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Sebring: K-PAX/3R Racing race report

Pilgrim finishes SCCA World Challenge Race at Sebring in K-PAX Volvo S60 A 13th place in Round One Completes First Race in New Volvos Sebring Florida (March 21, 2009): The K-PAX/3R Racing Team unveiled their two new Volvo S60 cars in Sebring...

Pilgrim finishes SCCA World Challenge Race at Sebring in K-PAX Volvo S60
A 13th place in Round One Completes First Race in New Volvos

Sebring Florida (March 21, 2009): The K-PAX/3R Racing Team unveiled their two new Volvo S60 cars in Sebring Florida for Round One of SCCA Pro Racing's SPEED World Challenge GT Championships in The Toyo Tires Season Opener at Sebring International Raceway, part of the 57th Annual Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring Presented by Fresh From Florida.

Andy Pilgrim, of Delray Beach Florida, finished the #8 K-PAX/3R Racing Volvo S60 in 13th in the race after starting last because he was unable to post a time during Thursday's qualifying session. Pilgrim had to use reduced throttle and had to short shift his car due to overheating issues but he did complete the race.

"I really ran the whole race on the temperature gauge," said Andy Pilgrim of the maiden voyage of the brand new K-PAX Racing Volvo S60. "We wanted the data, we wanted to finish we wanted to put in some laps. We managed to finish and we got 45 or 50 minutes of race data and that was a wonderful thing. Finishing 13th was an added bonus.

"We were actually going faster in the beginning but we were watching out for people banging into each other at the start because starting at the back I didn't want to add insult to injury by getting tangled up in a mess at the start. The 3R guys have worked too hard for me to get caught up in some garbage.

"We came here with a car that we knew wouldn't be competitive with the front of the field but we wanted to make an appearance because the cars are so beautiful and we have nothing but good comments about the cars. The 3R guys have worked so hard that they wanted to come to Sebring and we wanted to come here to Sebring to show people what we've got and talk a little bit about the program. While the weekend didn't start well I think it finished very well because, while it should have been both Randy and I running around learning and gathering data at least one of our K-PAX Volvo S60s finished the whole race. I would say all in all because we were able to showcase the cars and run one of the cars from start to finish it was a very successful weekend."

Unfortunately defending World Challenge GT Drivers' Champion Randy Pobst, of Gainesville Georgia, was unable to compete in the Sebring event due to mechanical issues with his new Volvo S60.

"It was tough not being in the car and watching the race," said Pobst who has won back to back GT drivers' championships driving for the K-PAX/3R Racing Team. "But, at least Andy's car ran the distance and finished the race and that was very good for the team.

"In racing the highs are high and the lows are low. That is part of what piques my interest in racing. Racing is like life magnified. Whenever I start wanting to cry about my car not running this weekend a friend of mine will start reminding me to count my many blessings and how glad I am to be part of the K-PAX/3R Racing Team. Right now I am not happy because I am not a good spectator but I am confident that we are going to fix our K-PAX Volvo and come back better than ever. I think we will get better all year so we have a lot to look forward to."

Despite the long hours to complete the two K-PAX Volvo S60s and a trouble filled week at Sebring that created a long hard race weekend for the K-KAX/3R team they were happy to have been able to finish the race to show case their new Volvos.

"We had to thrash on the cars to get them here and went a little too fast to get them out on the track for the first session (Tuesday)," said Bob Raub of 3R Racing prior to Friday's race. "That was probably a mistake, but we didn't dwell on what was done in the past we just looked at what we needed to do and got it done. I am proud of our guys for being able to race today."

"The summary of this weekend is that we were here at Sebring, we wanted to be here to support the World Challenge Series, and I think that we have done a good job of that," said Pilgrim. "People have seen our new Volvo S60s and we have had nothing but positive feedback about how the cars look. The K-PAX Volvos look really fantastic!

"The crew really worked so hard but we know that we are in testing mode at the moment but I think that it is important to show your face at the first race even though we weren't able to race particularly well. We were here to compete and support the series not just to test even though we are in test mode. I think overall it is a good thing we were here. I'm happy we came to Sebring despite how things turned out."

One thing is certain the K-PAX/3R Racing Team and their new Volvo S60s will be ready to compete when they go to Long Beach California for the ACS World Challenge at Long Beach Presented by Lala Motorsports on April 17th through 19th 2009 for Round Two of The SCCA SPEED World Challenge3 GT Championships.

-credit: kpax/3rr

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Drivers Andy Pilgrim