Kirkwood to race GTD Pro Lexus at Sebring and Petit Le Mans

Kirkwood joined Aaron Telitz, Frankie Montecalvo and Parker Thompson in the GTD-class #12 VS Lexus for last month’s Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, the quartet finishing fifth in class.

For Sebring and Petit Le Mans, the open-wheel ace will accompany Jack Hawksworth and Ben Barnicoat who, along with Toyota prototype ace Mike Conway, drove Vasser Sullivan’s #14 Lexus to third in the GTD Pro category in the Rolex 24.

Kirkwood, Barnicoat and Hawksworth are defending winners of the GTD Pro category at Petit, after scoring the RC F’s first endurance victory last October. Kirkwood and Barnicoat also won a sprint race at Detroit last June while competing in the GTD category.

Kirkwood has also earned two IMSA pole positions, one for the six-hour endurance race at Watkins Glen in 2021 and again in Detroit last year.

Of his latest opportunity, Kirkwood said: “I really enjoyed driving with the #12 car group at this year’s Rolex 24. It was a tough race, but we finished in the top-five in the largest class field.

“I’m looking forward to driving with Jack and Ben again. The last time we drove together was last year at Petit Le Mans and we won the first endurance race for Vasser Sullivan and Lexus. Hopefully we can build on that success this season.”

Jeff Bal, senior manager of motorsports, sponsorships and experiential marketing at Lexus, described Kirkwood as “an integral part of the Vasser Sullivan and Lexus roster” and added that “his racecraft and poise behind the wheel of the Lexus continues to impress.  Kyle did an incredible job during Rolex along with the rest of the 12 team.”

Team co-owners Jimmy Vasser and James ‘Sulli’ Sullivan stated: “Continuity is a big part of our 2023 success recipe, and after our victory at Petit Le Mans, having Kyle back with Jack and Ben for Sebring and Petit is a big part of that.

“The Vasser Sullivan Lexus was a threat to win the 12 Hours of Sebring last year, and we are headed to Sebring squarely focused on winning with both the 12 and 14 cars.”

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