Scott Pruett Teams Up with Lexus for 2016 Hill Award
Scott Pruett is going back to Lexus for 2016 as part of a new motorsports partnership with Paul Gentilozzi. Lexus will field its new RC F GT3 in the GT Daytona class of the IMSA SportsCar Championship.
The team is owned by Trans-Am champion Paul Gentilozzi and his partners, and it’s based out of East Lansing, MI. Driving duties will be shared by Pruett and the newly signed Sage Karam. Both drivers were recently released from their contracts with Chip Ganassi Racing, for which Pruett drove in NASCAR and Karam in the IndyCar Series. He won the Indy Lights title in 2013 and impressed with a third-place finish last year in Iowa.
Pruett, who in 2015 captured his record 60th career victory in major sports-car competition, is partnering with Gentilozzi and will be piloting the Lexus RC F GT3 in 2016 for the newly formed F Performance Racing. The new race car will be based upon the production Lexus RC F high-performance coupe that went on sale at the end of 2014.
Pruett had been testing and working with the Ford GT racing program, and it was believed he was a candidate to drive the Ford GT for Ford’s long-anticipated return to Le Mans next year. The Ford GT is also scheduled to run the complete World Endurance Championship in 2016. Pruett raced with Joey Hand for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates’ Ford DP program in the IMSA Tudor United SportsCar Championship in 2015.
Pruett and Lexus have a history of success both on and off the track. The Roseville, California, native drove Lexus-powered prototypes from 2004-2007 in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Championship Series, where he earned three driver championships and was the overall winner of the Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2007.
Pruett has won the 24 Hours of Daytona a total of five times, earned 12 class victories and a record 60 wins in American sports-car competition. Beyond his on-track feats, Pruett was an integral part of the development and global promotion of both the Lexus LFA supercar and the Lexus IS F performance sedan.
Gentilozzi has been involved in professional racing for more than 45 years. He owns five TransAm Series driver championships with three different brands. He also earned two Daytona 24 Hour class victories and an overall victory in the event in 1994.
On his path to more than 40 first-place trophies, Gentilozzi’s teams accomplished three additional driver championships for Pruett, Klaus Graf and Tomy Drissi, and 10 manufacturer championships in IMSA and TransAm combined.
This year’s IMSA SportsCar calendar kicked off this weekend at Daytona, and will head next to Sebring in mid-March, Long Beach in mid-April, Laguna Seca in early May, and Detroit in early June. July will see races at Watkins Glen, Mosport, and Lime Rock, followed by rounds at Road America and VIR in August. The season concludes at Austin in September and Road Atlanta at the beginning of October.