It was a test of perserverance for the return of Lexus racing in North America, with two major incidents at Rolex 24 at Daytona that saw one car retired and the other car forced into an extended pitstop.
The action started two hours into the race, when the No.14 RC F GT3 driven by Scott Pruett experienced a wobble that sent the car into the fence — here’s video of the crash:
Scott Pruett had this to say about the crash afterwards:
“Well, we were just rolling around. The Lexus was running. We were just putting in the hours, you know? Not exactly sure what took place. We were racing pretty hard there in a group. It felt like I got just a little nudge from behind. It could have been just the air taken off the rear wing cause we were in a pack or something, but it snapped pretty hard, pretty quick down in turn one and unfortunately it got into the fence on the left hand side, so I don’t know if we’ll get going again.
You just feel disappointed for all the guys, all the team, everybody that’s put this thing together and this is not how you want to start.”
The remaining No.15 RC F GT3 solidered on, making its way to the top of the class standings until race hour 9, when a tire blowout meant an extended pitstop stay:
(For more details, Jalopnik has video of the incident — can’t be embedded.)
Here’s what 3GT Racing team principal Paul Gentilozzi had to say about the race:
“I really am optimistic. We knew coming in we had a couple infrastructure hurdles – the front tire made it hard to tune the car to be effective – and we’re brand new to the series BOP. Now the series has a good database of information. It’s a long journey and we just made the first step and were in it for the full deal.”