Late Race Incident Denies Thompson and No. 12 Vasser Sullivan Lexus a Win at Sahlen’s Six-Hour

Late Race Incident Denies Thompson and No. 12 Vasser Sullivan Lexus a Win at Sahlen’s Six-Hour

WATKINS GLEN, NEW YORK

In a thrilling, weather-challenged race at Watkins Glen International, Parker Thompson, with teammates Frankie Montecalvo and Aaron Telitz, drove the No. 12 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 to a fourth-place finish in GTD. The trio performed strongly in a Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen event, fraught with pouring rain, high winds, multiple caution flags, and a 40-minute red flag stoppage. Thompson closed the contest with tremendous pace, attacking the class leader in the final minutes before a side-to-side collision forced him off-track and dropped him down the order and off the podium.

Thompson showed class-leading pace throughout the event, with the fastest lap time in Practice 2 and Qualifying. On Sunday, he started on the pole and maintained the lead throughout his opening stint, building a solid foundation as he handed the car off to Montecalvo at the end of the first hour.

Montecalvo kept the momentum, leading throughout his first stint before rejoining in second place after a pit stop. He held this position until Telitz took over, navigating a race that saw rapidly changing weather conditions, including torrential downpours, that resulted in a lengthy red flag.

With about thirty minutes left, racing resumed, and Thompson rejoined the action in fourth place. Demonstrating his racing prowess and pace, Thompson quickly advanced two positions and aggressively challenged for the class lead. However, in a dramatic and decisive moment with just under nine minutes remaining, an attempted pass for the lead saw Thompson forced into a runoff area. Ultimately, he and the No. 12 GTD machine finished in fourth place.

Reflecting on the event, Thompson said, “There’s not much more to say after this except ‘onwards and upwards.’ The No. 12 Vasser Sullivan team did everything they needed to do to win the Watkins Glen six-hour race. We won here in 2023, and a repeat win was in sight, but it was taken away from us, racing hard in the final minutes for the win. I’ll decompress and learn from this. I’m new to the closer role in these GTD races, and I’m still learning who is fair and who is a foe out there. I learned that the hard way today. One thing is for sure: we’ve got more momentum than any other team in GTD, and I can’t wait to take that back up to the Great White North and use this as motivation to fuel the fire for the back half of the season.”

Thompson, Montecalvo, and the No. 12 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 team will aim for their first victory of the season as the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship heads north of the border to Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, July 12-14. This track holds special significance for Canadian-born Thompson, who has been victorious there in various series throughout his career. For 2024, the event represents Thompson’s only opportunity to race in front of a Canadian crowd, and no doubt, he will look to leverage the team’s momentum to secure victory there.

UPCOMING IMSA WEATHERTECH SPORTSCAR CHAMPIONSHIP EVENTS

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
Tirerack.com Battle on the Bricks at IMS – September 22
Motul Petit Le Mans – October 12

For more details and broadcast information, visit imsa.com.

Thompson Captures Pole Position for Vasser Sullivan Lexus at Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen

Thompson Captures Pole Position for Vasser Sullivan Lexus at Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen

WATKINS GLEN, NEW YORK

Parker Thompson put the SealMaster No. 12 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 on the pole in GTD for the 2024 Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen. The Canadian driver’s lap time of 1:44.642 seconds on the renowned 11-turn, 3.4-mile road course at Watkins Glen International was 0.600 seconds faster than the next best competitor in class.

This achievement marks Thompson’s third IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship pole position of the season, following impressive performances at the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona and the Grand Prix of Long Beach. This is the first pole position for the No. 12 Vasser Sullivan Lexus in Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.

Thompson will be joined by teammates Frankie Montecalvo and Aaron Telitz for Sunday’s race start. The trio aims to defend their 2023 GTD class victory. Their experience and strong teamwork will be critical as they aim to convert their qualifying result into a race win.

Thompson reflected on his pole position, “This is just the start. Vasser Sullivan and Lexus Racing gave me an absolute rocket. Our Lexus loves Watkins Glen, and we love it back, so we’ve got a job to finish. It’s great; I’ve worn a couple of these pole hats this year, which is fantastic. My hat’s off to the 12 guys—they deserve this. The momentum is coming for us; we’re coming into our own, but nobody remembers the pole winner; they only remember the race winner. So we’ve got a job to do tomorrow.”

The start of Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen on Sunday, June 23, will be broadcast live on USA Network from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET, along with live flag-to-flag coverage on Peacock from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET. With Thompson’s pole position setting a promising tone, Vasser Sullivan Lexus Racing is poised to earn their best result of 2024 to date at Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.

Thompson Celebrates First IMSA WeatherTech Victory at Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen  

Thompson Celebrates First IMSA WeatherTech Victory at Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen  

WATKINS GLEN, NY

Parker Thompson stood on top of the podium in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship on Sunday after the #12 Vasser Sullivan Lexus Racing RC F GT3 clinched victory in GTD class at Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.

