BRASELTON, Ga. (Oct 5, 2014) – CORE autosport wrapped up the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar season with a treasure chest of hardware including a podium finish at Petit Le Mans, top Prototype Challenge honors in the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup and it’s fourth-straight PC Team Championship.
Colin Braun started the No. 54 ORECA FLM09 fourth on the PC grid. He quickly climbed to the top of the PC class on restart from the race’s first of many cautions and lead the next 30 minutes of the race until it was time for the first pit stop.
Braun pitted from first and returned to the track in third. As traffic picked up, Braun battled between fourth, fifth and sixth positions until another full-course caution. The team chose to pit from fifth for fuel only and returned to track in second place, which enabled Braun to take over the lead for a time after the restart.
Braun handed the car off to teammate Jon Bennett in fourth. Despite multiple yellows, Bennett held a strong position in the top five for most of his run. Nearly halfway into the race, Bennett pitted under yellow from fifth for a driver change to James Gué.
Gué kept the car clean and held it in a good spot battling between fourth and fifth place. Gué handed the car back to Braun in third place for Braun’s closing run.
Braun again encountered multiple yellows and held the car in the top five, alternating between fourth and fifth place. With nearly 15 minutes to go, the leading No. 25 8Star car was involved in an accident on track, brining one last yellow flag. Several teams pitted during the yellow, advancing Braun to second place where he remained through the restart and all the way to the checkered flag.
The runner-up finish was more than enough to earn CORE it’s fourth-straight PC Team Championship (three in the American Le Mans Series and now one in the TUDOR Series). Bennett and Braun had already clinched the PC Drivers’ Championship a round early at Circuit of the Americas.
By simply starting the 10-hour race at Road Atlanta, CORE earned the first Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup PC Team Title. A prize awarded to the team with the best finishes in the season’s four endurance rounds (Daytona, Sebring, Watkins Glen and Petit Le Mans). Bennett, Braun and Gué earned the same prize in the driver category, making for a clean sweep of the TPNAEC prizes.
Highlights from the 17th Annual Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda will air on FOX, Sunday, Oct. 5 around NFL coverage. Check your local listings.
“It’s hard to find words to describe the culmination of this season. It was kind of an unusual season as you look back. We started the season with a 24-hour race that our team had never done. To get here tonight with all of our objectives done, and done well, at the end of the day is a testament to the team and an absolute dream come true. I couldn’t be happier.
“We had a split strategy going into the race today. On one hand we were spring loaded to win the race, but at the same time we realized how far we’d come and what the championship implications were of the race today. While we didn’t talk about it much, I think it was in the back of all of our minds to behave ourselves and be respective of the championship we were chasing. I’m very grateful to have won the championships and to finish second on top of that. Again, it’s another testament to the strong, strong car that Eric Vanbibber built and to the CORE autosport race team.”
– JON BENNETT
“This race was a struggle in terms of handling. We didn’t nail it quite as closely as we did at the other races. My stint wasn’t the easiest of stints, but we hung in there. We were able to hand the car over to Colin in a decent spot and within reach of the leader. It’s a fantastic result for CORE and certainly a dream season for me.
“To join CORE and be a part of this Patrón Endurance Cup is pretty spectacular. To get three of the biggest wins of my career and second place here at my home track is pretty big.
“CORE is an absolute first-class team and one of the best teams I’ve ever driven with. That’s why they get the results.”
– JAMES GUÉ
“Our goal first and foremost was to win the team championship. To win the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup is a notable accomplishment as well. Obviously, we would have loved to win the race, but I’m really happy to finish second. It was a tough, challenging, long day. There were a lot of cars and a lot of places to find trouble, but we were able to avoid the trouble and do what we needed to do to win the team championship.
“I had a good opening stint and led for quite a while. We had to be protective of our racecar early on to make sure we were there at the end. Jon and James did a great job today. We had great pit stops and good strategy.
“I thought we were fourth or fifth there at the end then the next thing I knew something happened with the leading No. 25 car. A couple other guys had to make pit stops so that moved us up to second and away we went.”
– COLIN BRAUN