(EAST LANSING, MICHIGAN) Sept. 5, 2018 — 3GT Racing’s trucks are packed and rolling west as the team readies for the America’s Tire 250, part of this weekend’s Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, in Monterey, California.
The East Lansing, Michigan-based team is one of only two teams with two wins in the GTD Class of the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Racing Championship series. With the No. 14 and No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3 cars, the team has accumulated two wins, a second-place podium, 11 top-ten finishes, qualified top-five in all nine races and is ranked fifth, only 10 points from fourth, in the GTD class. Lexus is ranked third among manufacturers.
Drivers of the No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3, Dominik Baumann and Kyle Marcelli, are also only 10 points from fourth among drivers. The No. 14 has earned two wins and a podium this season, including the latest win at VIR earlier this month.
Marcelli and Baumann hope the strong performances they’ve had with the No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3 will carry them through to the finish line at the California raceway.
“I really think we’ve had pretty strong performances all season, from Mid-Ohio right up to now and I expect the same for the last two races of the year,” Marcelli said. We talk about some tracks being fun to drive but racing or overtaking is difficult, but at Laguna there are several places for overtaking and that makes it fun.”
Baumann agreed: “We had some small issues the beginning of the year, but you can see at each race we won or finished on the podium that we’re a good package – us drivers, car and team.”
“To win these races is not easy,” Marcelli said. “We know what we need to win. We need the pace to be strong for the duration. We need a perfect strategy and pit stops and we need to have the best tires and car that we can have at the end of the races.”
The accolades for the team continue with the No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3 and driver Jack Hawksworth, who has earned the pole position at four races this season, including Mid-Ohio, Watkins Glen, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and Virginia International Raceway. He’s also attained the fastest lap in GTD class in more than half of the races this year.
Hawksworth said he has plenty of good memories at the 2.238-mile track with the infamous downhill-plunging “Corkscrew” at Turn 8, but it’s not his favorite track.
“Obviously, fundamentally, we know a lot more about the car this year. And we have made changes that will be worthwhile since we struggled a bit last year,” Hawksworth said. “We have made changes that will be worth something when we go into Laguna this year. We have more knowledge and the set-ups will be better, considering what we’ve learned. I’m sure the engineers will have some good ideas. The key this year will be to come back with a better performance and an idea how to look after the tires, so we have performance at the end of the stints.”
Hawksworth’s co-driver, David Heinemeier Hansson, who has a home in Malibu, said he loves the 11-turn track in one of California’s most picturesque areas.
“It’s a real treat to drive in such beautiful surroundings,” he said. “And, an added bonus is that I can drive from our place in Malibu to the track.”
The two-hour, 40-minute America’s Tire 250, part of this weekend’s Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, in Monterey, California will be televised live on Sunday, Sept. 9 beginning at 5 p.m. ET on FS1.
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 48 years and have claimed more than 75 victories and 15 manufacturer and driver championships.