June 23, 2015
Toyota Corp.’s Lexus is putting its new RCF GT Concept up against the elements during the upcoming Time Attack class of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
On June 28, the automaker will compete on the 12.42 mile course from 9,390 feet up to the 14,115 foot summit, encountering 156 turns along the way that test both the driver and the vehicle. This vehicle represents a pivotal moment in Lexus’ sporting F brand as it prepares for a global GT3 program, and the brand will be able to use data gleaned from this race to influence future efforts.
Justin Bell, a British driver who has won the 24 Hours of Le Mans and has been a FIA GT world champion, will be behind the wheel of the concept during this challenge. He will use his experience and knowledge of driving to help direct the development of the concept.
The RCF GT weighs 800 pounds less than the street version of the car due to the substitution of composite materials. The engine and transmission are the same as for the production vehicle, but on the competition model, they can be fine-tuned depending on the setting.
In a brand statement, Jeff Bracken group vice president and general manager of the Lexus division, said, “The continued evolution of the F brand remains a top priority for Lexus, and motorsports provide us an outstanding opportunity to develop more than concepts and components for F brand products. Our niche line of high performance products are geared toward enthusiast drivers, and also make a very strong statement about Lexus’ engineering capabilities.
“Competition efforts like Pikes Peak help nurture a performance engineering culture and ideology that will have the greatest influence of future F brand products.”