The No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC-F GT3 started the WeatherTech 240 from eighth after being on the wrong tires in qualifying for what were tricky mixed conditions. That left Jack Hawksworth and Aaron Telitz with quite a bit of work for a positive result.
Telitz started the car and climbed the order, but a 45-minute red flag stalled the run. By the time he handed the car to Hawksworth, the No. 14 Lexus was in fourth. Hawksworth’s final stint in the car saw the Briton move from fourth to first and secure the team’s first win of the season. How did he do it?
“Well, it was big balls really,” Hawksworth said with a chuckle.
In all seriousness, Hawksworth explained the conditions were ideal for the Lexus.
“Another thing that’s good about the car is it generates a lot of tire temperature,” he added. So, a big lunge into turn one which worked and then Zach [Veach] was struggling a little bit on the cold tires, and I was able to nip through on him as well.
“It’s always like our car, in cold conditions, we went quite aggressive with the tires, so that’s like our perfect scenario in terms of grip.”
And that’s a wrap for the double header at The Glen 🏁
Congratulations to the WeatherTech 240 at The Glen winners!
— #IMSA (@IMSA) July 3, 2021
This win was perhaps surprising as it did not come on the team’s best day. The No. 14 Lexus has had races it dominated not pan out for them in what has been an up and down year for the squad. The team also had to overcome damage to the front of the car that came from contact with an LMP2 car. The damage significantly hindered the car’s straight-line speed. The corning speed of the car helped keep the rest of the GTD field out of the draft. Had they caught the back of the No. 14 Lexus, they likely would have breezed by, Hawksworth believed.
“We’ve been so competitive this year on so many occasions and it’s just not worked out – sometimes self-inflicted but many times it’s been out of our control but here we are today to finally get the victory and the 1-2 to go with it,” Hawksworth said.
“I’ll tell you what, that race was a roller coaster of emotions. We had the wrong tire choice in qualifying yesterday and started eighth. Aaron did a great job to get us to fourth. We had damage, at one point I thought we were going to be done but to win the race is just amazing.”