News Release, Toyota
Newly Formed Race Team Debuts in Daytona with Two RC F GT3s
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 24, 2019) – Newly formed race team AIM Vasser Sullivan (AVS) is set to campaign the No. 12 and No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3s in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship beginning this weekend at the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
The race team is owned by AIM Autosport partners Andrew Bordin, Ian Willis and Keith Willis, along with Vasser-Sullivan Racing partners Jimmy Vasser and James ‘Sulli’ Sullivan. AVS first hit the race track for testing sessions at Daytona International Speedway at the Michelin tire test in December as well as the Roar Before the 24 earlier this month to prepare for this weekend’s grueling 24-hour event. Both RC F GT3s have a new look this season with nearly identical dayglow yellow and black liveries.
The Lexus RC F GT3 will make its third Rolex 24 at Daytona appearance during this weekend’s 24-hour event. Lexus experienced quite a bit of past success at Daytona International Speedway, winning three consecutive Rolex 24 at Daytona races from 2006 to 2008 when Lexus-powered Prototypes previously raced in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series from 2004 to 2009. This weekend’s Rolex 24 Grand Marshal Scott Pruett, a Lexus Brand Ambassador, was a part of the 2007 and 2008 Rolex 24 at Daytona race wins.
Four full-season drivers are set to compete in all 11 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship races for AIM Vasser Sullivan this season. Townsend Bell and Frankie Montecalvo will team up in the No. 12 Lexus, while Jack Hawksworth and Richard Heistand will co-drive the No. 14 RC F GT3. Bell and Montecalvo participated together in IMSA’s four endurance events during the 2018 season. Bell was victorious in the 2014 Rolex 24 at Daytona in the GTD class and won the 2015 IMSA GTD class championship.
Hawksworth competed behind the wheel of the RC F GT3 the last two seasons combining for a series-best four pole positions (2018) and seven of the quickest GTD race laps, including five last season. Heistand previously raced in the Porsche Supercup in Europe and will make his first IMSA start at the Rolex 24.
Joining the AIM Vasser Sullivan full-time driver lineup for the Rolex 24 at Daytona are four endurance racers split between the two RC F GT3s. Jeff Segal and Aaron Telitz join Bell and Montecalvo in the No. 12 Lexus to make up the only all-American lineup in this year’s Rolex 24 field. Segal, a three-time IMSA champion, earned the GTD class victory in the 2014 Rolex 24 along with Bell. Two-time Indy Lights winner Telitz will make his first IMSA and Rolex 24 start this weekend and is scheduled to run all four endurance events in the No. 12 this season.
2017 Japanese Super GT champion Nick Cassidy along with Austin Cindric will co-drive with Hawksworth and Heistand in the No. 14 Lexus at Daytona this weekend. Cassidy, who will make his first Rolex 24 start, raced the Lexus LC 500 in Super GT the last few seasons, finishing runner-up last year after winning the championship in 2017. Cindric joins AIM Vasser Sullivan after previously competing in the RC F GT3 in four endurance events in 2017.
NBC Sports will cover IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship races this season as IMSA’s new broadcast partner and will begin coverage on Saturday at 2 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Coverage will continue throughout the entire 24-hour event, switching between NBCSN and the NBC Sports App.
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