Team Lexus To Campaign Two IS 300s in Speed Touring Car CENTENNIAL, Colo. (February 28, 2002)-Team Lexus has entered two Lexus IS 300s for the 2002 SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge Touring Car Championship, with drivers Chuck Goldsborough,...
Team Lexus To Campaign Two IS 300s in Speed Touring Car
CENTENNIAL, Colo. (February 28, 2002)-Team Lexus has entered two Lexus IS 300s for the 2002 SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge Touring Car Championship, with drivers Chuck Goldsborough, Andy Lally and Jeff Altenburg sharing the driving duties.
In 2000, Lexus and Goldsborough joined forces to create Team Lexus to campaign the IS 300 in the Grand-Am Cup series and then the Speed Touring Car Championship. Despite being a developmental season, Goldsborough finished third in the ST class driver points (six out of first place) and the team enjoyed a win at Virginia International Raceway.
In 2002, the team will continue running the Grand-Am Cup endurance series, but will add two Speed Touring Cars to its stable with the new Toyota Racing Development (TRD)-built 2.8-liter straight-six engine to conform to Touring Car's 2.8-liter displacement limit. While the team had hoped to be ready for the season opener at Sebring, March 15, engine availability issues have postponed its World Challenge debut until Mosport International Raceway in May.
"We're cautiously optimistic about our entry into World Challenge," said Goldsborough. "There are a lot of differences between the World Challenge and Grand-Am rule books. The World Challenge rules are much more liberal when applied correctly, so it's not a matter of just changing engines and decals. The only similarities are the bare shell, transmission and differential.
"We're excited to start the Touring Car program. People have really recognized this series as one of the most entertaining and competitive in racing today."
"The Lexus IS 300's race-car characteristics are innate," said Wayne Szabo, Lexus sales promotion manager. "The production-based Speed World Challenge offers a great series in which to showcase its performance capabilities." The commitments of running two series will occasionally create a schedule conflict, which is why Team Lexus will rotate drivers, with Goldsborough and Lally set to do most events, and Altenburg filling in.
The reigning Grand-Am SRP II Champion, Lally, 27, also has considerable experience in touring-type cars and ran three events in 2001 with Team Lexus.
"Speed Touring Car is one of the toughest series going right now, but we're committed to putting Lexus onto the podium and into victory lane," said Lally, who will also run in the Grand-Am SRP II and Grand-Am Cup series.
Former Trans-Am Series Rookie of the Year Altenburg looks to carry momentum he started at the Speed Touring Car season finale at Road Atlanta in 2001, when he finished second in both races in a fill-in role. When he gets behind the wheel of the Lexus, he'll be out to maintain his super-sub status.