ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (Jan. 12, 2009) – K-PAX/3R Racing has announced they will enter the 2009 SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championship with two-time defending Champion Randy Pobst and 2005 Champion Andy Pilgrim driving a pair of Volvo S60s.
Though the team has won the SPEED GT Drivers’ Championship the past two years with Pobst behind the wheel of a Porsche 911 GT3 and helped the German marque earn its seventh World Challenge Manufacturers’ Championship in 2007, the team could not resist the challenge of a new car. K-PAX owner Jim Haughey has long been enthusiastic about the Volvo brand and 3R has proven to be especially adept at building a car from the frame up.
That’s exactly what the team has done with the all-wheel drive 2.5 liter turbo 2009 Volvo S60. The chassis arrived at the 3R shop straight off the assembly line. The crew got to work designing their own components, while working with Mahle USA on motors and Weismann on gearboxes.
“We here at 3R are very excited at the opportunity we have been given to engineer and build all-new cars and bring a new manufacturer back to the series,” 3R Racing owner Bob Raub said. “We know that this is not an easy task or one that will not be without its share of problems and failings, but through those problems and failings we will work hard to have success for Jim, Volvo, Randy and Andy.”
The change in cars goes hand-in-hand with a driver change. Three-time series Champion (2003, 2007-8) Pobst will be partnered with 2005 SPEED GT Champion Pilgrim in 2009. Pilgrim steps into the cockpit of the Volvo S60 after five seasons driving a Cadillac CTS-V. Pobst starts his third season with K-PAX, searching for his third-consecutive Drivers’ Title. Together, Pobst and Pilgrim have combined for 27 poles, 77 top-three finishes and 28 wins.
"Happy New Year, and what a new year it will be!” Pobst said. “Fabulous new 3R Racing-built Volvo S60 all-wheel drive turbo race cars, and a new teammate who is someone for whom I have great respect, Andy Pilgrim. The new Volvo will be a very interesting development project. I am excited about being part of a new challenge; the testing, the learning and being part of a new creation. I will miss Michael Galati's effervescent personality, and I wish him the best in his new endeavors."
“I’m very excited to be working with K-PAX,” Pilgrim said. “I have a ton of respect for them, having run against them in several cars, from the original Corvette they were running to the Porsches the last two years.
“At this point in my career I’m looking forward to having a big learning curve with an all-wheel drive race car. That’s something I’ve never driven before and it’s been a long time since I’ve driven a turbo. I’m always up for a challenge. I’m also looking forward to running with Randy. We’ve run as car-mates and competitors, but we’ve never run as teammates.”
With so much work to be done and parts to fit, the team doesn’t anticipate any testing before Sebring. Pobst and Pilgrim will be valuable assets in developing the car throughout the season.
To watch the K-PAX/3-R team build a Volvo S60 from the ground up, visit www.3rauto.com and click on the Volvo photo.
Divided into two separate series and races (SCCA SPEED GT and SCCA SPEED Touring Car), the SCCA SPEED World Challenge Championships are America’s top production car-based series. SCCA SPEED World Challenge events are a maximum of 50 minutes in length, feature standing starts and the world’s most popular manufacturers racing head-to-head. For more information see www.world-challenge.com.