08 May 2019
LEXUS VICTORIES SPAN THE PACIFIC
Lexus has enjoyed motorsport success on both sides of the Pacific with nail-biting wins in the latest rounds of US sports-car racing and the Japanese Super GT series.
In the United States, the No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3 piloted by Jack Hawksworth and Richard Heistand was victorious in the GTD class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race in Ohio.
The win marks the third for Lexus in IMSA GTD competition, first for the AIM VASSER SULLIVAN (AVS) team and the second victory for the RC F GT3 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
A second AVS Lexus, the No. 12 RC F GT3, finished fifth with co-drivers Townsend Bell and Frankie Montecalvo.
Hawksworth described the thrilling final stages of the race as "good cat and mouse" with competing cars being faster on different points of the circuit.
"Richard (Heistand) did a fantastic job in qualifying and gave us an awesome opportunity in the race," he said. "Great first stint, and there at the end I got the opportunity to take the lead and did it."
Lexus is currently second in the unofficial GTD manufacturer point standings following three races. The. No. 12 Lexus maintains second in the GTD championship point standings, while the No. 14 moved up to third in points with the win.
Meanwhile, at a rain-soaked Fuji International Speedway in Japan, the No. 38 Lexus LC 500 of LEXUS TEAM ZENT CERUMO came out on top after a lengthy battle with its closest rivals in the second-longest race of the season.
Yuji Tachikawa and Hiroaki Ishiura achieved their first victory for the season while the No. 39 DENSO KOBELCO SARD LC500 with drivers Heikki Kovalainen and Yuichi Nakayama finished fourth.
Tachikawa said he felt under pressure to win at the team's home race, especially after starting in the middle of the grid due to wrong tyre selection for qualifying.
"We had no idea what was going to happen in the rain, but it was good that we were able to come into the front at the beginning," he said. "After the track became dry, we had to concentrate until the very end to race with our rivals."
The win leaves both LEXUS TEAM ZENT CERUMO and its drivers in second place in the manufacturer and driver championships.
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Victory for the Lexus RC F GT3 in US sports-car racing.
LEXUS TEAM ZENT CERUMO LC 500 on its way to a home victory in the premier GT500 class of Japan's Super GT series