Hot on the heels of the news yesterday that the current 3GT/ Lexus partnership for IMSA’s GTD class was to be terminated, Lexus have now announced that their 2019 partnership will be with AIM Vasser Sullivan to campaign a pair of full-season Lexus RC F GT3 race cars in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
The new partnership, somewhat scooped by RACER.com’s Marshall Pruett over a month ago, sees AIM Vasser Sullivan, a newly formed motorsports entity that includes AIM Autosport partnering with IndyCar winning team owners Jimmy Vasser and James “Sulli” Sullivan to compete in IMSA’s GT Daytona (GTD) class beginning in 2019.
“We believe AIM Vasser Sullivan is a great fit for our organization as we further evolve our race program,” said David Christ, group vice president and general manager, Lexus division.
“Lexus F is a brand infused with motorsports technology and the high performance capabilities of the RC F GT3 on the race track has proven Lexus as more than just a luxury automaker.”
Vasser and Sullivan were allied and partners from 2011-2016 with KVSH Racing in the IndyCar Series. During that time, they won the 2013 Indianapolis 500 and went on to win five more IndyCar races over a three-year period (2014-2016). In 2018, they formed a partnership with Dale Coyne to establish Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan to compete in the IndyCar Series with driver Sebastien Bourdais. In its first year, the team earned multiple podiums including winning the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, and finishing seventh in the 2018 championship standings.
“Sulli and I are excited and looking forward to entering a new chapter in our racing careers,” said AIM Vasser Sullivan co-owner Jimmy Vasser. “I have driven sportscars before, but my career was pretty much limited to the 24 Hours of Daytona, including a ‘class’ win in 1992 and second overall in 2008 (below).
“The AIM Vasser Sullivan Team, with the support of Lexus and our sponsors, has the tools to get the job done and we are looking forward to this new challenge.”
AIM Autosport has won races and championships in every level of motorsports they have competed in with customer racing programs dating back to the 1990s, including the 2012 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series GTD championship (above). Most recently they were responsible for the preparation of the Always Evolving Nissan GT3 effort in Pirelli Word Challenge and Blancpain GT.
“Having the opportunity to campaign two mighty Lexus RC F GT3 race cars in the IMSA WeatherTech Championship next year in partnership with Jimmy and Sulli is fantastic,” said AIM Vasser Sullivan co-owner Andrew Bordin.
“To compete for wins and Championships in this ultra-competitive class requires excellence in all aspects of racing and we now have all of the right pieces in place”
AIM Vasser Sullivan will operate from the current AIM facilities in Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada and a newly established U.S.based race facility located in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The team will announce its 2019 driver line-ups in the coming weeks.
AIM Vasser Sullivan (AVS) is a new professional racing team competing in the GTD class of the IMSA WeatherTech Championship with two Lexus RC F GT3 entries. AVS is owned by AIM partners Andrew Bordin, Ian Willis and Keith Willis, and Vasser-Sullivan Racing partners Jimmy Vasser and James ‘Sulli’ Sullivan.