By Lexus Owners Club
The Lexus RC F GT3 secured a sensational first victory in the Blancpain GT Series at the Paul Ricard circuit in the South of France on Saturday. Emil Frey Lexus Racing’s Alberto Costa Balboa took the lead just half a lap from the chequered flag in the six-hour Endurance Cup race to claim a memorable result for the team and for Lexus
The result sets the seal on a steady transformation of the team’s fortunes in the RC F GT3’s first full season of European GT competition and delivers on the promise the car showed in scoring points and podium results in the previous rounds of the series at Brands Hatch and Silverstone.
Lorenz Frey, Team Principal, said: “We still can’t believe it. The last lap was nerve-racking, nobody would have thought that after six hours it would be so close. We have now definitely proven that we have a very strong package and can demonstrate the performance of the Lexus and the expert work of our team.”
The race was rare in offering so much close action throughout its 1,000km distance. In a field of 51 starters, just one second covered the qualifying times of the top 24 cars. At the start, Christian Klien in the No14 Lexus moved from fourth on the grid to second by the first corner, while team-mate Stéphane Ortelli in the sister No114 car also put in a strong first stint, racing from eighth to third within just a few laps.
At nightfall, both Lexus RC F GT3 looked on course for a podium finish. Norbert Siedler in the No114 had a strong fight with the No7 Bentley, but light contact meant he couldn’t progress beyond fourth before handing over to Ortelli. He too suffered contact with another car, which required an unscheduled pit stop to repair damage to the steering. This effectively ruled the Lexus out of contention, but the team were able to use the remaining hours to test and prepare the car for the highlight of the season, the 24-hours of Spa.
Meanwhile, Marco Seefried was running in a good fourth spot in the No14 car when he handed the wheel to Costa Balboa for the last hour of the race. Once the leading No72 Ferrari suffered an engine failure and the second-placed McLaren received a drive-through penalty, the Lexus found itself running in second place. Costa Balboa was just 0.8 seconds behind the leading Bentley with eight minutes to go. On the final lap, he seized the initiative with a great overtaking move through turn 10, securing an incredible first victory for Lexus in the Blancpain GT Series.
Emil Frey Racing now leads the Endurance Cup team’s championship standings. The next outing for the team will be a two-race Sprint Cup meeting at Misano, in Italy, from 22 to 24 June.
New to this Lexus ES 350 Club: I always said I'd own a Lexus by the time I turned 60 (just as my Dad said he would own a Lincoln by the time he turned 60 - and he did). 2 weeks ago (and 5 months before my 60th bd), I did it. I now own a Deep Sea Blue Mica 2015 ES 350 with 44k miles in excellent shape. Prior to this, I drove a Toyota Avalon Limited, and I thought the ride could not be any more quiet or more smooth. I was wrong. The Lexus is far and away more solid, quiet, comfortable and smooth. I made a great choice for under $24k.
Hello! My name is Jake and I have an 04 RX330 with 230,000 miles on it. Not certain on the history of it but I have gotten it with no heat and an overheating problem(EDIT: previous owners said it has overheated on them). I immediately knocked out the easy stuff, checked coolant levels, verified fans were working. So I end up doing serious work that it needed: waterpump, timing belt, power steering pump, upper/lower intake gaskets, thermostat(THM 117-$11.32 at napa), valve cover gaskets, spark plugs. I end up finding smoke swirling out of a crack in the radiator while the car was idling for an hour during a fuel injector decarbonizing process. I end up replacing the radiator as well as the fan motors with the relay because the fans wouldn't turn on. I ended up using a power probe straight to the old fan motors and only fan #2 worked. I end up putting it all together-bled all of the air out of the cooling system with an airlift evacuation tool-and this thing is still overheating! Today I pulled it in and put the scantool on it-temp reads 244 degrees, so it's up there. I take a laser thermometer gun and the passenger-side (or upper hose) of the radiator read 183 degrees give or take and the part of the intake that the sensor screws into was around the same. So I thought it's only a $20 sensor, and replaced it-also considering it had a previous P0117 code(engine coolant temperature circuit low input). I know when the DTC is aiming at the input part of a circuit, it's talking about something with the sensor. I thought this would do it, BUT the car still overheats via gauge. Good news was I had heat, so I'd blast it when it starts climbing up and it'd slowly go down. I'm really stumped now, because I know the heater core acts as a mini radiator, but it doesn't make sense that the heatercore cools the engine down but not the fans and radiator being fully functional. The upper heater hose is piping hot with pressure but the lower hose is room temperature with pressure, I verified by squeezing the hoses. Is the thermostat defective? I installed it with the wobbler pin positioned at the top via installation instructions. I feel like I might run a compression test tomorrow to check the head gaskets, but I feel like I'm missing another sensor or something-I'm a freshman in college so anyone with experience I'd greatly appreciate it!