3GT Racing heads to New England’s home of racing, Lime Rock, in Lakeville, Connecticut, for the Northeast Grand Prix on July 22. It’s the 8th race in the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.
The team, which has earned seven top-10 finishes this season, hopes the 1.5-mile course will be the setting for a podium or win for the Lexus RC F GT3 cars, No. 14 and 15.
“We’re so close to a win or podium right now,” said Sage Karam, driver of the No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3. Karam set a new GTD track record during qualifying at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park less than two weeks ago and won the TOTAL Pole award. He led the GTD class for nearly the whole first hour of the two-hour race, but a couple of drive-through penalties during the first pit stop pushed the car back and he and co-driver, Scott Pruett, earned the No. 14 team’s first fifth-place finish. The No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3 finished fifth earlier in July at Watkins Glen.
Karam, who has only raced at Lime Rock once, in 2009 when he was 14-years old, said he doesn’t think it will take him long to relearn the track.
“I remember it’s a short track with a lot of right hand turns,” he said. “Hopefully the cars will roll off the trailer like they did in Canada. We’ve shown we have the speed, we’re ready for a win.”
Hall of Famer, Pruett, has been to Lime Rock many times. “I’ve been there when it’s wet and when it’s dry,” Pruett said, adding that weather can make a difference at the historic track. “Because the laps are so short and things happen so fast, it’s a fun track to run. And since we’re just going to be running with the GTLM cars, it will change things up significantly.”
The race at Lime Rock will be the first of two showdowns with GT class cars, GT Daytona (the class that includes the Lexus RC F GT3) and GT LeMans (GTLM).
Jack Hawksworth, driver of the No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3, said having the race include only the two classes will not only impact traffic, but should make the race a little more challenging. “Traffic’s going to be a bit of an issue because the track is so small,” Hawksworth said. “It’s a short, fast track and it will be interesting to see how it all plays out. I haven’t raced there, but I’m ready. And we are definitely ready for a win.”
The other half of the No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3 driving team, Robert Alon, drove his first race at Lime Rock last year in PC. “I really enjoyed the track,” Alon said. “It’s a road course oval. You don’t have to worry a lot about the track, it allows you to just focus on the racing.”
The 2-hour, 40-minute race will begin at 3:05 p.m. and will be broadcast live on FS2 starting at 3 p.m. (ET) and on IMSA Radio on IMSA.com.
ABOUT 3GT RACING:
3GT Racing was formed to race the Lexus RC F GT3. Owned and operated by five-time Trans-Am Series Champion, Paul Gentilozzi and his longtime partners, Tony and John Gentilozzi, the East Lansing, Michigan-based team principals have been involved in motorsports for more than 46 years and they have claimed more than 75 victories and 15 manufacturer and driver championships.