Jim Haughey

Team owner of K-PAX Racing on the GTGP

ec: What prompted K-Pax to enter the Global Tuner event as a last-minute entry?

JH: A number of things led us to Laguna Seca and the GTGP. First, the Volvo is really a tuner on steroids racing in the World Challenge GT Series, and racing in the GTGP gave us a chance to race on a great trackLaguna Secaunrestricted by weight, rpm, tires, boost limits, ride heights and aerodynamics. We’ve always been focused on the World Challenge Series and the rules associated therein. The GTGP gave us a chance to break free of the scrutinizers, see what we had, and compare what we had against some of the time attack cars out there. I really like the time attack format; very similar to a qualifying session.

ec: What promotional goals could come out of an event like the GTGP as opposed to the World Challenge, showing how strong and relevant Volvo really is ?

JH: We get so focused on WC that sometimes we forget to look and participate in other events. It’s always interesting to see what others are doing, especially the time attack cars. The guys building these cars can be very inventive and very fast so it is always educational. We are working on a performance package for the Volvo C30 and S60. The packages will only be available through Volvo dealers starting in 2011. We are also building two C30s for the 2011 World Challenge Touring Class. We wanted to start showcasing our cars and performance capabilities at other venues.

ec: What did you and the K-Pax team take away from the event and what was your overall impression?

JH: The GTGP taught us a lot about the capabilities of the tuners out there. It was fun for the crew and drivers as a year-end event with no restrictions on the car. We got humbled a bit by the performance of the others, they are that good. It rained on and off during the event, so we learned a tremendous amount about our racecars in the rain. We had never raced these cars in the wet and learned we have issues in the rain with the AWD system. We ran on Pirelli slicks (these will be the World Challenge tires for 2011), learned a lot about the tires and how they affect our brakes. We have issues there also. It was an inaugural event, with huge potential that can draw both from the professional and tuner fields with the different classes. They had front-wheel-drive, rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive classes and then three classes within each class, Unlimited, Tuner and Street. We ran in the Unlimited AWD class for the time-trial event. We took two cars. We set one up for the time-trial and set one up for the 50-minute races. Andy Pilgrim won the Unlimited AWD time-trial event. He had the best time of all the classes.

- Kerry Morse

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