Lexus Aims For Team, Driver Championships At Season-Ending Daytona Race DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 31, 2001) - Heading into this weekend's season-ending Grand-Am Cup race at Daytona International Speedway, Team Lexus - powered by the Lexus IS 300...
Lexus Aims For Team, Driver Championships At Season-Ending Daytona Race
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 31, 2001) - Heading into this weekend's season-ending Grand-Am Cup race at Daytona International Speedway, Team Lexus - powered by the Lexus IS 300 - looks to parlay victory in the four-hour endurance race on Friday, Nov. 2, into team and driver championships in the compact sports sedan's first racing season.
Team Lexus is currently 11 points off the pace in the Grand-Am Cup Sports Touring (ST) class standings, while driver/team owner Chuck Goldsborough, Baltimore, Md., is fourth in the driver's championship, 17 points back. Having missed one race (Trois Riviéres), Terry Borcheller, Phoenix, Ariz., is also in 10th-place overall.
The new Lexus IS 300 made its motorsports debut this season in April at Phoenix International Raceway, and it quickly showed its racing potential by running in the top three most of the race. After leading its third-ever race at Mid-Ohio, the IS 300 earned its first pole position in its fourth event at Mosport. In June at Virginia International Speedway, Goldsborough and Borcheller won the IS 300's first race in just its fifth start.
Team Lexus will field three IS 300s in the four-hour, season-ending race and one Lexus GS 400, which was campaigned at the season-opening race at Daytona in January.
"I think the IS 300s will do great this weekend," said Goldsborough of the compact sports sedan. "We'll get to stretch its legs on the high-banked turns and long straights. The cars should take us to the podium, and hopefully a championship."
Also competing with Team Lexus at Daytona will be Borcheller; Jean-Francois Dumolin, Trois Riviéres, Quebec; James Gue, Atlanta, Ga.; Rick Fairbanks, Greenville, S.C.; Tim Gaffney, Freehold, N.J.; Darrin Law, Phoenix, Ariz.; and Michael Levitas, Baltimore, Md.
The IS 300 will be making its debut at the historic Daytona track this Friday, which will also be the compact sports sedan's first four-hour endurance race. The Grand-Am Cup series typically runs three-hour endurance races with the exception of the season-ending race at Daytona. Up to 25 entries will race in the ST class, while close to 70 total entrants in the four classes (ST, Super Grand Sport, Grand Sport and Compact 2000) will start the Grand-Am Cup race.
The Lexus IS 300, while putting Goldsborough and the team in championship position, has earned immediate success in its first racing campaign. In addition to the victory at Virginia, the compact sports sedan has earned a pole at Mosport and four podium positions (Virginia, Road America and Trois Riviéres).
Team Lexus will run the two IS 300s it debuted at Phoenix, a new IS 300 race car, and one of the GS 400s the team ran during the 1999 and 2000 Cup seasons. Borcheller has run the entire season with Team Lexus, and Fairbanks (Daytona opener, Watkins Glen and Road America) will be in his fourth stint. Dumolin (Trois Riviéres), Gue (Daytona opener) and Law (Trois Riviéres) will be in their second stints with the team.
Practice for Grand-Am Cup race at Daytona will be on Thursday, Nov. 1 and Friday, Nov. 2; the four-hour race will begin at 6 p.m. ET on Friday, Nov. 2.
As Team Lexus battles for driver and team championships in the IS 300's inaugural season, off-season testing will begin shortly in preparation for next year. The team will run another full season in the Grand-Am Cup series in 2002 with the possibility of running select races in the Speedvision World Challenge series.
Grand-Am Cup is a street-stock endurance series sanctioned by the Grand American Road Racing Series. It is run in conjunction with the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series at prestigious North American road courses including Daytona, Road America and Watkins Glen. The Grand-Am Cup features high-performance, street-stock race vehicles from most auto makes including Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW.
LEXUS GRAND-AM CUP "FAST FACTS"
EVENT: Grand American Series Finale
DATE: Nov. 1-3, 2001
LOCATION: Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Fla.
No. 0 Lexus IS 300
No. 2 Lexus IS 300
No. 3 Lexus IS 300
No. 4 Lexus GS 400
Chuck Goldsborough, Baltimore, Md.
Terry Borcheller, Phoenix, Az.
Jean-Francois Dumolin, Trois Riviéres, Quebec, Canada
Rick Fairbanks, Greenville, S.C.
Tim Gaffney, Freehold, N.J.
James Gue, Atlanta, Ga.
Darrin Law, Phoenix, Az.
Michael Levitas, Baltimore, Md.
Grand-Am Cup Practice
Thursday, Nov. 1
* 6:40 - 7:10 p.m. ET
* 8:15 - 9 p.m. ET
Friday, Nov. 2
* 1 - 1:45 p.m. ET
Grand-Am Cup Race (Friday, Nov. 2)
* 4 hour race - 6 p.m. ET