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Kobayashi to Sub for Hawksworth at CTMP

Kamui Kobayashi to make first start in Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3…

Photo: Toyota

Kamui Kobayashi will sub for the yet-to-be-cleared-to-drive Jack Hawksworth in the No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 in this weekend’s Chevrolet Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, it has been confirmed.

Kobayashi’s connection comes through Lexus’ parent company Toyota, where he serves as team principal and driver for Toyota Gazoo Racing’s FIA World Endurance Championship program.

The Japanese star, who is fresh off last weekend’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen in one of Action Express Racing’s Cadillac DPi-V.Rs, will make his first GT3 start since the 2020 TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa when Kobayashi was behind the wheel of HubAuto’s Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020.

He will share driving duties in the GTD Pro entry with Ben Barnicoat, who drove alongside Kyle Kirkwood last weekend. Kirkwood is unavailable due to his NTT IndyCar Series commitments at Mid-Ohio.

“I’m thankful for the opportunity to drive the Lexus RC F GT3 with Vasser Sullivan this weekend in Canada,” said Kobayashi. “I wish Jack a good recovery from his injury and hope he is back in the car soon.

“Obviously, my experience is quite low in a GT car. It’s going to be quite different than what I’m used to driving and it’s going to be challenging, but I’m excited to see how well the RC F handles.

“I have a lot of support from the Vasser Sullivan team, Lexus and TRD, USA to help make me comfortable going to Canada. It will be a challenge, but I’m looking forward to it.”

Barnicoat added: “I’m extremely excited to be sharing a car with Kamui. He was a Formula 1 driver when I was growing up, coming through the ranks of motorsports so that’s going to be an amazing opportunity for me to share our Lexus with a driver of his caliber and also help guide him with our RC F GT3.

“We’re aiming to have a strong weekend and continue pressing on for the championship as we head into the second half of the season.”

A decision on Hawksworth’s return is still understood to be on “race by race” basis, with the Englishman recovering from injuries sustained in a motocross accident in May.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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