ALTON, Va. (August 20, 2018)
– 3GT Racing drivers Dominik Baumann and Kyle Marcelli claimed their second victory of the season in the No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3 at Virginia International Raceway in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTD class. Baumann led the final 18 laps around the 17-turn, 3.27-mile Virginia road course to score the team’s second victory of the season and third podium finish.
Marcelli started fourth in the No. 14 Lexus and held his position in the top-five during his initial stint before handing driving duties over to Baumann for a double stint to close out the race. The 25-year-old Austrian took the lead on lap 69 following a series of on-track incidents by competitors racing ahead of him and he drove the RC F GT3 to the front of the GTD field.
The driver duo of Baumann and Marcelli currently ranks fifth in IMSA’s provisional championship point standings, while the win moved Lexus into third-place in IMSA’s GTD manufacturer championship standings with two races remaining this season.
The No. 15 Lexus, co-driven by Jack Hawksworth and David Heinemeier Hansson, finished 10th in Sunday’s two hour and 40 minute sprint event with Hawksworth running the quickest GTD lap of the race for the fifth time this season. Hawksworth also earned a series-best fourth pole position and led two laps at VIR.
Lexus and 3GT Racing return to competition on Sunday, September 9 for a sprint event at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, where Lexus is the official luxury vehicle of the 11-turn, 2.238 California road course.
To stay up-to-date on all of the Lexus Racing action follow @lexusracingusa on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or visit www.lexus.com/motorsports
Lexus Racing Quotes
Dominik Baumann, No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3
How does it feel to get the win today at VIR?
“It’s just a great feeling. It’s the first year for me in IMSA with the team and everything. All of the tracks are new for me so it’s always a new challenge going to all of the race tracks and learning them from the first practice on every week. Just a great feeling to win today. It was a good day.”
Were you trying to conserve fuel in the closing laps?
“We took everything out of the tires. We were good on fuel so that wasn’t a problem. I knew four laps until the end it’s going to be so hard to defend. I saw the 86 (Katherine Legge) make a mistake 10 laps earlier and I knew we had to keep pushing. It was so close down the back straight. I braked as late as I could and I’m just so happy to get the second win for us. It was a crazy ending.”
How were you able to get the lead in today’s race?
“I was catching up to the 93 (Lawson Aschenbach) and we got by him because he made a mistake off (turn) three, and then there were cars all over the place. I saw the 33 (Jeroen Bleekemolen) bumping into the 44 (Andy Lally) and both cars were just sideways and I took the opportunity and drove by them. I was just watching from behind, and just watching how they struggled to stay on the track. That was the key to the win, just making no mistakes. We never had the outright pace to win the race, I would say, but we were smart enough to make no mistakes and just finish the race.”
Can you talk through the closing laps of the race and your battle with Katherine Legge?
“I saw the 86 (Katherine Legge) coming in the mirror and it was getting bigger and bigger. A bit like Mid-Ohio, we struggled a little bit with tire degradation on the rear tires and I was just trying to make no mistakes. You have to change your driving style from new tires compared to used tires. It’s very demanding to not make any mistakes. The limit is so small and I just tried to stay focused. She (Katherine Legge) made a mistake in the second to last lap so I had the gap again. Going out of (turn) 11, the ‘Oak Tree,’ she was next to me and the only thing I had in my mind was, ‘You brake later. You brake later.’ And, that’s what I did. She backed off a little bit and I could do (turns) 13 and 14 and the last three corners it’s impossible to overtake, so from there we won the race.”
Dominik Baumann, No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3 (continued)
How special was today’s win?
“I think all of the tracks we’ve been this year we’ve had a chance to win. Even last time in Road America, we went into the race and we were willing to win, we thought that was our race and we have to be on the podium. It didn’t work out except at Mid-Ohio and Mosport. Just finishing as the leader in your class, seeing the checkered flag is an amazing feeling. A great job from the team. The pit stops were just great and the driver change was good. Same problem as always with the tire degradation. You see the cars behind you just catching up so quick and I tried my best to defend the position. She was next to me on the back straight on the last lap and I just thought I needed to brake later than her. I was watching her when she was braking knowing I needed to brake later than her and it worked out. It’s just a good day for 3GT Racing and Lexus.”
