Robust Effort from Thompson and Vasser Sullivan at Rolex 24 Ends in the Final Hour

Jan 30, 2024


The 62nd annual Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona took place this past weekend, opening the 2024 race season as Parker Thompson joined a four-driver line-up with Vasser Sullivan and Lexus Racing USA. For the second consecutive year, he drove the No. 12 Seal Master Lexus RC F GT3, performing well in the star-studded sports car field. Thompson made an impact before the race even began, earning a new GTD class lap record during Qualifying to put the No. 12 first among twenty-three GTD entries for the 24-Hour race start on Saturday afternoon.

Lexus Racing USA veterans Aaron Telitz and Frankie Montecalvo joined Thompson to pilot the black and yellow GTD-class Lexus, with current Japanese Super GT and Super Formula Champion Ritomo Miyata also appearing. The four drove a strong race, leading the race early on and maintaining striking distance to the class leader as time ran down. Unfortunately, in the final hour, an onboard fire forced the No. 12 to retire and ended the team’s bid for a podium finish. Thompson was on pit lane at the time, holding the fifth position in class. Results show the No. 12 Seal Master Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 finished fifteenth in GTD.

Thompson expressed disappointment following the contest, saying, “It’s gut-wrenching to see our race end so close to the finish line. Daytona can be a cruel place – from the weeks of preparation leading into the weekend to the 24-hour contest itself; this event asks so much of drivers, teams, and machinery. In the end, no matter how prepared you are, you aren’t going to find the podium without a bit of luck. I’m proud of my efforts early in the race, through the night, and into the morning. Frankie, Aaron, and Ritomo put in heroic efforts behind the wheel. Our crew did an outstanding job. We were positioned for a hard fight in the final hour. Ultimately, our luck ran out too soon.”

Thompson maintained an upbeat attitude, sharing optimism for the season and ten remaining rounds. “We may not have earned the result we were looking for here, but our pace in qualifying pace and in the race was where we wanted it to be. No one works harder than our group. Even when things aren’t going our way, the Vasser Sullivan, Lexus Racing USA garage is an exciting place to be. We’ll regroup and bring our best to Sebring.”

The 2024 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship resumes on March 16th with the Sebring 12HR. There, Thompson, Montecalvo, and Telitz will look to improve on the team’s Round 1 result and their fifth-place finish at the Sebring race in 2023.

Season Schedule

Rolex 24 at Daytona –  January 27–28
Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring 12 – March 16
Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach – April 20
Motul Course de Monterey – May 12
Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix – June 1
Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen – June 23
Chevrolet Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park – July 14
IMSA Sportscar Weekend at Road America – August 4
Michelin GT Challenge at VIR – August 25 Battle on the Bricks at IMS – September 22
Motul Petit Le Mans – October 12

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