Posted (03/26/2012) -
St. Petersburg, FL (March 26, 2012) - Randy returned for another season with the #6 K-PAX Racing Volvo S60 team for the 2012 Pirelli World Challenge GT Championship doubleheader on the streets of St. Petersburg. From the standing start of the first race, the competition was fierce and the racing was wild and incident-filled. Randy was forced to start from the back of the GT group after an engine change, as per World Challenge rules. In true Randy fashion, the Volvo got a great start and went from fifteenth to ninth by the end of the first lap when the first caution flag flew. On the restart, Randy gained another two positions and was racing hot and heavy when the car shut off. The Volvo pitted and the team determined that it wasn't safe to continue the race due to an electronics issue.
"We seem to have a ghost in the machine. We started having problems during practice and the K-PAX team changed several things, but the problem was not fixed. We decided to change the engine because the team saw something that wasn't quite right and didn't want to risk it. We had the Volvo all-wheel drive advantage which gave us a great start. The racing was wild and high risk with cars everywhere. I was in hand-to-hand combat when the electronics shut down. My teammate Alex Figge led much of the race but lost the lead when a Touring car swerved into his path while trying to get out of the way. Alex hit him and the other cars got by. Just hold your line people! At least he got a third place out of it."
For the second race, the K-PAX team replaced almost everything electronic, working late into the night. Randy started the race in seventh place based on the fastest lap time from the previous race. The Volvo AWD again proved valuable when Randy was able to pass cars on the standing start and a later restart, putting him in second place! The electronic problems returned, causing the car to shut off and retire from the race.
"It's a darn shame. On the restart, I made a late brake move, passing Alex and the Cadillacs and got second. We were running so well when the ghost in the car returned. Alex also tangled with a Porsche and broke the suspension, putting him out of the race. It was an unfortunate race for K-PAX and Volvo. The good news is that the Volvo handling is improved and the car is faster. It was beautiful. It was nice to have our 30 or so Volvo guests join us for the weekend and fun to visit with my father, sister and brother-in-law. Also, I was so pleased to have my high school best buddies, Bob and Julie Gilbert, as guests in the K-Pax paddock for both races. Bob and I started autocrossing together in 1977 in a Sprint Pinto and a Datsun 510, respectively. I would like to thank my personal sponsors, WeatherTech, saferacer.com and TPC Racing for their support during this 2012 season. K-PAX is now heading back to Denver to exorcise the ghost before the Long Beach race which is right around the corner."
The Acura Sports Car Challenge of St. Petersburg presented by Pirelli doubleheader will be televised on NBC Sports Network on April 8 at 4:30 PM ET. Both race broadcasts can be seen NOW online at Worldchallengetv.com. Every race in the series will be streamed live all season on that site. The next race for the World Challenge GT is the Grand Prix of Long Beach, April 13-15.
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