Anton Andres / Aurick Go | January 16, 2017 15:00
RC F GT3 set for first full-time season in motorsport
Lexus has set itself for a new challenge for the 2017 motorsports calendar. Last year, Lexus formed a race team and ran on a limited schedule to test the waters of the IMSA Sports Car Championship. This year, 3GT Racing, formerly known as Lexus F Performance Racing, will run a full schedule in the US.
Besides the North American racing campaign, the RC F GT3 will also do battle in Japan's top sports car series, Super GT, in the GT300 class. On top of that, the RC F GT will also enter its first endurance race at the 2017 24 Hours of Daytona, to be held on January 26 to 29. Toyota Gazoo Racing is also analyzing the possibility of the RC F GT3 competing in other championships around the world.
The US-based 3GT Racing team will be fielding two cars with a roster of eight drivers. Drivers for the first car are Ian James, Gustavo Menezes, Sage Karam and Scott Pruett. Austin Cindric, Dominik Farnbacher, Robert Alon and James Hawksworth will be the pilots for the second car. In Japan meanwhile, the RC F GT3 will be fielded by LM Corsa team.
Still mostly based on the road-going RC F, the GT3 racer boasts an all-carbon fiber skin. The body and bumpers have also been widened to accommodate racing tires, as well as a more aggressive aerodynamic package. At the front is a carbon fiber front splitter which is then complemented by cannards on each corner.
On to its side, there are air outlets on the body extensions, as well as another outlet behind the front wheels. Moving to the back, it gets another pair of air outlets behind the wheels, a large adjustable rear wing and a diffuser that spans the width of the rear section. For less weight, the windows have been replaced with acrylic glass.
The Lexus RC F GT3 is powered by the company's 5.0-liter V8. While the race car shares the same block as the road car, internal engine modifications bring the power up to 500 PS. Power is then transferred through a six speed sequential transmission and the whole car weighs in at 1,300 kilograms.