Sage Karam joins F Performance Racing’s new Lexus program in IMSA

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Sage Karam will race in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with F Performance Racing this season following the team’s announcement of a partnership with Japanese manufacturer Lexus.

Karam spent much of 2015 racing for Chip Ganassi Racing in the Verizon IndyCar Series, claiming one podium finish at Iowa and establishing himself as the championship’s new ‘black hat’.

However, Ganassi released Karam from his contract at the end of December, prompting the American to claim a drive with the Dreyer and Reinbold team for the 2016 Indianapolis 500.

In a statement issued on Friday, Karam confirmed his plans for the forthcoming year, joining forces with F Performance Racing and Lexus.

“Lexus and their F Performance Racing group have reached an agreement with the International Motor Sports Association to campaign the RC F GT3 in the IMSA Weather Tech SportsCar Championship,” a statement reads.

“The agreement gives the Japanese Luxury automaker a presence in GT Daytona (GTD) class the race series through the 2018 season.”

Karam was delighted to confirm his move to Lexus, where he will be joined by veteran sportscar racer Scott Pruett. The two have previously raced together in IMSA events at Daytona and Sebring.

“I’m really excited to be a part of the F Performance Team, it’s a great opportunity for me,” Karam said. “I have worked alongside Scott Pruett for a few years so we have a good relationship and I’m really looking forward to driving alongside him. We like to work with each other and we push each other to each other’s limits.”

“We have had our eye on Sage for some time,” F Performance Racing managing partner Paul Gentilozzi added. “His experience in IMSA events with Scott at Daytona and Sebring showed us great maturity.

“Our program is a building experience, and having Scott Pruett as a teammate/mentor is really a priceless commodity. I am sure Sage will fit in with our group and help us get a first victory for Lexus and F Performance Racing.”

Technical director John Gentilozzi confirmed that the team is still developing its car and testing ahead of hitting the grid later this year.

“The program is too new [to do the full season],” Gentilozzi said. “We have every intention to race hard, and every intention to win.

“Right now we’re going through extensive testing and engineering analysis, we hope to be racing as soon as possible.”