78 AUGUST 2017
IMSA WEATHERTECH SPORTSCAR CHAMPIONSHIP
hen the No. 14 3GT Racing Lexus RC F
shared by Scott Pruett and Sage Karam
crossed the finish line sixth in the IMSA
Weather Tech SportsCar Championship’s GT
Daytona class at Detroit, it didn’t feel like a
win. It felt like a sixth. But for a new-
for-2017 program, it also felt like progress.
“This car is a clean sheet of paper,” says
Pruett. “There’s a lot to learn.”
Lexus has a proud history as a winning
engine supplier in Grand-Am Daytona
Prototypes, but the RC F is the first car it
has built to the FIA GT3 specs that govern
IMSA’s GTD class. Rivals such as Audi and
Porsche have a head start in that regard,
racing models that have been refined over
multiple generations, but the fact that
each car is bound by FIA homologation
We can’t just go and change things. We have
to figure out how to get the absolute most
out of the car under this set of regulations.”
Optimization is the key, but in the case
of a brand-new car, that itself is limited by
the fact that the team is still working to
establish baselines in areas like shocks,
springs and aero. 3GT finishes every race
weekend knowing way more about the car
than it did just a couple of days earlier,
which is why the season up to this point
has been a tale of steady improvement –
and why Pruett was optimistic about the
team’s prospects as the Weather Tech
Championship headed into its frenetic
four-races-in-five-weekends summer run.
“In Detroit, the difference was that we
were racing the guys in front of us instead
means the real challenge emerges when
the conversation turns to development.
“In days gone by – my IndyCar days, and
the Prototype stuff – when something
wasn’t up to standard, or designed correctly,
we could redesign; we could develop,” says
Pruett. “Here, the FIA homologation is fixed.
Want to make IMSA’s ultra-competitive GT Daytona class even more of a challenge?
Try racing in it with a brand-new car – just like 3GT Racing is doing with the Lexus RC F.
WORDS Mark Glendenning MAIN IMAGE Scott R. LePage/LAT