Lamborghini clinched a trio of Fanatec GT World Challenge America titles as K-PAX Racing’s Andrea Caldarelli and Jordan Pepper’s took their ninth victory – and the brand’s 10th – of the season at Sebring. The pair, driving the #3 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo scored enough points in the opening 90-minute race on Saturday to wrap up the drivers’, teams’ and manufacturers crown before doubling up in Race 2.
Having won the GT World Challenge Europe titles in 2019 with FFF Racing, this is the second title clean-sweep for Lamborghini in an SRO affiliated championship, while it’s the third drivers’ crown for Caldarelli, who was part of the 2019 GTWC Europe crew and the 2017 Blancpain GT Series winning Grasser Racing Team partnership.
Lamborghini Factory Driver Caldarelli and team-mate Pepper came into the weekend holding a 63-point advantage over their nearest challengers, the BMW crew of Michael Dinan and Robbie Foley and knew that a margin of 50 points or more leaving Florida would be sufficient to be crowned champions.
Things started off on exactly the right foot during Friday’s free practice sessions, with the #3 topping the times in FP1, as Lamborghini occupied the top three places with the sister K-PAX Racing Huracán #6 of Corey Lewis and Giovanni Venturini second and the TR3 Motorsport Pro entry of Giacomo Altoè and Dennis Lind third. Come FP2, Caldarelli and Pepper emerged as the third fastest crew, and carried on their form into qualifying to secure pole position for the first of two 90-minute races. The pairing’s job was made easier at the start of the race as the Dinan/Foley car retired on the opening lap, leaving Caldarelli – who started – in the clear out front.
Caldarelli maintained the lead throughout the opening stint, building a 22-second gap over Altoè who made the most of a small mistake from Venturini to grab second approaching the half-hour marker. Venturini dropped down the order after being forced into the pits soon after, with Lewis recovering to finish fifth by the end.
Pepper then took over from Caldarelli at the mandatory pit-stop and continued to stroke the #3 home comfortably, as Lind defended bravely from the charging Wright Motorsport Porsche of Jan Heylan.
Caldarelli and Pepper started third for Race 2 and ran in this position until Pepper found a way past the Mercedes of Russell Ward to grab second place before a full course yellow period. Caldarelli then past the Porsche of Fred Poordad at the restart and was largely untroubled from then.
The title triumphs for both Caldarelli/Pepper and the K-PAX Racing Team – a new customer of the 5.2-litre V10 Huracán GT3 Evo this season – cap off a spectacular maiden campaign in America for Lamborghini Squadra Corse.
The season started off in fine fashion, with Caldarelli and Pepper claiming a dominant double victory at the opening round in Sonoma before claiming further victories at some of the most iconic circuits in US racing. Single race wins at the Circuit of the Americas, Virginia International Raceway, Road America and Watkins Glen made sure that the #3 has claimed at least one victory in every round, while the worst finish for the crew was fourth in Race 2 at Road America.
The GT World Challenge America season concludes in two weeks, with the Indianapolis 8 Hours.