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The Lexus RC F GT3 has secured a sensational first victory in the Blancpain GT Series at the Paul Ricard circuit in the south of France.

Emil Frey Lexus Racing's Alberto Costa Balboa took the lead just half a lap from the chequered flag in the six-hour Endurance Cup race to claim a memorable result for the team and for Lexus.

The weekend result sets the seal on a steady transformation of the team's fortunes in the RC F GT3's first full season of European GT competition.

The win delivers on the promise the car showed in scoring points and podium results in the previous rounds of the series at Brands Hatch and Silverstone.

Team principal Lorenz Frey said the last lap was nerve-racking with such close racing after six hours.

"We have now definitely proven that we have a very strong package and can demonstrate the performance of the Lexus and the expert work of our team," he said.

The race was rare in offering so much close action throughout its 1,000km distance. In a field of 51 starters, just one second covered the qualifying times of the top 24 cars.

At the start, Christian Klien in the No. 14 Lexus moved from fourth on the grid to second by the first corner, while team-mate Stéphane Ortelli in the sister No. 114 car also put in a strong first stint, racing from eighth to third within just a few laps.

At nightfall, both Lexus RC F GT3 looked on course for a podium finish, but the No. 114 was effectively ruled out of contention due to contact with other cars that required an unscheduled pit stop to repair damage to the steering.

Once the leading Ferrari suffered an engine failure and the second-placed McLaren received a drive-through penalty, the Lexus found itself running in second place by just 0.8 seconds with eight minutes to go.

On the final lap, Costa Balboa in the Lexus seized the initiative with a great overtaking move to secure an incredible first victory for Lexus in the Blancpain GT Series.

Emil Frey Racing now leads the Endurance Cup team's championship standings.

The next outing for the team will be a two-race Sprint Cup meeting at Misano, in Italy, from 22 to 24 June.


For more information, please contact:

Nick Raman
PR Manager
Lexus Australia
T: +61 3 9647 4524
M: +61 412 830 814


Lexus RC F GT3 powers to historic race win
Lexus RC F GT3 powers to historic race win