The 3GT Racing No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3 recorded a fourth-place result in the GTD class on Sunday in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at Watkins Glen International with drivers Jack Hawksworth, David Heinemeier Hansson and Mario Farnbacher.
The fourth-place result marked the third top-five finish of the season for the No. 15 and equaled the entry’s best result after also finishing fourth at Mid-Ohio and fifth at Sebring earlier this year.
Hawksworth earned the pole position on Saturday with a GTD track-record time of 1:44.499, and ran the quickest lap of the six-hour endurance event for the second consecutive year. It was the second pole in the last three races for the Bradford, England-native after also leading the GTD field to green at Mid-Ohio in May.
The drivers of the No. 15 RC F GT3 combined to lead the GTD field for a class-best 64 total laps, including Farnbacher (30 laps), Hawksworth (27) and Heinemeier Hansson (seven).
The No. 14 Lexus had a mechanical issue that forced the RC F GT3 to the garage for repairs and drivers Dominik Baumann and Kyle Marcelli finished the race 13th.
Lexus is currently third in IMSA’s provisional GTD manufacturer points, and the 3GT Racing No. 15 Lexus ranks fifth in the team championship standings.
Lexus and 3GT Racing are set to race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park on Sunday where the No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3 claimed the first North American pole position last year as Sage Karam set a track record at the 10-turn, 2.459 mile road course located nearby Toronto. Karam and Scott Pruett went on to finish fifth in last year’s event. The two hour and 40 minute sprint event begins at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday.
Lexus Racing Quotes
Jack Hawksworth, No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3
How was your race today in the Lexus RC F GT3?
“It was good. The guys did a really good job and both cars were very strong. All race long our RC F was working really well. We had an issue late in the race that set us back a bit, but I managed to pick a few guys off there at the end and finished fourth. Both David (Heinemeier Hansson) and Mario (Farnbacher) did a fantastic job. The team did a great job with both cars. It’s a shame the 14 Lexus went out early. Obviously, Mosport is next and another track that should suit our Lexus. Happy to get the fastest lap of the race, that’s always good. Looking forward to next week.”
David Heinemeier Hansson, No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3
How was your first race at Watkins Glen?
“I was really happy with my stints in the race today, but wish we would’ve had a better finish today. Our Lexus was really strong but unfortunately we weren’t able to get the podium we deserved today. Looking forward to moving on to Mosport next weekend where the team ran strong last year.”
Mario Farnbacher, No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3
How was your experience racing the Lexus RC F GT3 for 3GT Racing this weekend at Watkins Glen?
“It a tough race for sure for everybody. It was hot. The temperatures were high with no air conditioning in the cars. We did a really good job, but we just got a bit unlucky with the second to last pit stop where there was something wrong so we had to come in again. Without that, I think a podium was definitely in it. The pace was there, the BOP was pretty equal everywhere, it’s just super hard to pass here because there’s not slow turns where you can out brake somebody. It’s always a flow on the track so you just have to hope for a mistake or bad traffic for the other guy in front of you. In the end Jack (Hawksworth) did a really good job overtaking the other guys on the track. The bad thing is this track suited the Lexus the best so far, so we missed our shot, but there’s still opportunities for the team this year.”
Dominik Baumann, No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3
What happened on the track that forced your Lexus to the paddock for repairs?
“I had no power at one point and tried to just shift down and shift up, whatever I could do, and nothing happened. Then suddenly it came back, but then it happened again so we just thought let’s go to the truck and try to fix it because it was a fuel pump issue. We just had no fuel pressure on the car so there was no power anymore. The good thing is we had a really good Lexus. It’s promising for next weekend and for all of the next races because I think we found something on the setup just to make it easier to drive and to have a better race car. We had a car to win today I would say.”
Kyle Marcelli, No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3
How disappointing was the finish at Watkins Glen after having a fast RC F GT3 today?
“The endurance races have not been our friend this year. This one hurts the most because we had a fast car. We had a fast car one lap at a time and we had a fast car over the duration of a whole stint. We should have had a good result today and it’s just an unfortunate issue that got in the way but we’ll move on. We’re confident in our car, our lineup and our team. Next week we go to Mosport and I know the car should be strong there. Lexus had a pole position last year, so we’ll get redemption. Dominik (Baumann) and I just said we’re going to go for sprint race wins for bragging rights and see how it plays out at the end of the year.”
Mark Egger, Lexus Motorsports Manager
Can you assess the performance of the Lexus RC F GT3s this weekend at Watkins Glen?
“We were very happy with how both Lexus RC F GT3 performed over the weekend at Watkins Glen. We saw good lap times with the No. 15 on pole for today’s race and the No. 14 starting third. Jack led all of the laps during his first stint and ran the quickest GTD lap of the race, and David (Heinemeier Hansson) and Mario (Farnbacher) both had great stints as well. It looked pretty good for the day, but unfortunately the 14 ran into a mechanical issue and the 15 had an unscheduled pit stop that took them out of contention. Jack (Hawksworth) came back strong and finished fourth and got the fastest lap of the race so overall we’re happy with the weekend and look forward to Mosport in a week’s time.”