A special Lexus RC F race car will be on-track between races at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, USA, this weekend.
The RC F GT Concept is a honed track special positioned between the RC F production car and the all-out RC F GT3 race car that will soon compete in IMSA's WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, and which has also been running in European and Japanese series.
The GT Concept was developed in parallel with the RC F production car by the Lexus Development Center in Japan with support from the Lexus International Motorsports Group.
The car that will appear at Long Beach is a further development of the RC F GT Concept that Briton Justin Bell drove in the Time Attack class at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in June 2015.
Extensive use of composite materials in the body reduce mass by more than 360 kilograms compared with the production RC F.
The GT Concept retains the same engine and transmission as the production vehicle with modified lubrication and cooling systems and a performance exhaust system.
The suspension has been reinforced for durability, with increased adjustability for competition, while software changes to the factory Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) control system expand the handling envelope for track use.
"The GT Concept shows the opportunities of the platform and powertrain that underpins our F models," said Jeff Bracken, group vice president and general manager, Lexus division.
"The high performance RC F coupe and GS F sedan are geared toward enthusiast drivers and make a very strong statement about Lexus' engineering capabilities."
The RC F GT Concept will be driven at Long Beach by Lexus professional racing drivers Scott Pruett and Roger Yasukawa.
Pruett is a four-time winner of the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona and has secured championships in Trans Am, IMSA and the Rolex Grand Am, as well as victories in CART, Le Mans and IROC.
The Road Racers Drivers Club this year honoured Pruett with the Phil Hill award of excellence.
Pruett was recently signed as the Lexus factory driver for the RC F GT3 race car entered by F Performance Racing in IMSA's WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Roger Yasukawa grew up racing karts and formula cars in Japan, England and America.
He turned professional at age 21 and has since enjoyed success in Formula Atlantics, IndyCars and in IMSA GT cars.
Yasukawa has been a performance driver for Lexus USA since the launch of the IS F in 2007.