Hawksworth, Barnicoat Deliver Solid Points-Paying Day at Laguna Seca

Hawksworth, Barnicoat Deliver Solid Points-Paying Day at Laguna Seca

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The No. 14 starts and finishes fourth in GTD PRO

SALINAS, Calif. (May 14, 2024) – In the return of the GTD PRO class this weekend at the Course De Monterey at Laguna Seca, Jack Hawksworth and Ben Barnicoat finished fourth-place in the No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 on Sunday. The No. 12 Lexus RC F GT3 with Parker Thompson and Frankie Montecalvo finished ninth in the GTD class.

Hawksworth started from the fourth position on the GTD PRO grid Sunday afternoon, holding steady during the race’s first two stints. With an hour remaining in the sprint race, Hawksworth handed the No. 14 over to Barnicoat to finish the race. The Brit cycled out in fifth position from the stop, but methodically chased down and overtook the No. 3 car with 10 minutes remaining to claim the fourth position at the finish. The No. 14 Vasser Sullivan team sits second in the GTD PRO driver’s standings with today’s result.

The No. 12 Lexus RC F GT3 team ended Sunday’s race at Laguna Seca in the ninth position of the GTD class after beginning the day fifth. Montecalvo started in the No. 12, running between fourth and seventh position during the early portions of the race. After an early-race caution, Montecalvo cycled to the front of the GTD field and led seven laps during the first pit stop cycle. Thompson jumped into the No. 12 RC F GT3 with an hour and 21 minutes remaining, running as high as second during pit stop cycles. However, the team needed one more caution to make their strategy work, which did not occur and they earned a ninth-place finish.

The Vasser Sullivan Lexus team returns to action in a sprint race at Detroit Grand Prix on Saturday, June 1. To keep up with all the racing action, follow Lexus Racing on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok by using #LexusPerformance.

Vasser Sullivan Driver Quotes

How was the race today for the No. 14 team?
“Just a really solid day and solid weekend. We tested here a few weeks ago, knowing this place (Laguna Seca) is always tough for us. After the test, the engineers and mechanics all came up with some really good ideas to come back with and we made the Lexus RC F GT3 competitive. We had a really strong effort in qualifying yesterday to put us fourth on the grid and then in the race this afternoon, we were in the fight, just didn’t have the pace to battle for the podium. We hung in there all day and think we finished higher than what we showed pace-wise, which is all you can do. P4 on the day, happy with that, good set of points and now we head to Detroit, Watkins Glen and Mosport, which are places that have been really good to us. Our Vasser Sullivan team will focus and get our heads down.”

Coming home in fourth position, what was your race like?
“Today was just one of those days where early on, I think we realized we didn’t have the pace to win the race, so then you look towards strategy, right? What can we do? What can’t we do? I think everyone here at Vasser Sullivan and Lexus optimized what we had today. From a strategy point-of-view, the overcut looked quite powerful in the first pit stop, which helped us move forward a bit into second, but we dropped back to fourth as we didn’t quite have the pace to hang on. And then, we tried another overcut at the end in the last pit stop cycle, and we were undercut by a competitor and came out in fifth. But, I was able to get back forward at the end there past the No. 3. It was a tough race, obviously gave it everything we had. I think we have to see a fourth-place finish as almost like an internal win. That was the best we had, and on days when you’re not quite quick enough, you just have to do your best. Proud of everyone here for doing that. Jack (Hawksworth) had a great run and kept the car clean and in one piece, as I did in my run. Great to come out of this race second in the driver’s standings. Looking forward to Detroit.”

How would you describe your race once getting in the car?
“Today is a perfect day to describe sprint, endurance racing. We were in a perfect position, had a really fast Lexus RC F GT3, but unfortunately, a yellow came out 30 seconds before we needed it to, and that means we missed getting into the pits on schedule. It basically put us a lap down on the road. Apart from that, the No. 12 team did an awesome job with a great strategy to put us in contention to compete for a win. But we didn’t get another yellow like we needed, which meant I was saving (fuel) and battling for a position lower than we had hoped. But we live to fight another day. We’re all hungry. I know it sounds like a broken record, but this No. 12 crew deserves more, and we’re locked in for the upcoming rounds. I think we’re going to get a win.”

Can you take us through your day and how those cautions affected strategy?
“I think we had a good car and something to battle with at the end there. All in all, the Vasser Sullivan team did a great job. We just kind of got held out by a yellow, which was just in the worst time, and then we didn’t get the yellow we needed. So, a top-10 finish in this one and onto the next.”

The Lexus RC F GT3 enters its eighth season in the GTD class, and third year in the GTD PRO category, competing in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Over the last six seasons, Lexus and Vasser Sullivan have combined to earn 15 wins, 41 podium finishes and 21 pole positions with the RC F GT3. Lexus won its first full-season IMSA GTD PRO Manufacturers Championship on the strength of two wins and podium positions in nine of 11 races in 2023.

Lexus’ passion for brave design, imaginative technology, and exhilarating performance enables the luxury lifestyle brand to create amazing experiences for its customers. Lexus began its journey in 1989 with two luxury sedans and a commitment to pursue perfection. Since then, Lexus has developed its lineup to meet the needs of global luxury customers in more than 90 countries. In the United States, Lexus vehicles are sold through 244 dealers offering a full lineup of luxury vehicles. With eight models incorporating Lexus Hybrid Drive, Lexus is the luxury hybrid leader. Lexus also offers nine F SPORT models, one F performance model and one F model. Lexus is committed to being a visionary brand that anticipates the future for luxury customers.

Sam Mahoney
Lexus PR
[email protected]

Pam Jansen
Golin for Lexus Racing
[email protected]

Cooper Robinson
Golin for Lexus Racing
[email protected]

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