Lexus RCF

Emil Frey Lexus Racing celebrates debut in Portugal at GT Open season-opener

  • European debut for both Emil Frey Lexus Racing and Lexus at Portuguese track in Estoril
  • First race to kick-off test and development program within a competitive field

Safenwil (CH), 25 April 2017:

With the International GT Open Championship starting into their 2017 season, Emil Frey Lexus Racing is looking ahead to a special and exciting weekend. Both the Swiss team and the Japanese car manufacturer Lexus will be celebrating their debut at the prestigious former Formula 1 track in Estoril (Portugal).

During the Geneva International Motor Show, Emil Frey Lexus Racing announced their test and development program for the Lexus RC F GT3 for this year.
The 4.2-km-long circuit, which is located just outside the Portuguese capital of Lisbon, will be a good starting point for the team, since the car has undergone intensive testing on a similar track layout in Japan.

“Toyota Racing Development has completed a number of tests with the Lexus RC F GT3 on a similar track in Japan and therefore the track layout, like the one in Estoril, should be beneficial for us“, says Hannes Gautschi, Team Coordinator. „We are very excited ahead of the season and it will start to get serious with the first race, because everyone will let the cat out of the bag and we will really know where the car stands and what all the testing so far was worth for when we see the first chequered flag.“

Emil Frey Lexus Racing is competing with one Lexus RC F GT3, featuring the starting number 54. The team´s new entry, Swiss driver Philipp Frommenwiler, will take to the wheel alongside the experienced Albert Costa Balboa from Spain. For the team, the track and the championship are new grounds to explore.  

“It is the first time that we are entering the Lexus RC F GT3 in a higher level of competition“, says Lorenz Frey, Team Principal. „Our main goal is to observe our competitors and to analyse the strengths of our car. We are confident about the car´s performance. Even though Philipp has not driven on that track before, he has an experienced team-mate with Albert on his side. It would be great to achieve a good result in the first race of the year and I am confident that we can do so.“

The race weekend in Estoril (Portugal) will start with two 60-minutes free practice sessions on Friday, 28th April 2017. The first qualifying will take place on Saturday, with the first race of 70 minutes to follow. Sunday sees the second qualifying with the 60-minute race.

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Driver Quotes Emil Frey Lexus Racing #54

Philipp Frommenwiler (CH)

“Estoril is one of the few tracks that I don´t know yet, so I am preparing myself with a lot of Sim-Racing. Estoril will also mark my debut in racing a Lexus. It is difficult to say where we will be compared to our competitors, but we have a strong driver combinations and a great car, so I believe we can deliver a good result.’’

Albert Costa Balboa (ESP)
“I have very fond memories of Estoril, because I achieved my very first pole position during my Formula Career there. I am looking forward to this great circuit! For the first race, I just want to do a good job together with my team and discover the car to go as quickly as possible. We can end the weekend in a satisfying good result and I am confident that we will start the year in good shape!”