RCF GT3 For V8 Supercars? Lexus On Fact-Finding Mission Photo:
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Tim O'Brien | Feb, 12 2015 | 2 Comments

Lexus Australia Boss Sean Hanley makes no secret of the fact that Lexus is looking seriously at a future possible involvement on the grid in V8 Supercars.

That's what its 'toe in the water' exercise with the Lexus RC F Safety Cars is all about: Lexus is on a fact-finding mission.

Speaking to TMR at the launch of the Lexus RC F at Mt Panorama in Bathurst, Mr Hanley said, "Please don't assume that we will (put a car on the grid), but don't assume that we won't."

"We're looking at it, but we have to make sure that it is going to work for us. We want to find out as much as we can about it," he said.

"I can tell you now, we would love to (put a car on the grid). We're open about it, you can ask me anything you like, but we have to be sure that there is a benefit here."

At the very least, Mr Hanley's willingness to chat openly suggests there is serious consideration going on inside Lexus.

Of course, 'talking it up' is a deliberate strategy to get a conversation going with fans, and Lexus buyers, with the brand at the centre. It's the same strategy behind providing the Lexus RC F safety cars following the V8 calendar around Australia.

And it's all about that word "feedback": what will this involvement do for Lexus?

"These (RC F safety and IS, GS course and medical cars) sound amazing. They're loud because we want people to notice them," Mr Hanley said.

"We'll be monitoring the feedback everywhere we can, being there (at race meetings) talking to fans, online, and in blogs."

Of course, nothing will happen overnight. Lexus will likely not be making any concrete announcements for at least 12 months.

It will also be waiting on the shape of the new rules for the category.

The V8 'White Paper', released late last year, indicates that there are big changes afoot, and the competition will look little like today's V8s.

Allowing coupes, as has been proposed in the White Paper, would allow not only the Mustang to compete, but also the RC F.

Four and six-cylinder turbos have also been mooted, which would blow the category right open.

Lexus won't be rushing in. But Mr Hanley believes it "has the engine".

"There would be at least a year in development (of the cars), maybe more, if we decide that's where we want to be."

"We've got the engine and we've got two cars that might be suitable, one that's on sale here, the RC F, and another that isn't here but we could get (for the V8 series), the GT3."

"But it depends on a lot of things... which is why we're making no promises," Mr Hanley said.

My money? I'll be tipping that Lexus will be in.

Who among us wouldn't want to see the RC F on track at full-noise? And the GT3..? We can only hope.

MORE: Lexus RC F | V8 Supercars | Motorsport

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