Archive for “September, 2014”

CORE Wrangles Podium and Driver Titles in Texas

AUSTIN, Texas (Sept. 20, 2014) – CORE autosport brought its best game to Circuit of the Americas for a Prototype Challenge showdown at the Lone Star Le Mans. The team emerged with a second-place finish, clinching the PC Driver’s Championship in the inaugural season of the TUDOR United SportsCar Series.

Starting second on the grid, Jon Bennett maintained a solid run and a spot in the top five throughout his stint, despite a harried start. Bennett did a good job anticipating the green flag, but unfortunately race officials did not approve of the formation of the Prototype front row and waved off the start. The race was finally underway after a second start attempt, but it was not as kind to Bennett, who experienced contact with another PC competitor in the opening laps.

Bennett was running fifth in class when the only full-course caution of the two-hour and 45-minute race came for debris at Turn 19. The pits remained closed during the full-course caution, forcing the team to pit as soon as the green flag re-emerged. Bennett handed the car off to Braun in fourth place.

Braun was making progress through the field when a GTD car made contact with the No. 54 ORECA FLM09. The hit briefly slowed Braun who fell to third. He quickly recovered from the incident and moved into the PC class lead.

Shortly thereafter, while defending his lead in Turn 1, Braun made contact with the No. 25 8STAR car driven by Sean Rayhall. Race officials deemed Braun to be at fault for the incident and issued the No. 54 a drive-through penalty. After serving the penalty, Braun returned to track in in fourth place.

The remaining race brought a fierce shootout between the PC top three with No. 25 in first, No. 54 in second and No. 08 in third. All three teams completed full service pits stops at the same time and re-emerged in the same order.

Braun remained quick all the way to the end, capturing a runner-up finish. The podium spot gave Bennett and Braun the points needed to clinch the PC Driver’s Championship a round early. It is the first Driver’s Championship for both.

The Lone Star Le Mans will re-air on FOX Sunday, Sept. 20, around NFL coverage. Check you local listings for air times.

CORE autosport must now focus on capturing its fourth-straight PC Team Championship at the TUDOR United SportsCar season finale: Petit Le Mans. The 10-hour race goes green at 11:15 am ET and will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 2.

 

14-CORE-web-Braun-Headshot“The race was pretty eventful and pretty uneventful. Jon did a great job, and we were lucky enough early on to make the minimum drive time, like everybody else. Jon came in, in a good spot, and we were able to get back out in a good spot. I got clipped by a [GTD] Porsche in traffic and then [Sean] Rayhall got by me.  Then going out of Turn 1, Rayhall seemed to get pretty sideways and I tried to avoid him, which we ended up getting a penalty for. I don’t think I touched him, but they obviously wanted me to do that penalty, so that was that. We had to serve a drive-through and had a pretty big deficit, but we were able to make it up.

 

“With the drivers championship on the line, we had to finish first or second, so once we got into second we were pretty conservative in terms of saving fuel to make sure we made it to the end. We would’ve hated to run out and give up the championship. We got really close there at the end, but I’m really proud of the guys who made up a huge deficit. We certainly had a fast car and a job well done. Goals were accomplished by winning the championship today, and now we can focus on winning the race at Petit.

 

“It’s great to be able to deliver a driver championship for Jon. We’ve been co-drivers for the past couple years and have certainly been close. I’m really proud of the effort he’s done and that the guys have done, and I’m happy to be able to deliver this for everybody. It’s been a long time coming.”
– COLIN BRAUN

 

 

14-CORE-Web-Bennett-headshot“We have a pretty solid process about how to approach a race weekend. We all know our jobs, and we don’t get overly focused on the results. We all just try to do a good job at what we’re doing and see where the results fall. It’s a formula that’s worked all season for us.

 

“Always at the start there’s a certain amount of anticipation of being both aggressive and also being careful and keeping in mind what our overall goal is for the day. There was a little bit of contact and a little bit of risk management. At the end, my goal is always to hand Colin a straight car in striking distance of the lead. I was able to do that. It was really going according to plan until some bad fortune struck Colin with a little bit of a questionable call. Deciding who’s at fault is a difficult task. It all worked out in the end though, and I’m happy we were able to capture the Driver’s Championship. I’m sure we’ll have a successful Petit Le Mans and will be celebrating in October.”
– JON BENNETT

 

CORE Qualifies on PC Front Row

AUSTIN, Texas (Sept. 19, 2014) – CORE autosport will start from the front row of the Prototype Challenge grid for Saturday’s Lone Star Le Mans after Colin Braun qualified second for the latest round of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship at Circuit of the Americas.

 

Weather conditions have been brutal in Texas thus far, as teams have faced a mix of powerful storms and humid heat. Following a dry Practice 3, PC teams watched as dark clouds moved in for qualifying. The rain never came, but the 15-minute qualifying session did go red flag shortly after the start for an accident.

