Frankie Montecalvo says he’s hoping to “keep the momentum” going in he and Townsend Bell’s GT Daytona class title chase heading into this weekend’s Northeast Grand Prix.
The AIM Vasser Sullivan pairing took over second place in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTD points standings following their third podium finish of the season last time out at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
While yet to win a race this year, the 28-year-old is bullish on their chances this weekend, in what comes as a home race for the New Jersey native.
“I’m looking forward to getting back to Lime Rock Park this weekend,” Montecalvo said. “It’s nice to race at a track that’s just a couple hours from my home in New Jersey and to be able to have friends and family come to the track and watch us race.
“Lime Rock is a very physical track. It’s incredibly short at only 1.5 miles, so that means we’re always working.
“With temperatures expected to be in the high 90s on Saturday, that means we’ll be working extra hard. There are no long straightaways at Lime Rock and all of the turns, except for one, are right-handers, so it’s demanding on the car, the tires, and the drivers.”
Montecalvo’s last visit to the 1.5-mile bullring circuit came in 2017 when he scored a pair of runner-up class finishes in Blancpain GT World Challenge America competition at the wheel of a Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 run by AIM Autosport.
The No. 12 Lexus RC F GT3 duo currently trail class championship leaders Mario Farnbacher and Trent Hindman by 19 points with five rounds to go.
“I’m hoping that Townsend and I can keep the momentum from our last race in Canada going and have another strong finish this weekend,” Montecalvo said.
“I know the AIM Vasser Sullivan guys never stop working to give us the best car possible, so I feel confident that we will be able to roll off the truck with a great car on Friday and be up to speed in no time.
“We’ve had some great races so far this season, but we’re hoping to bring home the first win for the No. 12 Lexus on Saturday.”
Bell Fully Focused on IMSA Race This Weekend
Bell, meanwhile, will focus entirely on his driving duties with AVS Autosport this weekend instead of attempting to pull double-duty between Lime Rock and Iowa, where his NBC Sports colleagues will be calling the NTT IndyCar Series race.
NBC Sports’ IMSA commentator A.J. Allmendinger will fill in for Bell in Iowa, with pit lane reporter Jon Beekhuis set to share the IMSA booth with Calvin Fish and play-by-play announcer Rick Allen for the Lime Rock race.
“We’ve made a lot of progress this year with our Lexus on consistency and managing our tires so quite keen to see how it plays out at Lime Rock, which is notoriously very difficult for tire degradation,” Bell said.
“I have fond memories at Lime Rock. I won my first professional race there in 1999 in the Barber Pro Series. It was a huge moment for me. I was a young driver, scrapping by to just get out there and came away with a lucky win at Lime Rock.”