Jack Hawksworth, Aaron Telitz Earn Fourth Victory of Season for AIM VASSER SULLIVAN
LEXINGTON, Ohio (September 28, 2020) – Jack Hawksworth and Aaron Telitz were victorious in the AIM VASSER SULLIVAN (AVS) No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3 in Sunday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The win marks the second consecutive for AVS and Hawksworth at the Ohio road course and the third straight at Mid-Ohio for the Lexus RC F GT3.
AVS has scored four wins, six podium finishes and four pole positions in seven IMSA races this season. Hawksworth and Telitz also earned back-to-back victories in the return to the race track for IMSA at Daytona International Speedway and Sebring International Raceway in July. Townsend Bell and Frankie Montecalvo earned their first victory behind the wheel of the No. 12 Lexus RC F GT3 at Road America in August.
The No. 14 Lexus led 70 laps (of 108) during the two hour and 40-minute sprint race. Telitz earned his second career IMSA pole position on Saturday and led the GTD field to the green flag in the No. 14 Lexus. He led 20 laps during his double stint before turning driver duties over to Hawksworth who led the final 41 laps en route to the checkered flag.
The win is the sixth career IMSA victory for Hawksworth and his second straight victory at the 12 turn, 2.258-mile Ohio road course, while Telitz has now earned three career IMSA victories.
Townsend Bell and Frankie Montecalvo also earned a top-10 result in Sunday’s race with a 10th-place finish following damage to the No. 12 Lexus RC GT3 early in the race. Montecalvo started the race seventh in the GTD class but had contact with a competitor on the opening lap that damaged the hood and resulted in multiple pit stops to fix the damage. Montecalvo and Bell have earned six top-10 finishes in seven races this season.
Lexus currently leads the overall GTD manufacturer championship point standings and ranks first in the GTD Sprint Cup standings. The AVS No. 14 Lexus is currently second in the overall GTD championship standings and leads the GTD Sprint Cup points. The No. 12 RC F GT3 sits fifth in the overall GTD standings and third in the Sprint Cup.
Lexus and AIM VASSER SULLIVAN compete next in a sprint race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval on Saturday, October 10. To follow all of the racing action, follow Lexus Racing on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter by using #LexusRCF GT3, #LexusPerformance and #LexusRacing.
AIM VASSER SULLIVAN Driver Quotes
JACK HAWKSWORTH, No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3
What does it mean to win again at Mid-Ohio in the Lexus RC F GT3?
“It was a perfect day! Three in a row for the Lexus RC F GT3 at Mid-Ohio. This place certainly suits our car. Today everything went perfect. Aaron (Telitz) put that great lap in to get the pole and controlled the opening stint of the race. We had a little problem at the stop, and they were able to jump us, but we had an unbelievable call from the AIM VASSER SULLIVAN guys to pit just before the caution came out. That was a big risk and a big decision. We stood up and made it and we got in and got out before the pit lane closed and that got us back into the lead. From there, for me, it was just about keeping the tires clean. There are so many marbles out there. On the restarts, it was like you were on ice. I just tried to keep my tires clean and I was able to get good restarts and then just control the race. I’m absolutely stoked – three in a row!”
AARON TELITZ, No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3
What made the difference for the No. 14 team today to earn another win in the Lexus RC F GT3?
“The big difference for us today was that strategy call. I was told to pit as I was coming down the hill to pit in basically and they said ‘pit.’ I just tossed it into pit lane, and I didn’t have anything undone. The stop was slow, the driver change was not great, but it didn’t matter in the end. Jack (Hawksworth) got it done. The AIM VASSER SULLIVAN team did such a great job this weekend.”
Can you talk about your stint battling with the 86?
“It was close, and it was tight. With traffic, a couple times I’d get some good runs on them, but to be honest they just seemed to have a little bit of a faster car than us. It was going to be tough I think to get around them on the race track. Mid-Ohio is tough track to pass at in the first place so unless you’ve got quite a bit more speed on the other car, I just couldn’t get it done. I was just staying behind them. The only way we were going to get back to the front was a strategy call and that’s what happened for us.”
TOWNSEND BELL, No. 12 Lexus RC F GT3
How was your race today?
“Our day never really got started. It was just really unfortunate. Frankie (Montecalvo) had a great start. He was up into P4, and I haven’t seen it yet, but somehow there was contact. We just started taping from there and then we had another issue about a lap into my run and just kept taping it up. The AIM VASSER SULLIVAN guys did an awesome job and never quit. I think I got my minimum drive time which was the goal at that point. It’s nice to finish. You hate to have a DNF, so it always feels good to get out and run and learn something. Still learning plenty about the Lexus RC F GT3 and trying to wrap it together and head on down to Charlotte.”
FRANKIE MONTECALVO, No. 12 Lexus RC F GT3
What happened at the start of the race?
“It was a tough day out there. The start was pretty hectic. We started P7, made it through the first two corners, gained a couple positions and then there was a little bit of a checkup and a bottle neck at turn 6. The 96 checked up a little bit early and I really just had nowhere to go. It was just a light tap, but it hit in a really bad spot on the car, which cracked the front bumper and I believe that allowed air to get under the hood. It lasted for a couple laps. We made it up to P4 and stayed there and I thought ‘Alright, it’s not too bad. This is going to be a good run.’ Our Lexus RC F GT3 felt okay. AIM VASSER SULLIVAN took care of that for us. After a couple laps the hood just popped up and ripped. It was pretty hard to see out there. I was stretching to see over the hood. We had to come to pit lane and tape it up and it was just a never-ending battle there taping the hood back down to try to keep it. It was a tough break. It just wasn’t our day, but we’ll get them next time.”
Aaron Telitz (left) and Jack Hawksworth (right) scored a win in the No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3 in the IMSA race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Sunday, marking the third straight win for Lexus at the Ohio road course.
Lexus leads the GTD overall and Sprint Cup manufacturer championship standings following Sunday’s victory at Mid-Ohio Motorsports Course.