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.
EAST LANSING, MI (March 31, 2017) – The two weeks between the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida and the upcoming BUBBA Burger Grand Prix at Long Beach, have been busy for the 3GT Racing crew as they prep the Lexus RC F GT3 cars, No. 14 and No. 15, for the third race of the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, April 7-8.
The Long Beach race not only offers the first street course of the season, but the 1.968-mile, 11-turn course is also one of the shortest races of the season. At only one hour and 40 minutes long, the race is a sprint compared to the long-distance races that kicked off the season, the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the 12-hours of Sebring.
“We were happy with the results at Sebring,” said Paul Gentilozzi, managing partner of 3GT Racing. “Both cars were running at a good pace for quite a few laps. We maintained good positions in the GTD class for most of the race. There were a few issues that kept us from finishing closer to the front, but we continue to learn about ourselves and the cars and we’re excited to get to Long Beach.”
Gentilozzi acquired a reputation for competing and winning on the legendary streets of Long Beach. He gave Oldsmobile its first SCCA Trans-Am win at Long Beach in 1988 and won two flag-to-flag victories at the track in the Trans Am series, his first in 1998 and again, with his fifth Long Beach win, in 2004. He also earned wins in 1999 and 2001.
Scott Pruett driver of the 3GT Racing team’s Lexus RC F GT3 No. 14, has also accumulated many wins at Long Beach during his storied career.
A native of California, Pruett made his start at Long Beach in go-karts in 1982. He won in 2006 in a GRAND-AM event driving a Lexus-powered prototype. Other wins include an SCCAA Trans Am victory in 1987, two IndyCar podiums, a win at the 2001 Toyota Pro/Celebrity race and another win in 2014 in an IMSA WeatherTech Championship. All of which earned him, in 2012, a spot in the Long Beach Motorsports Walk of Fame.
“I really do love this track,” Pruett said. “It’s also really exciting to be back here with a new program, and to be in Lexus’ backyard.”
Another California native, driver of the No. 15 Lexus RC FGT3, Robert Alon, is looking forward to his second race at Long Beach.
“I raced PC class in the IMSA WeatherTech series last year. It was my first time on a street course and I really enjoyed the added mental challenge that comes driving close to those walls,” he said. “I’m looking forward to this race, with a new car, and basically being on the track for a shorter time, it means less things can go wrong. That’s a real benefit for us. The shorter the race, the smarter you have to race because you can’t count on yellows to catch back up.”
The BUBBA burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach will be televised live on FOX on Saturday, April 8 at 1 p.m.
ADDITIONAL DRIVER QUOTES:
Jack Hawksworth, No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3: “Long Beach is one of my favorite tracks. It has great rhythm to it. I’ve raced there four times. No wins, unfortunately, but I’ve qualified very well there. I’m really looking forward to this. My strongest tracks are street circuits and Long Beach is definitely one of the best.”
Sage Karam, No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3: “I race at Long Beach in Lights – so it’s been since 2014. But I took third there, and I love the track. It’s probably the most fun street circuit. I’m most excited for the team because it’s our first sprint race and I feel like we’re going to do great there. The longer races were tough on us, but I think we’re really going to excel at the shorter races and Long Beach is a great place to start.”
3GT Racing, PR Director, Brenda Brissette-Mata
Ph: 517-337-3000 Cell: 810-394-8910 Email: [email protected]