The 3GT Racing No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3 recorded a sixth-place GTD class result in Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech Championship race at Detroit’s Raceway at Belle Isle Park with drivers Dominik Baumann and Kyle Marcelli.
Both RC F GT3s posted top-five qualifying efforts at Belle Isle on Friday as Baumman started the race fourth behind the wheel of the No. 14 Lexus and David Heinemeier Hansson earned a fifth-place starting position in the No. 15 Lexus for Saturday’s 100-minute race.
The No. 14 Lexus ran within the top-six the majority of the race, which only saw three lead changes within the GTD class at the 13-turn, 2.35-mile street course.
The No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3 finished 12th in class with drivers Heinemeier Hansson and Jack Hawksworth after an incident during the 10th lap of the sprint event caused damage to the No. 15 Lexus and ended the team’s day early.
Lexus and 3GT Racing will next compete in the third endurance event of the season, a six-hour race at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, July 1 in Upstate New York.
Lexus Racing Driver Quotes
Dominik Baumann, No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3
How was your stint behind the wheel of the Lexus RC F GT3 in today’s race?
“It was short. I did the first 35 minutes of the race. I gained one position at the start, which was good, but then I lost it on the second lap. He (Justin Marks) was just more aggressive and he was more in the limit. I could see when I was behind him, just sliding around. Our Lexus was good. I could follow the guys in front, so I kept the gap to how it was. It’s so hard to overtake here in Detroit. The car is still in one piece and we ended the race in sixth place. It’s good points. We knew from the second practice that we didn’t have the car to win today. We struggled to find the right setup and to find the right balance for this circuit, but I’m happy with sixth place. We got a little short on fuel at the end so one lap longer and it would’ve been stressful but I’m happy.”
Kyle Marcelli, No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3
How difficult was it to pass during today’s race at Belle Isle Park?
“We kind of came into this weekend thinking this is not the track we’re going to pass on, so let’s qualify the fastest guy and try to start upfront. If you’re upfront, it’s your race to win because it’s difficult to overtake and that proved to be correct. Dominik (Baumann) did a good job and David (Heinemeier Hansson) did a great job in qualifying to put the cars fourth and fifth. We knew we were in contention to win. I don’t think we had the car to win today, but I think we had a third place car. I think for sure could’ve been on the podium. The speed was there in our Lexus, but it just came down to track position. Our strategy was good, but our pit stop was slow. I think we were an extra five seconds in the pit lane and we lost two spots because of that. We were able to catch them, but it was just a procession following the leader. It’s actually more difficult and more exhausting mentally and physically because you’re just always trying to drive offline, trying to brake later, trying to get in the guys head and you’re just working hard. Whereas the guys who are out front, they can just cruise and hit their marks and it’s a little bit easier. A good points day, sixth place, and we can’t complain. We’ll just move on to the next one, learn from this one and try to go for the front again.”
David Heinemeier Hansson, No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3
What happened on the track to take the Lexus RC F GT3 out of the race early today?
“I had a monster fight with Cooper (MacNeil) trying to keep him behind me and probably tried too hard. I probably should’ve just let him go. Then, I just made a mistake coming into (turn) 5. Hit a bump that was slightly off line when I was trying to keep Cooper behind me and the car jumped and I hit the wall.”
Jack Hawksworth, No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3
How disappointed are you with today’s result after having such a strong start to the season?
“It was just one of those days – disappointing. We dominated the weekend in terms of pace. Could’ve won the race, but it is what it is. It’s just one of those things – I think David (Heinemeier Hansson) was under a bit of pressure from (Cooper) MacNeil. It was a difficult situation but things happen and it’s racing.”
Mark Egger, Lexus Motorsports Manager
How would you evaluate the performance of the Lexus RC F GT3s at Belle Isle this weekend?
“It was good to be back on Belle Isle, seeing 3GT Racing at their home race track. The Lexus RC F GT3s performed well throughout the weekend. Unfortunately, the 15 Lexus had an incident early in the race and the 14 Lexus finished sixth after a tough passing day. We’re moving ahead to Watkins Glen in a couple weeks and look forward to a great six-hour endurance race there.”