PHOENIX (April 20, 2001) - In Lexus' first race with new IS 300 compact sport sedans, Team Lexus ran as high as third in the Grand-Am Cup endurance race before having to retire both entries with ignition problems at Phoenix International Raceway...
PHOENIX (April 20, 2001) - In Lexus' first race with new IS 300 compact sport sedans, Team Lexus ran as high as third in the Grand-Am Cup endurance race before having to retire both entries with ignition problems at Phoenix International Raceway tonight. Led by team owner/driver Chuck Goldsborough, the two-car team ran solid for the first third of the three-hour event, the first-ever race for the new IS 300s in the Sports Touring (ST) class of the Grand American Road Racing Association.
Goldsborough, of Baltimore, Md., and local Phoenix driver Terry Borcheller started the No. 0 IS 300 in 10th when the green flag dropped this evening. As the sun set, the duo worked their way up to third before the electrical problem surfaced prior to the first round of pit stops. The No. 2 IS 300, driven by John Morton, of El Segundo, Calif., and Larry Schumaker, Cincinnati, Ohio, started 9th before experiencing the same problem 10 minutes after Goldsborough and Borcheller.
"It's too bad. We had a good race going up to that point," Goldsborough commented. "Running third, and gaining quickly on the second-place car, shows the IS 300 will be very competitive."
Morton retired the No. 2 IS 300 1:35 into the race on lap 56 (for a 12th-place finish), while Borcheller kept the No. 0 car out in search of points before having to retire on lap 85 at 2:05 (11th). The event marked Lexus' first official venture into racing competition. The company is providing assistance to Goldsborough's team, while Toyota Racing Development (TRD), U.S.A. is supplying technical engine support. The team will expand to three IS 300s later in the season. Goldsborough's Team Lexus ran 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.
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 that produces 215 hp. The high-revving engine shares the strong low-end and mid-range torque features of its production counterpart, while the compact sport sedan inherently provides great balance and steering response.
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. 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.