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Vasser Sullivan to field two Lexus GTD entries for IMSA Long Beach

Vasser Sullivan has announced it will enter two Lexus cars in the GTD class for the upcoming IMSA SportsCar Championship round on the Streets of Long Beach.

#12 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3: Frankie Montecalvo, Aaron Telitz

Photo by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

With the GTD Pro category not competing at the 1.968-mile, 11-turn temporary street circuit, Vasser Sullivan opted to split its regular driver line-up in the pro-am class across its pair of Lexus RC F GT3 machines.

Jack Hawksworth, fresh off a win at the 12 Hours of Sebring and having won last year in Long Beach in GTD Pro, will co-drive the #12 entry with Frankie Montecalvo for this year’s event.

Meanwhile the re-numbered #89 entry will be piloted by Montecalvo's usual co-driver Parker Thompson and Ben Barnicoat, who partnered Hawskworth in the winning GTD Pro car at Sebring and last year at Long Beach.

“The Long Beach Grand Prix is quite simply ‘special’ for our team and Lexus,” team principals Jimmy Vasser and James Sullivan said in a team statement.

“We are coming to Long Beach with one expectation…to win again.

“Pairing Frankie and Jack in the No. 12 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3, alongside Ben and Parker in the No. 89 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3, gives us the best shot at that.”

#14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3: Jack Hawksworth, Ben Barnicoat

#14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3: Jack Hawksworth, Ben Barnicoat

Photo by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

This concept for non-GTD Pro rounds is something Vasser Sullivan has done in the past. In 2022, for rounds at Mid-Ohio and Detroit, Vasser Sullivan opted to field two GTD entries, which saw Barnicoat joined by Kyle Kirkwood as the pair claimed victory at Belle Isle.

“We're excited to return to the streets of Long Beach and honoured to have Vasser Sullivan run a second GTD entry alongside the Vasser Sullivan No. 12 RC F GT3,” said Jeff Bal, Senior Manager of Motorsports for Lexus.

“As a tribute to the year Lexus entered the US luxury automotive race, the team will run the number 89 alongside the 12 as a nod to 35 years here in the US.

“Since 1989, Lexus has built a reputation on unprecedented quality and reliability along with consistently delivering an industry-leading guest experience, shaping the luxury industry to where it is today. ‘No best, only better’ is present everywhere within Lexus, and the same is true when it comes to racing.”

Watch: BrrrakeF1 - Understanding How Race Data is Used in IMSA & WEC

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