LAKEVILLE, Conn. (July 24, 2017)
– The 3GT Racing No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3 finished seventh in the GTD class in Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech Championship race at Lime Rock Park, featuring drivers Jack Hawksworth and Robert Alon.
Hawksworth led the class field for 29 laps (of 174) -- around the 1.474-mile Connecticut road course behind the wheel of the No. 15 Lexus -- before pitting for a driver change to Alon with an hour left remaining in the race. The seventh-place result is the third top-10 finish in the last four races for the No. 15 RC F GT3.
Sage Karam and Scott Pruett finished 12th in class, driving the No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3 during Saturday’s two hour and 40 minute event. Karam passed four cars on the first lap of the race, and ran in the top-six in class during his first stint. However, the right-front tire had an issue following the team’s driver change during the first pit stop, forcing Pruett to immediately come back to pit road for a new tire. The No. 14 lost a lap on the GTD class due to the tire issue, and was never able to back on the lead lap when the race went caution free.
The Lexus RC F GT3s next compete at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin on Sunday, August 6.
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Lexus Racing Quotes
JACK HAWKSWORTH, No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3
How was your race?
“It was an interesting race. It was fun. It was rough and tumble out there. Just a short track and with the size of the GT cars this place feels like a go-kart track. I didn’t get a very good start. Kind of tried to be aggressive and they ended up getting by me a little bit. (Jens) Klingmann got me and I had to give up a couple of positions so I fell back to fifth. Had good speed in my RC F GT3 and managed to get back to second with some cars pitting and I came to the pit window and I said to the guys, ‘Look, I’m still behind them. Let’s pit and try to get clean air and put on some new tires and see if we can jump them. The guys got me in at exactly the right time and I got out of pit lane and had clean air and was able to put some fast laps in and then just managed to jump off with the leaders. Then, I caught the BMW and passed him and pulled a bit of a gap which was absolutely fantastic because that meant that we could lead the race. During my second stint I don’t know if the splitter got damaged or something but we lost a lot of front grip and got a bit of an understeer and then fell back timewise but still came in in the lead. I’m not sure what happened on the pit exchange there, but we lost a few spots and then I think there was some splitter damage there at the end for Robert and just didn’t quite have the speed there at the end. It was a fun race for me – up and down and rough and tumble. When we started out the weekend I never believed we would’ve been leading the race because it’s not a track that particularly suits our car so to qualify as well as we did and to lead the race and be fighting for the podium shows a lot about our Lexus and the team.”
SAGE KARAM, No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3
How was your race?
“The race started out really well for me. We made a really good start and passed like five cars on the opening lap so we put ourselves in a position for at least a top-five and could’ve probably been on the podium today. Then unfortunately something happened on the pit stop and I don’t think one of the wheels got on secure and we ended up getting a flat tire. It was unfortunate because then we went a lap down. The race went green the whole time so we couldn’t get our lap back so after that I was just pretty much cruising around. We had the hood pop loose and then we had to fix that so just a couple gremlins today that kept us from having a good result., but the team worked hard. Scott (Pruett) drove hard and drove good. I did my best out there and that’s all we could ask for. We did our best. One of these days the luck is going to change and we’re going to have a good result – just got to keep doing what we’re doing.”
SCOTT PRUETT, No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3
What happened to your tire following the driver change when you got in the car?
“Everything was going great, the driver change and everything was picture perfect. I went out of the pit and the car just wouldn’t turn. I could feel it right away. I don’t know if the wheel wasn’t on all of the way or if there was something in the rim that caught it and ripped it, but something was wrong with the tire so we were forced to come back in and pit. Our pace in the Lexus was strong today and our speed was good. It’s a frustrating day. I’m just so frustrated for the team and for Lexus because we are just knocking on the door and these kinds of things happen.”
ROBERT ALON, No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3
How would you evaluate your race?
“Overall it was a positive weekend. We led some laps in the Lexus RC F GT3 and had been pretty quick all day, but unfortunately we weren’t able to get the finish we wanted today.”
MARK EGGER, motorsports manager, Lexus Division
Were you pleased to see the No. 15 lead laps in the RC F GT3’s first visit to Lime Rock?
“We came into Lime Rock and we knew it was going to be a tough track for us because we didn’t have a lot of track data since we’ve never run here before in the Lexus RC F GT3. We started off in the practice sessions learning more about the car and the No. 15 was able to qualify fourth and Jack (Hawksworth) did a fantastic job during his stint. He pressured the first couple of leaders and then during the second stint he led the race for 29 laps. It’s always great to see the Lexus RC F GT3 out front leading the GTD class. We’re looking forward to the next race at Road America where we believe it will be a stronger track for us. We just need to put all of the pieces together and we know we’re going to be on the podium soon.”