As the clock wound down on 2019 and the year 2020 gets under way, the AIM Vasser Sullivan team gears up for its assault on the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona. Like last year, the team will contest the 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in the GTD class with a pair of Lexus RC F GT3 racers.
The #12 car will see the return of Townsend Bell and Frankie Montecalvo as full-season drivers. For the Rolex 24, they will be joined by Aaron Telitz and Shane van Gisbergen. Telitz, a two-time Indy Lights race winner, already has ample experience in the Lexus RC F GT3 as the third driver for the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech season’s longer races. Van Gisbergen is among the 10 winningest drivers in the Virgin Australia Supercars series.
The #14 car sees the return of Jack Hawksworth as one of its full-season drivers for the 2020 season. His teammate last year, Richard Heistand, however, has departed for the rival GRT Grasser racing team, driving a Lamborghini Huracán GT3. His replacement as second full-time Lexus driver will be Parker Chase, who was the #14’s third driver in the 2019 Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. Chase at age 18 was named the 2016 Pirelli World Challenge Rookie of the Year and was also the 2018 World Challenge SprintX Pro/AM Champion. For the Rolex 24, they will be joined by Michael de Quesada, who, at age 20, already has a Rolex 24 GTD class win under his belt in the 2017 edition driving for the Alegra Motorsports Porsche team. The fourth driver, as we reported earlier, is 2019 NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch.
The team is already off to an auspicious start at the Roar Before the 24, a mandatory 3-day test and practice session that takes place 3 weeks before the actual race. Results from the Roar allow the fastest cars first dibs in choosing the most favorable pit box locations. We are pleased to note that Frankie Montecalvo in the #12 Lexus turned the fastest time of the entire GTD field, with 1:46.754 at 120.046 mph. The #14 Lexus scored the 12th-fastest time among the 18 GTD contenders.