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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Lexus suffers early crash, late hearth in ill-fated Daytona 24 Hours

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Having began from the entrance row in each GTD courses, the reigning IMSA SportsCar champion No. 14 Vasser Sullivan RC F took the lead of the Professional class with Ben Barnicoat on the wheel.

Barnicoat handed over to Toyota’s WEC star Mike Conway, just for Dennis Andersen’s LMP2 automobile to spin throughout the observe in entrance of him on the exit of Flip 1, which smashed the entrance finish of the automobile, requiring intensive repairs.

“Actually gutted we had the incident there within the first hour of the race,” mentioned Conway. “Not a lot I may do to keep away from the spinning automobile in entrance of me.

“Possibly I may’ve seen it coming, however as soon as it occurred, I had nowhere to go.

“I’m actually disenchanted as I assumed we had shot on the podium, so unlucky we couldn’t obtain that.

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“Robust day for your entire Vasser Sullivan workforce, however they’re sturdy and so they’ll come again swinging.”

The automobile rejoined the race however needed to retire in Hour 16 as a consequence of overheating points and was labeled eleventh.

Photograph by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

#14 VasserSullivan Lexus RC F GT3: Jack Hawksworth, #12 VasserSullivan Lexus RC F GT3: Frankie Montecalvo

Its sister automobile was heading in the right direction for a podium end within the GTD pro-am class in Parker Thompson’s fingers till the ultimate hour, when it burst into flames exiting the pits as a consequence of a suspected plenum challenge.

“Up till the final hour, the #12 Vasser Sullivan Lexus workforce did completely all the things proper,” he mentioned.

“From the drivers to the pit crew, the engineers, we had been the definition of perfection.

“To have it go away like that has me misplaced for phrases truthfully. I can’t thank my team-mates sufficient, significantly Aaron Telitz who did a triple stint there on the finish.

“We wouldn’t have been in that place with out his effort. The pit field did a tremendous job to maintain us within the high race all day lengthy.

“Sadly, we have now to attend one other 12 months to get one other crack at it.”

GTD Professional spoils went to the #62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 296 of Daniel Serra, Davide Rigon, Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado, whereas Mercedes squad Winward Racing claimed the GTD class within the fingers of Russell Ward, Philip Ellis, Indy Dontje and Daniel Morad.

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