LEXINGTON, OHIO (May 7, 2018) — The 3GT Racing team had a nearly perfect weekend of racing at the Acura Sports Car Challenge at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, the first sprint race of the season.
On Saturday, the two Lexus RC F GT3 cars, No. 14 and No. 15, came through qualifying with the top two starting positions for Sunday’s race. Jack Hawksworth earned the team’s first pole of the season in the No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3 and the No. 14, with Kyle Marcelli in the driver’s seat, started the race P2.
When the 2-hour, 40-minute race ended on Sunday, it was Dominik Baumann in the No. 14 taking the victory lap. With Jack Hawksworth in the No. 15 finishing, P4. And the 3GT Racing team cars had led every lap of the race.
Paul Gentilozzi, 3GT Racing’s Managing Partner said this is what the team is supposed to do.
“Winning is important,” he said. “And I’m sure that I hate losing more than I like winning, but I’m not jumping up and down, because we did our job. This is what our team is used to doing. I celebrate the drivers and everybody here. Everybody that’s part of 3GT, from every sector, because they helped us win.”
Marcelli, who had won the Continental Sports Car Challenge on Saturday, started the race in the No. 14 and maintained the P2 position until Baumann took over driving duties.
“I was more nervous today watching the finish of the race than I’ve ever been driving to the finish of a race,” Marcelli said. “Dominik did a great job with the all the pressure that came with those last couple laps. This is a huge win for the team.”
Baumann moved the No. 14 from P2 into the lead when the No. 15 went in for their first driver change. And once Baumann got there, he never left.
“I just kept thinking no mistakes, get to the finish line, stay focused,” Baumann said. At times he led the class with a gap of as much as 20 seconds.
“I felt the pressure coming with 15 minutes to the end,” he said. Alvaro Parente was closing the gap, but Baumann staved him off.
“I was a little bit lucky with traffic,” Baumann said. “On that last lap, Parente closed the gap so quick that I tried to defend with everything I got. I was happy to see the white flag. To get the first win is a great feeling.”
Hawksworth, who earned the race’s fastest lap and led the GTD class for the first 43 laps, said it was a great day for the team and shows all the hard work everybody has put in.
“David (Heinemeier Hansson) did a fantastic job in that second stint and held (Alvaro) Parente off,” Hawksworth said. “I think we lost some time and when I was back driving, I was faster but really slow to overtake (Lawson) Aschenbach. I spent the whole stint trying to get past him. Finally passed him for 4th.”
Heinemeier Hansson, co-driver in the No. 15, said his job was to, as much as possible, keep the lead that Hawksworth had earned once the driver change put him behind the wheel of the No. 15.
“I had a wonderful battle with Parente,” Heinemeier Hansson said. “I held him up for a good ten laps. It was wonderful to see the team get the first win and for us to get fourth after that amazing pass by Jack (Hawksworth) there at the end. It was an exciting race.”
For John Gentilozzi, the team’s Technical Director, the win was closer than he had hoped or expected it to be.
“Given where we were early in the race I felt like we were going to finish further ahead,” he said. “Certainly, full credit to the Acura team and Parente for digging in and driving hard. But Dominik was able to push in his last stint and keep ahead of him. We had a bit of a bad break in traffic and that let the Acura catch up and really Dominik had used quite a bit of his tires, so it was hard for him to stay in front, but he drove hard. And at the end of the day, we won.”
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.