Bell, De Quesada Finish Fourth in Rain Soaked Sprint Race
CONCORD, N.C. (October 13, 2020) – AIM VASSER SULLIVAN earned two top 10 finishes in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval in inclement weather conditions on Saturday night.
Townsend Bell and Michael de Quesada finished fourth in the No. 12 Lexus RC F GT3 after a hard-fought battle in the 100-minute sprint event. De Quesada started eighth and got up to third in his stint behind the wheel of the Lexus before turning driving duties over to Bell, who ran in the top-five throughout the remainder of the race.
Jack Hawksworth and Aaron Telitz earned an eighth-place result in the No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3 after a penalty late in the race following contact with the 86 Acura during the final restart. Telitz started from the pole position and led the first 16 laps during his stint. Following a driver swap under green-flag conditions, Hawksworth came out of the pits in fifth place and worked his way up to as high as third before the drive thru penalty that resulted in an eighth-place finish.
AVS has scored four wins, six podium finishes and five pole positions in eight IMSA races this season. Lexus increases their lead in the overall manufacturer point standings to three points over Acura with three races remaining and is on top of the Sprint Cup manufacturer point standings by 23 points with just one sprint race left at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on November 1.
The No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3 currently ranks third in the overall championship standings – six points behind the leader – and leads the Sprint Cup points by 19 points. The No. 12 AVS team is fourth in the overall GTD point standings and third in the GTD Sprint Cup. Unofficially, AVS’ collective effort this evening has successfully secured the manufacturer, team and driver Sprint Cup Championship with one sprint race remaining later this month at Laguna Seca.
Lexus and AIM VASSER SULLIVAN compete next Saturday, October 17 in the 10-hour Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. 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
TOWNSEND BELL, No. 12 Lexus RC F GT3
Are you happy with a fourth-place result in tough conditions tonight at the Roval?
“First of all, Michael (de Quesada) did an awesome job. He was really strong and just showed great maturity behind the wheel in super tough conditions and got the No. 12 Lexus up toward the front. Great pit stop from the AIM VASSER SULLIVAN team and we were able to get out of the pit quick. Unfortunately, our tire pressures just didn’t match up with what the weather gave us. We just ended up on the wrong side of that equation. We were slow and steady. Nothing spectacular and no mistakes. A big thanks to our spotter Eddie D’Hondt. He will be with Chase Elliott in the NASCAR race tomorrow. That guy is a pro and in these conditions it’s invaluable to have him. I wish we would’ve been on the podium, but just had to keep it clean. We’ve pretty much locked up the Manufacturer’s Sprint Cup Championship. That’s a great thing for all of us and especially for our partners at Lexus. They do so much for us. Anything we can do to make them proud is a good day.”
MICHAEL DE QUESADA, No. 12 Lexus RC F GT3
How was your stint in the race with wild weather conditions?
“The weekend overall was definitely tough. We got here and in first practice had a little incident, but we moved on. The pace for me wasn’t quite there in the drive but when it started raining, I knew it was an opportunity to make something happen. I just decided to be safely aggressive. Just tried to get after it and the Lexus RC F GT3 responded. It was really good in the beginning. I think we made a couple passes and just a race of attrition. I’m feeling a lot better with our Lexus. I think it’s good to drive the car in conditions like that because then when you get back in the dry you’re a whole lot more confident. I’m excited and looking forward to Petit next week.”
JACK HAWKSWORTH, No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3
Can you talk about your race today in inclement weather conditions?
“A drama filled race as we kind of expected. Aaron did a great job getting on the pole in qualifying and getting us started with his opening stint in the Lexus RC F GT3. Unfortunately, when we came to do the stop there was a problem with the window net and when our team’s mechanic tried to secure the safety netting, his goggles fogged up and he couldn’t see, so we had a really bad stop. A freak thing, I guess. We kept on going and I made a couple passes and closed in on the guys ahead of me initially, Patrick Long and Mario Farnbacher, and I just couldn’t pass the 86 Acura. He was so quick through the straights. I’d close on him during the infield sectors and he’d pull away in the straightaways — too much speed for us to keep up with them. On the restart, I thought it was my only chance to get by the 86 so I tried to make a move into the chicane and the officials deemed it to be unacceptable, so we got penalized. I got a drive-through penalty so that was the end of our day. Looking forward to getting back on track next week at Road Atlanta.”
AARON TELITZ, No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3
How was your race tonight in the Lexus RC F GT3 after earning your third GTD pole position of the season?
“It was a great way to start the day here with the pole position. We got a good start and ran well in the rain. Our Lexus RC F GT3 was great there in those conditions early on. I was avoiding some wrecks and keeping it clean during my stint. We had a decent lead and then when it went back to green (after the first caution) I pulled out a little bit of gap and then once we started to get into the driver change window we made our stop and had a little bit of a bobble with a freak thing with the window net. It got tangled up and it lengthened our stop more than it needed to be which was a bummer. Jack (Hawksworth) had his work cut out for him and he sliced his way up there and got into fourth trying to make it into a podium position. Nothing ventured, nothing gained as they say. A bummer to get that penalty to set us back, but we’ll be looking to bounce back strong at the next event which is next weekend.”