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IMSA News Notebook: Lexus & 3GT Part Ways, Goikhberg & Keating Get Le Mans Opportunities

Don Panoz tribute, and a last lap he would have loved!

3GT and Lexus Part Ways

In a not altogether unexpected announcement 3GT Racing and Lexus have announced a mutual end to their partnership.

The two full seasons of collaboration with the Lexus RC F GT3 produced a pair of class wins in GTD, both in 2018 with victories at Mid-Ohio in May and Virginia International Raceway in August.

“Paul Gentilozzi and the 3GT Racing team played an integral role in assisting Lexus in the development of the RC F GT3, “said Cooper Ericksen, vice president Lexus marketing. “We are grateful for our partnership and for the growth we experienced together as Lexus returned to the race track. We wish them well for their future endeavors.”

“We started this journey with Lexus in the spring of 2015, we have been exceptionally proud of the progress of the program on track,” said Paul Gentilozzi, managing partner of 3GT Racing. “In addition, we have made friends within the Toyota/Lexus organization that will remain friends for years to come. The cultural growth of our experiences with TCD in Japan and the technical exposure with TRD here in the U.S. have been invaluable. In our 48 years in motorsports, we can look back at this with success. We now move to a new chapter that will take us past 2020 on track.”

An announcement is expected from Lexus in due course about their 2019 partner team in the IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship.

Panoz Film

Alongside the tribute laps at Petit Le Mans for the late Don Panoz with the iconic Panoz GTR-1 accompanied by the DeltaWing, IMSA have produced a short tribute video to the man who established the American le Mans Series.

Looking Back At The Extraordinary Last Corner Drama

Petit Le Mans dealt out huge drama as the final moments of the IMSA season ticked by, the race decided at the very final corner in what proved to be a battle of the fuel sippers!

Goikhberg/ Keating

The latest potential ‘names in the frame’ for the 2019 Le Mans 24 Hours were decided at Road Atlanta with JDC Miller driver Misha Goikhberg securing the Jim Trueman Award for the second consecutive year, and Ben Keating (above) again securing the Bob Akin Award, both non-Pro titles attracting an auto entry for Le Mans.

Whilst Goikhberg dd not take up the invitation in 2018, Keating did, collaborating with the Risi Competizione squad to field a Ferrari 488 in LM GTE Am.

A change in the Sporting Regulations for 2019 will see the nomination firmly in the hands of the driver, Goikhberg able to race in LMP2 with any team he chooses to nominate with Keating again able to nominate a GTE Am team to benefit from his auto entry.