3GT Racing team earns best finish at Long Beach race
LONG BEACH, CA (April 8, 2017) – The 3GT Racing crew was busy into the night and early morning of race day for the BUBBA Burger Grand Prix at Long Beach, as they repaired the No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3 after a glance at the wall, early in the second practice on Friday, left the car unable to take part in qualifying.
And when the green flag fell on the 100-minute race, part of the 3-day, 43rd annual Toyota Grand Prix at Long Beach, both Lexus RC F GT3s, No. 14 and No. 15 were at the starting line driven by Scott Pruett and Jack Hawksworth, respectively. Hawksworth had earned the second position in qualifying and because the No. 14 car had missed qualifying, Pruett started at the last, in 14th position.
Final results found the No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3 in sixth position in the GTD class (18th overall) and the No. 15 finished 11th in the team’s third race in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
“A little mistake when you’re trying hard can be costly and that’s what happened to us yesterday,” Pruett said about the incident that kept the No. 15 car from taking part in the qualifying round. “We didn’t make qualifying, we didn’t make second practice, but the guys worked all night to get the car together and here we come to finish 6. It really was a great recovery, I’m proud of the guys and proud of Lexus and this is a great program, it’s still new but we’ll just keep on building. Every race is a big learning experience.”
Pruett’s driving teammate, Sage Karam brought the No. 14 into the finish and declared the last few laps some of the most exciting of his career. Karam turned the fastest lap in the No. 14 with a time of 1:21:037 in the 26th lap.
“The most important thing is that the team worked their tails off to get the car ready to race, and we scored crucial points,” Karam said. “We got 6th place, which is our best finish yet, I couldn’t be prouder of the crew. They showed the dedication to the program by staying and getting this car repaired and ready for today. Really happy with this weekend.”
Jack Hawksworth in the No. 15, ran a strong race, including holding the lead for 5 laps. Co-pilot Robert Alon was driving the No. 15 when, in the final lap of the 1.968-mile and 11-turn street course, he found himself in an incident at Turn 11.
“We always hate to be involved in any accident,” Paul Gentilozzi, 3GT Racing managing partner said. “It was a really tough race. Our guys were racing hard. We led laps and made progression with the car. We’re not, perhaps, as fast as the Mercedes, but we’re sneaking up on it. And I thought it was a very exciting race. Now we go home and lick our wounds and fix our many dents and get ready for Texas.”
Next IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race is the Advance Auto Parts Sports Car Showdown at Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas on Saturday, May 6.
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.