the World of Outlaws and ‘Bike Week’ and so much more.”

Some tracks returning from hiatus and one brand new course include 81 Speedway in Park City, Kans. in April and again in October, Tri-City Speedway in Pontoon City, Ill. in April, Ogilvie (Minn.) Raceway in June and BAPS Motor Speedway in York Haven, Penn.

BAPS hosts its first race in more than 30 years when the track was known as Susquehanna Speedway. This midweek show will give the local Pennsylvania Posse 14 attempts to beat the traveling Outlaws.

Ogilvie Speedway is completely new to the series and makes it the 224th different venue they will have challenged.

MORE: Brad Sweet protects his place in history

Notably missing from the calendar are Vado (N.M.) Speedway Park, Cotton Bowl Speedway in Paige, Texas, Bakersfield (Calif.) Speedway and the Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt Track.

In addition to the new spring Pennsylvania Swing, the second date at Volusia Speedway will coincide with Daytona Beach’s Bike Week and bring new eyes to the sport.

Knoxville Raceway adds another multi-night show to the calendar in April, giving this track eight sanctioned events in 2023.

And of course, there are plenty of mainstays and high dollar events, such as the Memorial Day Spectacular at Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway, the 35th running of the Brad Doty Classic in July and the Labor Day Spectacular at Gray’s Harbor in Elma, Wash.

Several big paydays are on the line in 2023 including the 40th annual Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio paying $175,000 to the winner, the Huset’s High Bank Nationals’ $250,000-to-win finale and the grandaddy of them all, the 62nd Knoxville Nationals with a total purse exceeding $1 million.

2023 Outlaws Sprint Schedule

Thursday-Saturday, Feb. 9-11 – Volusia Speedway Park (Barberville, FL)

Sunday-Monday, March 5-6 – Volusia Speedway Park (Barberville, FL)
Friday-Saturday, March 10-11 – Port Royal Speedway (Port Royal, PA)
Friday, March 17 – Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)
Saturday, March 18 – Lincoln Speedway (Abbottstown, PA)
Friday, March 24 – Talladega Short Track (Eastaboga, AL)
Saturday, March 25 – Magnolia Motor Speedway (Columbus, MS)
Friday, March 31-Saturday, April 1 – Devil’s Bowl Speedway (Mesquite, TX)

Friday, April 7 – US-36 Raceway (Osborn, MO)
Saturday, April 8 – 81 Speedway (Park City, KS)
Friday-Saturday, April 14-15 – Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 (Pevely, MO)
Friday-Saturday, April 21-22 – Knoxville Raceway (Knoxville, IA)
Friday, April 28 – Tri-City Speedway (Granite City, IL)
Saturday, April 29 – Tri-State Speedway (Haubstadt, IN)

Friday-Saturday, May 5-6 – Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, OH)
Wednesday, May 10 – Lincoln Speedway (Abbottstown, PA)
Friday-Saturday, May 12-13 – Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)
Friday, May 19 – Attica Raceway Park (Attica, OH)
Saturday, May 20 – Sharon Speedway (Hartford, OH)
Friday-Saturday, May 26-27 – Atomic Speedway (Chillicothe, OH)
Monday, May 29 – Lawrenceburg Speedway (Lawrenceburg, IN)

Friday, June 2 – River Cities Speedway (Grand Forks, ND)
Saturday, June 3 – Ogilvie Raceway (Ogilvie, MN)
Friday-Saturday, June 9-10 – Knoxville Raceway (Knoxville, IA)
Friday-Saturday, June 16-17 – Beaver Dam Raceway (Beaver Dam, WI)
Wednesday-Saturday, June 21-24 – Huset’s Speedway (Brandon, SD)
Friday, June 30-Saturday, July 1 – Cedar Lake Speedway (New Richmond, WI)

Friday, July 7 – 34 Raceway (West Burlington, IA)
Saturday, July 8 – Wilmot Raceway (Wilmot, WI)
Tuesday, July 11 – Attica Raceway Park (Attica, OH)
Friday-Saturday, July 14-15 – Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, OH)
Wednesday, July 19 – BAPS Motor Speedway (York Haven, PA)
Friday-Saturday, July 21-22 – Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)
Saturday-Sunday, July 29-30 – Weedsport Speedway (Weedsport, NY)

Friday-Saturday, Aug. 4-5 – Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 (Pevely, MO)
Wednesday-Saturday, Aug. 9-12 – Knoxville Raceway (Knoxville, IA)
Thursday-Saturday, Aug. 17-19 – Jackson Motorplex (Jackson, MN)
Friday, Aug. 25 – River Cities Speedway (Grand Forks, ND)
Saturday, Aug. 26 – Red River Valley Speedway (West Fargo, ND)
Thursday, Aug. 31-Saturday, September 2 – Skagit Speedway (Alger, WA)

Monday, Sept. 4 – Grays Harbor Raceway (Elma, WA)
Thursday-Saturday, Sept. 7-9 – Silver Dollar Speedway (Chico, CA)
Friday, Sept. 15 – Keller Auto Speedway (Hanford, CA)
Saturday, Sept. 16 – Placerville Speedway (Placerville, CA)
Friday, Sept. 22 – Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, OH)
Saturday, Sept. 23 – Sharon Speedway (Hartford, OH)
Friday-Saturday, Sept. 29-30 – Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)

Friday-Saturday, Oct. 6-7 – Port Royal Speedway (Port Royal, PA)
Friday, Oct. 13 – 81 Speedway (Park City, KS)
Saturday, Oct. 14 – Lakeside Speedway (Kansas City, KS)
Friday-Saturday, Oct. 20-21 – TBA

Wednesday-Saturday, Nov. 1-4 – The Dirt Track at Charlotte (Concord, NC)