 

Driving the No. 54 ORECA FLM09, Braun spent the remainder of the 15-minute qualifying session chasing Sean Rayhall’s time in the No. 25 8Star Motorsports machine. Pushing to the checkered flag, Braun’s best lap around the 20-turn, 3.4-mile road course was a 2:01.085 (101.086 mph), placing him second on the PC grid.

 

CORE autosport will attempt to retain their PC Team and Driver Championship lead in tomorrow’s penultimate round of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. Co-driver Jon Bennett will take the helm of the No. 54 for the start of Saturday’s Lone Star Le Mans, slated to begin at 12:35 pm ET. The race will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 2 and rebroadcast on FOX, Sunday, around local NFL games (check your local listings). Live timing and in-car cameras are available on IMSA.com.

 

14-CORE-web-Braun-Headshot“We certainly had our ups-and-downs in practice due to the weather and conditions. It really made it difficult to make our car better and improve, which was frustrating for everybody. Fortunately, we were able to make a few adjustments after the last practice. Qualifying went really well considering we didn’t seem to have the pace in the sessions before.

 

“We’re in a good spot for the race. Tomorrow we’re just going to do our normal deal – stay out of trouble and make good pit stops.”
COLIN BRAUN

CORE Prepares for TUDOR home stretch

Only two races remain in the TUDOR United Sports Car Championship and CORE autosport has its gaze firmly set on capturing Prototype Challenge Championship number four.

Next up is the Lone Star Le Mans at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. This is only the second time CORE has been to the new state-of-the-art facility which the TUDOR series will share with the FIA World Endurance Championship this week.

With 36 points on the table for a win, CORE continues to rely on its strong work ethic and unmatched preparation to take on the ultra-competitive PC category and maintain its championship lead through to the season’s end at Petit Le Mans.

 

NOTEWORTHY

  • Colin Braun made his ALMS GT debut at COTA last year in CORE’s No. 06 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.
  • Jon Bennett paired with Tom Kimber-Smith in last year’s PC race at COTA.
  • The 2013 COTA event is where it was announced that CORE would be Porsche’s official partner for a two-car factory entry in 2014.
  • CORE autosport leads the PC Team Championship by 14 points.
  • Bennett and Braun lead the PC Drivers’ Championship by 40 points.
  • Colin Braun was born in Ovalo, Texas, approximately 3.5 hours north of Austin.

 

14-CORE-Web-Bennett-headshot“We’re not thinking too much about the Championship. We are looking forward to the races at COTA and Road Atlanta.  We have had a great season so far, so we are having fun, and we are focused on enjoying a successful event in Austin. We have had many wins and strong performances this season.  I am sure we will see another win or two yet.

“COTA was definitely a hot one last year, but Colin and I stay in physical training mode all year to be ready for events of any length and environment. We really have not had a ‘hot’ race this year, but I think warm weather will play to our strengths.

“This track definitely has some unique personalities that I enjoy.  It’s is a great place to safely push the race car to its limits.  Of course Austin is a fun place to be and when we get there I have two words for you: Salt Lick [BBQ].”

 

 

 

14-CORE-web-Braun-Headshot“I don’t think we’re feeling the pressure over championship points. We’re focused on continuing to do what we’ve done for the last three years, which is try to win races. We’re out to win the next two races and let the points fall where they may. That’s been our mindset this whole year.

“COTA is going to be interesting for me because I’ve never driven the Prototype Challenge car there. I drove the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR there last year and also a GRAND-AM Daytona Prototype, so it’ll be interesting to figure out how COTA needs to be driven in the PC car. It’s a unique race track. It’s a little choppy for my taste, but it’s a cool place and it’s neat to be on a Formula 1 track.

“It’s been a few races since we’ve won and we’re all working really hard to get back there. We’ve been fast and we’ve been in the position to win but it hasn’t happened the last couple of races, so I think when you look over the course of the season, we’ve won half the races so far, so from a mathematical stand point, we’re due to win a race soon!”

 

 

 

Race Facts

Lone Star Le Mans | Sept. 18 – 20, 2014

VENUE
Track Length: 3.4 miles, 20 turns
Race Length: 2 hours, 45 minutes

SCHEDULE (All times Central)
Thursday, September 18
5:30pm – 6:30pm: Practice #1 (All Classes)

Friday, September 19
9:00am – 10:00am: Practice #2
3:20pm – 4:20pm: Practice #3 (All Classes)
5:15pm – 5:30pm: Qualifying (PC)

Sunday, September 20
8:40am – 9:00am: Warm Up (All Classes)
9:30am – 10:15am: Autograph Session
10:30am – 11:35am: Pre-Race / Open Grid
11:35am – 2:20pm: Lone Star Le Mans
TV SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)
LIVE Race U.S.:
Saturday, September 20
12:30 pm : FOX Sports 2
LIVE Race Europe, Asia, Africa:
Saturday, September 20
12:30 pm: IMSA.com
U.S. Race Replay:
Sunday, September 21
FOX, Check local listings
RADIO
MRN Radio will broadcast the Lone Star Le Mans in its entirety on IMSA.com and MRN.com.