23-year-old IndyCar driver joins Ben Barnicoat in Lexus GTD entry for Detroit.
Kyle Kirkwood will make his return to Vasser Sullivan for this weekend’s Chevrolet Sports Car Classic at Belle Isle, having been confirmed in the team’s No. 17 Lexus RC F GT3 alongside Ben Barnicoat.
Kirkwood, who is fresh off a 17th place finish in his first Indianapolis 500, has been drafted into the team as its designated Silver-rated driver in the GTD class.
He will team with Barnicoat, who has been a late call-up to replace Jack Hawksworth, after the Briton sustained an undisclosed injury in a motocross accident.
Vasser Sullivan’s season-long No. 12 Lexus GTD entry will feature the unchanged lineup of Aaron Telitz and Frankie Montecalvo for Saturday’s 100-minute contest.
Kirkwood’s most recent IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship start with Vasser Sullivan came in last year’s Motul Petit Le Mans when he was part of the team’s Michelin Endurance Cup lineup that was highlighted by a class pole at Watkins Glen and fourth place result in the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
“It’s been a while since I’ve been in the car and I’m looking forward to competing in my first sprint race,” he said.
“I will be doing double duty in Detroit. Racing in both IndyCar and IMSA. That means more track time for me, which will be a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to driving the Vasser Sullivan Lexus again and I’m ready for the challenge.”
Lexus motorsport manager Jeff Bal added: “We’re excited to see Ben and Kyle competing together alongside Aaron and Frankie in the GTD class this weekend and thrilled to see Jimmy and Sulli pushing to add even more excitement to the entry list.
“The drivers have bonded together quickly, and we’d love nothing more than to see both Lexus RC F GT3s on the Belle Isle podium again this year before the race moves back downtown in ’23.”
Detroit is expected to be the final outing for the No. 17 Lexus this year, with all remaining WeatherTech Championship rounds counting towards GTD Pro points, which will see the No. 14 car back for those races in the top production-based class.