At the hands of Parker Thompson, Aaron Telitz, and Frankie Montecalvo, the yellow and black SealMaster Lexus RC F, adorned with green GTD class highlights, showcased exceptional performance throughout the weekend. The car topped the highly competitive GTD field in practice on Saturday morning before Telitz secured a second-place starting position in qualifying.

Vasser Sullivan flawlessly executed their race plan for the No. 12 team throughout the six-hour contest, splitting drive time between Thompson and veterans Telitz and Montecalvo. Thompson’s time behind the wheel began at the 3-hour mark. With a robust, steady pace, and commendable overtaking, Thompson enabled the No. 12 to establish a dominant presence at the front of the field through the race’s final hours. On the final restart Thompson was able to make a move into the first corner to put the number 12 in the lead. There was no looking back after that as he built an impressive cushion over second place. After Thompson’s stint, Telitz confidently carried the momentum to the checkered flag, earning his first podium and victory in the celebrated IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

The victory also marks the first win for the #12 machine in this 2023 season. Significantly, the Lexus Racing USA #14 GTD PRO entry of Vasser Sullivan also won its class. That allows the team, and manufacturer Lexus, a full sweep at Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen—a feat not lost on Thompson.

“I am so thankful for the faith that Jimmy and Sulli have placed in me. It’s not easy putting a rookie in your car in this day and age,” Thompson explained. “When I joined Vasser Sullivan and Lexus Racing USA, I knew we were going to share days like this together. The performance of the No. 12 here stems from the hard work of each and every member of our team, but it’s even more exciting to see it align with a victory from Jack and Ben in the No. 14. In my mind, there was never any doubt that our group would find this type of success together. Since joining sports car racing, earning a place among the IMSA WeatherTech field has been my primary goal. Now, winning here feels like a major achievement. I expect that it will be the first of many. I am excited about rejoining Aaron, Frankie, and the team at Road Atlanta.”

The Motul Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta (October 20-22) is the traditional finale for the IMSA race season and a pinnacle event in sports car racing. Leading up to that event, Thompson will undoubtedly work to further hone his skills, aiming for maximum impact to close the 2023 season.

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.  

About Lexus:

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.

Thompson Reunites with Vasser Sullivan and Lexus Racing USA for Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen

Thompson Reunites with Vasser Sullivan and Lexus Racing USA for Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen

WATKINS GLEN, NY

After one hundred days, Parker Thompson is primed to return to IMSA racing in the 2023 Michelin Endurance Cup. He will join the No. 12 GTD entry of Vasser Sullivan and Lexus Racing USA in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen this Sunday, June 26th. He last raced the group’s black, yellow, and green Lexus RC F GT3 in March during the Twelve Hours of Sebring. Alongside teammates Aaron Telitz and Frankie Montecalvo, Thompson aims to build upon top-five finishes at endurance races earlier this year at Sebring and Daytona.

Since his Sebring stints, Thompson has kept active, piloting a different Toyota family race car. Driving the No. 999 Hanley Motorsports GR Supra GT4 EVO, he has demonstrated impressive pace throughout the first half of the Pirelli GT4 America season. Thompson and teammate Daniel Hanley claimed a Silver class victory at COTA last month, and Thompson led the field with two pole position times during qualifying at VIRginia International Raceway last weekend.

The potent GTD class Lexus RC F GT3 and the diverse multi-class field of the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship represent a distinct challenge. The extended stints of the Michelin Endurance Cup require careful management of racing traffic and consistency. Thompson’s past record at the famed 5.5 km, 11-turn Watkins Glen International includes sprint races in USF2000 (2017) and Carrera Cup North America (2021 & 2022), achieving a best finish of third. Now, with the accomplished team at Vasser Sullivan and Lexus Racing USA, Thompson is optimistic his recent experiences can contribute to a team victory.

“I’m thrilled to be back in the No. 12 Sealmaster Lexus Racing USA RC F GT3 of Vasser Sullivan this weekend. Aaron, Frankie, and the entire team have had a strong year so far, and I’m eager to help them continue that trend at Watkins Glen. Since my first outing with the team at Daytona in January, I’ve received incredible support from Jimmy, Sulli, my teammates, and the entire Toyota family. This has certainly elevated my skill behind the wheel and deepened my understanding of our sport. I’m committed to doing whatever I can to support the team as we aim for a win this Sunday!” – Parker Thompson.

A full schedule of IMSA races begins on track this Friday, culminating in the 2023 Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen on Sunday at 10:35 AM EDT. For more details, visit imsa.com, or follow @parkertracing on social media and parkerthompsonracing.com/live.

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.  

About Lexus:

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.

Event Information

2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship 
Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen

Friday, June 23, 2023
4:30 PM – Practice 1

Saturday, June 24, 2023
8:00 AM – Practice 2
1:20 PM – Qualifying 

Sunday, June 25, 2023
10:35 AM – Race Start