3GT Racing heads to VIR for Michelin GT Challenge
EAST LANSING, MI (Aug. 24, 2017) – 3GT Racing will be in the second, and last, all-GT format race in the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship series this weekend at Virginia International Raceway in Alton, VA. The Michelin GT Challenge will be Aug. 27 and features only GTLM (GT Le Mans) and GTD (GT Daytona).
The No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3 will be co-piloted by gold driver Jack Hawksworth and Hall of Famer, Scott Pruett. The team switched silver drivers for the first time at Road America and plans to stick with the new pairing through the rest of the season. Robert Alon and Sage Karam will drive the No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3.
“3GT has some great drivers,” Pruett said. “Mix them up however you want, they are still going to be great drivers. I’m happy to drive with Sage. I’m happy to drive with Jack. We’re just trying to find the combination to get that break-through. I thought it would be Watkins Glen, then Mosport, then Lime Rock – when I was in the No. 14. Jack and I ran second and third for most of Road America in the No. 15, until the yellow flag confusion. We’ve had strong races, now it’s time for all the pieces to come together.”
Pruett, who has had three wins at VIR (he is tied with driver Bill Auberlen, for the most wins at the historic track) last drove at the track in 2011. His last win there was in 2010.
So far in the season, between the two cars, 3GT Racing has earned eight top ten finishes. Five in the No. 14 and three in the No. 15 and two top five finishes (one in each car), but a win or podium has eluded them.
Hawksworth, in the No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3, turned the fastest lap in the GTD class at Watkins Glen and Road America. He said what he wants most now, is a win.
While he has never raced at the 3.27 mile, 17-turn course, he did get a chance to do a few laps there earlier this year.
“It’s a fun track,” he said. “The fun tracks are the ones with a lot of technical sequences, lots of direction change and not a lot of rest time. It will be a good track for us. Right now, I feel like we have everything we need – good lap times, good pits, a reliable, fast car – and the last three races, especially in the No. 15 Lexus, we’ve been right there, at the edge. I think it’s our time.”
Drivers in the No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3, Karam and Alon, have both raced at VIR, Alon most recently in Prototype Lites in 2015. Karam’s last visit was with Skip Barber in 2009. Last month, Karam, in the No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3, earned the team’s first GTD pole position at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
“It’s been a while since I was at VIR, but I remember the track,” he said. “I’m in a much faster car now and Rob and I work well together. We only have three races left to go and we all want to be on the podium. We just have to work harder and be mistake free.”
Alon said he thinks the team has shown an amazing amount of progress. “We all work together and the team has done a lot this year,” he said. “We got hit with some BoP and had some bad luck in general, but we’ve been strong and we’ve shown speed. We’re ready for that podium.”
Two hour-long practice sessions for the Michelin GT Challenge will be held on Friday, Aug. 25 and a third on Saturday morning. Qualifying will be from 12:20 to 1 p.m. Saturday and the race will begin Sunday at 1:35 p.m. (ET). The two-hour and 40-minute race will be streamed live at IMSA.com and will be televised on FS1 beginning at 1:30 p.m. (ET) Sunday.
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.