RC F GT3s Record Top-10S At Road America By: Lexus Hawksworth Turns Quickest Lap in GTD Class ELKHART LAKE, Wisc. (August 8, 2017) – The 3GT Racing Lexus RC F GT3s both earned top-10 results in the GTD class at Sunday's IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at Wisconsin's Road America.
The No. 14 Lexus recorded an eighth-place result in class with Sage Karam and Robert Alon behind the wheel while Jack Hawksworth and Scott Pruett finished 10th in the No. 15 RC F GT3. Hawksworth turned the fastest lap of the race in the GTD class with a lap of 2:07.399 around the 4.048-mile, 14 turn Wisconsin circuit.
Both Lexus entries pitted together on lap 51 and were running second (No. 15) and seventh (No. 14) prior to the pit sequence, however the caution came out while both 3GT Racing entries were on pit road and both Lexus' were shuffled back in the pack.
The Lexus RC F GT3s next compete at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) in Alton, Virginia on Sunday, August 27. The two hour and 40 minute race will feature GT cars only.
Fans can keep up with Lexus Racing on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter by using #LexusRCF GT3, #LexusPerformance and #LexusRacing, and online at www.Lexus.com/Motorsports.
Lexus Racing Quotes
ROBERT ALON, No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3
Subaru On The Podium At Red Bull Global Rallycross Atlantic CityHow was your race opening stint in your Lexus?
'It was pretty hectic, but really fun. I got up to like fifth or sixth and then someone kind of dive-bombed me, pushed me out and I lost a couple spots, but overall I think we should have been fighting for the podium 100 percent. I think we would have been in fourth place fighting for the podium, but something happened – some miscommunication, I'm not sure exactly what happened – but I think we had a good day. Sage (Karam) drove well and a top-10 finish, so we can't be too mad.'
SAGE KARAM, No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3
What was the result of the caution flag when you were on pit road?
'So close to catching the yellow at the right time. I don't know what happened. I thought we did, but we didn't and for some reason – I don't know why – it ended up taking us from a potential podium to back to 10th and 11th for both cars, so unfortunate, you know? We just need some luck. The Lexus race cars are quick. They're definitely fast and we've got to make our own luck. We can't rely on others and just frustrating because the car is quick, the team is working well and everything is clicking – just luck. I don't know. We're so close to just getting on the podium and it's just disappointing that something keeps us out of it. Some of the stuff is on us. Some of the stuff is not on us. I think this – I think today – we did everything we could.'
JACK HAWKSWORTH, No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3
How do you feel about today's race?
'The end result is just not representative of the Lexus cars we had or what the team did this week. We've had great cars all year. The guys have done a really good job with the performance of the cars. On a few occasions being a new team and stuff, we've hurt ourselves with incidents on the track, with incidents in the pits, but today everything ran absolutely clockwork I think for both cars – the 14 and the 15 – but certainly on our side. Scott (Pruett) did a fantastic job on the first stint. He looked after the tires well. He brought the car to me in fourth or five, got out of the pits, good stint, car was a little loose, but very fast. Still able to run with (Jorg) Bergmeister and settle into second and just looking after the tires and we came in for that last stop perfect time under green just before it went yellow, which normally means you've hit the lottery, so I thought, 'Okay, great. Either way yellow or green, we've got a really fast car, so I'm going to be in the hunt to win this race right now,' and then the red light came on at the end of pit lane and stopped myself and the 14 Lexus – well
the 14 I think got out, but he still got it because they then wouldn't let us take the wave around for whatever reason. They seemed confused about the rules and we'll see what they say, but we did everything right today – the pit stops were on point, the car was good, we had some moments with the tires, but we managed it well and then we made the adjustments for the final run, the car was fast – the fastest lap of the race. Everything we could control today we did and we did it perfectly and managed everything perfectly.'
How was it working with Scott Pruett?
'It seemed to work really well. Across the board, I really enjoyed working with Scott (Pruett). We've got very similar driving styles and similar with what we seem to like in the car. Obviously, a ton of experience and we're obviously different kind of ages and at different ends of our careers if you will. I think we think alike in many ways and it seemed it worked very well. I didn't know how it was going to work . Obviously, Scott's a fantastic driver, but you never really know if the chemistry and stuff like that will work very well and I think also on the other car in the 14 RC F GT3, Robert (Alon) had his best race of the season. When I was watching him, he made some good restarts and stuff and Sage (Karam) did a fantastic job in the 14 as well. Again, very quick, managed the car well and was doing everything needed to do and the crews on both cars were good. I honestly don't know what to say. We did everything right and we didn't get the result. I will be the first to criticize myself, criticize the team, criticize anything when it's on us and many of the times this season we have kicked ourselves down, but today everyone did their job perfectly and we didn't get the result we wanted. We should have had two cars in the top-five and one of the podium. That's for sure. It was a great job by the team, a great job by Lexus and I don't know what else to say. You can only do all the things in your power and today we controlled everything and just to add insult to injury we got a little drive through there at the end for passing under yellow just after they called the green, so I don't know what to make of that either.'
SCOTT PRUETT, No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3
What happened when the yellow came out?
'I don't know. I'm so disappointed with what took place. The team executed. We ran strong. I brought the car to Jack (Hawksworth) in third. We had a great stint. He went back out and we were doing a great job, moved to second and all was going great. We pitted and while Jack was in pit lane the yellow came out, so to me we should have just continued, finished the service and continued back on track and for some reason IMSA held the car at exit and that is what we don't understand what took place, and unfortunately that just killed our day. I mean that was it. Running right at the front and then we weren't, just so incredibly disappointed. We just did everything we could. I hate to make excuses, but I'm sitting here so confused what took place that it's going to take me – we're going to have to get together with IMSA and find out what that was.'
Is the speed of the Lexus RC F GT3 the silver lining from today's race?
'The car felt great, you know? Team did a great job. We had a great stop. Jack (Hawksworth) did a great job. Sage (Karam) and Robert (Alon) did a great job. Both cars ran strong and this is one of these races I'm coming away from just shaking my head going what just happened.'
MARK EGGER, motorsports manager, Lexus Division
How would you evaluate today's race?
'When we started with the Lexus RC F GT3 in P4 with (Jack) Hawksworth and Scott Pruett, we had pretty good inclination that we might have a good shot at a podium today. When Jack was running in P2 for a good portion of the race, things felt pretty good, but unfortunately, we just got caught during the pit cycle when a yellow came out and then we got held up on the pit out, so it's unfortunate, but that's racing and we'll look forward to VIR in a couple weeks.'