AIM VASSER SULLIVAN (AVS) scored two top-10 finishes in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at Road America on Sunday, including a fourth-place result for the No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3, driven by Jack Hawksworth and Richard Heistand.
The driver duo started the sprint race in seventh after Saturday’s qualifying session was cut short due to lightning. Heistand moved up two spots to fifth on the first lap and was running third in class when he handed the driving duties over to Hawksworth. The race went under green-flag conditions for the entire two hours and 40 minutes, and the No. 14 Lexus was forced to save fuel coming down the stretch and finished in fourth.
Hawksworth ran the fastest GTD lap of the race in the No. 14 RC F GT3 with a time of 2:06.991.
The AVS No. 12 Lexus RC F GT3 finished ninth at the historic Wisconsin circuit with co-drivers Townsend Bell and Frankie Montecalvo. The No. 12 driver duo also made up ground initially with Montecalvo jumping up three positions after his first lap around the 14-turn, 4.048-mile circuit. Bell was able to make up even more ground during his stint to register their seventh top-10 finish of the year.
The AVS Lexus RC F GT3 entries have combined to earn two wins, five podiums, nine top-fives and 13 top-10 results in eight races this season.
Lexus currently sits third in the provisional GTD overall manufacturer championship point standings and second in the provisional GTD Sprint Cup manufacturer championship – just two points behind the leader – with three races remaining on the 2019 schedule.
In the overall GTD team points, the AVS No. 14 Lexus is fourth in the team standings and the No. 12 is in fifth in overall points. The No. 14 is tied for the lead in the GTD Sprint Cup team point standings and the No. 12 is fifth in the Sprint Cup team points.
AVS and Lexus return to racing action at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) on Sunday, August 25.
AIM VASSER SULLIVAN Driver Quotes
JACK HAWKSWORTH, No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3
Are you happy with a fourth-place finish in today’s race at Road America?
“It was a funny race, because it was the first race here in a while that’s been all green. We were very strong initially out of pit lane when the tires were good. After two or three laps we really struggled with grip. Our pace was competitive, but not as competitive as the front guys. I tried to hold onto third at the end, but we had to save a little bit of fuel and didn’t quite have enough. The AIM VASSER SULLIVAN guys did a good job on our pit stops. Obviously, we’re happy to finish fourth after starting seventh and earn some good points.”
RICHARD HEISTAND, No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3
Are you happy with your finish today after having some bad luck during qualifying yesterday?
“I did my bit in qualifying and we were on pace for probably P3, but we got caught out by a red flag. In the race, I got us back up to fifth early and then we got a little luck when some other cars ahead got in trouble, so we ended up third in my stint. I felt like that was justice because that’s where we belonged to be. It was a little disappointing in the end, because it looked like we were going to finish third and then we had to save fuel. I’m happy and satisfied with my performance and I’m happy with how Jack (Hawksworth) drove. Points-wise, it’s a good day for us and we’ll go on to the next one and hopefully get back on the podium.”
TOWNSEND BELL, No. 12 Lexus RC F GT3
How was your race today at Road America?
“It was a tough day. We had some issues in practice that we solved this morning. The AIM VASSER SULLIVAN team worked really hard to figure out what we needed, and we found it. We just ended up running out of time to get the setup for the race. Frankie (Montecalvo) did a great job. There were no yellow flags, which was shocking because everybody thought there would be yellows. We gambled, it didn’t pay off and we had to save fuel to get home today. We finished on the lead lap and we learned a lot.”
FRANKIE MONTECALVO, No. 12 Lexus RC F GT3
How was your race today?
“All in all, it was a great job. The AIM VASSER SULLIVAN team really got us back on track after qualifying. It was a little bad luck there with the red flag (in qualifying), but we made some setup changes and seemed to get a better car for the race. The first lap was interesting. We had a couple of good passes and then we kind of fell into a rhythm. I was really pushing to pick up some more spots and maybe I hurt the tires a little bit. Overall, I’m happy finishing ninth from the back of the pack. Townsend (Bell) did a phenomenal job to be fast while holding the position and saving fuel at the end of the race. So, you can’t ask for much more. It was a great team effort.”