RC F GT3 Entries Combine to Lead 101 Laps in 2021 IMSA Season-Opener
DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (February 2, 2021) –Vasser Sullivan Racing opened the 2021 IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship season in the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway with both Lexus RC F GT3 entries combining to lead the GTD class for 101 laps in the grueling 24-hour endurance race before experiencing issues during the overnight hours that took the team out of contention.
Frankie Montecalvo started 10th in the No. 12 Bayshore Recycling Lexus RC F GT3 and passed nearly the entire GTD field on the opening lap after an incident involving another class caused some of his competitors to slow up. Montecalvo went on to lead 27 laps in his first stint before the team had to fix a transponder issue during his first pit stop costing the team a handful of laps. Aaron Telitz took the lead shortly after and the No. 14 Rice Lake Weighing Systems Lexus RC F GT3 led 74 laps with he and his teammates running among the leaders during the first half of the race.
Zach Veach, Frankie Montecalvo, Townsend Bell and Robert Megennis all split time behind the wheel of the No. 12 RC F GT3 and went on to finish 13th after damage resulting from a few incidents on track forced the Vasser Sullivan entry to the garage throughout the overnight hours.
The No. 14 Lexus fought a cooling system issue overnight and into Sunday’s final hours with Vasser Sullivan Racing drivers Jack Hawksworth, Telitz, Oliver Gavin and Kyle Kirkwood finishing the race 16th.
Lexus and Vasser Sullivan Racing will compete next in the Twelve Hours of Sebring endurance race on Saturday, March 20. Follow the Lexus Racing action all season on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter by using #LexusRCF GT3, #LexusPerformance and #LexusRacing.
Vasser Sullivan Driver Quotes
JACK HAWKSWORTH, No. 14 Rice Lake Weighing Systems Lexus RC F GT3
Are you disappointed with your finish after having such a strong Lexus RC F GT3 for the Rolex 24?
“It wasn’t the result we were looking for. The race started very positive. All four guys in our Lexus RC F GT3 did a great job. The pit stops were good by the Vasser Sullivan guys and the pace of our Lexus seemed to be good as well. We felt like we had a shot if we could get to the end of the race, but unfortunately it wasn’t our year. We’ll put this behind us and restart for the rest of the year.”
TOWNSEND BELL, No. 12 Bayshore Recycling Lexus RC F GT3
What was your experience like in this year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona?
“It was a long 24 hours for us on the Vasser Sullivan Lexus team. I sit here a bit shocked because we came into this race very well prepared. The pace of the cars was excellent. Frankie (Montecalvo) had an unbelievable start once again. He’s done it twice now – straight to the front at the start of the race and led with confidence. It’s hard to reconcile our performance, our preparation and our optimism with where we ended up after having a number of issues during the race.”