3GT Racing preps to hit the street course at Long Beach
EAST LANSING, MI (March 31, 2017) – The two weeks between the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida and the upcoming BUBBA Burger Grand Prix at Long Beach, have been busy for the 3GT Racing crew as they prep the Lexus RC F GT3 cars, No. 14 and No. 15, for the third race of the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, April 7-8.
The Long Beach race not only offers the first street course of the season, but the 1.968-mile, 11-turn course is also one of the shortest races of the season. At only one hour and 40 minutes long, the race is a sprint compared to the long-distance races that kicked off the season, the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the 12-hours of Sebring.
“We were happy with the results at Sebring,” said Paul Gentilozzi, managing partner of 3GT Racing. “Both cars were running at a good pace for quite a few laps. We maintained good positions in the GTD class for most of the race. There were a few issues that kept us from finishing closer to the front, but we continue to learn about ourselves and the cars and we’re excited to get to Long Beach.”
Gentilozzi acquired a reputation for competing and winning on the legendary streets of Long Beach. He gave Oldsmobile its first SCCA Trans-Am win at Long Beach in 1988 and won two flag-to-flag victories at the track in the Trans Am series, his first in 1998 and again, with his fifth Long Beach win, in 2004. He also earned wins in 1999 and 2001.
Scott Pruett driver of the 3GT Racing team’s Lexus RC F GT3 No. 14, has also accumulated many wins at Long Beach during his storied career.
A native of California, Pruett made his start at Long Beach in go-karts in 1982. He won in 2006 in a GRAND-AM event driving a Lexus-powered prototype. Other wins include an SCCAA Trans Am victory in 1987, two IndyCar podiums, a win at the 2001 Toyota Pro/Celebrity race and another win in 2014 in an IMSA WeatherTech Championship. All of which earned him, in 2012, a spot in the Long Beach Motorsports Walk of Fame.
“I really do love this track,” Pruett said. “It’s also really exciting to be back here with a new program, and to be in Lexus’ backyard.”
Another California native, driver of the No. 15 Lexus RC FGT3, Robert Alon, is looking forward to his second race at Long Beach.
“I raced PC class in the IMSA WeatherTech series last year. It was my first time on a street course and I really enjoyed the added mental challenge that comes driving close to those walls,” he said. “I’m looking forward to this race, with a new car, and basically being on the track for a shorter time, it means less things can go wrong. That’s a real benefit for us. The shorter the race, the smarter you have to race because you can’t count on yellows to catch back up.”
The BUBBA burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach will be televised live on FOX on Saturday, April 8 at 1 p.m.
ADDITIONAL DRIVER QUOTES:
Jack Hawksworth, No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3: “Long Beach is one of my favorite tracks. It has great rhythm to it. I’ve raced there four times. No wins, unfortunately, but I’ve qualified very well there. I’m really looking forward to this. My strongest tracks are street circuits and Long Beach is definitely one of the best.”
Sage Karam, No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3: “I race at Long Beach in Lights – so it’s been since 2014. But I took third there, and I love the track. It’s probably the most fun street circuit. I’m most excited for the team because it’s our first sprint race and I feel like we’re going to do great there. The longer races were tough on us, but I think we’re really going to excel at the shorter races and Long Beach is a great place to start.”
3GT Racing, PR Director, Brenda Brissette-Mata
Ph: 517-337-3000 Cell: 810-394-8910 Email: [email protected]