F Performance Racing will not debut its new Lexus RC F GT3 in next weekend’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship round at Detroit as originally planned, with the Michigan-based team set to instead focus on testing and development of the GT Daytona class contender.
A series of parts supply issues has led to delays in the factory-backed team’s testing program, which was initially scheduled to begin last month, according to team principal Paul Gentilozzi.
“We’ve had supplier issues, in getting everyone to ship what we bought the day they said they were going to do it,” Gentilozzi told Sportscar365. “It’s a pretty complex number of parts and it only takes one guy to let you down. We’re recovering from that.”
While the car recently took part in a Lexus commercial shoot in Detroit, Gentilozzi said they are now ready to begin systems testing, prior to a series of performance evaluation tests in preparation for 2017.
Scott Pruett is expected to handle the initial tests, with Sage Karam joining him once the proper test program begins.
Gentilozzi said there’s no set schedule for the car’s race debut, with the focus instead on testing for the time being.
“We’re fortunate to not have that obligation,” he said. “We’re taking it one day at a time.
“This has always been an effort precedent to the delivery of the 2017 car this fall. We’re just doing homework at this point.
“We’re going to test, see how that goes and then worry about the other stuff.”
The team plans to run an all-new RC F GT3 next year, although some of the 2017-spec components will be outfitted on the interim car, which Gentilozzi took delivery of late last year.
“The team in Japan is developing the ’17 car,” Gentilozzi said. “They’ve been very open and communicative.
“We’re trying to learn as much as we can as to what their plan is as we go into the future and use as many common components as possible.”