The 3GT Racing team’s Lexus RC F GT3 cars, No. 14 and 15, finished in the top six in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition Sunday in the Sahlen’s Six at The Glen.
Paul Gentilozzi said: “We have now entered into a competitive window where we have the opportunity to challenge for race wins. Our next accomplishment is to assure we do not make mistakes as a team or drivers to give us the track position to challenge at the end of each race.”
The No. 15, driven by Jack Hawksworth, finished 5th, the best result this season. Hawksworth seemed to be on a path to the pole early in the race. He started in third position and within the first hour of the six-hour endurance race, had moved into first and held the lead for 56 laps.
The No. 15 car earned 9 of the fastest 10 laps during the race and Hawksworth had the fastest lap of the race in the GTD class with a time of 1:44:786.
Hawksworth said he was happy with the car’s performance.
“I just had the freedom to drive the heck out of it. There was nothing to lose,” he said. “I was going for it, trying to make stuff happen. We obviously had a little bit of bad luck there in the middle of the day with a penalty, but we came back strong and got a top-five. Again, close but no cigar, but we’ll take a top-five, so I’m happy.”
Hawksworth shared driving duties in the No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3 with Robert Alon and Austin Cindric.
Robert Alon, who was unable to hold Hawksworth’s lead position when he took over at the first driver change said that he felt the car definitely deserved a podium. “A few things went wrong for us today,” Alon said. “There was a penalty, I lost quite a bit of time there, it just wasn’t a good day. The car felt good, and in the end Jack brought it back.”
Cindric, who has been racing full-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, drove with 3GT Racing in the two previous endurance races, at The Rolex 24 at Daytona and Sebring.
“I wish this six-hour race would have been a 12-hour race, because I really feel like we would have had a shot at a podium with a little more time,” Cindric said. “The car was great to drive and I’m so glad I had the opportunity. Thanks to 3GT Racing and Lexus.”
Sage Karam and co-pilot Scott Pruett, earned their third sixth finish, in the No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3.
“We ran a great pace today,” Pruett said. “We continually make great strides forward. The penalty today is something you have to live with, but doesn’t mean I have to agree with it. Other than that, we continually are making strides forward and it was nice for 3GT Racing to have a top-five with the 15 Lexus finishing fifth. We’ve got to keep fighting for a win.”
The race in Watkins Glen, NY, an 11-turn, 3.4-mile course, was the third endurance race of season and the sixth race in the 11-race series.
Karam, who had an incident with the No. 14 during qualifying on Saturday, praised the crew for the work they did getting the Lexus RC F GT3 back together in time for the Sunday race.
“It was a great race for the No. 14 and No. 15,” Karam said. “The team’s best finish at fifth and both cars inside the top six – that’s great. We had a penalty which pushed us back and as hard as we worked to get back up front, it wasn’t enough. But we push harder and harder every time. I’m really excited for the future of this squad. It’s only going to go up from here.”
Next up is the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Ontario, Canada. The race will be Sunday, July 9 from 12:05 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.