TORRANCE, Calif. (April 17, 2001) - Lexus will make its first official foray into racing competition when it debuts the new IS 300 compact sports sedan at the Grand-Am Cup event at Phoenix International Raceway, April 18-21. Lexus will field two...
TORRANCE, Calif. (April 17, 2001) - Lexus will make its first official foray into racing competition when it debuts the new IS 300 compact sports sedan at the Grand-Am Cup event at Phoenix International Raceway, April 18-21.
Lexus will field two IS 300s with veteran road-racing driver/owner Chuck Goldsborough in the Grand-Am Cup series' Sport Touring class against production competitors like BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Acura, among others. Goldsborough's Team Lexus has run GS 400s independently the last two years in the series formerly know as the Motorola Cup North American Street Stock Championship, which is now operated by the Grand American Road Racing Association. Lexus will provide assistance to Goldsborough's team, while Toyota Racing Development (TRD), U.S.A. will lend technical engine support. The IS 300s will be piloted by Goldsborough, Terry Borcheller and two drivers to be announced later. The team will expand to four IS 300s later in the season.
"The Grand-Am Cup street-stock touring series is a perfect place to showcase the IS 300's passion and performance," said Mike Wells, vice president of marketing at Lexus. "The fans of Grand-Am racing are the same youthful, educated people that are drawn to Lexus, particularly the IS 300."
For the Grand-Am Cup series, the virtually stock Lexus IS 300 is powered by a production-based 3.0-liter, inline six-cylinder engine; TRD will provide a new engine-management system. The high-revving engine will share the strong low-end and mid-range torque features of its production counterpart, while the compact sport sedan's great balance and steering response will thrive in the race environment.
Goldsborough's Team Lexus earned two victories, six podium finishes and received the A.N. Deringer award for most positions gained while racing GS 400s in 1999 and 2000. Goldsborough and Borcheller, racing a GS 400, finished second in the Sports Touring (ST) class at the 2001 season opener at Daytona and eighth in the follow-up race at Homestead. Borcheller is currently fifth and Goldsborough sixth in points in the ST class while Lexus is third in manufacturer points. Goldsborough, of Baltimore, Md., has raced competitively for 18 years and has served as an instructor at the Skip Barber and Bertil Roos Racing Schools.
"We were impressed with Chuck Goldsborough's team and felt Team Lexus was a good partner to debut our new compact sports sedan to the racing world," Wells commented.
An IS 300 also is the latest edition to a prestigious group of Lexus vehicles to become members of the CART Pace Car team, following the GS 400 and SC 400. The IS 300 pace car made its debut at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, April 6-8.