Austin, Texas (May 6, 2017) – 3GT Racing’s Sage Karam earned the team’s second top 10 finish during the Advance Auto Sportscar Showdown at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas on May 6. Karam reached the checkered flag in 9th position during the fourth race of IMSA’s 2017 WeatherTech Sportscar Championship.
Karam’s co-pilot in the No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3, Scott Pruett, said he thought Sage did a great job, calling the race a “fight to the finish.”
Pruett started the race in the No. 14 when the green flag dropped at 1:35 p.m. He encountered a snarl of traffic among several GTLM cars at the first turn of the 3.427-mile, 20 turn track.
“It was crazy. Luckily, we got out of that, but that’s how the race started,” Pruett said. “I thought the car felt loose, and for me it was just about doing the best I could for the first stint, then get it over to Sage. He really did a great job and got everything he could out of the car.”
Karam posted the fastest lap in the No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3 (2.09.693) during lap 24. He said he was happy with the 9th position, but thinks that a better result is not far off. “The crew has been amazing. The guys have been working so hard and we had some great pits. Plus, the car’s been getting better every day. I really think we’re getting closer to a better result,” he said.
The team of the No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3 took to the track with Robert Alon in the driver seat, starting in the last position. Hawksworth had qualified the No. 15 in 2P on Friday, but a post-race technical inspection found one feature of the No. 15 was .015 inches too low, which forced the team to start at the back.
“It’s really hard to start from the back,” Hawksworth said. “When I got in the car, I was hoping I could move up and get a better position so I was pretty aggressive. I passed two or three cars and then I spun the Porsche.”
Hawksworth, who posted the fastest lap in the No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3 (2.09.398) during lap 21, earned a drive-through penalty for the Porsche incident.
3GT Racing’s Managing Partner, Paul Gentilozzi, said the penalty was deserved. “The GTD class is very competitive and passing is difficult,” he said.
“You can be two seconds faster and still be unable to get through that field. That’s what happened to us. That, and we were a little too aggressive and got the penalty. Our apology to the Porsche team. It wasn’t our intention, they checked up, and we ran into them.”
The next race for the 3GT Racing team will be in Michigan, the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix presented by Lear Corporation will be held on June 3.
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 have claimed more than 75 victories and 15 manufacturer and driver championships.
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.
Long Beach, California (April 7, 2017) – The No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3, driven by Jack Hawksworth, qualified in the 2nd position in the GTD class at the Toyota Grand Prix at Long Beach.
During the 15-minute qualifying session, Hawksworth held first position for a couple of laps, but said he was very happy finishing in 2nd with a time of 1:19:276 1:19.243, just 0.0.033 of a second behind first place finish.
“We really didn’t expect to be quite that competitive today,” Hawksworth said. “But we just didn’t really expect to be as competitive as we were on this circuit because we didn’t really think this circuit would suit the Lexus. But I think we were wrong. The car feels really good. Happy to be on the front row and get off to a good start for tomorrow. Now Robert (Alon) and I just have to keep our heads down and try to get this result tomorrow.”
Managing partner, Paul Gentilozzi said the qualifying result means a lot to the whole team, especially the crew. “It’s really a validation for these guys who work so hard to make us competitive,” he said.
The 100-minute Bubba Burger Sports Car Grand Prix, part of the 3-day, 43rd annual Toyota Grand Prix at Long Beach, will be 1:05 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.
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 have claimed more than 75 victories and 15 manufacturer and driver championships. a lot to the crew.