Lexus and 3GT Racing will compete at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course this weekend in the first sprint race of the season for the GTD class. Sunday’s IMSA race marks the return of sports car racing to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the first time since 2013, and is also the debut of the Lexus RC F GT3 at the 13-turn, 2.258-mile Ohio road course.
3GT Racing is coming off strong performances in the first two events of the year, highlighted by a fifth-place finish for the No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3 at the Twelve Hours of Sebring in March. Along with the top-five result, both 3GT Racing Lexus’ led laps in the grueling 12-hour endurance event where Jack Hawksworth paced the GTD field for 40 laps, along with David Heinemeier Hansson leading five circuits in the new red livery.
The No. 14 RC F GT3 was also out front of the GTD field for eight laps at Sebring with Philipp Frommenwiler (eight laps) and Kyle Marcelli (one lap), while Dominik Baumann ran the quickest circuit of the race in class around the historic Florida road course.
As the sprint races begin, two primary drivers for each RC F GT3 will campaign the full season with seven sprint races and two additional endurance events this year. Baumann and Marcelli are running the full-season in the No. 14 Lexus, while Hawksworth and Heinemeier Hansson will co-drive the No. 15 RC F GT3 full-time.
Three of the four 3GT Racing drivers have experience competing at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with Heinemeier Hansson and Marcelli racing there previously in sports cars, while Hawksworth raced at the Ohio road course in IndyCar and Indy Lights competition. It will mark Baumann’s first time competing at the circuit in his first season racing in America.
Marcelli considers the Lexington, Ohio circuit his second home race on the IMSA schedule. The 28-year-old Canadian has family and friends from the area, and his very first professional racing ride was with a race team based in Columbus, Ohio, which included his first professional test session taking place at Mid-Ohio. Marcelli went on to have success at Mid-Ohio as a Prototype Challenge class winner in the 2011 American Le Mans Series race.
While this weekend marks the first time the RC F GT3 will compete at Mid-Ohio, Lexus is no stranger to the circuit and has previously found success there. Hall of Fame racer Scott Pruett won twice at Mid-Ohio in a Lexus-powered Prototype in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series. Pruett’s first win came in 2004 with teammate Max Papis and he won again in a Lexus with Memo Rojas in 2009.