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SEBRING, Fla. (March 16, 2024) – The Vasser Sullivan No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3 was victorious in Saturday’s Twelve Hours of Sebring at Sebring International Raceway with drivers Jack Hawksworth, Ben Barnicoat and Kyle Kirkwood. The win marks the first for Lexus and Vasser Sullivan in the historic 12-hour event.  

Hawksworth led the GT field to the green flag on Saturday after earning the first Twelve Hours of Sebring pole position for Lexus and Vasser Sullivan in Friday’s qualifying session. He led the entire stint however following the first pit stop the No. 14 Lexus was accessed a drive through for a pit road procedure penalty. The trio of drivers was able to work their way back to the front of the GTD PRO field with a great strategy put in place by the Vasser Sullivan crew. They combined to lead 133 laps around the 17-turn, 3.74-mile road course en route to the program’s third GTD PRO endurance victory.

Hawksworth, Barnicoat and Kirkwood won the first endurance race for Lexus and Vasser Sullivan in the 2022 Petit Le Mans, and Hawksworth and Barnicoat won the 2023 Six Hours of the Glen last season. The driver trio finished second at Sebring just one year ago.

Lexus and Vasser Sullivan also claimed a Sebring victory at the Florida road course in 2020 with Hawksworth and Aaron Telitz, winning a sprint event added to the IMSA schedule that year.

Parker Thompson, Frankie Montecalvo and Telitz finished 13th in the GTD class in Saturday’s race.  

Thompson started second in the GTD field and jumped into the class lead just after crossing the start-finish line to begin the race. The trio of drivers led 54 laps and ran in the top-10 the majority of the day however multiple racing incidents during the 12-hour event would relegate the No. 12 team to a 13th-place finish.

The Vasser Sullivan Lexus team returns to action on the Long Beach Street Circuit for the Grand Prix of Long Beach on Saturday, April 20.  To keep up with all the racing action, follow Lexus Racing on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok by using #LexusPerformance.

Vasser Sullivan Driver Quotes


Can you talk about how much of a battle it was out there at the end today?

“Yeah, it was. We knew it was going to be a battle. These long races, you have to do everything perfectly. Everyone has to do their job absolutely perfectly just to be there to even have a chance at the end. Then you just hope that the cards fall your way. As Ben (Barnicoat) touched upon, we had a tough day. But the team, we made good steps over the off-season. We wanted to come and show what we could do. This has been a proper bounce-back. Today everyone was perfect. We had the one obviously drive-through early in the race, a wobble there. Other than that, it was rock solid all day. The guys on pit lane were unbelievable. Ben (Barnicoat) and Kyle (Kirkwood) were absolute monsters out there. Yeah, we ended up in the fight there at the end. Come out on top. I couldn’t be prouder of everybody on this Lexus and Vasser Sullivan team.”


How much does it mean to the Lexus and Vasser Sullivan organizations to win the 12 Hours of Sebring?

“This is huge. Obviously huge for the organization. All the Lexus racing crew have been grinding, working so hard, looking for perfection year in and year out. I’ve been lucky to step in the program at such a good time. First year we got Atlanta with the Petit Le Mans win, which was incredibly huge. Last year we won Watkins Glen and then the championship. Now we ticked off Sebring. We’ve just got Daytona left to go.

We had a real rough start to this season, but that performance today showed why we were champions last year. That was definitely a champion’s comeback and got our season well and truly back on track. We’re looking forward to going from here.”


What does it mean to win the 12 Hours of Sebring today?

“I’ve never been so nervous in my life watching a race car that you are part of go around a race track other than today. It got to the point where Ben (Barnicoat) and I would literally have to walk off the stand and not watch because of how nerve-wracking it was watching Jack (Hawksworth) absolutely send it on every single car that was out there. To be honest, we didn’t really have the pace, the raw pace, at the end of the race. Jack just knew at every moment that he had a chance to pass somebody, he’d just send it in there and keep them behind him. It ended up paying off. It reminds me of our win at Petit. Similar situation to that. I couldn’t ask for a better group of guys right here. Of course, the Vasser Sullivan and Lexus team as well. These two drivers right here, it’s like you put them in the car, and they’re automatic. They get in, they send it, do everything perfectly. I’m proud to be a part of this team.”


How are you feeling after the 12 hours of Sebring?

“The 12 car just needs a little luck because when I look back at this weekend. We did everything right. Unfortunately, the race didn’t fall our way. The Sebring 12 hours stands for me the craziest race that I’ve ever done, the second time in a row this year in 2024. We’ve got the Lexus RC F to win. We just need to piece it together and we need a little luck to do so. Things didn’t fall our way, but I couldn’t be prouder of our Vasser Sullivan team. We don’t give up and that was true all the way through the race. We kept digging all the way through and I’m proud of myself for not giving up. Three and a half hours in the car was definitely a challenge, but it’s nice knocking those boxes off. And, now as we’re about to start the sprint season, I’ve never been more confident in this group. They believe in me, and I believe in them and let’s go win some races for the 12. Congratulations to the 14 team on their GTD PRO win today!”


How was your race?

“It was a good day. Congratulations to the 14 car for winning the Sebring 12 hour. It was a really great job and a team effort. We had a really good run going, we stayed upfront for a long time and everyone on this car did a good job. No complaints there. We’ll take this as another learning experience and continue working hard and getting ready as we go into Long Beach with our Lexus RC F GT3.”


How was your race?

“First of all, what an amazing day for this Vasser Sullivan team and Lexus winning the 12 Hours of Sebring with the 14 car. This is a massively historic race and a really huge deal for the brand and team to get a big win at another one of these endurance races. Congratulations to our teammates. On the 12 car side, we had some issues earlier in the race that just kept on developing as the race went on and really hindered our performance unfortunately, and we weren’t able to battle for the win. At least we finished this race so that’s a great step in the right direction for us. I’m looking forward to getting back with the boys at the Six Hours of the Glen and until then I hope they win a couple sprint races.”

About Lexus
The Lexus RC F GT3 enters its eighth season in the GTD class, and third year in the GTD PRO category, competing in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Over the last six seasons, Lexus and Vasser Sullivan have combined to earn 13 wins, 39 podium finishes and 19 pole positions with the RC F GT3. Lexus won its first full-season IMSA GTD PRO Manufacturers Championship on the strength of two wins and podium positions in nine of 11 races in 2023.

Lexus’ passion for brave design, imaginative technology, and exhilarating performance enables the luxury lifestyle brand to create amazing experiences for its customers. Lexus began its journey in 1989 with two luxury sedans and a commitment to pursue perfection. Since then, Lexus has developed its lineup to meet the needs of global luxury customers in more than 90 countries. In the United States, Lexus vehicles are sold through 244 dealers offering a full lineup of luxury vehicles. With eight models incorporating Lexus Hybrid Drive, Lexus is the luxury hybrid leader. Lexus also offers nine F SPORT models, one F performance model and one F model. Lexus is committed to being a visionary brand that anticipates the future for luxury customers.

Lexus Racing PR Contacts: 
Sam Mahoney, Lexus PR, 980-900-8573, [email protected] 
Pam Jansen, Golin for Lexus Racing, 386-631-2489, [email protected] 
Cooper Robinson, Golin for Lexus Racing, 213-713-2163, [email protected]   

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