Lexus will compete in the annual 24 Hours of Nürburgring, with its LC coupe tackling ‘The Green Hell’ for the second consecutive year.
Following its inaugural running at the event in 2018, in which the car completed the full 24 hours, the Gazoo Racing team has put in a rigorous testing programme, covering thousands of kilometres, with the aim of improving the overall performance package and completing more laps in 2019.
Taking part in the production-based SP-Pro class, the Lexus LC will be piloted by the same four driver line-up as in 2018, further aiding the car’s development. Endurance veteran Takeshi Tsuchiya leads Nurburgring expert, Naoya Gamo, alongside rising stars, Takamitsu Matsui and Yuichi Nakayama.
Changes to the car over the 2018 event, during which the Gazoo team endured a four hour period of pit work in order to complete the race, include a number of aerodynamic updates, body enhancements to maximise low-slung weight and work to optimise overall performance of the brakes, tyres and electronics. Engine development work has also been undertaken to reduce friction and increase output from the 2UR-GSE engine.
Naoya Gamo has been instrumental in steering the LC’s set-up for 2019 and believes the coupe to be much improved, with the relationship between car and driver far smoother than last year:
“Through testing in Japan and Germany, I hope to pursue more than just better lap times. I hope we can build a car that is more comfortable and fun to drive.”
Chiefly, for Lexus, the development work put into the Gazoo Racing LC coupe all contributes to informing development of the technologies used within its road-going range. The Gazoo Racing LC’s engine is a modified version of the 5.0-litre powerplant found in the 10-speed, 471bhp LC500.
The Nürburgring 24 Hours takes place over the weekend of 22-23 June, with competitors tackling the full 25km, 170-plus corner circuit. Toyota Gazoo Racing and Lexus have competed in the event since 2007, with the aim of refining team members and making ever better cars.
Additional quote: Lexus LC Chief Mechanic, Toshiyaki Sekiya – “Last year, Nürburgring showed us how demanding it is when we competed for the first time with the Lexus LC. The results were quite disappointing. This year, to overcome last year’s issues, we have added significant improvements to produce the 2019 Lexus LC. We have carried out numerous tests, driving 3,000km in Japan and another 3,000km after coming to Nürburgring. Nürburgring presented us with issues each time we drove and the drivers, engineers and mechanics came together to make numerous improvements. I feel that both car and people have grown significantly. While there is little time left before the 24 hours race, we will continue to refine both cars and people up to the time our cars will be on the grid. We will aim to achieve our goals and take on the challenge of not giving up until the very end, no matter what happens. I hope all of you will support us.”
Hi-res images of the Lexus LC and each of the drivers are available to download from https://www.tgr-dam.com/download/detail/media/motorsports/2/1485