Jack Hawksworth is hoping AIM Vasser Sullivan and Lexus’ successful past at Mid-Ohio will help propel their championship fight heading into the second half of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.
Hawksworth and AIM Vasser Sullivan return to the site of their first GT Daytona class victory, at a track that Lexus remains undefeated at in WeatherTech Championship competition.
In 2019, Hawksworth and then co-driver Richard Heistand claimed victory in their No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3, one year after the car’s first win in GTD competition at the same track in the hands of Dominik Baumann and Kyle Marcelli.
“Looking at the phonebook, you’d say it’s a good track for us,” Hawksworth told Sportscar365. “There was a win there in 2018 then we won there last year. It was my first [GTD] win and the team’s first win.
“It’s one of my favorite tracks from a driving perspective. I always tend to like the tracks like Mid-Ohio, VIR and Road Atlanta where there’s a lot of different types of corners and quite technical with switchbacks and stuff like that.
“From a driving point of view, I look forward to that track a lot.
“And obviously it’s been successful for the program, and for me personally last year and for the team with it being our first victory.
“I’m very good friends with Richard as well and it was his first win in the IMSA series so there’s a lot of stuff about the race last year that was really special.
“I was super proud to be a part of that victory so I’m looking forward to going back there.”
Hawksworth believes the fast, yet technical 13-turn, 2.258-mile circuit has been one of the Lexus’ best tracks on the calendar due to a number of factors.
“The standout things from the track is that it’s got a lot of medium to kind of high speed corners, which tend to suit our Lexus RC F GT3 quite well,” he explained. “That’s probably a reason we’ve been competitive around that track.
“Coupled with the fact that it’s quite low in terms of tire degradation, it tends to suit us.
“It’s a track that we just seem to flow well there.
“Credit to both AIM Vasser Sullivan and also to 3GT. Both teams were able to dial in the cars and nail the setups on the weekends there.”
Unchanged Approach Heading into Mid-Ohio
While having lost ground in the GTD title race following the six-hour enduro at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta last month, Hawksworth said AVS is not taking any different approach heading into Mid-Ohio.
Hawksworth, who entered the weekend tied for the championship lead, now trails the No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing duo of Mario Farnbacher and Matt McMurry by 14 points.
“Road Atlanta was disappointing in terms of the finishing position,” he said. “It was a shame because I felt pretty comfortable and felt like we had a good chance to get a good result there.
“We’re putting it behind us and going onto the next one. These things happen.
“The mentality doesn’t really change whether we’re leading the points or whether we’re second. It’s still the same mindset of getting the most out of each weekend that we can possibly can.
“Obviously we’ve had our tenth place finish. That kind of stuff usually happens once or twice a year and if you look at the team that’s leading the championship at the moment they’ve not had one of those weekends yet.
“I’m not saying they’re going to have one but they’re probably due one at some point.
“The points gap had grown a little bit, but I expect there’s plenty of twists and turns left in this thing with five races still to go.
“We’re just going to look at what we did at the last race, try and improve and come back all guns blazing at the next one.”