This article appeared on Racer.com
Months of speculation have come to an end with the confirmation of a new factory Lexus GT3 racing program spearheaded by IMSA entrant Paul Gentilozzi and driver Scott Pruett.
Under the new F Performance banner, Gentilozzi’s Michigan-based team will field a Lexus RC F GT3 for Pruett at some point in 2016. Although Lexus declined to name where the F Performance entry will compete, the presence of IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship stickers on the hood suggest its destination.
“A core mission of F Performance Racing was to strengthen the Lexus’ F brand by applying lessons gleaned from racing, while nurturing an engineering culture that transfers that knowledge to dynamic, high performance passenger car development,” said, Lexus group vice president and general manager Jeff Bracken. “We are very excited about what this partnership and race effort can mean for the brand in the years to come.”
F Performance is expected to spend a significant amount of time testing and developing the RC F GT3 prior to participating in a limited number of races next year. A multi-car program is then expected to embark on a full-season campaign starting in 2017.
Reuniting Gentilozzi and Pruett from their time together in the SCCA Trans-Am series, and in the original IMSA series, has been in the works for quite some time. It’s believed the new F Performance program is set for at least four years, which should give the pair plenty of time to shape the RC F GT3 into a competitive machine.
“An opportunity to reunite with North America’s greatest sports car driver and a great friend, Scott Pruett and Lexus, a globally prestigious brand validating their performance potential, is a racer’s dream,” Gentilozzi said. “One that would put an exclamation point of anyone’s motorsports career.”
And for Pruett, who earned countless wins and multiple championships driving for Chip Ganassi Racing’s sports car team through 2015, the chance to lead Lexus back to motor racing in North America was an opportunity that could not be ignored.
“When Lexus left motorsports, I pledged to them that I would be there to help them return when that time came.” said Pruett. “That time is now and I could not be more ecstatic to be representing Lexus as a performance brand ambassador and on the track in the F Performance RC F GT3.”
The RC F GT3 will make its testing debut with Pruett and F Performance in late November.