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gt2_thumb.jpg Since Lexus’ announcement in December that Team Lexus will field two IS 350s in the 2006 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) GT2 class, the team has been hard at work preparing the cars for their first racing season. The new cars will challenge GT2-class stalwarts Porsche and Panoz while taking on new entries from Ferrari and BMW.

<P>Although we’d love to be racing this weekend in Houston, building a new, competitive, GT2 car from the ground up is a complex undertaking,” said Team Lexus owner Chuck Goldsborough. “Our team has been working very hard to design and build the new cars, with inevitable challenges along the way. Once complete, the task of development then starts and must ramp up very quickly.”

<P>The level of ALMS GT2 competition underscores the challenges inherent in building a sedan to compete on even terms. Top GT2 competitors include the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Ferrari 430 GT, Panoz Esperante GTLM and BMW M3—all formidable cars.

<P>With its production-based V6 providing more than 450 hp to propel a race car weighing less than 2,800 lbs., the new IS 350 GT2 promises to be plenty quick. The car also will retain its double wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension, suitably modified for the task and tuned to work with the large BBS-mounted Michelin racing slicks. StopTech will provide an upgraded brake package.

<P>The team expects to begin testing in the next few weeks with the goal of a race debut in July. But the final decision on race timing will be based on test and development program results. “With the majority of the ALMS schedule taking place after July 1, it simply makes sense to be patient and develop the car properly,” said Philip Gaviola, Lexus motorsports manager. “And with the caliber of competition in the GT2 class, it’s going to be a steep learning curve regardless of when the IS 350 makes its debut.”

<P><B>Get a wallpaper-sized image of the Team Lexus IS350 in our <a href="/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=3504&cat=502">Team Lexus Gallery</a>!</B>
 

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Looks good. But when they raced the is300 you could say it was some what related to the production car. I dont know about that thing.
 

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Car looks 8 feet wide! Its got a track width that matches its wheelbase. bahaha, but maybe from another angle it might not look so rediculous. It's cool and all Lexus is racing, but the real production car seems to lack any real hint of being "race inspired" to be believable. Well, I'm sure it wouldn't hurt marketing, as they say, win today, sell tomorrow. Most new is buyers wouldn't know the difference anyway.
 

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well the is300 was in a different class. look who the 350 is going up againse, porsche panoz..., they'll need em'.

oh yea they look retarded becauset he rendering artist didn't put any wells in the back!
 

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Team Lexus Represenative

Hey Guys,

<P>My name is L. Alfred Taylor III, but on the forums I go by the name Apex84. I am the public relations and marketing manager for Team Lexus, and I would be happy to answer questions regarding the car, so long as answering your questions are NOT compromising to the development of our racing program.

<P>We all hope you enjoy the photos and we will try to keep you guys up to date (again so long as its not compromising to the development of our race program). We can't wait to get out there on the track with this new IS, and we would like to see you guys there and at LexFest 06.

<P>****

<P>L. Alfred Taylor III<BR>
Public Relations & Marketing Manager<BR>
Team Lexus
 

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The IS300 never raced in a top tier series like ALMS. The IS300 Team Lexus car mostly *was* stock compared to a factory IS300.

<P>I don't see why some of you are complaining. The IS350 GT2s will both use the stock 6 speed auto tranny, the V6 will still be production based, with the block being mostly stock. It's also a stock chassis, that has been strengthened for race requirements.

<P>Even comparing a stock 991 to the 991 GT2s in ALMS, there are numerous differences. Also keeping in mind that the Panoz cars are practically purpose-built race cars, then it's only fair that the Team Lexus cars should be purpose built as well.

<P>For all of the IS350 owners, the race version of the 2GR-FSE shows the potential of this engine. Over 470HP naturally aspirated ... that's practically matching the power of the larger displacement 4.35L Lexus Racing V8.

<P>As for that pic, it's not a pic, just a rendering, so I don't see why everyone is so worked up. Wait till the final car is revealed before making conclusions.
 

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I think it looks very mean. If it were black, even more so. Remember, this is a La Mans car. The M3's have huge flares too...

<P>I love it!
 

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Oh that's a rendering? BOOO. Who cares, then? :lol:
 

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Hey Guys,

<P>My name is L. Alfred Taylor III, but on the forums I go by the name Apex84. I am the public relations and marketing manager for Team Lexus, and I would be happy to answer questions regarding the car, so long as answering your questions are NOT compromising to the development of our racing program.

<P>We all hope you enjoy the photos and we will try to keep you guys up to date (again so long as its not compromising to the development of our race program). We can't wait to get out there on the track with this new IS, and we would like to see you guys there and at LexFest 06.

<P>****

<P>L. Alfred Taylor III<BR>
Public Relations & Marketing Manager<BR>
Team Lexus
Stay tuned, my.IS members. You will, indeed, soon have the opportunity to submit your questions. Please be patient, however, and do NOT submit them on this thread.
<P>Thanks.
 

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The new online issue of Lexus Magazine has a cool photo essay showing Team Lexus build an IS racecar. They also have previews of the 2007 LS and ES.
Thanks for the reminder. Indeed, both <A HREF="http://my.is/forums/showthread.php?t=283227">the first</A> and <A HREF="http://my.is/forums/showthread.php?t=290487">the second</A> Lexus Magazine articles on the Team Lexus IS350 ALMS racer were featured in Front Page articles on our site, and rest assured that the third one (is it the conclusion?) will be as well.
 
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