SEBRING, Fla. (March 18, 2019) – Lexus and the AIM VASSER SULLIVAN (AVS) race team competed in the second round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Sebring International Raceway on Saturday, earning a top-10 result at the 17-turn, 3.74-mile historic Florida road course.
The AVS No. 12 Lexus finished ninth in the Twelve Hours of Sebring with co-drivers Townsend Bell, Frankie Montecalvo and Aaron Telitz. The sister AVS entry, the No. 14 RC F GT3, finished 15th in the GTD class after an on-track incident forced the Lexus to the garage for repairs during hour five of the 12-hour endurance event. Co-drivers behind the wheel of the No. 14 Lexus included Jack Hawksworth, Richard Heistand and Philipp Frommenwiler.
Lexus currently ranks third in the championship point standings of eight manufacturers competing in IMSA’s GTD class. The No. 12 AVS team sits second in the GTD championship points, while the No. 14 team of Hawksworth and Heistand ranks seventh in the standings following two races.
The Lexus RC F GT3 will return to IMSA racing action on May 5 in the first sprint race of the season for the GTD class at the 15-turn, 2.5-mile Mid-Ohio SportsCar Course in Lexington, Ohio.
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
TOWNSEND BELL, No. 12 Lexus RC F GT3
How was your race in Sebring under tough conditions?
“Probably the toughest ninth place I’ve ever had. Just never really had the pace frankly on long runs. Just kind of hung in there. The team really didn’t make any mistakes. We Just had a little contact there in the middle of the race. It wasn’t Frankie’s (Montecalvo) fault at all. Just kind of wrong place, wrong time for both cars. One of those awkward situations, but we really didn’t lose much from that. The AIM VASSER SULLIVAN guys fixed our Lexus RC F GT3 and we didn’t lose much time. Aaron (Telitz) and Frankie both did a great job. I’m proud of the team. It’s our second race and we’ve finished both of them without a whole lot of drama.”
FRANKIE MONTECALVO, No. 12 Lexus RC F GT3
Are you pleased with your finish after racing in tough conditions at Sebring?
“I think if we can walk away with a top-10 finish at Sebring it’s a good day. Hats off to all of the AIM VASSER SULLIVAN guys. They gave us a phenomenal car. The Lexus RC F GT3 made it through the Twelve Hours of Sebring. Not many teams can do that. To come away with a top-10 finish with the rain in the beginning and all kinds of different conditions. We got a lot of valuable championship points today.”
AARON TELITZ, No. 12 Lexus RC F GT3
What was your experience like racing in your first Twelve Hours of Sebring?
“It was my first Sebring race and, honestly, this is a way tougher race track than Daytona. It’s tougher on the cars, it’s tougher on the drivers and then the rain as well at the start of the race made the conditions tough. We went a lap down early and just kept battling and battling. We never ended up getting it all the way back, but to get a top-10 the first time at Sebring the AIM VASSER SULLIVAN team is doing alright. I know the podium was awesome at Daytona, but it’s hard to keep that up in this kind of a competitive series. So, I know these guys will keep going strong in the regular season races and I’ll be back for the endurance race at Watkins Glen.”
JACK HAWKSWORTH, No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3
How was your race at Sebring?
“There were times when the Lexus RC F GT3 seemed pretty competitive, but I don’t think we were quite fast enough today. It was a shame to have to retire there at the end. We had an unfortunate incident in the middle of the race. It was very unlucky, really, to be honest. It was a freak kind of accident. One of those things. Then we had a little issue at the end and had to retire.”
RICHARD HEISTAND, No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3
What were the racing conditions like in today’s race at Sebring?
“When it rains, it pours. In the warmup, the conditions were bad. A lot of things just didn’t go our way. I feel bad for Philipp (Frommenwiler). There’s nothing he could do about that. Really not anyone’s fault. We’ll move on to the next one and try to improve. That’s racing and that’s sports.”
PHILIPP FROMMENWILER, No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3
How was your race in the Lexus RC F GT3?
“Not the weekend we were hoping for because the RC F GT3 showed good pace last year here and good pace in practice, so I expected to be in a good position to fight for the podium. It didn’t start good this morning with the wet weather. Then, in the race I wasn’t able to avoid the accident. I was just too close behind to avoid it. Things happen in motorsports and we’ll try to do better next time. Our AIM VASSER SULLIVAN mechanics did a good job. After the accident, our Lexus was running very strong so thank you to our mechanics for their hard work.”