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3GT Racing Bubba Burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach race report

At this weekend's IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Chmapionship's Bubba Burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach 3GT Racing’s No.14 Lexus RC F GT3 finished sixth in the GTD class (18th overall). Scott Pruett and Sage Karam co-piloted the No.14 Lexus entry in the manufacturer’s third race in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

The No.14 Lexus started the race 14th in class (32nd overall) after missing Friday’s GTD qualifying session due to damage sustained in the first practice.

“I couldn’t be more proud." said Pruett "One, this is Lexus’ backyard and all the excitement that goes with that. For a car that was tore up that we missed the second practice, missed qualifying and the guys just did a terrific job. I’m real proud of all of the 3GT Racing guys, TRD (Toyota Racing Development), TTC (Toyota Technocraft) and everybody pulling together because that RC F GT3 was tore up a bit. We got it back out there. It wasn’t perfect but to come home sixth and get the recovery we did was awesome.”

Karam turned the fastest lap in the No. 14 Lexus with a time of 1:21.037 (lap 26) around the 11-turn street circuit.

“This finish shows a lot about the team." said Karam "To have a car where we had to change an engine and fix a frame, that’s no small task and for them to just work all night until two in the morning to get the car together. They thrash hard and they got us out there for valuable points. The car wasn’t perfect and it wasn’t exactly where it needed to be, but without their hard work and dedication to get it out on the track we wouldn’t have got these valuable points. So, hats off to the team. I’ve also just got to thank Lexus for everything. It’s a great operation and it’s only going up so I can’t wait to see what it brings in the future.”

The 3GT Racing No.15 Lexus entry finished 11th in class (24th overall) after starting second in class (20th overall). Jack Hawksworth led five laps in the No.15 Lexus before turning over driving duties to teammate Robert Alon, who was involved in an accident on the final circuit of the race.

“It was a bittersweet day." said Hawksworth "It was a sweet start. We obviously qualified well and really the start we were looking for in the race which was going to run more green (flag). If we had more green that was going to work out better for us because I would’ve stayed in the car for a long time and Robert (Alon) could’ve had a bigger cushion when he got in the RC F GT3 with some kind of clean track if you will. That was the strategy, but a lot of yellow (flags) at the beginning of the race. It still worked out well because with that last restart I was able to get a really, really good jump and pull out a decent gap. We then had a hiccup on the pit stop and instead of coming out in the lead or in second we came out behind. From there Robert did a really nice job all race and then there was that incident there at the end that ruled us out. I thought we were going to get a top five or top six and that would’ve been great, but it’s racing. Robert was going for it and these things happen. The thing is we had a quick car again for the second race in a row and it’s just agonizing when you’ve got a great Lexus RC F GT3 and everything is working well and we didn’t get a good result. We’ve just got to put this behind us and take the positives and put together a really good weekend in Texas and finally get the result. Happy for the other car to score some good points and come out of nowhere.”

04/10/17

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