Lexus, Pruett Have Previous Success at Virginia Road Course

ALTON, Va. (August 24, 2017) – Lexus and 3GT Racing are set to compete at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) this weekend in the 10th-of-12 events on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship schedule.
Lexus returns to VIR in its debut season with the RC F GT3 for the second and final GT-only race on Sunday. The manufacturer has previously experienced quite a bit of success at the Virginia road course in Prototype racing between 2004 and 2009. Current 3GT Racing driver and Hall of Famer Scott Pruett drove a Lexus-powered Prototype to victory with Luis Diaz in 2005 and again in 2008 with teammate Memo Rojas. Pruett, who also won at VIR in 2010, earned pole positions for Lexus in 2004 and 2009 at the 3.27-mile road course.
Prior to the race at Road America, 3GT Racing announced they would be switching their silver drivers Pruett and Robert Alon to continue the development of the Lexus RC F GT3 and the team’s racing program. Pruett will remain in the No. 15 RC F GT3 again this weekend at VIR with teammate Jack Hawksworth, who will make his first VIR start, while Alon will once again pilot the No. 14 Lexus entry with Sage Karam.
The 3GT Racing Lexus RC F GT3s are both coming off top-10 results in class at the most recent race at Wisconsin’s Road America in early August. Hawksworth ran the fastest lap of the race for the GTD class in the No. 15 Lexus – the second time this season Hawksworth has turned the quickest lap of a race after also doing so at Watkins Glen International earlier this summer. Hawksworth and teammate Pruett went on to finish 10th at Elkhart Lake. The No. 14 Lexus recorded an eighth-place result in class with Karam and Alon. 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 two-hour and 40 minute IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at VIR will be broadcast live Sunday, August 27 on FoxSports 1 beginning at 1:30 p.m. ET.

Lexus Racing Quotes
How do you prepare for tracks like VIR, having never raced there previously?
“There’s a little bit more work initially, but I quite enjoy it — it’s nice to go to new tracks. I like the challenge of learning it and figuring it out quite quick and it’s just fun to go to new places, new circuits and especially ones that have a lot of history. I enjoy the challenge of it and at some point you’re going to come to these tracks so it’s nice to come and obviously the first few laps you’re figuring it out and you’re a little on the back foot, but it doesn’t take long and once you get there it’s like any other weekend to me. I enjoy it. I like going to new tracks and the challenge of getting up to speed quick and understanding the circuit and the car.”

What is your outlook racing at VIR this weekend behind the wheel of the No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3?
“We are looking for a breakthrough weekend. We’ve been running strong in our Lexus RC F GT3 and now it’s time to get our first podium this weekend at VIR. It’s been fun mixing things up a bit and hoping to change our luck this weekend. Sage (Karam) and Jack (Hawksworth) are both talented guys so it’s been to get the opportunity to work together with both this season.”

SAGE KARAM, No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3  
What is your outlook for VIR this weekend?
“I raced at VIR about eight years ago in Skip Barber and I remember it was a fun track. I think it’s a track that suits our Lexus RC F GT3. We only have three races left and one of the goals of the season is to pick up a win, but we’re running out of time. Everybody’s been working well together the whole season. We just have to work harder to be more mistake free.”

ROBERT ALON, No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3
What does it take to run a quick lap at VIR?
“VIR is a nice track, but it’s a bit tricky with a lot of corners. For a quick lap you have to put it all together and have a good strategy. A quick lap requires a lot of work — one little mistake at one corner can mean a couple of tenths off your time. Overall, it’s a fun track with a lot of nice rhythm sections. I really feel like we should have some good results there. We’ve been strong, we’ve shown speed in our Lexus RC F GT3 and we’ve been close.” 

Pam Jansen
[email protected]


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