Emil Frey Lexus Racing in battle for GT Open Championship Title in inaugural year with Lexus RC F GT3
• Drivers Costa Balboa / Frommenwiler in third place with 14 points to catch the leaders
• Home race for Spaniard Albert Costa Balboa
• Team focuses on championship win in debut year with Lexus RC F GT3
Safenwil (CH), 24 October 2017:
With the final round of the International GT Open taking place at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya (Spain) this coming weekend, Emil Frey Lexus Racing is looking at an extraordinary season, having secured three race victories and a third-place podium finish. With the possibility of scoring a total of 30 points throughout the weekend (15 points for each race), the Swiss team is still in the contest of winning the Drivers’ Championship title in what has been the premiere year with the all-new homologated Lexus RC F GT3.
After the last round at Monza (Italy), where the Lexus crew brought home two Top-10 results, the drivers Albert Costa Balboa and Philipp Frommenwiler are currently running in third place with 83 points, 14 points behind the leaders. The team is also set to secure third place in the teams standings.
Each year, the Formula One Circuit located just outside the Spanish metropole of Barcelona, hosts the final round of the International GT Open, attracting even more respected drivers and teams to join in on the showdown. The entry list sees 26 confirmed GT3 cars whilst a total of five contenders are fighting for the championship titles.
“We have been focusing on preparing the Lexus RC F GT3 as best as possible since Monza, as we have not been able to go testing”, says Hannes Gautschi, Technical Coordinator Emil Frey Lexus Racing. “We are ready to take on the battle, but it will be a tough one. Especially the Lamborghinis and BMWs are very strong, not least because they have been competing in this championship for several years and we are still the newcomers in the paddock. But we have proven our ground and are excited to race this weekend at Barcelona.”
Despite some ups and downs throughout the year, Emil Frey Lexus Racing always managed to turn a disappointing qualifying result into a solid race finish and this coming weekend, the team, which is based near Zürich, will give their best one more time this season. “Of course, we are hoping for a good result to finish both races on the podium and secure the championship title for our drivers”, says Lorenz Frey, Team Principal Emil Frey Lexus Racing. “It would be absolutely phenomenal to win the championship title in our first full season racing the new Lexus RC F GT3 on European ground. I think, we will have a home advantage with Albert, he knows the track very well and is even more motivated than usual. No matter how this weekend will end up, we can already be proud of ourselves for the good job we have done all year.”
The race weekend at Barcelona will start with two 60-minutes free practice sessions on Friday, 27 October 2017. The first qualifying will take place on Saturday at 11.15am, with the first race of 70 minutes to follow at 4.00pm. Sunday sees the second qualifying at 09.40am with the 60-minute race at 2.15pm.
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Driver Quotes Emil Frey Lexus Racing #54
Albert Costa Balboa (ESP)
“The motivation is always high, but this time it´s even higher, because I am racing on my home track from which I only live 30 minutes away. 14 points behind the leaders is quite a lot, but anything can happen. I think, it is already a great trophy to fight for the championship. Even if we finish in the Top-3 it would be a great result as we entered this championship with a brand-new car and suddenly, we found ourselves fighting for the title. It´s been five years, since I last raced at Barcelona and I cannot wait to race in front of my family and friends. Last time I raced there I won the championship with 15 points behind, so everything is possible.”
Philipp Frommenwiler (CH)
“I am super excited ahead of the weekend, because I feel we are well-prepared for the last round. We had a very good test at Barcelona in August and we saw that the track suits our Lexus very well. Of course, we are in the title race and we will do everything to secure the title.“