Thompson and Vasser Sullivan No. 12 Take 5th at Sebring
Parker Thompson, Aaron Telitz, and Frankie Montecalvo drove the No. 12 SealMaster Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 from 19th place to finish fifth in GTD class at the 2023 Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
The black, yellow, and green No. 12 showed excellent pace throughout practice sessions leading up to Saturday’s endurance contest. That strength carried into Qualifying, where team leader Aaron Telitz earned a 3rd-in-class starting position. When racing action began, the team held their position near the front of the field until an early refueling infraction and drive-through penalty dropped them to nineteenth place.
Sebring International Raceway lived up to its torturous and unforgiving reputation. With fifty-three entries in five different classes, negotiating traffic on the 6.0km, 17-turn road course presented challenges for all drivers. With numerous scrapes and dents, the No. 12 machine displayed the effects of hard battle but managed to avoid critical incidents as its three drivers worked their way through the 20-car GTD field.
The team leaned on Thompson and his current focus on IMSA endurance events. He completed 99 laps and earned the entry’s fastest lap time. Near the 10-hour mark, Thompson turned the car over to Telitz, who deftly navigated major incidents in the final laps to bring the car home fifth in GTD.
“The No. 12 Vasser Sullivan crew showed real strength at Sebring and is in a great position to fight for the top spot as the 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season progresses. My main objective for the weekend was to keep the car on track and in one piece, giving Aaron and Frankie the best possible chance at a win. On the Sebring road course, that is no small feat. There is no doubt that it takes a little bit of luck to make it to the finish, but from our penalty to mechanical repairs, the team did an incredible job of adjusting and adapting. I’m so proud to have played a role in the effort and look forward to rejoining the team in New York in June for Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.”
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.