Emil Frey Lexus Racing heading to Spa for second race weekend of the season
- Round #2 of the International GT Open after winning in the opening race in Estoril
- Albert Costa Balboa and Philipp Frommenwiler behind the wheel of the #54 Lexus RC F GT3
Safenwil (CH), 23 May 2017:
With taking victory in the inaugural race of the International GT Open Championship in Estoril, Emil Frey Lexus Racing has had a great start to their test and development program for the 2017 season. In the weeks since returning from Portugal, the team has checked all new car components for possible damages, prepared the car for the next race and is now heading into the second championship round of the International GT Open to no other track but the famous Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium).
Emil Frey Lexus Racing started into the new season with a completely new and for the team for the most part unknown car. However, the Swiss team quickly understood the Lexus RC F GT3 and stormed to victory in the opening round of the International GT Open Championship in Estoril four weeks ago. Despite not conducting any test-days between the two race meetings, the team is optimistic about racing in Spa – a track, that is known as the rollercoaster ride through the Ardennes.
“It was a great reward for everyone in the team to win the very first race for us with the new Lexus”, says Hannes Gautschi, Team Coordinator Emil Frey Lexus Racing. “After Estoril, we had some good feedback from the drivers after the two races and were able to obtain further knowledge about the car. We did not go testing, but have spent immense time in the workshop analysing all the data from Estoril and feel we are ready for a new race track and a new weekend.”
In addition to the car working well, the newly-found Lexus crew also worked well as a team and so did the driver pairing of Spaniard Albert Costa Balboa, who won his first-ever GT race in Estoril, and Swiss Philipp Frommenwiler.
“We had a very good weekend in Estoril and everyone worked hard,” says Lorenz Frey, Team Principal Emil Frey Lexus Racing. “It was a great achievement by everyone in the team and also for Toyota Technocraft. The car is competing all over the world this year and we proved that we can do our part on the European side to help develop this car. Just the week after we and Farnbacher Racing won in Estoril, the Japanese team that is racing in the Super GT300 also took victory with the Lexus RC F GT3. We are very proud to be representing the Lexus brand in Europe and to be part of such a global program. We are now heading to Spa, which is certainly an exciting circuit and we are entering without any handicap from the previous race.”
The race weekend in Spa will start with two 60-minutes free practice sessions on Friday, 26th May 2017. The first qualifying will take place on Saturday, with the first race of 60 minutes to follow. Sunday sees the second qualifying with the 70-minute race.
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Driver Quotes Emil Frey Lexus Racing #54
Albert Costa Balboa (ESP)
“I am quite confident heading to Spa for this great race, because everybody knows it is probably one of the greatest tracks and actually my favourite one. With the great result we had in Estoril, the whole team has come together even closer as we know now that all the hard work is paying off. Estoril was a very bumpy track and Spa is very wide, open and longer, which I think will be beneficial for us. I really enjoy driving the Lexus RC F GT3 and it is just great to see the progress we are making. We are now in fourth place in the championship and we are aiming to push really hard this weekend to take the lead.”
Philipp Frommenwiler (CH)
“After our win in Estoril the expectations have slightly shifted and risen. It is difficult for us to evaluate at the moment how the car will drive in Spa, because it is a completely different track layout. I know the track very well from my days racing in the ADAC GT Masters and the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. I am very much looking forward to the race weekend, because I am really happy to join the Emil Frey Lexus Racing Team again.”