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Vasser Sullivan Confirms Two Lexus GTD Entries at Long Beach

Jack Hawksworth, Ben Barnicoat to race on streets of Long Beach despite lack of GTD Pro class…

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

Vasser Sullivan will field a second Lexus RC F GT3 in the GTD class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in next weekend’s Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, splitting its full season lineup in the process.

Announced on Tuesday, full season No. 12 pilots Frankie Montecalvo and Parker Thompson — both Silver-rated drivers — will be split up for the 100-minute race, with the team’s GTD Pro drivers Jack Hawksworth and Ben Barnicoat completing the lineup for the one-off event.

Hawksworth will be drafted into the No. 12 Lexus with Montecalvo, while Barnicoat and Thompson will team up in the No. 89 entry.

The GTD Pro class is not in action for the April 20 round on the Southern California streets.

The team utilized a similar strategy in the 2022 WeatherTech Championship races at Mid-Ohio and Detroit, which also did not feature the GTD Pro classes, in fielding two cars in the GTD ranks, which saw its additional GTD entry of Barnicoat and Kyle Kirkwood victorious in Belle Isle.

“The Long Beach Grand Prix is quite simply special for our team and Lexus,” said team co-owner James ‘Sulli’ Sullivan. “We are coming to Long Beach with one expectation…to win again.

“Pairing Frankie and Jack in the No. 12 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3, alongside Ben and Parker in the No. 89 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3, gives us the best shot at that.”

Lexus Motorsports senior manager Jeff Bal added: “We’re excited to return to the streets of Long Beach and honored to have Vasser Sullivan run a second GTD entry alongside the Vasser Sullivan No. 12 RC F GT3.

“As a tribute to the year Lexus entered the U.S. luxury automotive race, the team will run the number 89 alongside the 12 as a nod to 35 years here in the U.S.

“Since 1989, Lexus has built a reputation on unprecedented quality and reliability along with consistently delivering an industry leading guest experience, shaping the luxury industry to where it is today.

“‘No best, only better’ is present everywhere within Lexus, and the same is true when it comes to racing.”

The entry list for the GTP and GTD-only sprint race is expected to be released on Wednesday.

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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