Following its inaugural running at the event in 2018, in which the car completed the full 24 hours, the Gazoo Racing team has put in a rigorous testing programme, covering thousands of kilometres, with the aim of improving the overall performance package and completing more laps in 2019.
Taking part in the production-based SP-Pro class, the Lexus LC will be piloted by the same four driver line-up as in 2018, further aiding the car’s development. Endurance veteran Takeshi Tsuchiya leads Nurburgring expert, Naoya Gamo, alongside rising stars, Takamitsu Matsui and Yuichi Nakayama.
Changes to the car over the 2018 event, during which the Gazoo team endured a four hour period of pit work in order to complete the race, include a number of aerodynamic updates, body enhancements to maximise low-slung weight and work to optimise overall performance of the brakes, tyres and electronics. Engine development work has also been undertaken to reduce friction and increase output from the 2UR-GSE engine.
Naoya Gamo has been instrumental in steering the LC’s set-up for 2019 and believes the coupe to be much improved, with the relationship between car and driver far smoother than last year:
“Through testing in Japan and Germany, I hope to pursue more than just better lap times. I hope we can build a car that is more comfortable and fun to drive.”
Chiefly, for Lexus, the development work put into the Gazoo Racing LC coupe all contributes to informing development of the technologies used within its road-going range. The Gazoo Racing LC’s engine is a modified version of the 5.0-litre powerplant found in the 10-speed, 471bhp LC500.
The Nürburgring 24 Hours takes place over the weekend of 22-23 June, with competitors tackling the full 25km, 170-plus corner circuit. Toyota Gazoo Racing and Lexus have competed in the event since 2007, with the aim of refining team members and making ever better cars.