No. 14 Lexus Finishes Seventh at VIR

ALTON, Va. (August 31, 2017) – The 3GT Racing No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3 recorded a seventh-place result in the GTD class in Sunday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) with drivers Sage Karam and Robert Alon.
Karam, who served a 60-second penalty during the caution free race, was able to rebound for his seventh top-10 finish in 10 starts behind the wheel of the No. 14 Lexus this season.
The No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3 finished 13th in class at the 3.27-mile road course with 3GT Racing drivers Jack Hawksworth and Scott Pruett after an on-track incident ended their day early. Hawksworth was also involved in an incident on the first lap of the two hour and 40 minute event that resulted the No. 15 Lexus spinning in turn 1, but the 26-year-old driver was able to come back through the field to as high as the third position before handing over driving duties to Pruett with an hour left in the race.
The WeatherTech SportsCar Championship schedule has two races remaining on the schedule, including the next event at Laguna Seca on Sunday, September 24. The season-finale will take place at Road Atlanta in a 10-hour endurance race on October 7.

Lexus Racing Quotes
How was your stint in the Lexus RC F GT3 today at VIR?
“It was fun. I got smashed up in the first corner which was not exactly fun and we went off the track, did a little bit of damage to our RC F GT3, but not too much. Got going and our Lexus seemed pretty good. It was not the easiest to drive, but it was fast. I had some fun. I just got in my rhythm and passed some cars. It was a fuel saving race so we had to save fuel all the way through, so I was able to go reasonably quick but still be able to save the fuel we needed. I passed some cars and got a little bit lucky with a few of the battles ahead of me that I was able to sneak through. The guys did a good job on the pit stops and Scott (Pruett) was doing a nice job there holding off the Ferrari and I just saw the car go a little loose or something and we obviously weren’t able to finish, but he was doing a great job up until then. We started on the back foot this weekend with the race and I think we were pretty damn strong so I did my best, the team did their best and one of these days we’re going to get a result.”
What happened during the race to take your RC F GT3 off the track?
“Just running hard with the Ferrari and trying to keep him behind me and just got a little too deep into the oak tree turn and got a little loose and the rear caught it and then it just hooked and got off the track. Again, one of those races where I’m just really disappointed. We just keep hoping to have a clean race, a solid race. Our Lexus was a top five car today and just unfortunately we didn’t finish off that way.”

SAGE KARAM, No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3
How was your race today at VIR?
“Overall we had an unfortunate penalty, but I think it was a good race. We didn’t have a great first stint. We were running in like fifth or sixth, but the car wasn’t where I wanted it. I think we were too low on rear downforce and the car was just loose. We took a little stab at it and thought that it wasn’t going to be that loose and the track was going to be coming more to us at the beginning of the race, but unfortunately it didn’t. We just overshot the setup a little bit. We worked on it through the second and third stint and got it pretty good at the end there, but unfortunately because of the penalty we were a lap or two down so could never get that back. We managed to get back up and finish seventh which was really good. Had to save a lot of fuel, so I used that last stint as kind of like a learning tool practicing fuel saving and trying to make it to the end. We made really good fuel economy and also lap times so the team was really pleased with that and I was really pleased with that. I can’t really remember the last time I saved fuel so to do that again and to be successful felt good. We’ll take some positives from this race. Unfortunately the penalty came along. Our day is coming. We’ve just got to put a full race together and just keep on going and keep on trucking.”
ROBERT ALON, No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3
How was your stint in the Lexus RC F GT3 today at VIR?
“I thought we were pretty strong all day. We had a little bit of oversteer in general, but we finished seventh with a penalty so we’re pretty happy with that. I think we had good pace in our RC F GT3, we were doing good on fuel and I think if we hadn’t gotten that penalty we would’ve been a top-five or even a podium for sure.”
MARK EGGER, motorsports manager, Lexus Division
How would you access the progress of the Lexus RC F GT3 following today’s race at VIR?
“The Lexus RC F GT3 ran for the first time at VIR, and we came in with expectations to do well. We improved in each practice and in qualifying where 3GT Racing was able to put both Lexus’ in fifth and sixth to start today’s race. Jack (Hawksworth) got spun in the first lap of the race, but he drove the race of the year going from almost last up to third. Unfortunately the 15 had an on-track incident late in the race and didn’t finish. Sage and Robert brought the No. 14 RC F GT3 home seventh today, so all in all it’s a good weekend as we continue to learn more about the car and this track. We look forward to racing at Laguna.”

Pam Jansen
[email protected]


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