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.

Fuel Saving Stint Pays Off with Fourth Place Finish for Thompson and Vasser Sullivan at Detroit GP

Fuel Saving Stint Pays Off with Fourth Place Finish for Thompson and Vasser Sullivan at Detroit GP

DETROIT, MICHIGAN

An early pit stop and an extended race-closing stint for Parker Thompson yielded impressive results for Vasser Sullivan in a GTD PRO weekend at the Detroit Grand Prix. Driving the No. 15 SealMaster liveried Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3, Thompson and teammate Frankie Montecalvo showcased great performance in Saturday afternoon’s race, driving through the field from a 10th place starting position to finish fourth on the unforgiving Detroit street circuit.

With their regular GTD class not in action, Thompson and Montecalvo made their debut in the GTD PRO category, piloting the No. 15 entry alongside Vasser Sullivan teammates Ben Barnicoat and Jack Hawksworth in the No. 14 machine. Montecalvo, who qualified tenth, made an impressive start, moving up three positions on the opening lap to seventh. He then handed the reins over to Thompson just after completing the minimum required driving time of ten minutes. The team took a calculated risk with an early pit stop, requiring Thompson to manage the remaining 89 minutes without making another stop. Benefitting from four caution periods, Thompson demonstrated exceptional patience and performance, advancing through the field to finish fourth.

Reflecting on the race, Parker Thompson said, “We’re in Detroit, there are lots of casinos here so why not take a gamble and see what happens. Huge hats off to Colin Mason and Chris Andrews. These guys have been really good on the box. They just needed one to fall their way. An excellent strategy, pit stop, and great execution from what is normally the 12 team worked out great for us here this weekend. I’m so glad to see my Vasser Sullivan boys get this result. They’ve deserved this better at every stop so far this season. Because this was a one-off entry into GTD PRO, this isn’t a points weekend for us, but it does give us some great momentum rolling into Watkins Glen, a place where we know our Lexus RC F GT3 is fast.”

In three weeks time at Watkins Glen, Thompson will return to his regular position behind the wheel of the No. 12 SealMaster Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 in the GTD Class. As an endurance round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, he will be joined by both Montecalvo and Telitz as the trio look to defend their 2023 win at the famed Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, June 21-23.

UPCOMING IMSA WEATHERTECH SPORTSCAR CHAMPIONSHIP EVENTS

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
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 Earns Pole Position and Victory at Long Beach with Vasser Sullivan Lexus

Thompson Earns Pole Position and Victory at Long Beach with Vasser Sullivan Lexus

LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA

Parker Thompson delivered a stunning performance at the Grand Prix of Long Beach this weekend, taking pole position and victory alongside teammate Ben Barnicoat. The duo piloted a special No. 89 Vasser Sullivan Lexus GTD entry formed specifically for the Long Beach event where the GTD PRO class was absent. Thompson’s and Barnicoat’s triumph marks the second consecutive win for Vasser Sullivan and Lexus Racing USA at the prestigious Long Beach event. It is Thompson’s first victory of the 2024 season.

Thompson, who has recently shown outstanding qualifying pace in other series, has had great success with Vasser Sullivan early in 2024 as he moves into a new role with the team. The rising Canadian took pole position at the season opener in Daytona, was second in the field at Sebring, and then grabbed top honors again in a Friday evening qualifying session at Long Beach. His time of 1:17.357 seconds around the unforgiving street course marks a new record for the GTD class.

Taking the wheel at the start of the 100-minute contest, Thompson led every lap during an impressive stint, setting the stage for victory. Near the forty-minute mark, the team conducted a flawless pit stop and driver change, handing the number 89 off to Barnicoat. The black, yellow, and red Lexus momentarily surrendered the lead when other entries waited to complete their driver changes. Still, after all teams had cycled through the pits, they dominantly regained the lead position and charged to the checkered flag without incident.

Thompson praised the significance of the victory, acknowledging the historical connection behind the No. 89 Lexus. “Eight-nine honors the year 1989 when the Lexus brand launched in the USA,” said Thompson. “It’s fantastic to honor them and get the win. The team won here without me in 2023. Going back-to-back at Long Beach is fantastic and a testament to the excellence of our Vasser Sullivan, Lexus Racing USA team.”

Thompson continued, “I appreciated what Jimmy Vasser and James ‘Sulli’ Sullivan did with our driver lineup this weekend. This is only my sixth WeatherTech race, and it was my first street circuit event in the Lexus RC F GT3 – There’s still a lot for me to learn. Driving alongside someone as accomplished and talented as Ben Barnicoat is not an honor I’ve ever experienced. Since I joined Vasser Sullivan last year, we’ve been teammates, but this was our first opportunity to drive together.”

The victory at Long Beach is a significant milestone in Thompson’s impressive track record, still early in his IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship career. In seven races, he has earned two top-fives and two victories, the first coming at Sahlen’s Six Hours of Watkins Glen last year.

Thompson’s next challenge will come at Sebring International Raceway as he joins Hanley Motorsports to pilot the No. 999 Toyota Gazoo Racing GR Supra GT4 EVO in Rounds 3 & 4 of the Pirelli GT4 America Championship from May 3rd to 5th. From there, he will return to the West Coast to reunite with Vasser Sullivan and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship as he and Frankie Montecalvo pilot the No. 12 GTD entry at Laguna Seca, May 10th to 12th.

UPCOMING IMSA WEATHERTECH SPORTSCAR CHAMPIONSHIP EVENTS

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
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 Displays Tenacity in Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring

Thompson Displays Tenacity in Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring

SEBRING INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY, FL

Parker Thompson, alongside teammates Frankie Montecalvo and Aaron Telitz, demonstrated unwavering determination in Round 2 of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. Piloting the No. 12 Vasser Sullivan Lexus Racing USA RC F GT3 in the GTD class, the group faced an endurance race marked by ups and downs, ultimately reaching the finish thirteenth in class.

Thompson, who qualified third but started second due to a competitor’s penalty, showcased skill and pace, taking the class lead on the opening lap and maintaining it throughout his first stint before handing the car off to Montecalvo. Despite mid-race setbacks, including a drive-through penalty and car damage, the team remained resolute, battling to stay in contention at the front end of the GTD field.
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Reflecting on the race, Thompson remarked, “The 12 car just needs a little luck. When I look back at this weekend, we did everything right. Unfortunately, the race didn’t fall our way.” He emphasized the team’s perseverance, stating, “We don’t give up, and that was true throughout the race. We kept digging all the way to the end, and I’m proud of us for not giving up.”

Thompson led the No. 12 squad, marking the fastest Lexus RC F GT3 lap and single-handedly piloting the wounded car through the final 3.5 hours. A challenging conclusion saw a collision with a back marker take them out of contention for a top-five finish. Thompson expressed confidence in the team moving forward, “We’re about to start the sprint season, and I’ve never been more confident in this group. They believe in me, and I believe in them. Our program continues to shine and was especially evident in the performance of the #14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus Racing USA GTD Pro entry this weekend. Congratulations to them on their win.”

Thompson and full-time season co-driver Montecalvo will continue their campaign in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, with the Grand Prix of Long Beach, held from April 19th to 21st. The Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring showcased Thompson’s resilience and the team’s unwavering spirit, setting the stage for an exciting season ahead.

UPCOMING IMSA WEATHERTECH SPORTSCAR CHAMPIONSHIP EVENTS

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
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.