The K-PAX Racing Volvo S60s finished first and second in the second race at the Race Keeper World Challenge VIR Grand Prix presented by MTM Special Ops Watch at Virginia International Raceway this past Sunday. The result clinched the 2010 GT Drivers’ Championship for Randy Pobst and the Manufacturers’ title for Volvo.
Andy Pilgrim took advantage of his pole position start, built a large lead in the number 8 K-PAX Racing Volvo S60 and took the victory, his first of the season. Not too far behind was team mate Randy Pobst, who finished second in the number 6 K-PAX Volvo after starting the race from the third position. James Sofronas finished third in a Porsche 911 GT3.
Andy started from the pole position in the number 6 K-PAX Racing Volvo S60, and led all 22 laps. At one point midway through the race, his lead grew to 5.808 seconds over second place. The final margin of victory was 1.392 seconds.
“I really want to dedicate this win to Jeremy Smallwood, my crew chief. With so much pressure on himself, he never had a bad attitude about anything. He never gave up on the car, he never gave up on me and he’s just had a wonderful attitude and I want to dedicate this win to him. It meant so much to him, he was very emotional after the race and I knew he would be because he cared so much,” a thrilled Andy said.
Andy’s victory came in a car from last season that was pressed into duty for both qualifying and the race on Sunday, due to the length of time needed to make repairs on the current car. The 2009 car had not been tested and had essentially been out of service since the end of last season.
“I had to run hard. The thing we potentially could’ve had an issue with was the set-up on the car. We didn’t know if it would be any good or not. The handling started to go away a little bit and Kuno Wittmer was absolutely coming. There was no way I could have stopped him, he would have had me. He was faster at that point in the race. Then, unbelievably, with 6 or 7 laps to go, Kuno went off at Oak Tree (turn 12). I think he got held up in traffic a little bit, then he basically went off track. I was so relieved. It was getting very slippery and my lap times were slowing down. After the yellow (full course caution on lap 17 for debris removal) we had a clean three laps,” he explained.
Randy’s teammate Randy Pobst began the race from the number three position on the grid, and moved up to second on the opening lap. Wittmer pressured Randy in the opening laps, and finally got by on lap 7 before his off track excursion on lap 13 shuffled him back to third. Once Randy regained the second position, he held it for the remainder of the race to clinch the Drivers’ Championship in the GT class.
“I’m thrilled, absolutely thrilled. As a team we’re climbing a mountain, and the mountain is rocky and you slip and fall back, and you have to struggle to get back up. Today we’re standing on the top. On top of Mount Everest looking down with a tremendous sense of accomplishment,” an excited Randy said.
“We won yesterday in the rain. Today it was hot and sunny, which changed the track. We went about three seconds a lap slower, but so was everyone else. Here’s what it came down to today: we didn’t make mistakes and our competitors did,” he said.
Randy, with four wins this season, is the 2010 GT Champion. He is now 212 ahead of second place James Sofronas and is 218 points ahead of third place Kuno Wittmer.
Volvo is the 2010 GT Manufacturer Champion. With one race remaining it is 12 points over Porsche and 35 ahead of Dodge.
K-PAX Racing will be back in action for the 2010 season finale at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah, October 1-3.
The Race Keeper World Challenge VIR Grand Prix presented by MTM Special Ops Watch will be broadcast on Versus on Sunday, September 26 from 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. ET.