Lexus and 3GT Racing will return to New York’s Watkins Glen International this weekend for the third of four endurance events on the 2018 IMSA schedule when they compete in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen on Sunday.
Both RC F GT3s will feature patriotic liveries at Watkins Glen just days prior to Independence Day. The chrome blue No. 14 RC F GT3 will feature red stripes along both sides of the Lexus, while the shiny red No. 15 will include blue stars running along the doors. An American flag will also adorn the hoods of both 3GT Racing Lexus’ this weekend.
Last year, the 3GT Racing Lexus RC F GT3s finished fifth and sixth, respectively, in the six-hour endurance event, with the No. 15 RC F GT3 earning the first top-five finish for Lexus in GTD competition with racers Jack Hawksworth, Robert Alon and Austin Cindric. Hawksworth turned the fastest lap of the race in the GTD class with a time of 1:44.786 on lap 159 (of 187) 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 the sixth-place result.
Lexus-powered Prototypes previously won five races at Watkins Glen from 2004 to 2009, including four victories with Pruett when Lexus raced in the Prototype class of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series.
Lexus is currently fifth in the GTD manufacturer championship points as the top five manufacturers all within 20 points in the standings. Hawksworth and Heinemeier Hansson are tied for sixth in the GTD championship standings, while Baumann and Marcelli rank seventh in points with seven races remaining on the IMSA schedule. Heinemeier Hansson is the second highest-ranking amateur driver in the GTD class in the current Bob Akin Award standings.
3GT Racing Driver Quotes
KYLE MARCELLI, No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3
What is your outlook for Watkins Glen?
“I think Watkins Glen is one of North America’s premier circuits. Everybody loves going there. I think it’s going to suit the Lexus RC F GT3 well because it’s a fast, smooth track. I think going to Watkins Glen with it being a fast track that we’ll have the momentum and the downforce to fight for a win.”
DOMINIK BAUMANN, No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3
How would you assess your team’s performance this season going into this weekend at Watkins Glen?
“It’s been good. Of course, we won the Mid-Ohio race, so that is really good. We know where we should be and how the RC F GT3 should behave, we just have to be quick and the races will come. I have heard from Kyle (Marcelli) and Jack (Hawksworth) and everyone that talks about racing in America and they all say it’s (Watkins Glen) is one of the best tracks. I’ve never been there, but it sound good to hear it from everyone that it is a good track.”
JACK HAWKSWORTH, No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3
What is the key to having success in the six-hour race at Watkins Glen International?
“The track’s biggest feature is a lot elevation, a lot of medium speed corners, very, very high grip. To be fast around there it requires a very good feel for the front of the car and smooth hands and good footwork. You need to be technically sound to be fast at Watkins Glen, it’s not a track that you can just muscle the car around. Our Lexus produces a lot of downforce so all of the high speed corners there suit us.”
DAVID HEINEMEIER HANSSON, No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3
Are you looking forward to racing at Watkins Glen in the RC F GT3 this weekend?
“I think Watkins Glen and Mosport are probably going to be two of the better races for our Lexus. They are both high speed and we get to use our downforce. I’ve never raced at Watkins Glen, so I’m looking forward to it. It looks like a great track and everyone tells me it’s the best.”