Thompson Continues Upward Trend with Remarkable 2023 Season
After coming out on top in Carrera Cup North America last year, Parker Thompson showed no signs of suffering a championship hangover in 2023. The twenty-five-year-old Canadian followed up his championship season with standout performances in top-tier sportscar series. Joining the Toyota family, he drove the Lexus RC F GT3 and Toyota GR Supra GT4 EVO to victories in three series with three teams. At times, Thompson dominated his competitors, solidifying his position in sports car racing’s upper echelon and arguably delivering the most successful season of his career to date.
NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENTS FOR THE 2023 SEASON:
- 18 Total Races: Thompson competed in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with Vasser Sullivan Racing, the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge with Hattori Motorsports, and the SRO Pirelli GT4 America with Hanley Motorsports.
- 4 Race Victories and 5 Podiums: With wins in each series, Thompson claimed four race wins. He stood on the podium five times, with seven top-five finishes.
- Lightning Pace: Behind the wheel of a GR Supra GT4 EVO, Thompson posted the top time in five qualifying sessions (earning three pole starts) and set the fastest race lap in three contests.
VASSER SULLIVAN RACING AND IMSA WEATHERTECH:
Thompson’s season began in January at the Rolex 24 at Daytona with Vasser Sullivan and Lexus Racing USA. Alongside teammates Telitz, Montecalvo, and Kirkwood, Thompson excelled in the globally recognized GT3 contest, helping the black, yellow, and green No. 12 Lexus RC F GT3 earn a fifth-place finish in GTD.
Thompson joined Vasser Sullivan for all four IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship endurance stops. At the Sebring 12 Hour, he set the No. 12’s best lap time as the team earned another fifth-place finish. At Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, an outstanding stint by Thompson established a significant margin for the race lead, putting his team in a commanding position to claim victory.
DEBUT WIN IN IMSA MPC WITH HATTORI MOTORSPORTS:
Thompson found instant success in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, piloting the No. 50 Hattori Motorsports, Weins Auto Group GR Supra GT4 EVO alongside Billy Johnson. On his native ground, at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, Thompson earned the pole position and established a dominant lead through the first half of the two-hour contest. Johnson took over for the second half, and when the dust settled, the No. 50 came out on top. The result marked the first IMSA race victory for the Toyota GR Supra race car.
HANLEY MOTORSPORTS – FULL SEASON GT4 CAMPAIGN:
Joining forces with Robert Hanley, Thompson launched a new Hanley Motorsports team to take on Pirelli GT4 America with the No. 999 GR Supra GT4 EVO. Thompson led and mentored rookie co-driver Daniel Hanley, and the duo had an immediate impact on the series. Thompson earned the top time in seven official sessions throughout the season, starting from pole position twice and earning the Crowdstrike Fastest Lap award three times. The Hanley Motorsports team captured their first Silver-class race win at Circuit of the Americas in May, then took overall victory at Sebring in September.
After his triumphs in 2023, Thompson looks to continue his progression. With a new race season and January’s Rolex 24 at Daytona rapidly approaching, Thompson is hard at work, focused on claiming a premier North American sports car championship.
IN THOMPSON’S OWN WORDS:
“After the year I had in 2022, I had the highest expectations for this season. It did not disappoint! That said, there have been moments of uncertainty where I wasn’t sure which direction my career would lead. First, I must thank Jimmy and ‘Sulli’ of Vasser Sullivan for putting me in the Lexus Racing No. 12 RC F GT3. As demonstrated by their GTD Pro Championship win this season, they’ve assembled an outstanding team. I would be honored to play a role in their future endeavors. In Pirelli GT4 America, Rob Hanley put tremendous faith in me to help launch the Hanley Motorsports team and mentor his son, Daniel. I’m proud to have won in every race car I drove this year. That said, winning races is only part of winning championships. Whatever happens in 2024, earning another series title will be at the top of my mind!”