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.
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.