K-PAX Racing switches to Bentley for 2018 PWC season

Photo: K-Pax Racing
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K-PAX Racing, one of the stalwart teams of Pirelli World Challenge, revealed today that they will be switching from McLaren, with whom they have contested the past four PWC seasons, to Bentley and confirmed that they will field three Bentley Continental GT3 entries in the 2018 season.

In their four years with McLaren, K-PAX notched 15 race wins and claimed the drivers’, team, and manufacturer championships in 2016, with Alvaro Parente taking the drivers’ crown.

K-PAX team owner Jim Haughey expressed confidence that K-PAX will continue its strong form under the Bentley banner.

“We competed with the very best from Porsche, Cadillac, Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Acura and many others. We are looking forward to working with Bentley to win races next season and compete for another championship,” said Haughey.

K-PAX program manager Darren Law added that they are currently evaluating drivers and that, while the team enjoyed its partnership with McLaren, the potential in the Bentley platform caught their eye.

“Working with McLaren GT for the past four years has been a great experience and produced tremendous results. At the end of each season we evaluate the performance of our team and our program as well as what the future looks like. With the introduction of the new Bentley Continental GT3 we see a lot of potential. Currently we are in the process of finalizing K-PAX’s 2018 Driver line-up and will be making an announcement soon. We look forward to joining the Bentley Racing family and continuing our success beginning with next season.”

Elsewhere in Pirelli World Challenge, the GTS class will get a boost in the form of 2017 Trans Am Champion Gar Robinson and sportscar standout Shane Lewis, who will compete under the Robinson Racing banner and pilot a pair of 74 Ranch Resort Mercedes-AMG GT4 entries.

Gar Robinson and Shane Lewis will pilot two Mercedes-AMG GT4s in the GTS class. Photo: Robinson Racing

In addition to their success in the Pirelli Trans Am Series, where they have won two of the last three championships, Robinson Racing has also seen success in IMSA, and previously Grand Am, winning races in the GT and Prototype categories and even securing a triumph at the 12 Hours of Sebring.

“This is a big, positive move for everyone at Robinson Racing,” said team owner George Robinson. “In the nearly 30 years this team’s been racing together, it’s probably been at least 20 years since we’ve entered a paddock so ripe with manufacturer presence and support. That’s huge, and not just for the opportunities it presents to all the drivers, but it has also had very real benefits to teams like ours through the ability to campaign factory-built cars with factory support on- and off-track in terms of engineering support, parts and spares, and of course the marketing power that we all get to enjoy. This is one of the few series we haven’t raced in, and we’re very excited to compete there.”

Gar Robinson revealed that he is often resistant to change, but feels this move is going to be a positive for Robinson Racing.

“Sometimes my friends give me a hard time because I don’t always like change, but I’m really looking forward to this one. Plus, my crew is my dad’s old crew – the same guys I’ve been racing with since they were running prototypes for my dad and quarter midgets for me, so no matter where we’re racing, it always feels like family,” Gar revealed.

For Lewis, this marks a return to World Challenge competition, as he competed in World Challenge in the 1990s, and added that the series is on the upswing, especially regarding its range of manufacturers in the series.

“This is a bit of a homecoming for me as I raced in World Challenge earlier in my career, though there’s obviously a typo in the record books because it’s impossible that that was nearly 22 years ago,” Lewis quipped. “No matter how long it’s been, Pirelli World Challenge is without peer in its ability to attract and engage global manufacturers.”

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Travis Pastrana leads flag-to-flag in Nitro Rallycross as the series returns to America

Pastrana Nitro Rallycross
Barry Chin / Getty Images
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Travis Pastrana waited until the final trip around ERX Motor Park to take his Joker Lap – a longer way around the course that all drivers must do at least once in a race – and came out cleanly to win his first Nitro Rallycross race of 2022. With this win, Pastrana is the third driver to visit Victory Lane in the first three rounds of the 2022-23 season.

“This is the closest to a motocross track,” Pastrana told Katie Osborne on Peacock. “Thank you so much for a beautiful facility. It’s been a rough start to the season and I’m so thankful to be back out here. We had a good run in the side-by-side and now for this. This is much needed.”

Another thing needed was the sense of improvement. And Pastrana earned that affirmation each time he completed a lap around the course.

“I get my lap times read out and they said ‘fastest time of the week,’ ‘fastest time of the week’ (each time around) ” Pastrana said. “This is really special. We’re a long way behind in the championship, but welcome to America.”

In a pre-race press conference, Pastrana said that as Nitro Rallycross heads back to America, it was time for an American to win and he made good on his promise. Pastrana took the early lead over Robin Larsson and let the back of his Subaru hang out, taking risks he might not otherwise take if not for his need to win.

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Larsson’s second-place finish completed a perfect sweep of the podium in three rounds. In fact, he has not yet finished worse than second after winning the opening round at Lydden Hill in the United Kingdom and finishing second at Strangnas in Sweeden.

Fraser McConnel rounded out the podium for his best result of the season. He finished fourth in each of the first two rounds.

Last year, Pastrana finished second in this race to Scott Speed before narrowly edging his teammate for the championship.

Andreas Bakkerud crashed in prelims, but rebounded to finish just off the block in fourth. Bakkerud won the second round ahead of his teammate Larsson.

Oliver Bennett completed the top five.

Minneapolis is the first of three rounds scheduled in the United States. Next on the schedule is Glen Helen, Calif. on Octo 30 and then Phoenix at Wild Horse Pass on November 12th. Nitro Rallycross will then head to Saudi Arabia in December to continue their 2022-23 season.