Lexus has laid out plans for its new RC-F GT3 car to compete in North America beginning next year.
The car, which launched at the Geneva Motor Show in 2014, made its U.S. debut this week at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, where Lexus Group Vice President and General Manager, Jeff Bracken, revealed the car’s launch schedule.
“This car’s mission is to spearhead the company’s first global racing effort while competing against some of the more storied marks on the racing scene,” Bracken said.
“We expect RC-F GT3 to soon pass homologation. After that we plan to work with key race car development partners to enhance our competitiveness before privateer racing teams field their own Lexus RC-F GT3 teams.”
While the car will make its debut in Europe this year, with customer teams expected to campaign it in both the Blancpain Endurance Series and ADAC GT Masters, Bracken confirmed the RC-F will compete in a yet-to-be-determined series in the U.S. in 2016.
Pirelli World Challenge and the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship would be the only two options for the FIA GT3-spec machine, which features a 540 horsepower V8 engine.
Lexus and parent company Toyota’s last North American sports car venture came in GRAND-AM with the supply of DP engines for select teams, including Chip Ganassi Racing.
“We’ve got the itch to race again,” Bracken said. “You may recall, in the U.S, from 2006 to 2008, Lexus enjoyed success with three consecutive wins at the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
“This time, with R-CF GT3, Lexus is hoping to have the brand racing on an unprecedented scale.”