The team is looking into the McLaren 12C GT3 car for the upcoming season.
K-PAX Racing, a three-time winner of the Pirelli World Challenge, recently took team engineers and drivers to Portugal to meet with a full crew from McLaren to test the new McLaren 12C GT3. Sessions were conducted at the Autodromo do Estoril, the 2.6-mile former home of the Formula One Portuguese Grand Prix, where the teams became acquainted and shared insights, according to K-PAX team owner Jim Haughey, who said, “This was a special way to start a new partnership.”
Denver, Colo.-based team K-PAX Racing, with veteran sports car driver Alex Figge and team newcomer Robert Thorne, will pilot the McLaren 12C GT3 in the 2014 Pirelli World Challenge, a nine-event, 16-race series contested at road circuits throughout the U.S. and Canada. The season begins March 28 with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
McLaren GT engineers and tech staff at a world-renowned track, Alex and Robert received a great deal of quality time behind the wheel and we’re heading to Florida a lot smarter than before our trip,” said Haughey. “The team is focused on winning another championship and our time in Estoril was a vital step toward achieving that goal.”
Estoril, Portugal was selected as the site for several reasons: the February weather is generally mild; McLaren headquarters in Surrey, England is relatively close and it allowed McLaren GT to send a full contingent for the Feb. 19 and 20 sessions.
“The McLaren racing and technology heritage is unrivaled, so it was really impressive McLaren GT could send their whole team, including factory drivers and all the engineers,” said Figge, whose three seasons with K-PAX in the World Challenge have produced five poles, five wins and 12 top-five finishes. “My biggest goals were to ask as many questions as I could, get as much information as possible, and to have track time to become familiar with the cars’ handling and set-up. It was a success at all levels.”