K-PAX Racing wins US Touring Car Championship
Nov 12, 2012 - 9:56:50 AM
Sonoma Raceway, California. (November 11, 2012) – The USTCC (United States Touring Car Championship) had its final round of the 2012 Championship at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California this weekend.
K-PAX Racing was represented by Robert Thorne driving the #80 K-PAX Racing Autoparts Warehouse C30. The consistently successful campaign throughout the season meant that the team had to run this weekend with a maximum “rewards” ballast of 300lbs. However, despite this huge penalty Robert Thorne managed to capture the 3rd quickest time in the 1st qualifying session on Saturday.
The second qualifying session on Sunday was marred with a black flag due to a competitor going off track and as such Thorne never had to opportunity to get a “hot lap” in and therefore only posted the 7th fastest time. The two qualifying sessions were combined to determine the final starting position for the race, which placed the K-PAX Racing Volvo C30 5th overall.
In order to capture the championship title Thorne now had to pass at least one of the cars ahead of him. Unfortunately the start did not go to plan as the rewards weight bogged down the car in the start and before the first corner the #80 C30 had dropped to 7th. However, the tenacious attitude of Robert Thorne enabled him to regain composure and start wrestling the car up the field. A fortuitous re-start, after a brief safety car period, allowed Robert Thorne to jump up to third but on the final corner of the final lap the #43 Mazda, driven by Tim Barber, managed to squeeze a nose ahead of the C30 at the finish line. The 4th place finish meant that Robert Thorne was able to capture this closely contested championship by the thinnest of margins. In the end, the runner up in the championship, Chris Lock (driving the #22 Honda), and Robert Thorne were tied on points, tied on wins but Robert Thorne broke the tie-breaker with one more 2nd place finish during the course of the season.
Robert Thorne was elated with his championship win: “The Volvo C30 and the K-PAX Racing crew have been phenomonal all season long!! Due to our consistentely high finishes we were forced to ad weight to the car throughout the year but despite this adversity the crew was able to adjust the set-up of the car so that we could maintain our competitveness at every single race”.
This is only the second time that a Volvo has won a major professional racing series in the US (the first was also won by K-PAX Racing in the World Challenge series). Team principal Jim Haughey commented: “Winning this championship only makes us hungrier for more. We have once again demonstrated what a great platform for racing a Volvo can be. The combination of the stiff chassis and strong motors provides us with a powerful combination that is hard to beat”.
K-PAX Racing has been competing in various championships in the US since 2007 and during that time has managed to capture 27 wins, 38 pole positions and over 90 top 5’s. K-PAX Racing is the exclusive racing partner of Volvo Cars of North America.
For more information on K-PAX Racing, visit www.kpaxracing.com
For more information on USTCC, visit www.ustcc.com