From the GRM Vault: When Team Lexus Started Road Racing With Two-Ton Monsters

This article comes from all the way back in 2000, so we had to march back to our archives, pick out the magazine, and dig out the scanner.

To zoom in, hold down the CTRL (or Command on a Mac) key and then hit the “+” key.

Want more articles like this? You’re only seeing a fraction of our content on the website. Read it all in the print edition of Grassroots Motorsports. Subscribe now.

Lexus racers

Lexus racers

Lexus racers

Join Free Join our community to easily find more Lexus articles.
View comments on the GRM forums
mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
4/12/18 9:44 a.m.

I miss Street Stock racing. I know why it went away, but I still miss it. 

PDoane New Reader
4/12/18 10:50 a.m.

In 2002, I raced with Grand Am Cup at Mt Tremblant and there was a huge 4 car team based on IS 300s there.  It may have been Goldsborough and I never learned their specs.

In 2003, I worked as Fly-In crew for the Tim Pappas TranSport World Challenge team.  They were running three IS 300s de-stroked to 2.8 liter to fit the ST rulebook.  I do not remember their weight.

LD71 New Reader
4/12/18 3:03 p.m.

Interesting stuff, cars of this era & prep level were/are ‘just right’ on so many levels. Declining fields at PWC and Continental Tire races are sad, maybe further declines will force us back to these roots


Carsandbikes New Reader
4/12/18 3:11 p.m.

What seems crazy to me is that Lexus seems to think this is what the GS was "born to do", yet the actual car is so far from being sporty. 

Still, I would love to "pilot" one of these cars for a few.... WEEKS. 

I have pretty much every issue for the last 20 years, yet I can't say if I remember reading this. 

4/12/18 6:16 p.m.

It's the back story about these cars and team that held most participants in the paddock's interest. They were quick to come and go.....and Lexus stayed away a long time after their experience with this team. That blows the story about the actual cars away.

irish44j UltimaDork
4/12/18 8:59 p.m.

Too bad 2000 was the last year of the first generation SC300/400  - one would think it would have made a better track car than the GS400 (and also came with a manual). Unfortunately, I guess Lexus knew that the 2nd generation SC430 was about to come out and it would have made an awful race car, haha.....(though we did, amazingly, have one come out to a rallycross once!)

Stefan MegaDork
4/12/18 9:07 p.m.

In reply to imsadriver :

Oh?  Do tell!

te72 New Reader
4/13/18 12:18 a.m.

I was intrigued as a fan of the Lexus cars from this era, and owner of a 2000 LS. There's something weirdly competent about the handling of that car, and the GS was a bit lighter, shorter wheelbase too. I could see these GS's being good to drive on a track, probably fairly comfortable too...


Reading about the Motorola Cup, it's a shame I missed all that! It sounds like Gran Turismo 2 in real life! Also sounds a lot like a typical track crowd these days, which really says a lot about how well cars of that era have aged. =)

Tyler H
Tyler H UltraDork
4/13/18 8:13 a.m.

I remember this article from the mag.  Makes me feel old.  2000 is still the future, right?

imsadriver New Reader
4/13/18 2:24 p.m.

In reply to Stefan :

If I did, it would make a longer story than the one Grassroots did about the cars. But let's put it this way.....Lexus didn't do their homework, and got burned. Burned so well, they stayed away for many years after. I think they're money is being spent well with Shank and Penske. And the above team was to go to ALMS when it was suddenly dis-banded. The back story was they had no choice but to go to ALMS, since Grand Am told them to hit the road, and not return.  They never turned a wheel in ALMS despite having the cars (never finished) and a few name drivers lined up. I saw the shop when it was being packed up. Their old cars were purchased by someone and they were there loading them up. The new one's (after sitting a whole season) were still in different stages of development. I know where all the engines are though. So, I'll leave it to anyone's imagination on what happened.

Stefan MegaDork
4/13/18 3:09 p.m.

In reply to imsadriver :

Sounds like a follow up article would be quite well received!

Trackmouse UltraDork
4/13/18 11:40 p.m.

In reply to Stefan :

Agreed. We need the guts, not the blood. 

te72 Reader
4/14/18 12:42 a.m.
Tyler H said:

I remember this article from the mag.  Makes me feel old.  2000 is still the future, right?

It's still the future if you still have your supply of Y2K beans! =D

te72 Reader
4/14/18 12:43 a.m.

In reply to Stefan :

I'd love to read more on this story, if it is able to be shared, of course.

dculberson UltimaDork
4/16/18 12:14 p.m.

You all need one:

I've had this one at  Mid-Ohio up to 120mph on the back straight. It was too heavy and pushed something fierce in the corners but a pry bar and hole saw should take care of that.

imsadriver New Reader
4/18/18 11:48 p.m.

In reply to Trackmouse :

Call you they "forgot about it".


Saron81 New Reader
4/29/18 7:06 p.m.

I have this hanging in my garage 

Our Preferred Partners