Lexus LFA GTE Race Car

Japanese racing driver Akira Iida has tweeted a picture of a new racing version of the Lexus LFA. Sadly no information regarding this car was released, but most likely it is the long awaited Lexus LFA GTE racer which will enter in next year’s Le Mans series.

A year ago, Akira Iida drove a Lexus LFA Nürburgring Edition in 7 minutes and 14 seconds around the (in)famous Nordschleife. This marked a new fastest time for regular production cars, running on standard specification tyres. Iida was also victorious in the 24-Hours of Nürburgring, winning his class twice with a Lexus LF-A.

Lexus had stated they have no plan to use the LFA for the 2013 Nürburgring 24 Hours race. Instead they will focus on other endurance races where the LFA will face tough competition from Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren and Mercedes.

[Via Motor Authority]

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  1. Something is wrong here, It doesn’t exist a Lambo GTE neither a Mercedes GTE, so if that car is GTE, it will not be able against that cars that are GT3.

  2. @ Urdago: The E in GTE stands for Endurance, but the GTE from the Le Mans Series and the GT3 are comparable racing series. For example, cars like the Porsche 911 or Ferrari 458 participate in both categories.

    The GT3 category is organized by the SRO and regulated by FIA, whereas the GTE is organized by ACO. The differences between the regulations set by either the ACO or FIA are small and could be bridged by Lexus or its customers who are interested in racing with the LFA, just like with the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.

    In fact, a new GT class will replace GTE and GT3, possibly as early as 2015. Until then, the Lexus LFA GT(E) can be raced at the Le Mans 24 Hours, the FIA World Endurance Championship, the Le Mans Series, the American Le Mans Series as well as the International GT Open and in other series and races.

  3. @Chris, Perfect explanation, in fact technically they may race together in GTOpen & ELMS(2013) are the only champs where a GTE and a GT3 could be raced together, but if this exception is not counted (In fact this BOP or comoon race of different cars is not of the like of the factory teams), and this champs are not the top racing champs, that’s why they make such weird mixes.

    GTE & GT3 cars are completelly different:

    The fundamental difference between GTE and GT3 regulations is that GT3 cars are built to no common technical platform and are instead performance balanced by the FIA, usually at a pre-season official test.

    GTE-spec cars, on the other hand, must conform to technical regulations laid out by the ACO, and more recently the FIA, which often results in a more structured platform for manufacturers, although Balance of Performance measures and technical waivers are also handed out in this category.

    But anyway perfect explanation, however is confusing that Lexus wants to compete with a GTE vs GT3’s out of Lemans/WEC or out of the SRO’s champs, where no mix is allowed, the actual top GT championships.

  4. The GTE platform is more restrictive, if you built a GTE car, it will pass GT3 restrictions, but the Racing car costs are almost twice, so it will be harder to sell a GTE Spec car to GT3 teams, since the GTE will have to be built to respect the GTE rules that will increase costs, the GT3 version will not have to follow that rules but in order to save costs, then will not have the same platform as the GTE, because that rules are why the costs of 300K€ of a GT3 may become 500K€ of a GTE, and in terms of actual budget of the Non factory teams at GT3 GTE arquitecture is too much expensive, and the promotion Return of interst (ROI)of GTE cars will not cover the costs, due the lower promotion incomes in current world economic climate.

  5. Wow urdrago…you seem to have a wide knowledge in the car industrie…i jealous.

    I too will be putting all my time into this automotive industrie shortly just after i clean up some of the current work i do in the industrie i practise in.

    I will be incorprating (this is funny to many) neurology/physics and automotive together.

    Dont worry i jealous of anyone who knows how to turn a spanner.. my job soon!.

  6. @ Urdrago: Thanks for your reply and additional information. I agree it’s quite confusing and sadly Lexus hasn’t provided any information regarding the racing future of the LFA. I would guess that the racing version of the Lexus LFA will be built according to GTE and GT3 regulations, just like the Porsche 911.

    Being part of the Toyota Group, Lexus will benefit from the financials financial resources and technical know-how. Toyota has an impressive testing and development facility located in Cologne, Germany ‒ not far from the Nürburgring where the LFA had already proven itself. Money and technical regulations shouldn’t be a hurdle for Lexus, which is also illustrated by Toyota’s entry in this years edition of the 24-hours of Le Mans.

    It’s also interesting to notice that the LFA has already entered five times in the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring, piloted by Akira Iida who drove the Lexus twice to a class victory. He’s also experienced in the Japanese Super GT series, which could also provide an interesting stage for the Lexus LFA. Currently Lexus is active in the series with the SC430, but the Porsche 911 is also part of the starting grid.

    Given the experience in endurance racing and Toyota’s recent comeback at Le Mans, I believe the LFA is destined to take on other makes in the GTE Class of the Le Mans Series. Toyota will emphasize on the sports prototypes and Lexus on the production-based grand tourers.

    In the slipstream of these speculations, it seems logical that the LFA racing car will modified to GT3 specs as well, to be sold to privateers. Just like Aston Martin, BMW, Ferrari and Porsche who all offer models for both platforms. We’ll see what the future holds.

  7. @Pit Hey, I read a lot in motorsport forums, specially involving Le Mans Championships and Sro’s, that’s the sum of all knowledges, because as a good engineer or a good Boss the knowledge is needed to make decisions and also to comment with mates for example, why the currently formula FIA/ACO formula of a single class is no good for the lesser teams runin SRO’s champs with lesser budget than the great teams that participate for example in WEC, the single class will increase the costs making small teams flee from champs.

  8. @Chris I see, the GTE cars tend to be designed at a aim of making a semiofficial team, which involves factory drivers with a privateer expert setup like the le mans cars, so if the car is designed to make European and nordamerican promotion of motorsport the car developed will be a GTE. If the car is designed to make money (By car sales or not lose money, acording to Mclaren that says that the MP4-12C GT3 didn’t gave benefits ) mixed with the road car promotion only cause the high number of machines provided through the globe instead of less famous races than Le Mans 24h, then the SRO’s champs are the target. And then in the middle there are ELMS and GTOpen and other asian champs which my knowledge does not reach.


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