Bell rejoins Vasser Sullivan to race Lexus in Rolex 24

The former IndyCar racer and Indy 500 specialist has proven himself as a highly accomplished sportscar racer, having won the 2015 IMSA GTD championship, the GTD class in the Rolex 24 in 2015 and the GTE Am class in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2016. In 2019, Bell co-drove a Lexus RC F to second place on the IMSA debut of the Jimmy Vasser / James ‘Sulli’ Sullivan-owned team.

This year, Bell will race the #12 Lexus along with the car’s full-timers Aaron Telitz and Frankie Montecalvo and Michelin Endurance Cup third man Richard Heistand.

This completes the Vasser Sullivan line-up for the Rolex 24, as the #14 car, in the new GTD Pro category, will be driven by Jack Hawksworth and new co-driver Ben Barnicoat, with Kyle Kirkwood joining for the four endurance rounds.

The 2022 season marks the fourth year Lexus and Vasser Sullivan have been partners, and over the previous three years together they have earned seven GTD class wins and 11 other podiums.

Bell, who will once again do “double duty” as driver and NBC commentator at Daytona, said: “This is the first time I’ve raced the Rolex 24 with all four drivers having experience in the race and with our Lexus RC F GT3. That makes me confident.

“This will be my fourth season with the team and I couldn’t be more proud of the organization that Jimmy and Sulli have built brick by brick. We have a really strong team now with a few key personnel additions over the offseason. When I think about the proven race-winning capability of our Lexus RCF GT3, the VS team, and all of the outstanding support from Lexus Racing, I can’t wait to get going at Daytona.

“Make no mistake, this will be the most competitive GT field in history. However, we have a group ready and eager to compete.”

Sullivan and Vasser put out a joint statement, commenting: “It goes without saying that Townsend is a fantastic addition to the #12 Lexus effort. He is a winning driver, a great teammate and a good friend.

“We’re all looking forward to getting everyone together at the Roar as we pursue a win in the GTD Pro and GTD class in this prestigious and historic race.”

Jeff Bal, Lexus Motorsports manager, added: “We’re excited to see Townsend back in the Vasser Sullivan lineup. Putting Townsend together with Frankie, Aaron and Richard gives the #12 Lexus RC F GT3 a great shot at finishing in front of the rest of the GTD class in Daytona later this month.

“Townsend has proven multiple times how strong he is at DIS and he’s got three hungry drivers suiting up alongside him who are eager to put it all together and earn that watch.”

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