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Lexus RC F GT3 Top-Five Finish at VIR

Hawksworth, Telitz Earn Fourth-Place Result in IMSA Sprint Event

Lexus is currently leading the overall and Sprint Cup manufacturer championship point standings in the GTD class after five IMSA events this season.
Lexus is currently leading the overall and Sprint Cup manufacturer championship point standings in the GTD class after five IMSA events this season.

Jack Hawksworth and Aaron Telitz finished fourth in the AIM VASSER SULLIVAN (AVS) No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3 on Saturday in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at Virginia International Raceway (VIR).

The AVS No. 12 Lexus earned a ninth-place result in the GTD class with co-drivers Townsend Bell and Frankie Montecalvo.

Telitz started the race sixth in the No. 14 Lexus and jumped two spots ahead to the fourth position at the start of the race, where he ran for much of his first stint. During his second stint, Telitz stayed in the top-10 moving back into the fifth position before Hawksworth took over for the final stretch of the race and went on to finish fourth at the 17 turn, 3.27-mile Virginia road course.

The finish marks the fourth straight top-five result for the No. 14 Lexus after having won back-to-back races at Daytona International Speedway and Sebring International Raceway as well as a third-place podium finish at Road America in early August.

Montecalvo qualified third in the No. 12 Lexus but fell back to sixth in the opening lap after contact with a competitor. Montecalvo took the lead in the GTD class following the second caution in the race and led for 10 laps prior to pitting under green flag conditions for a driver change to Bell. The race went green for the length of Bell’s stint and he wasn’t able to make up any positions en route to the fourth straight top-10 result of the season for the No. 12 driver duo.

Lexus leads the overall and Sprint Cup GTD Manufacturer Championship point standings following the fourth sprint race of the season and the fifth race overall. Both AVS RC F GT3 entries have combined to score three wins, five podiums, six top-five finishes and two pole positions in five IMSA races this season.

Lexus and AIM VASSER SULLIVAN compete next at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta in a six-hour endurance event on Saturday, September 5 at 11:35 a.m. ET. To follow all of the racing action, follow Lexus Racing on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter by using #LexusRCF GT3, #LexusPerformance and #LexusRacing.



Can you talk about today’s race?

“It was a really interesting race. Obviously, a lot of yellows which we didn’t expect. We thought it was going to be an all green race. That really messed around the strategy, so effectively we had a lot of cars on different strategies and the silver drivers were in the cars for much longer than usual. It was just a very strategic race. We made some good decisions and we made some not so good decisions. We got to the finish and it was good to get some solid points today.”


How was your race?

“It was a tough day here for me at VIR and a long day as well. I was in the car for an hour and 45 minutes and it was warm. The Lexus RC F GT3 was handling really well. It was just a little tough for me to pass when we got into traffic, but I made a couple late moves and moved up. I think if we would’ve got a little bit more luck that our strategy would’ve played out a little better versus the other cars, but to be disappointed with a fifth-place finish isn’t bad.”

Was it helpful to get more time in the car today due to the way the race played out?

“It was great getting to do so many laps here at VIR. It was my first time here in a GTD car, so I was just learning every lap I was out there. I enjoyed getting to do a lot of laps. It got pretty hot in the car and pretty physical. I didn’t really notice how hot I was until I got out and then I had to go and take an ice bath. It did get hot and muggy in there, but I made it to the end and didn’t feel like I fell off physically.”


Were the conditions tough in today’s race?

“It was a tough day for us in the 12 car. Just one of those things when we lost track position on the pit stops we got unlucky there and just couldn’t do anything from there. It was frustrating. I think a lot of cars had a difficult time passing and we were one of them. Our helmet blower wasn’t working either for my time in the car, so I was pretty hot in the end. It mostly came down to track position today and once we were where we were that seemed like where we were going to finish. There was no opportunity to do anything. Hard to go from the hero to zero in a week but makes it all that much sweeter when we get back to the front. Huge congratulations to Bill Auberlen — absolute ironman. I love the fact that at his age, which I hope is older than me, that he’s a tiger still and wants it every bit as he did 25 years ago when I was in high school watching him, so congrats to him.”


How was your race today?

“I don’t know what it is with me having bad starts here, but I kind of got in the wrong lane there and got passed. Once the race got going, I settled into a groove. The Lexus RC F GT3 was great and with a good pit strategy we were able to get in front after our first stop and then led for a while, so I think we had a good car. AIM VASSER SULLIVAN always takes care of that for us, it just wasn’t our day today. You can’t win them all and we’ll keep fighting for the next race.”

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