The 3GT Racing No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3 finished seventh in Sunday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca with drivers Jack Hawksworth and David Heinemeier Hansson.
The driver duo had the No. 15 Lexus as high as fourth place, however damage to the grille slowed the RC F GT3 during Hawksworth’s second stint. He went on to run the second-quickest lap in the GTD class on lap 70 (1:25.786) before finishing seventh on Sunday.
3GT Racing drivers Dominik Baumann and Kyle Marcelli finished Sunday’s race in 10th-place behind the wheel of the No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3 at the 11-turn, 2.238-mile circuit. Marcelli was involved in an incident early in the race, but was able to recover and get as high as the second position before turning driving duties over to Baumann. The team however had an issue during its final pit stop and lost track position in the closing laps of the sprint event.
Lexus is the official luxury vehicle at the iconic road course with the GS F serving as the pace vehicle for Sunday’s IMSA event.
Lexus currently ranks third in the unofficial GTD manufacturer championship standings going into the final race of the season.
3GT Racing and Lexus will return to the race track at the season-finale Motul Petit Le Mans on Saturday, October 13 for a 10-hour endurance event at Road Atlanta.
Jack Hawksworth, No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3
How was your race today at Laguna Seca?
“We really struggled over the course of the weekend. Friday was a big struggle, Saturday again was another struggle, so last night we took a big swing at things with the Lexus and we went in a direction, which we’ve really never been before. Went kind of out of our comfort window setup-wise and it seemed to work better this morning in warmup, so we stuck with it for the race and the performance of the car was a lot stronger than it had been all weekend. The pace was much better. We had an issue in the second stint with a hole in the front of the grille or something, so that kind of slowed us a little bit because we couldn’t go as quick during that second stint. There in the end, we had it taped up and it was working quite well. Had some tire degradation towards the end. It’s a little bit disappointing because now I feel if we could do the weekend over again with this base starting point we could probably have a much better weekend, because it would only take a couple of changes to make this car a little bit more suitable for a long run. It was more of a qualifying setup, so very, very fast on new tires, but then degrade as the race went on. So, now it would only take a few changes to make that better. The problem is we only reached this point with the car this morning so we ran out of time to tune it. From the team’s perspective and learning more about the car, it’s the first session ever that we’ve had at Laguna both years where we looked competitive. A step in the right direction in that regard. Just a shame that we didn’t have a few more sessions to tune it and get it back where we wanted, but we learned a lot.”
David Heinemeier Hansson, No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3
Can you talk about your race today in the Lexus RC F GT3?
“Surprised to find that we had more pace than we expected based on qualifying. So, for the first 20 laps, I had a blast passing half the field, and happy to see us run as high as fourth. Damage from the earlier carnage impeded Jack’s (Hawksworth) middle stint, and running out of tires at the end kept us from finishing better. We will try again in a month. “
Dominik Baumann, No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3
How was your race today at Laguna Seca?
“We thought we were going to do a different strategy, but with all of the yellows in the race we had to change our plan a little bit. It was hard after half of a stint to really keep up with the others. Just the time we lost with used tires was too much. The last stint we had a small problem with the pit stop. We went a little bit too far to the front and we couldn’t put the refuel hose in the car and they couldn’t reach the refuel hole and we lost 30 seconds. I drove two stints and I hope we learned something out of it. It’s a little bit disappointing.”
Kyle Marcelli, No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3
What was your stint like today in the RC F GT3?
“The starts here were just mayhem. We saw right off the initial start there was contact with the GTLM’s and the Prototypes and debris all over the track and then we made it through that one unscathed. Then, the second restart, the problem in the GTD category is we’re at the back of the line so the accordion effect is very dramatic and when the leaders take the green at the start/finish line we’re still in turn 10. And, on restarts, you can overtake anywhere so I had a great start to be honest out of turn 10. I overtook some cars going into turn 11, but then I was just surrounded with cars in front, behind, both sides and the rear of the car was light. I couldn’t tell if maybe my right sides were on the sand, but as soon as I got on the throttle the rear was gone and thankfully, we were able to continue and kept the car running. We were at the back of the line, but I just worked hard and at the end of the stint we were in the second position so it was a good recovery. I was pleased with the race car. I thought it was quite good. I said to the guys that we just need to add a little bit of rear wing for when Dominik (Baumann) gets in to give the rear tires a bit more security and that’s what we did. I think we were still looking good after Dominik’s first stint. It really wasn’t until the last pit stop where there were we lost 30 seconds of track position in the pits and all of the hard work kind of went away. As always, the guys do their best. We never leave anything on the table. We work really hard in the test sessions to develop the qualifying car and the race car so no regrets.”