St. Petersburg Grand Prix Next Up for K-PAX Racing with Flying Lizard Motorsports
March 24, 2015 – ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.
Hot on the heels of a dominating win at Circuit of the Americas, K-PAX Racing with Flying Lizard Motorsports will race this week on the downtown streets of St. Petersburg for Rounds 3 & 4 of the Pirelli World Challenge. The 11th Annual Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will feature an action packed week of sports car and open wheel racing on a temporary 1.8-mile, 14 turn street course in the heart of downtown.
K-PAX Racing with Flying Lizard Motorsports has entered their two McLaren 650S GT3 race cars for the event, with drivers Kevin Estre and Robert Thorne. The newly formed team enjoyed success at their debut during the season opener in Austin, Texas at Circuit of the Americas. The team earned a 4th place finish with Estre in Round 1, then in Round 2, clinched a top 10 finish with Robert Thorne and an overall win by a 30 second margin with Estre.
American Robert Thorne has previous experience at St. Petersburg in the Pirelli World Challenge with K-PAX Racing, and this weekend will mark McLaren GT factory driver Kevin Estre’s first time at the event.
Friday afternoon at 3:30pm at the team garage, K-PAX Racing with Flying Lizard Motorsports will hold a special autograph session with Estre and Thorne signing a commemorative poster, honoring the team earning McLaren GT’s first with for the 650S GT3. On Saturday at 2:15pm, the team will open the garage to the fans from 2:15pm to 2:45pm for a private tour with Program Manager Darren Law, and drivers Estre and Thorne. Tickets for the event and be purchased at gpstpete.com.
Darren Law // Program Manager
This is a significantly different racetrack than the last event. The McLaren is well suited to a traditional smooth road course as we showed with a win last race weekend, but we have some unknowns coming to a bumpy temporary street circuit. This will be the first time the new McLaren 650S GT3 has run on this type of track. We did pre-season testing at Sebring on the short course to try and simulate for this weekend as that is bumpy and has tight sections like a street course. Both K-PAX Racing and Flying Lizard Motorsports have had success and completed many races on street circuits, so I feel confident in that aspect but we don’t have any data for this car here, so we will have to be very diligent about getting the setup right in a short period of time.
Kevin Estre // Driver of #9 K-PAX Racing with Flying Lizard Motorsports McLaren 650S GT3
I’m really looking forward to driving in the streets of St. Petersburg! It’s going to be my first time on the track, but I love street circuits, and with the agility from our McLaren 650S GT3, I’m sure that we are going to be competitive. We learned a lot on during the first event in Austin at COTA and I’m sure that we are going to be better on some points in St. Petersburg.
Robert Thorne // Driver of #6 K-PAX Racing with Flying Lizard Motorsports McLaren 650S GT3
The Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is always such a great event to race at. The atmosphere is electric and the schedule is packed with all kinds of racing. It’s in the heart of downtown, so it brings both casual and diehard fans. Being a temporary street circuit, the track is a lot rougher on cars than a smooth, permanent race course. You’ve also got concrete on both sides of track, so if you get hit or run out of space, you’ve got nowhere to go. It adds another level of competition. The McLaren should be good here, and we’re riding the momentum of winning the last event. We’re looking forward to getting out on track.
K-PAX Racing with Flying Lizard Motorsport
An integration of two powerful, championship-winning teams, K-PAX Racing with Flying Lizard Motorsports commences its first season as a combined effort in the Pirelli World Challenge. Since joining the Pirelli World Challenge in 2007, K-PAX Racing has celebrated a total 72 podiums, 25 wins and three driver championships, solidifying the team as a continuous championship contender. Since 2004, Flying Lizard Motorsports has amassed 68 podiums and 25 wins in the American Le Mans Series and TUDOR United Sports Car Championship, clinching three driver championships and three class championships. The two teams have merged for a full season effort, racing two brand new 2015 McLaren 650S GT3s.
About McLaren GT
McLaren GT is the GT race car manufacturing arm of McLaren Group established to develop, build and support the GT racing and track derivatives of the 12C sports car, and the 650S GT3. Based in Woking, Surrey at the former home of McLaren Racing, the company is responsible for the design, development and production of the GT3 variants of the 12C and 650S, the 12C GT Can-Am Edition and the 12C GT Sprint.