Lexus soliciting IMSA race partner options

Image by Jake Galstad/LAT

Lexus soliciting IMSA race partner options

IMSA

Lexus soliciting IMSA race partner options

By

Lexus Racing is working to determine which team will use its race-winning RC F GT3s in 2019.

Meetings have been held on the subject throughout the summer with teams participating in a variety of IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship classes. It’s unclear whether Toyota’s American luxury and performance brand is actively searching for a new home after launching the program with Michigan’s 3GT Racing in 2016, or if it’s simply completing the due diligence process by soliciting proposals from other racing teams.

Reached for comment, Lexus Racing manager Mark Egger chose to focus on the WeatherTech Championship and the GT Daytona class, where its cars have won two races this season.

“Our focus is on the 2018 season with 3GT Racing where we’re seeing continuous improvement and success as we work together to develop the RC F GT3,” he told RACER. “We don’t have anything to announce at this time.”

Asked whether his team would pursue a continuation with the brand, 3GT managing partner Paul Gentilozzi echoed Egger’s sentiments. “Our only focus is on 2018,” he said.

The due diligence process is a familiar one in the WeatherTech Championship paddock. BMW of North America, among the manufacturers involved with the series, is renowned for putting its program up for bid on a regular basis in order to ensure competitive offers are received. Since 2009, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, under the BMW Team Rahal banner, has been the brand’s service provider in North America and has grown accustomed to routine bidding cycles that result in contract extensions being offered.

3GT has turned the V8-powered sedan into a front-running car in 2018. Four pole positions by Jack Hawksworth (pictured), a pair of wins by Dominik Baumann and Kyle Marcelli, and a regular presence toward the top of most practice sessions has demonstrated exceptional growth since the cars hit the track in 2017.

Currently fifth in the GTD standings, the gap to first is somewhat foreboding for the No. 14 RCF shared by Baumann and Marcelli, but with more strong finishes in the two remaining races, a top-three finish is not out of the question.

More RACER