Lamborghini Factory Driver Andrea Caldarelli and K-PAX Racing team-mate Jordan Pepper recorded their fifth GT World Challenge America victory of the season, the sixth seasonal win for the Italian brand, at the iconic Road America circuit in Wisconsin. The latest success ensured the pairing in the #3 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo extended their points advantage in the drivers’ and teams’ standings.
Coming into the weekend, Caldarellli and Pepper held a 39-point lead in the overall standings over the sister #6 K-PAX Racing Huracán duo of Giovanni Venturini and increased the margin following a hard-fought win in the opening race from pole position.
The weekend had started inconspicuously for Caldarelli and Pepper, setting the sixth and 10th quickest times in free practice before Caldarelli put in a stunning qualifying time of 2:07.102 to take pole position. From there, Caldarelli consolidated the lead at the start of the 90-minute race before handing over to Pepper during the mandatory pit-stop window.
Pepper continued Caldarelli’s work in the second stint but began to fall into the clutches of the second-placed Mercedes of Philip Ellis, who started to close in on the lead. But Pepper kept his cool impressively and came home to clinch another race win, just under half a second ahead of Ellis at the flag, the gap reduced even further thanks to a full course yellow which bunched the field up in the closing laps.
The #6 of Venturini and Corey Lewis finished fourth in the opening race, while Lamborghini Factory Driver Giacomo Altoè and Martin Fuentes brought the TR3 Racing Huracán home fourth in the Pro-Am class and eighth overall.
Race 2 was a more complicated affair for the points-leading #3 car, which started sixth on the grid. Pepper took the start but made slight contact with the Mercedes of Michael Cooper at Turn 6, forcing the South African to take to the grass to avoid more drama.
Caldarelli and Pepper eventually recovered to fourth overall by the end following a late pit-stop for erstwhile leader Russell Ward for fuel. Ward’s stop with five minutes remaining elevated Venturini and Lewis to an inherited second place, while Altoè and Fuentes set the fastest lap of the race to finish fifth overall, and second in Pro-Am.
The next round in the 2021 GT World Challenge America season takes place at Watkins Glen on the weekend of 17-19th September.