ELKHART LAKE, WI (Aug. 7, 2017) — 3GT Racing continues to rack up top-ten finishes, adding two more at the final flag in the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase at Road America in Elkhart Lake, WI. The 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is the inaugural year for the team and Lexus.
The No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3, driven by Sage Karam and Robert Alon, finished eighth and the No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3, driven by Jack Hawksworth and Hall of Famer, Scott Pruett, came in 10th.
Pruett, who qualified the No. 15 P4, came out strong at the start of the race and maintained the position until he came in to pit and for a driver change.
“The start was great,” Pruett said. “We brought the car in, hit our marks. I came in and Jack got in and took off. And then we came in for our second stop and just before getting out of our box, the yellow came out, and typically that’s a good thing. Then 3GT crew went to work, they serviced the car, all went smooth. Then Jack got held at exit. I’m disappointed for the team, for Lexus, but we’re going to keep moving forward.”
The No. 15 car earned a drive-through penalty and, despite the 10th finish, Hawksworth had the fastest lap of the race, 2:07.399 in the 61st lap.
Hawksworth said the 10th place finish was certainly not representative of the cars or the team and he was disappointed in the penalty.
“We’ve had great cars all year,” Hawksworth said. “On a few occasions, being a new team, we’ve hurt ourselves with incidents on the track and in the pit, but today ran like clockwork. Scott did a fantastic job on the first stint. The pit stops were on point, the car was fast.”
John Gentilozzi, 3GT Racing’s Technical Director said the team was on the way to a good race when the green flag dropped.
“We were quite fortunate to have been in the middle of our pit stop when the full course yellow occurred. Unfortunately, the pass around procedure was begun far earlier than usual and it caused us to get caught in the field unsure if we were eligible to pass around and retake our rightful position,” Gentilozzi said.
“Overall, we had a good weekend going. The engineering team worked to make a good race car. The drivers did their job and drove hard and kept us on track. The crew nailed the pit stops, but ultimately it was something out of our control that took a solid finish away from us. We will learn from this experience and move on to the VIR and keep working toward our first win.”
Karam and Alon were happy to be in the top ten, but both drivers thought early in the race that a podium was a real possibility. This was the first race for the pair. The team had switched silver-rated drivers for the Wisconsin race.
Karam said he asked Alon to keep the car in good shape and get it to him in one piece.
“Rob did it,” Karam said. “He gave me the car without a scratch on it. Hats off to him – he was a great teammate this weekend. Drove his heart out. The race was going well for me, it was so hard to pass. We got caught in the pits. I thought we were shaping up for a podium. I feel like every weekend we get more and more competitive as a team and it’s coming. That podium is coming.”
Alon said he felt good about his start in the race and, like Karam, he feels positive that a podium is right around the corner.
“We got a top-10 finish so that’s really positive,” Alon said. “And I honestly think we could have had a podium today, but things happened and it didn’t work out that way. I was happy with my drive. I think as a team everything is really coming together and we’re ready for more.”
The next race will be Aug. 25-27 at VIR, Virginia International Raceway.
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.