Vasser Sullivan Earns Two Top 10s after Leading 77 Laps

SEBRING, Florida (March 20, 2021) – The Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 entries earned two top-10 finishes after leading 77 laps in Saturday’s Twelve Hours of Sebring at the historic Sebring International Raceway. The No. 12 RC F GT3 earned a sixth-place result while the No. 14 Lexus finished seventh.

Vasser Sullivan drivers Jack Hawksworth, Aaron Telitz and Kyle Kirkwood led 74 laps in the No. 14 Lexus, while Zach Veach, Frankie Montecalvo and Robert Megennis led three laps in the No. 12 RC F GT3.

During the three-hour mark of the race, the No. 14 Lexus fell a lap down but was able to get back on the lead lap after resolving a brake-related concern.  Hawksworth fought back to third place in hour eight of the race when a Prototype competitor hit the No. 14 Lexus, forcing the Vasser Sullivan team to the garage for repairs.  Hawksworth returned to the track eight laps down and the team was able to overcome the incidents to finish seventh.

The No. 12 RC F GT3 ran among the top six much of the race and moved into the third position with just under two and a half hours remaining in the race with Montecalvo behind the wheel before changing drivers. Veach took control and moved into the lead once again with just over 90 minutes remaining.  Shortly after the green flag dropped, the 12 incurred contact with a competitor that forced the RC F GT3 to the pit and the team went on to earn a sixth-place result.

Lexus and Vasser Sullivan Racing will have nearly two months off before returning to the track for the first sprint race of the season at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Sunday, May 16. 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 Mobil 1 Lexus RC F GT3
What happened to the No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3 that took you out of contention today?

“We were having a really good day. The Lexus was amazing, and it felt really good all weekend to be honest. It had a really good flow all around the track. The RC F was working really well. All of the Vasser Sullivan guys did a great job, and the pit stops were good. All of the drivers and engineers did a really good job but just got nailed from behind by a Prototype with about four hours to go and had to go behind the wall, so I was really disappointed. I’ve tried to think if there was anything else, I could’ve done to avoid the incident, but it just came from behind and I just didn’t know he was there. It’s one of those things where it’s hard to take because when you’re having an average day and that happens it’s annoying, but when you’re having a really good day and you feel like you’ve got a shot to win the race it’s kind of heart breaking. It was a tough day, but we’ll come back.”

AARON TELITZ, No. 14 Mobil 1 Lexus RC F GT3
Are you proud of the finish by the No. 14 Vasser Sullivan team after a hard-fought day?

“It was a great recovery back up to seventh honestly after feeling like we were down and out and might not even finish the race. The Vasser Sullivan guys did an awesome job getting our car back out there in good working order and it still had pace even with damage so that was positive. It would’ve been nice to be out there fighting for a win instead of just cruising around and picking up spots there at the end. I’m still proud of this team and happy to get on the board finally in 2021. That’s how every great run starts is with one on the board.”

KYLE KIRKWOOD, No. 14 Mobil 1 Lexus RC F GT3
How was your race today?

“The race went really well until there were some things that we just couldn’t control. The incident with the DPi car was obviously out of our control. Everything else went smoothly and perfectly. The driver changes were great, and the pit stops were great. Our Lexus RC F GT3 was in great condition as well. Our setup was perfect by the Vasser Sullivan guys which was just what we expected. I think we could’ve contended for the win there at the end. We led so many laps there early and as the sun started to set you could see it started to suit our cars, but unfortunately at that point we were kind of damaged and we just couldn’t contend for it. We did everything right as a team. The Vasser Sullivan and Lexus group did a phenomenal job making sure that everything was perfect. We’ll keep our heads up and look forward to the next event.”

ZACH VEACH, No. 12 Bayshore Recycling Lexus RC F GT3
What are your thoughts on today’s race?

“It was a hard-fought day for sure. I’m a bit disappointed, we had a miscommunication error that led to us getting a drive through penalty when we took the lead after the caution with two hours to go. But two laps after that we got hit in the back which gave us a flat tire that pretty much sealed our fate. We could’ve made up from the drive through from the penalty, but we couldn’t make up from the penalty and a flat tire. The one thing I’m so proud of with the Vasser Sullivan team is that both Lexus RC F GT3 cars showed that we had the pace to run upfront, we just didn’t have the luck on our side today. We fought so hard for every inch and unfortunately, we just didn’t get the luck that we needed on our side at the end. I feel like I’m making progress in this car. I’m still learning a lot and I’m excited for the next event.”

FRANKIE MONTECALVO, No. 12 Bayshore Recycling Lexus RC F GT3
How was the race today?

“It was a tough one out there today. I think we had a great Lexus RC F GT3. The Vasser Sullivan team did a phenomenal job with that. As soon as the night came — that night stint that I was out there – everyone said ‘Push, push, push.’ And our pace showed. We were running in P2 very strong, reeling the leader in. Great strategy by the guys on the stand that got Zach (Veach) out front, but just some bad luck with some contact from the rear while Zach was leading that put us out of contention. Really, really tough one out there today, but the guys did a great job considering everything out there. The 12 hours isn’t an easy one, but this stuff happens and that’s racing.”

ROBERT MEGENNIS, No. 12 Bayshore Recycling Lexus RC F GT3
How was your first race at Sebring?

“I’m super proud of the Vasser Sullivan team and drivers. We put ourselves in a position to win and we were leading the race with an hour and a half to go and it just didn’t end up happening. That’s how these long races go. Everything has to come together. We had the pace in our Lexus RC F GT3 to win. I feel like I drove really well, and my teammates drove really well. I know there’s a lot of positives to take away from this. I know the result wasn’t everything that we wanted it to be, but we’ll get them next time.”

Sam Mahoney
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Pam Jansen
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