3GT Racing Focuses on Petit Le Mans, Final IMSA Race of Season

3GT Racing Focuses on Petit Le Mans, Final IMSA Race of Season

10.10.2018: 3GT Racing, one of only three GTD teams to claim two victories during the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season, heads to Road Atlanta for the 21st annual Motul Petit Le Mans with the hope of adding another podium to that


3GT Racing, one of only three GTD teams to claim two victories during the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season, heads to Road Atlanta for the 21st annual Motul Petit Le Mans with the hope of adding another podium to that collection.



The East Lansing, Michigan-based team also is in a head-to-head race with AMG for third in the manufacturer’s championship.



“It’s a big race since it’s part of the NAEC, and we are focused on ending the season by giving Lexus an endurance race victory,” said John Gentilozzi, the team’s Technical Director. “And the closeness of the manufacturer’s championship is always on our mind for race strategy considerations.”



The 10-hour race is the main event in the final round of the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship series and includes the season finale of the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup.



Drivers Philipp Frommenwiler and Sean Rayhall will be added to 3GT Racing’s driving teams as they race on the 2.54-mile track in Braselton, Ga. Gentilozzi said the team feels positive about the driver line-up.


“Our core four guys have really jelled around a car set-up philosophy and Sean and Philipp can both excel with the way that the cars are working now,” he said. “We know they will be able to slot into the car and be quick right away.”



Rayhall raced with the No. 15 team in Sebring earlier this year. Born and raised in Georgia, Rayhall is looking forward to this home-coming.



“I’m a Georgia boy, and I think the Road Atlanta track fits our Lexus RCF perfectly for us to fight for a win,” he said. “Being my home track and knowing how phenomenal the RCF has been performing, I think after gaining some experience at Sebring, I’m ready to be back with the team and go trophy hunting.”



Frommenwiler, who drove with Kyle Marcelli and Dominik Baumann in the No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3 during the Rolex 24 at Daytona and at Sebring, is anxious to return to the team and get some time in on the 12-turn course.



“Racing in U.S. is one of the best things, and the Lexus is a great car in general,” the Swiss driver said. “It’s so much fun to drive on especially fast tracks and I'm really looking forward being back again with 3GT Racing.”



The WeatherTech Championship entry list features 37 cars, 14 in the GTD series.



Gentilozzi said the team tested at Road Atlanta earlier this year and will be applying some lessons learned from that time to the car set-ups for the race.



“Road Atlanta is a good place for the Lexus and we think we have a good set-up. We expect to roll off the truck with a fast car,” he said.


Baumann and Marcelli have earned two wins (Mid-Ohio and VIR) and a second-place podium (Canadian Tire Motorsport Park) in the No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3. Baumann was at the test earlier this year and said he’s looking forward to returning.



“I like Road Atlanta,” the Austrian driver said. “It’s a nice track, a real American race track. It’s a long race and I’m glad Philipp (Frommenwiler) will be there. I hope we continue like we did at Sebring, us three drivers in a good partnership.”



Earlier in his career, Marcelli has had success at the track which famous for the esses between turns three and five. But he's never raced a GT car there.



“I think having experience from the time at Daytona and Sebring with the Prototypes coming up behind us in the dark, that we’ll be OK,” he said. “We’re going to give it everything we’ve got. It’s been a pleasure racing the Lexus RC F GT3 this year and great working with 3GT Racing. One more race to go and we’ll give it our best.”



No. 15 drivers, David Heinemeier Hansson and Jack Hawksworth will be joined by Sean Rayhall for the race. Rayhall raced with the No. 15 team earlier this year during the Twelve Hours of Sebring.



Hawksworth and DHH confess to loving the Petit Le Mans and the Road Atlanta track.



Hawksworth, who has claimed five fastest laps and qualified on the pole four times in the No. 15, is hoping that he’ll be able to add a podium to that list.



“This is my favorite race of the year. I’m really looking forward to it,” he said. “This is a track that really suits our car as far as performance. Just have to make sure we perform on the old tires as well as we can on the new. I’m excited about it.”



Heinemeier Hansson said hands-down, the Petit Le Mans is his favorite event of the season.



“It should also be a track that suits the Lexus well,” he said. “It's our last chance to turn the glory around this season, so I'm happy that we get our shot at Road Atlanta.”



Live television coverage of Motul Petit Le Mans begins Saturday, Oct. 13 at 10:30 a.m. (ET) on FS1, with continuing coverage on FS2 from noon until the checkered flag.

 



Brenda Brissette-Mata, 3GT Racing  photo

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/3gt-racing-petit-le-mans-final-imsa-race-season---181827.html

10.10.2018 / MaP

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