Conway will co-drive alongside defending GTD Pro champions Ben Barnicoat, Jack Hawksworth, and IndyCar star Kyle Kirkwood in the team’s #14 Lexus RC F GT3. The combination of Barnicoat, Conway and Hawksworth teamed up to finish third in the 2023 edition of the IMSA SportsCar Championship’s season-opening endurance classic.
The 40-year-old Briton has driven for Toyota Gazoo Racing in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) since 2015, claiming two titles over that span. He also has one victory (2021) and four runner-up results in 10 starts in the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans.
“I’m really looking forward to being back with Vasser Sullivan in the Lexus again for the Rolex 24,” Conway said.
“Jack (Hawksworth) and Ben (Barnicoat) had a really solid year, winning the championship, so it will be good to be back with those guys again. I’m looking forward to having Kyle (Kirkwood) in the car with us as well. It will be good to have another crack at Daytona. We came up short last year, but hopefully we’ll have things stronger for us. I can’t wait to get back on track in January at the Roar. Looking forward to working with everyone again.”
Miyata, the reigning champion in Super Formula and Super GT500, joins Parker Thompson, Frankie Montecalvo and Aaron Telitz in the team’s #12 Lexus RC F GT3, which will compete in the GTD class at Daytona. In 2024, the 24-year-old is also slated to compete in Formula 2, the European Le Mans Series (LMP2 class), and will be the reserve driver for Toyota Gazoo Racing in WEC.
“First, I want to say thank you to the Vasser Sullivan team, Lexus, TRD and Gazoo Racing for giving me this opportunity,” Miyata said.
“The Rolex 24 At Daytona will be the first time I’ve competed internationally outside of Japanese motorsports, so I’m very excited and looking forward to working with the team.”
Lexus and Vasser Sullivan previously revealed Barnicoat and Hawksworth as the full-time GTD Pro drivers in the #14 entry, with Kirkwood signed on for the endurance rounds. Additionally, Thompson and Montecalvo are set as full-time lineup of the #12 entry, with Telitz participating in the endurance races.
“We’ve finished second and third at the Rolex 24 at Daytona,” said Team Principals Jimmy Vasser and James ‘Sulli’ Sullivan.
“There’s only one position missing. Coming off our first major championship for the program, our pursuit of winning the Rolex 24 has never been stronger, so it’s only fitting we have two great champions in Mike and Ritomo joining us.”
Jeff Bal, Senior Manager of Lexus Motorsports, said: “As the Lexus Racing program continues to grow, we are fortunate to work closely with our global racing partners in Gazoo Racing. Opportunities like this allow us to better share resources and apply learnings across multiple series in many of our global racing efforts.
“Adding championship-winning GR drivers Ritomo Miyata and Mike Conway to our Rolex 24 lineup gives Vasser Sullivan and Lexus two solid chances to win this prestigious endurance race. Coming off winning both Super Formula open wheel and SuperGT500 sportscar championships, we can’t wait to see what Ritomo can do in the RC F GT3. We also welcome Mike back for a second time in the No. 14 and we’re excited to have Kyle joining as well. Adding Conway and Kirkwood to the GTD PRO championship-winning Lexus as well as adding Ritomo alongside Frankie, Parker and Aaron in the No. 12 Lexus gives both teams a great chance to contend for a few Rolex watches come Sunday afternoon.”
Source : Motorsport.com