Vasser Sullivan Racing announced Wednesday (Dec. 2) that they will return full-time to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with two Lexus RC F GT3s for the 2021 season. This comes despite the end of the partnership between Vasser Sullivan Racing and AIM Autosport.
The team also announced that Jack Hawksworth and Aaron Telitz will return to the No. 14 Lexus full-time in 2021. Unlike 2020, the current plan is to keep the drivers together for the entire season.
“We have not been shy about our attack on the IMSA GTD championship for 2021,” team owners Jimmy Vasser and James Sullivan said in a press release. “Securing both Hawksworth and Telitz in the No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus entry is the first of a few dominoes to fall as we prepare our assault on the championship.”
Last season, Hawksworth started the season sharing the No. 14 Lexus with Parker Chase. That was originally supposed to be for the full season, but Chase chose to leave the team after the Rolex 24 at Daytona. He eventually resurfaced in Michelin Pilot Challenge, driving a Hyundai Veloster N TCR for Bryan Herta Autosport.
Telitz was originally scheduled to drive full-time in Indy Lights in 2020. However, the COVID-19 pandemic cancelled the season. He was going to have to fall back on his third driver role in the No. 12 Lexus.
Chase’s departure saw the team move Telitz into the full-time role to replace him. However, they still moved Telitz back to the No. 12 for the TireRack.com Grand Prix at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta in September while Michael de Quesada joined Hawksworth. The result of those moves is that Telitz ended up a couple of points ahead of Hawksworth and had the chance to win the GTD championship at Sebring by himself. Kyle Kirkwood crashing the car in fluids from Corvette Racing’s Oliver Gavin ended those chances.
Overall, Telitz and Hawksworth combined for three class victories (Daytona-July, Sebring-July and Mid-Ohio) and five podium victories. The Sebring crash in November dropped Telitz to a third-place finish in points, while Hawksworth was fourth.
The team has indicated that additional announcements will be made to fill out the remaining driver slots in the No. 14. The full driver lineup for the No. 12 Lexus will be announced later as well.
As for AIM Autosport, they plan to remain in IMSA in 2021. They have refocused themselves on IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge with the aim of fielding the new Toyota GR Supra GT4.
PR: AIM Autosport races into 2021 with new opportunities pic.twitter.com/zlrBL6XlAP
— AIM Autosport (@AIMautosport) November 24, 2020
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Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.
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