Lexus and AVS are in the hunt for the GTD Sprint Cup Championship with just two sprint races remaining on the 2019 IMSA schedule. The Sprint Cup Championship, which includes only the seven sprint races on the schedule, is being closely contested as Lexus is currently second in the GTD manufacturer standings and just two points behind the leader. AVS drivers, Jack Hawksworth and Richard Heistand, are currently second in the Sprint Cup driver standings and their No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3 leads the team standings heading into the race at VIR this weekend. Townsend Bell and Frankie Montecalvo are sixth in the Sprint Cup GTD driver standings and fifth in Sprint Cup team points.
AVS scored two top-10 finishes in the IMSA race at Road America earlier this month, including a fourth-place result for the No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3, driven by Hawksworth and Heistand. The AVS No. 12 Lexus RC F GT3 finished ninth at the historic Wisconsin circuit with co-drivers Bell and Montecalvo. The AVS Lexus RC F GT3 entries have combined to earn two wins, five podiums, nine top-fives and 13 top-10 results after eight races this season.
In the overall championship point standings, Lexus sits third in the GTD manufacturer point standings. Hawksworth and Heistand are currently fourth in the overall GTD driver standings, while Bell and Montecalvo rank fifth with three races remaining before the season concludes with a 10-hour endurance event at Road Atlanta in October.
AVS will make its first visit to VIR but the 17-turn, 3.27-mile road course is no stranger to the Lexus RC F GT3 after having been victorious there last year with former drivers Dominik Baumann and Kyle Marcelli. Hawksworth earned the pole position in the RC F GT3 at VIR last season and ran the quickest GTD lap of the race in the team’s sister Lexus entry.
AIM VASSER SULLIVAN Driver Quotes
JACK HAWKSWORTH, No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3
Do you enjoy racing the Lexus RC F GT3 at VIR?
“VIR is probably the most fun track on the schedule in terms of driving, it is right up there with Road Atlanta. It is a track which suits our Lexus RC F GT3 quite well and one which we have had good speed at both in 2017 and 2018. I am really looking forward to the race. We are very close to the top in both the manufacturers championship and sprint championship, so we’ll need a standout result here to keep the pressure on the others.”
RICHARD HEISTAND, No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3
Are you looking forward to returning to VIR after having raced there early in your career?
“I love VIR. I raced there in 2005 and 2006, and it’s where I had my breakout weekend. I led my first laps in the Skip Barber National Championship and took a double podium finish in 2006. I created some lifelong friendships running in that championship and when I think back to VIR from those two years, I have a lot of fond memories on and off the track.”
TOWNSEND BELL, No. 12 Lexus RC F GT3
What is so unique about racing the circuit at VIR?
“I love the VIR track. It’s one of the great gems of North American racing. It has a few very unique corners like the esses and the sequence off the back straight that is a blast to drive. We’ve had a rough couple of races with the AIM VASSER SULLIVAN No. 12 team and look to regain some mojo this weekend in Virginia.”
FRANKIE MONTECALVO, No. 12 Lexus RC F GT3
What is your outlook for racing the Lexus RC F GT3 at VIR this weekend?
“I’m really looking forward to getting back to VIR this weekend. It is an absolute beautiful track. VIR is an excellent track to race and especially in the GT class. The racing here is extremely close, which makes battles very interesting. I believe the Lexus RC F GT3 should be very competitive when we get back on track this weekend.”