3GT’s Sage Karam qualifies P1, sets new track GTD record
Canadian Tire Motorsport Park GTD track record set by Sage Karam
Sage Karam in the No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3, streaked through the qualifying session of the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix and not only earned the starting position on the grid, but set a new track record for the GTD class at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
Karam, who has been saying all season that he couldn’t wait to get to Mosport, set the fastest lap in qualifying, 1:16:536, beating the former track record lap 1:18:245, by nearly two seconds. This is the first IMSA pole for the Lexus RC F GT3.
The morning practice session came to a red flag when Jack Hawksworth, in the No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3, slid into the wall coming out of turn three. The car remained under repair during the 15-minute qualifying session.
3GT Racing’s managing partner, Paul Gentilozzi, said the team was evaluating the No. 15 and would continue to work on it through the night. “It appears to be reparable, but we will continue to analyze the damage and we certainly hope to be there at the beginning of the race.”
The No. 14 did well in the first practice session, earning a P1, but the third practice session ended with the No. 14 in 8th. Karam said the team made a few changes before qualifying that turned out to be all for the better.
“The car felt great after that,” he said. “I just had to drive it. This track really clicks with me, ever since the beginning, whenever I’ve driven here and today felt the best. It’s pretty cool getting a GTD class record. Any place you can hold records is good. I’m trying to catch up to my teammate, Scott Pruett. He has all those records and with this one, now I’m one record closer.”
Karam’s co-pilot in the No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3 said he was thrilled to see Karam get the pole.
“It’s exciting for the team. It’s exciting for the whole organization as we continue to make progress. Now we have to turn that into a win,” Pruett said. “This was the next thing in line, get a pole, win a race. We got the pole, now we have to win a race.”
Jack Hawksworth, No. 15, Lexus RC F GT3: “I am very disappointed and it was my mistake. I got a little wide in turn 3 and as soon as I touched the grass, it just dragged me in, I hit some kind of mound and just took off. Obviously, I feel bad for the guys who have worked so hard on the car. They’ve done a great job, the car felt fantastic. With the No. 14 winning the pole it shows the good speed we have with these cars. I’m just disappointed for the team. We are very competitive and while we have to start from the back in the race, we have a very fast car. We’re going to rethink our strategy and perhaps we can pass these guys up. Anything can happen.”
Robert Alon, No. 15, Lexus RC F GT3: “It was disappointing not being able to take part in the qualifying session, but I’m glad Jack’s ok and chances are very good we’re running tomorrow. I’m excited to get the car on track and I think we have a solid chance to bring it from the back, we’ve got good speed. I’m really stoked for Sage, had a couple P2s in qualifying in the past, but pole position is a great feeling, great for Lexus, for 3GT Racing, for the whole program.
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.