Thompson Earns Fifth-place finish in IMSA WeatherTech Debut at Rolex 24
The 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship launched this past weekend as 61 entries in five classes joined the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Parker Thompson made his debut in the series, joining Vasser Sullivan Racing to help pilot the number 12 Lexus RC F GT3 to a fifth-place finish in GTD class.
The 24-year-old Canadian split driving duties with teammates Kyle Kirkwood, Aaron Telitz, and Frankie Montecalvo, completing an incident-free race. Among twenty-three GTD class entries, the squad lead a total of 26 laps. In the final hour, they battled closely with the front of the field, rising to as high as second position before delivering the yellow and black number 12 to the checkered flag in fifth position.
The result indicates a strong debut for Thompson, who commanded the No. 12 Lexus RC F GT3 for over five hours on track and even led all GTD entries during his first stint. All throughout the Rolex 24 weekend, Thompson demonstrated excellent pace, placing at the front of the field during practice sessions. In the context of the 24-hour race, Thompson emphasized the importance of managing his pace and working as part of a driver team.
“I’m so honored to join Vasser Sullivan and Lexus Racing USA here at the 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona. We may have had our sights set on a better finish, but from top to bottom, I’m proud of our effort and the role that I played. From a new race car, new track, new team, and new series format, I had a lot to learn leading up to this race. The crew and driver team at Vasser Sullivan did an incredible job helping me adapt and get comfortable.
SealMaster and Lexus Racing USA were out in full force, hosting hundreds of guests throughout the weekend. I had a lot of fun joining their festivities. There is no doubt that Jimmy and Sulli have put together an outstanding team, and I’m wholeheartedly thankful for this opportunity. I am excited to take all I learned here this weekend and apply to the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring on March 17th.”
Images credit Sideline Sports Photography
About Vasser Sullivan Racing:
Vasser Sullivan Racing is owned by 1996 INDYCAR Champion, Jimmy Vasser and Dallas businessman, James “Sulli” Sullivan. Vasser Sullivan has been aligned with Lexus since 2019. During their four-year partnership, Vasser Sullivan and Lexus have amassed an impressive record securing 10 wins, 14 pole positions, and finishing on the podium a prominent 61% of the time. Vasser Sullivan were recently crowned 2022 Petit Le Mans Champions, giving Lexus its first IMSA endurance championship win. In 2022, the team finished second in the GTD PRO manufacturer, team and driver championships, finished second at the 2019 Rolex 24 at Daytona, and are the 2020 IMSA GTD Sprint Cup Champions.
Vasser and Sullivan first partnered together to compete in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES from 2011-2016 with Team KVSH. They teamed-up again for another four INDYCAR seasons as Dale Coyne Vasser Sullivan Racing. The Vasser Sullivan INDYCAR partnership has recorded six wins including winning the 2013 Indianapolis 500.
The Lexus RC F GT3 enters its seventh season in the GTD class, and second year in the GTD PRO category, competing in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. During its previous four seasons, Lexus and Vasser Sullivan have combined to earn 10 wins, 28 podium finishes and 14 pole positions with the RC F GT3.
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 six models incorporating Lexus Hybrid Drive, Lexus is the luxury hybrid leader. Lexus also offers nine F SPORT models, two F performance models and one F model. Lexus is committed to being a visionary brand that anticipates the future for luxury customers.