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HAWKSWORTH: A Breakthrough Year for 3GT, Lexus

3GT Racing’s Jack Hawksworth checks into Sportscar365 ahead of next month’s season-ending Motul Petit Le Mans…

Photo: Mike Levitt/IMSA

It’s been a while since my last blog after Detroit and with only one race left in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season it seems like a great time to give you all an update on our progress.

I’ll start by saying this season has been a real breakthrough year. The team has recorded two race wins, four pole positions and six fastest race laps from the ten races so far.

It’s a testament to the whole team and everyone involved in the project that in such a short period of time they have been able to turn the Lexus RC F GT3 into a race winner and one of the most competitive GT3 cars in America.

I’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of the team from the first tests with the RC F back in September 2016 and I couldn’t be happier to see 3GT achieve the results they have all worked so hard for.

From a personal perspective I have enjoyed taking four pole positions and recording the fastest race lap on five occasions this year. My engineer Nicola, co-driver David Heinemeier Hansson and the whole crew on the No. 15 car have put in a stellar effort on many occasions.

Photo: Scott LePage/IMSA

Unfortunately, we have come up short in terms of race results.

Whether it was an incident on the track, in pit lane or strategically we have always found ourselves just off the podium. As frustrating as this has been, I think we can still be proud of the performance and reliability of the car which has been almost faultless.

We are now looking ahead to the final race of the season, Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. This is a track that should suit our car quite well and a race that I love.

I hold the lap record there in both PC and GTD, so it is a track on which I’ve always been able to find a good rhythm. Our main focus during the course of the weekend will be to get a handle on rear tire degradation.

It has been something that has hurt us in the past but in recent races like VIR we have been able to manage this a little better and I believe with some productive work during the practice sessions we should be able to put together a good car for the long runs.

We will also be working towards optimizing our car for the cooler night-time conditions as the last two hours of the race will take place in darkness. With all being well, this is when we will be on the attack and we will need all the pace we can get.

Photo: Rick Dole/IMSA

I am also looking forward to working with Sean Rayhall, who will be joining us again for the first time since Sebring. He’s quick, lives in Atlanta and was always really fast when we competed against each other in LMPC.

On top of that David has really been getting to grips with RC F GT3 car over the last few races and doing a great job against a lot of very fast Silver drivers. I expect he will be very comfortable in Atlanta and I think with those guys behind the wheel we will certainly have a strong driver line up for this one!

Lastly, I’d like to thank everyone at 3GT and Lexus for all their hard work and support through the last two years. Petit Le Mans is a great opportunity for us to end the season on a high and how fitting it would be to finally get the number 15 on the top step of the podium.

One thing is for sure, I know we will give it our best shot!

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

Jack Hawksworth (@JackHawkRace ‏) drives the No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

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