Lexus Wins Motul Pole Award for Second Consecutive Season in GTD at Mid-Ohio
Saturday, May 4, 2019

Lexus is making a case for being “the one to catch” at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Richard Heistand won his first Motul Pole Award in the No. 14 AIM VASSER SULLIVAN Lexus RC F GT3, topping the GT Daytona (GTD) class with a time of 1:24.281 (96. 448 mph).

It was an unpredictable qualifying session for GTD teams, as the track was transitioning from wet to dry following heavy mist earlier in the day. Adding to the challenge was that this weekend is Heistand’s first trip to Mid-Ohio.

Heistand’s pole marks the second consecutive season that a Lexus RC F GT3 has led the GTD field to green at the 2.238-mile road course. Heistand’s co-driver Jack Hawksworth scored the pole position in the No. 15 Lexus last year, while its sister car – and current pole-sitting car – the No. 14, went on to win the race. It was the first WeatherTech Championship victory for the manufacturer.

“I think it’s a great car,” said Heistand. “I’m happy with the lap. To be honest, I think the car suits the conditions. It turns the tires around pretty quick. With the track drying, I just had to put together a clean lap. It’s funny when everything is going right, you don’t feel like anything was that hard. And then on days it’s not working, you’re trying really hard and don’t get anywhere.”

Heistand’s time turned out to be almost two seconds quicker than that of second-place Ben Keating in the No. 33 Mercedes-AMG Team Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3, who posted a time of 1:26.109 (94.401 mph). Despite the large margin between front row cars, the morning weather conditions prevented cars from reaching Hawksworth’s 2018 track record of 1:19.317 (102.484 mph).

Adding to Lexus’ qualifying success was Frankie Montecalvo, who placed both AIM VASSER SULLIVAN machines in the top three for Sunday’s Acura Sports Car Challenge.

The Acura Sports Car Challenge gets underway on Sunday starting at 1:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN. IMSA Radio commentary will be available on and on SiriusXM Radio Channel 202 (Streaming 972). Fans are also encouraged to join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #IMSAatMO.

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