Even though the GTD PRO class isn’t competing in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s 1h40m race at the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, Vasser Sullivan Racing will still enter two Lexus RC F GT3s in the California street race on April 19-20. In addition to the regular GTD entry with the No.12 RC F GT3, the team will run a second car, realigning its driver lineup to comply with GTD regulations that mandate a Silver- or Bronze-rated driver.

Jack Hawksworth, who won last year at the Grand Prix of Long Beach in GTD PRO with Ben Barnicoat, will team up with Frankie Montecalvo in the No. 12 Lexus. Barnicoat, Hawksworth’s regular partner in GTD PRO car, will join Parker Thompson in the No. 89 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3. Thompson and Montecalvo are partners in the No. 12 for the rest of the season.

“The Long Beach Grand Prix is quite simply special for our team and Lexus,” said team principals Jimmy Vasser and James ‘Sulli’ Sullivan in a joint statement. “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.”

The number of the second car is a reference to the 1989, the year Lexus made its debut in the U.S. market.

Hawksworth and Barnicoat, fresh off a Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring victory with Kyle Kirkwood, are the defending GTD PRO champions. Because paddock space at Long Beach is limited, IMSA elected to include only the GTD class in the race; the series faces a similar situation for the race at Detroit, and that race will feature GTD PRO. The last time IMSA featured only one of its GT classes at a race was the 2022 Detroit Grand Prix on the Belle Isle circuit. Vasser Sullivan ran two cars in that GTD race as well, with Barnicoat and Kirkwood taking the victory.