Emil Frey Lexus Racing announces its 2017 program with Lexus RC F GT3

  • Emil Frey Lexus Racing to run development and testing program in 2017
  • Lexus RC F GT3 to participate in European races

Safenwil (CH), 15 March 2017:
Whilst the 87th edition of the Geneva International Motor Show is taking place, Emil Frey Lexus Racing has announced its 2017 program for the Lexus RC F GT3 for the European region. As per the previous year, the experienced team will compete with one Lexus RC F GT3 with the aim to complete a thorough development program.

Following the successful end to the year last season, the Japanese car manufacturer is putting all its focus into the further development of the Lexus RC F GT3. The new GT3-car is based on the RC F, the brand´s high-performance Coupé, to compete in GT3 racing across the globe. With the Swiss family-run business Emil Frey Lexus Racing, there will be a well-known component and partner from the past years working on the project. The aim is to not only develop the RC F GT3, but also to evolve and enhance the car in order to present a competitive race car for the international GT Racing stage for 2018.

The all-new prototype generation car raced at the ninth VLN Endurance Championship at the Nürburgring last year and the German team Farnbacher Racing crossed the finishing line as winners, making Lexus the very first Asian carmaker to secure an overall win in the VLN Championship.

For 2017, Emil Frey Lexus Racing is aiming to run a development and testing program, starting with the first race at the GT Open Championship at the Portuguese track in Estoril. Further race attendances will be announced in due course, however, there are no plans to attend any VLN meetings.

Emil Frey Lexus Racing will run one Lexus RC F GT3 with a new driver pairing. Lorenz Frey will remain behind the wheel of the GT3 machine. However, he will take turns at the races with fellow Swiss racing driver and the team´s new entry Philipp Frommenwiler, who was crowned Rookie of the Porsche Carrera Cup Germany in 2011 and has vast experience in long-distance races, such as 24h Nürburgring and 12h Sebring, in which he once narrowly missed the podium. The Spaniard Albert Costa Balboa, who previously ran with the team´s Jaguar program, will share the car in 2017 too.

„We are very excited to take the Lexus project to a new level and purely focus on the progress of the RC F GT3“, says Lorenz Frey, Team Principal and driver at Emil Frey Lexus Racing. „We learned a lot last year and now we can put all what we have experienced, our efforts and strength into making this race machine even better. There will be no pressure on results and we can simply take each race as a testing ground. But at the same time, it would be great to set one or two milestones.“

Emil Frey Lexus Racing´s Team Coordinator, Hannes Gautschi, is also looking with excitement ahead to start the new season with the RC F GT3 model. „Toyota Technocraft have done a great job with the development of the car over the past few months. We are now ready to race side-by-side with well-established, European brands with a strong and competitive race car. We are very pleased to be part of the global Lexus project and to be one of only two teams in Europe to get the chance and the opportunity to race with this car.“

Furthermore, the German team Farnbacher Racing will complete Lexus´ European program with running the second RC F GT3 in a European Championship. Above that, the Japanese car brand is also racing in GT3 categories all over the world. Earlier this year, Lexus already introduced the RC F GT3 at the 24 Hours of Daytona, where the car officially celebrated its debut. In Japan, Lexus will participate with two RC F GT3 in the SUPER GT Series whilst the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in the USA will also see the entry of a Lexus GT3.

With the 2017 GT3 season already in full swing, Lexus´ first race in Europe will take place from 29th until 30th April in Estoril, Portugal.

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Driver Portraits Emil Frey Lexus RC F GT3

Lorenz Frey
Date of Birth: 20 August 1990
Place of Birth: Zürich (Switzerland)
Favourite Track: Nordschleife
Experience in: ADAC Procar, Blancpain Endurance, DMV, VLN, Suzuki Cup
Phillipp Frommenwiler
Date of Birth: 27 August 1989
Hometown: Kreuzlingen (Switzerland)
Favourite Track: Spa-Francorchamps
Experience in: Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, 24h Nürburgring (2015 10th place), 24h Spa, 12h Sebring, VLN
Albert Costa Balboa
Date of Birth: 02 May 1990
Place of Birth: Barcelona (Spain)
Favourite Track: Spa-Francorchamps
Achievements: World Champion Karting, Champion Eurocup & WEC Renault 2.0
4th place World Series by Renault, Champion World Series by Renault Mégane Trophy