Lexus RC F GT3s Earn Double-Podium Results in Detroit
DETROIT, Mich. (June 3, 2019) – The AIM VASSER SULLIVAN (AVS) No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3 scored its second consecutive victory in the GTD class of IMSA’s WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with a win on Saturday at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park with co-drivers Jack Hawksworth and Richard Heistand.
The AVS No. 12 Lexus driven by Townsend Bell and Frankie Montecalvo also earned a podium finish with a third-place result to give the RC F GT3 its first double podium in IMSA competition.
Heistand started the race in fourth and held his position before pitting under caution nearly 40 minutes into the event and handing over driving duties to Hawksworth, who exited pit lane third. Hawksworth made a clean pass on the restart to move into second before passing the GTD race leader two laps later to take the lead. He went on to lead the final 30 circuits of the race, recording the quickest GTD lap of the event (1:30.102), to give AVS back-to-back victories after winning at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in May.
The win marks the fourth for Lexus in IMSA competition and the second for AIM VASSER SULLIVAN in just the team’s fourth IMSA race.
Montecalvo started fifth in the No. 12 Lexus and raced behind Heistand during his stint before turning the car over to Bell during the caution. Bell made up two spots to earn the second podium result for the driver duo this season.
The AVS Lexus RC F GT3s have combined to earn two wins, four podiums and six top-five results to start the season.
Lexus leads the GTD Sprint Cup manufacturer point standings, a new championship based off the seven sprint races during the season. The No. 14 Lexus also sits first in the Sprint Cup championship points, while the No. 12 RC F GT3 is in fourth in the standings.
The Lexus RC F GT3 will return to IMSA racing action on Sunday, June 30 in a six-hour endurance event at Watkins Glen International.
To stay up-to-date on all of the Lexus Racing action follow @lexusracingusa on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or visit www.lexus.com/motorsports.
AIM VASSER SULLIVAN Driver Quotes
JACK HAWKSWORTH, No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3
What does it mean to win your second consecutive race today behind the wheel of the No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3?
“I had a good feeling about today. We had a good qualifying position in fourth. I thought the Lexus had been working quite well all weekend and then we had a great pit stop. The AIM VASSER SULLIVAN guys did a fantastic job and the Lexus RC F was good the whole way through the stint. When I was in third – if you give me a sniff to win, I’m going to go for it and try to win the thing so that’s what I did. The guys did a great job. Richard (Heistand) did great in qualifying and great in his stint. He’s never been here before and he turned in a good performance. The guys did the pit stop unbelievable and then two podiums for the Lexus RC F and the AVS team today.”
What won you today’s race?
“We knew the pit stop was going to be important. The guys did a fantastic job. Richard (Heistand) was in fourth place with a good first stint and put me right behind the lead trio and we had a good pit stop that got us out third and then we were really good on old tires. The Lexus was working well and as soon as I could sniff the lead, I went for it and just tried my best to hold everyone off. Great job by Richard and everyone on this team. It was a great Lexus RC F GT3. Two in a row. We’ve got the lead in the Sprint Cup at the minute, but we’ve just got to keep pushing on and keep working hard because the competition is tough. Just got to keep stepping the game up and keep working hard.”
RICHARD HEISTAND, No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3
How does it feel to win your second consecutive race in the Lexus RC F GT3?
“I am just so happy for the AIM VASSER SULLIVAN team. I can’t believe we actually won. I didn’t do a whole lot for it, but I’ll take the trophy. Jack (Hawksworth) drove amazing. I don’t think we had the fastest car, but the Lexus RC F GT3 was strong, the team did a great job and we had the fastest driver in the end.”
TOWNSEND BELL, No. 12 Lexus RC F GT3
How was the AIM VASSER SULLIVAN No. 12 Lexus able to get on the podium today?
“First, it started with an excellent start by Frankie (Montecalvo). He did a great job in qualifying. We’ve improved since Mid-Ohio. We struggled a bit there. He got a great start with clean, smart decision-making and gave me the perfect car and the pit stop was awesome for both cars – the 12 and the 14. Both were super fast and we matched those guys. We were right there together with our Lexus’. The restart came and I kind of slotted in there and it got a little messy in front of me. Jack (Hawksworth) made a move, checked up the guys for me and I ducked inside that 57 (Katherine Legge) and dropped it down to first gear and got by them. We had good track position and then kind of managed from there. Still learning this car. I feel like every time I complete laps I learn more and now I think I’ve got a pretty reasonable idea of what we need. We still need a little bit, but we’re getting there. Four races and two podiums, four races and two wins for the 14, so it’s a good start for AIM VASSER SULLIVAN.”
FRANKIE MONTECALVO, No. 12 Lexus RC F GT3
How are you feeling after your third-place podium finish today?
“I couldn’t be happier. Like I have said before, the more time the AIM VASSER SULLIVAN team is together the better we get. I’m just looking forward to the next event, finishing third here after not qualifying where we wanted, it’s very impressive. We had the overall pace, but we had a great race in the Lexus RC F GT3. We stayed out of trouble and took advantage of our opportunities. That’s what we did as a team.”