Jack Hawksworth, Aaron Telitz Team Up to Score Sebring GTD Sprint Win
SEBRING, Fla. (July 20, 2020) – Jack Hawksworth and Aaron Telitz scored their second consecutive GTD win in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Sebring International Raceway on Saturday evening. The driver duo of the AIM VASSER SULLIVAN (AVS) No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3 led 39 laps (of 75) in the newly-scheduled sprint race at the historic 17-turn, 3.74-mile Florida road course en route to their second straight victory after winning at Daytona International Speedway two weeks ago.
Telitz and Hawksworth combined to lead the most laps among the GTD field behind the wheel of the No. 14 Lexus with Hawksworth pacing the field for 27 laps and Telitz leading the GTD class for 12 circuits. Hawksworth ran the quickest GTD lap of the race with a speed of 2:02.441 on lap 39.
Saturday night’s victory is the fourth for AVS in IMSA competition and the second of the season for the No. 14 Lexus after scoring two wins in 2019. It marks the fifth career IMSA win for Hawksworth and his fourth behind the wheel of the Lexus RC F GT3. The back-to-back wins are the first career IMSA triumphs for Telitz who took over full-time driver duties earlier this month.
Townsend Bell and Frankie Montecalvo finished fifth in the No. 12 Lexus RC F GT3 at the Florida road course. Montecalvo earned the pole position in the No. 12 Lexus and was followed to the start by Telitz, who qualified second earlier in the day. Montecalvo led 12 total laps during the two-hour and 40-minute race. It marks the second straight top-five finish for the driver pair of Bell and Montecalvo after earning a second-place result at Daytona.
Saturday’s race counted towards the Sprint Cup championship points standings only, and Lexus currently leads the Sprint Cup manufacturer standings by eight points. The No. 14 Lexus continues to lead the IMSA Sprint Cup championship points by 12 over the No. 12 RC F GT3, which is tied for second in Sprint Cup points.
Lexus and AIM VASSER SULLIVAN compete next at Wisconsin’s Road America road course on Sunday, August 2 at 12:00 p.m. ET on NBC. To follow all of the racing action, follow Lexus Racing on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter by using #LexusRCF GT3, #LexusPerformance and #LexusRacing.
AIM VASSER SULLIVAN Driver Quotes
JACK HAWKSWORTH, No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3
Do you feel like the championship is in your sights after two straight wins in three races?
“It feels pretty good. As Aaron (Telitz) touched upon, the car was brilliant today – both of the Lexus RC F GT3s. The strategy was also perfect. The decisions on pit lane to take four tires at the first stop and then to put full fuel in for the second pit stop and short fuel for the final (pit stop) made a massive difference. So yeah, the championship is on the mind for sure.”
How was this win different from your win at Daytona two weeks ago?
“It was a very different race. Obviously, that first yellow we had really mixed up strategies. I think that really made the difference. That first stop we made the right call and we went with four new tires and then Aaron (Telitz) did a really good job on that next stint to recover the ground we lost to the others. Then, when we got to the final stop, we were able to short fill and the guys had to do a very quick tire change on that stop as well. So, all in all, just the strategy was perfect, the pit stops were perfect and Aaron’s second stint when he had to work his way through traffic was spot on. We just got everything right today.”
AARON TELITZ, No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3
How does it feel to get two race wins in the No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3 in your first two starts as a full-time driver on this team?
“Honestly, could it get any better than this at all? Two race wins, first two races full time. Obviously, our Lexus RC F GT3 was just incredible today. Had to go through the field once there after the first round of pit stops and then handed it off to Jack (Hawksworth) and he did an awesome job bringing it home.”
How were you able to work your way back through the field after the first pit stop?
“Our Lexus RC F GT3 was working awesome out there. It helped that we had fresh tires on that stop, and I think some of the other guys didn’t put fresh tires on or maybe only did two tires so that’s where we lost some track position. The car was so good we were able to just get through them and get back to the lead and hand it off to Jack (Hawksworth).”
How has it been having Jack Hawksworth as your teammate?
“It’s been great having Jack (Hawksworth) as a teammate. He comes from the same background as me, coming up through open wheel racing, so it’s been nice knowing anytime I have a question about something that I can ask Jack and he’s going to answer it in a way that’s going to make sense to me. Obviously, Jack has had lots of experience in the RC F GT3 so it’s great to be paired up with him. He’s incredible.”
JAMES ‘SULLI’ SULLIVAN, team co-owner, AIM VASSER SULLIVAN
What does the second straight win mean for the AIM VASSER SULLIVAN program?
“Look at the high points. We took the first one-two finish in the program’s history at Daytona two weeks ago and we back it up this event here in Sebring with a pretty dominating win for Jack Hawksworth and Aaron Telitz. What can you say about the Lexus RC F’s? They are absolute brilliant machines to drive with unbelievable precision. The cars are running great, the team is doing great. What a great event here and pretty amazing to show the world what Lexus is capable of here today.”
How much momentum does the team have heading to the next race at Road America?
The biggest thing that we’ve got going right now is that the entire organization has got so much confidence and so much momentum. The wind is in our sails going to Road America which is going to show in the driving of the silvers with Frankie and Aaron and is going to continue to show with Townsend and Jack.”
TOWNSEND BELL, No. 12 Lexus RC F GT3
How was your race?
“It was a difficult night for us in the pits with a number of issues, but it was awesome to see Frankie (Montecalvo) start on the pole with a terrific lap in our Lexus RC F GT3 during qualifying. That gives us great encouragement for the rest of the year for our AIM VASSER SULLIVAN team and congratulations to the 14 team on the victory.”