James “Sulli” Sullivan, AIM VASSER SULLIVAN Team co-owner:
“Look at the high points. We took the first one-two finish in the program’s history at Daytona two weeks ago and we back it up this event here in Sebring with a pretty dominating win for Jack Hawksworth and Aaron Telitz. What can you say about the Lexus RC F’s? They are absolute brilliant machines to drive with unbelievable precision. The cars are running great, the team is doing great. What a great event here and pretty amazing to show the world what Lexus is capable of here today.”
NO. 14 AIM VASSER SULLIVAN LEXUS RC F GT3 WINS GRAND PRIX OF SEBRING
Race Summary No. 14 AIM VASSER SULLIVAN Lexus RC F GT3:
For the second consecutive race the No. 14 AIM VASSER SULLIVAN Lexus RC F GT3 piloted by Jack Hawksworth and Aaron Telitz stood at the top of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar GTD class podium with a strategic and strong win at the Grand Prix of Sebring on the historic 3.74-mile, 17-turn road course in Sebring, Florida.
Telitz, who joined the team full-time as co-driver with Hawksworth for the Daytona 240, qualified second for the second consecutive race. He drove the first stint passing his teammate, and pole sitter, Frankie Monteclavo in the No. 12 AVS Lexus machine, for the lead just under 30 minutes into the 2 hour and 40 minute contest. Telitz pitted after running far longer than the minimum 45 minutes handing the car over to Hawksworth. Hawksworth rejoined the race in third place, but shortly thereafter resumed the lead which he held until the checkered flag.
Telitz and Hawksworth combined to lead the most laps in the GTD field with Hawksworth pacing the field for 27 laps and Telitz leading the GTD class for 12 circuits. Hawksworth ran the quickest GTD lap of the race with a speed of 2:02.441 on lap 39.
Hawksworth made his fifth start and earned his first win at Sebring. It was Telitz’s second IMSA victory in two races since becoming a full-time AVS driver and first in two races at Sebring.
The win at Sebring was Hawksworth’s fifth in IMSA competition and the fourth for AVS (Sebring Grand Prix and Daytona 240 this year, Mid-Ohio and Detroit last year).
The Sebring Grand Prix race was the second of seven races in IMSA Sprint Cup championship and only counted in the Sprint Cup standings. Lexus currently leads the Sprint Cup manufacturer standings by eight points. The No. 14 AVS Lexus continues to lead the IMSA Sprint Cup championship points by 12 over the No. 12 AVS Lexus, which is tied for second in Sprint Cup points.
Hawksworth is first in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTD Class driver’s points with 57 based on a ninth place finish in the Rolex 24 and the win in the Daytona 240. Telitz is tied for second in driver’s championship with 54. He drove in the No. 12 AVS Lexus machine at the Rolex 24 finishing 12th and had the win at Daytona 240.The AVS No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3 is first in team points also with 57. Lexus is tied for first in IMSA WeatherTech Championship GTD Class Manufacturer points with 59 after the first three rounds of the 2020 season.
No. 14 AIM VASSER SULLIVAN Driver Race Quotes:
“It feels pretty good. As Aaron (Telitz) touched upon, the car was brilliant today – both of the Lexus RC F GT3s. The strategy was also perfect. The decisions on pit lane to take four tires at the first stop and then to put full fuel in for the second pit stop and short fuel for the final (pit stop) made a massive difference. So yeah, the championship is on the mind for sure.”
“It was a very different race. Obviously, that first yellow we had really mixed up strategies. I think that really made the difference. That first stop we made the right call and we went with four new tires and then Aaron (Telitz) did a really good job on that next stint to recover the ground we lost to the others. Then, when we got to the final stop, we were able to short fill and the guys had to do a very quick tire change on that stop as well. So, all in all, just the strategy was perfect, the pit stops were perfect and Aaron’s second stint when he had to work his way through traffic was spot on. We just got everything right today.”
“Honestly, could it get any better than this at all? Two race wins, first two races full-time. Obviously, our Lexus RC F GT3 was just incredible today. Had to go through the field once there after the first round of pit stops and then handed it off to Jack (Hawksworth) and he did an awesome job bringing it home.”
“Our Lexus RC F GT3 was working awesome out there. It helped that we had fresh tires on that stop, and I think some of the other guys didn’t put fresh tires on or maybe only did two tires so that’s where we lost some track position. The car was so good we were able to just get through them and get back to the lead and hand it off to Jack (Hawksworth).”
“It’s been great having Jack (Hawksworth) as a teammate. He comes from the same background as me, coming up through open wheel racing, so it’s been nice knowing anytime I have a question about something that I can ask Jack and he’s going to answer it in a way that’s going to make sense to me. Obviously, Jack has had lots of experience in the RC F GT3 so it’s great to be paired up with him. He’s incredible.”
NO. 12 AIM VASSER SULLIVAN LEXUS RC F GT3 FINISHES FIFTH
Race Summary No. 12 AIM VASSER SULLIVAN Lexus RC F GT3:
The No. 12 AIM VASSER SULLIVAN Lexus RC F GT3 driven by Townsend Bell and Frankie Montecalvo finished fifth in the Grand Prix of Sebring.
Montecalvo had an outstanding qualifying run taking the pole position for the first time in his IMSA career. The pole is the second for AVS in just its second season of IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar GTD class competition. The No. 14 AVS Lexus RC F GT3 captured the team’s first pole last year at Mid-Ohio.
Montecalvo drove the first stint of the race, which went even longer than their teammates did. He pitted in second place passing the car over to Bell for the remainder of the race. Bell rejoined the contest in fifth where the No 12 AVS Lexus machine remained until the checkered flag.
This is the second top-five finish for the No. 12 AVS Lexus RC F GT3 this season. They placed second at the Daytona 240 and 12th at the Rolex 24 at Dayotna.
Bell and Montecalvo are fifth in Daytona IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTD Class driver’s points with 51, The AVS No. 12 Lexus RC F GT3 is fourth in team points with 57. Lexus is tied for first in IMSA WeatherTech Championship GTD Class Manufacturer points with 59 after the first three rounds of the 2020 season. 12th Rolex 2 Daytona 240
No. 12 AIM VASSER SULLIVAN Driver Race Quotes:
“It was a difficult night for us in the pits with a number of issues, but it was awesome to see Frankie (Montecalvo) start on the pole with a terrific lap in our Lexus RC F GT3 during qualifying. That gives us great encouragement for the rest of the year for our AIM VASSER SULLIVAN team and congratulations to the 14 guys on the victory.”