Lexus is increasing its focus on motorsport in 2017 with the Lexus RC F GT3, aiming to strengthen the performance image of its brand with a growing audience of race enthusiasts worldwide. The all-new car, now homologated by the sport's governing body, the FIA, will participate in racing championships in USA and Japan, as well as a number of selected European races.
In the USA, Lexus has supplied two Lexus RC F GT3 to the 3GT Racing team, to compete in the GTD class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Series. In Japan, two cars are contesting the GT300 class of the Super GT Series with the LM corsa team. In Europe, Farnbacher Racing and Emil Frey Racing, the two teams which competed in VLN Endurance series with RC F GT3 prototype vehicles last year, will continue their development work this season, aiming to compete at higher levels in GT3 racing in Europe in the future. On this basis, they will compete in European races in 2017, including selected events in the International GT Open series.
In 2016, Lexus became the first Asian carmaker to win a VLN Endurance Championship race at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, with a RC F GT3 prototype claiming overall victory at the VLN9 race on 8 October. Lexus also achieved outstanding results last year with the RC F GT500, another racing car derived from the RC F. The 2016 RC F GT500 dominated the Super GT series in Japan last year, with Team SARD and drivers Heikki Kovalainen and Kohei Hirate respectively claiming the team and drivers' championship titles in the GT500 category.