Lexus RC F GT3 Earns First Top-Five Finish at Watkins Glen
• The 3GT Racing No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3 recorded a fifth-place result in the GTD class at the six-hour IMSA WeatherTech Championship endurance race Sunday at Watkins Glen International with drivers Jack Hawksworth, Robert Alon and Austin Cindric.
• The fifth-place result marked the best finish for 3GT Racing and Lexus Racing this season.
• Hawksworth turned the fastest lap of the race in the GTD class with a time of 1:44.786 (lap 159) in the No. 15 Lexus around the 11-turn, 3.4-mile upstate New York road course.
• Scott Pruett and Sage Karam co-piloted the No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3 entry to its fourth consecutive top-10 result and third sixth-place finish of the season for the driver duo.
July 03, 2017
Lexus Racing Quotes
JACK HAWKSWORTH, No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3
What does it mean to get your first top-five of the season?
“It was a really good recovery (from the penalty). We led some laps and had the fastest lap of the race and I had fun all day in the Lexus RC F GT3. The last two stints I could just treat as a qualifying session. I got back up there and passed a lot of cars and I think at the end I might have damaged the front splitter a little bit. I was all over the guy in front of me and I think I picked up a little bit of the splitter and that kind of halted my progress there right at the end. Our Lexus was very good the whole way through – very easy to drive and comfortable and I just had the freedom to drive the heck out of it. There was nothing to lose. I was just going for it trying to make stuff happen. The guys did good pit stops all day. We obviously had a little bit of bad luck there in the middle of the day with the penalty and whatnot, but we came back strong and got a top-five. Again, close but no cigar, but we’ll take a top-five so I’m happy. The guys did a great job.”
ROBERT ALON, No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3
What does it mean to get your first top-five of the season today at Watkins Glen?
“It’s a good result, but kind of a bummer. We definitely should’ve been on the podium today and had a race car that deserved to be on the podium but had some bad luck. We’ll get back out there and get them in Canada.”
AUSTIN CINDRIC, No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3
What was your experience like this weekend running the RC F GT3 in the third endurance race of the season?
“It’s cool to get our first top-five. I think we had an awesome opportunity to come here and get a podium and challenge for a win. I think without the penalty we’d have been in a different spot. It’s kind of one of those deals where you get some bad luck, but we came back and recovered so that’s all you can ask. Everybody executed very well and it seemed like this is one of the best races for the team so far so I’m happy to be part of that and happy to be back and hopefully we’re good and ready and fast again when I come back at Road Atlanta.”
SCOTT PRUETT, No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3
How was your race?
“The guys did a great job getting our Lexus back together yesterday. We ran what I thought was a great pace today. The RC F GT3s were strong. We continually make great strides forward. The penalty today is something you have to live with, but doesn’t mean I have to agree with it. Other than that we are continually making strides forward and it was nice for3GT Racing to have a top-five with the 15 Lexus finishing fifth. And, that’s what we’ve got to keep doing. Keep making our way up and next thing we’ll be on the podium and then hopefully fighting for a win.”
SAGE KARAM, No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3
How was your race?
“It was a great race today for the 14, and the 15. They got the team’s best finish of fifth and both cars inside the top-six – it’s the third sixth-place for the 14 Lexus. I am ready to finish better than sixth but everybody did their job today. Scott (Pruett) did his job and I drove to my ability. John (Gentilozzi, technical director, 3GT Racing) called a great strategy and the crew did awesome with the pit stops and did a great job getting our Lexus back together to where it was at for today’s race. Hats off to everybody at Lexus and 3GT Racing, they did a great job. We seemed to be in a great position there. We went off strategy early to get to the front and then we got back on strategy and we were going to be in the lead and unfortunately we got a penalty which put us back in the back and time was too little too late to try and make something happen from there. We came forward but only to sixth so we were happy with that. I’m excited for the future of this squad. I think everybody is meshing and gelling and it’s only going to go up from here. We’re developing the RC F GT3 each lap we’re out there. It’s getting better to drive each and every time I’m in it so I’m ready for Mosport. It’s my favorite track that we’re going to this year so I’m excited to get going there.”
JEFF BRACKEN, group VP and general manager, Lexus Division
How has it been to visit these races and see the progress the Lexus Racing team?
“We’re all so competitive and when we’re coming to a track or whatever it is that we’re doing, we’re not trying to figure out how to finish in second or third – we want to win, but at the same time we know we’re up against folks who have been doing this for many, many decades, actually. Our expectations are very, very high and although we haven’t won yet we keep getting better and better and now we got a top-five finish. From my standpoint, in an inaugural year performance standpoint, I just couldn’t be happier. The experience has been amazing and I’ve got to believe whether you’re a race enthusiast or someone who may not be into racing but are being exposed to what we’re doing on the race track, it’s kind of raised some eyebrows about how Lexus isn’t just building quality well designed vehicles, but we can also perform on the race track. I’ve got to believe this is creating the amazement we’re looking for.”
MARK EGGER, motorsports manager, Lexus Division
Are you pleased with the pace of the RC F GT3s at the midway point of its first season competing?
“We’re very happy with the way the Lexus RC F GT3s are showing consistent pace throughout each race weekend. To get both cars in the top-six during the six hour race and to see Jack (Hawksworth) fight all of the way back up to fifth to finish the race it shows that our Lexus’ have great pace. The 14 Lexus finished sixth and Jack had the fastest lap in the GTD class so this sets the stage going into the second half of the season. We’ve come a long ways in a very short period of time. We know that we’re humbled to be here in our first year and we’re competing against people that have been racing far longer than we have and to show the pace that we have and the mechanical reliability of the RC F GT3 and what the drivers are able to do with the car in both sprint and endurance races it just makes us confident that we have a great package and just need to put the final pieces together to get into that podium position.”