Kyle Marcelli, No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3
What emotions did you feel watching your teammate race in the closing laps?
“I have a bit more experience with that now from Mid-Ohio. That first win is always difficult to get and I was really stressed out in the closing laps (at Mid-Ohio) and today was a bit of a repeat with the 86 (Katherine Legge) right behind us. Not an easy day, not an easy race. The temperatures made it very difficult inside the car. I wasn’t too sure if a double stint was going to be possible, so I was suited and ready to get back in at the end, but Dominik (Baumann) did a heck of a job especially under pressure in those closing laps. The 58 (Patrick Long) helped us out battling with the 86. A great day for 3GT Racing and Lexus.”
How does it feel to get the second win today in the RC F GT3?
“It feels great. We just had to drive a clean, smart race. We felt that outright performance maybe we didn’t have the winning car, but we had certainly a top-five car. We were just there, we were always in the fight and thankfully, with the other cars all battling together it inherited us the lead. Those closing laps under pressure, those are difficult laps to do. Dominik (Baumann) was a true professional today.”
What does it mean to get the win today at VIR?
“The first win is always the most difficult win to get and we got that at Mid-Ohio and today felt like it was Déjá Vu. We had the 86 (Katherine Legge) chasing us the last couple minutes of the race. It was a very hot race. Me, being from Canada, I don’t do too well in the heat so that was the biggest struggle for me. But, we had a good car and it was going to be difficult to win the race, but we knew we just had to make no mistakes and be there at the end. Thankfully, we were able to capitalize off a few competitors mistakes. Dominik (Baumann) did a heck of a job pulling off a double stint, especially under pressure at the end. Just a great day for 3GT Racing and Lexus. The team has worked really hard this season and we’ve been able to get some results and gives us a lot of confidence going into the rest of the year.”
How demanding is this track to race on?
“This place keeps you on your toes. It’s a technical track. There’s a lot of fast corners and there’s some slow corners and there’s little room for error. I think we saw a dozen cars today that had a grille full of grass. It was just about making the least amount of mistakes. The heat really affects you mentally and it’s tough just to stay focused and you’ve got to take it one car at a time. This one is special for that reason.”
David Heinemeier Hansson, No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3
What happened to set you back during today’s race at VIR?
“My stint started awesome. We were in P2 when Jack (Hawksworth) pitted, and we came out in P2. I had a great a battle with Ben Keating just out of the gate. The car was looking really sharp. Then a couple of GTLMs came up on me – and they were clearly in a dogfight, so I tried to hang back, but that wasn't enough. Next thing I know, the BMW was flying like Dukes of Hazzard and took it out on me coming round the corner. That kind of killed it. “
Jack Hawksworth, No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3
How were you stints during today’s race?
“I was a second faster than everybody out there, but what can you say. David (Heinemeier Hansson) got tied up in that incident with the BMW, then there was a drive-through (penalty). The race was over for us when all that happened. I tried to get some positions back in my second stint. I tried to pass Andy Lally (44) and went off the track. But it’s all good. It’s racing.”
Mark Egger, Lexus Motorsports Manager
What does it mean to Lexus to get the second win for the RC F GT3 today?
“Our second win is another fantastic achievement with 3GT Racing. Dominik (Baumann) and Kyle (Marcelli) did a fantastic job racing clean throughout the whole day. The last two laps were a nail biter watching those times with Katherine Legge getting closer and closer and the checkered flag couldn’t come soon enough. They were able to hold her off and luckily took the checkered flag to finish first in class. It’s unfortunate the 15 Lexus had a racing incident with a different class car today, but Jack (Hawksworth) and David (Heinemeier Hansson) continue to put the RC F GT3 up on the front row in the pole position, running the fastest laps of the race and we know their time is just around the corner.”