Archive for “May, 2015”

CORE Survives Streets of Detroit in Fourth

DETROIT, Mich. (May 30. 2015) – The CORE autosport crew fought back from an early set back to finish fourth at the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic on the streets of Detroit.

Starting from fifth on the Prototype Challenge grid, Jon Bennett was preparing to take the green flag when the field ahead of him suddenly slowed. This forced Bennett into the back of the car ahead, while the car behind hit the rear of the No. 54 Composite Resources/Flex Box ORECA FLM09.

The crew was ready for Bennett when he entered the pits the following lap. They replaced front bodywork and splitter, suspension on the left front and more bodywork on the rear quickly enough to send Bennett back out only four laps down.

The first full-course caution of the race was issued approximately 15 minutes after Bennett was back on course. With dark clouds looming overhead, Bennett pitted from sixth and handed the car over to Colin Braun.

The second full-course caution came out moments later when three cars got together in Turn One, two of which were PC cars that were unable to continue the race. This advanced Braun to fourth-place.

During this time, dark clouds began to loom over the 2.35-mile, 13-turn temporary street circuit, and a light rain began to fall. The rain would continue to come and go for the remaining 45 minutes of the race.

The race restarted with 33 minutes remaining, but, once again, did not remain green for long. A Ferrari in the tires brought out full-course caution number three. During this caution, Braun was in position to receive a wave-by, and picked up a lap on the PC field. When the green flag came back out, Braun was fourth, three laps down, with 10 minutes to go in the race and a steady rain falling.

Braun held on during the final rain-plagued sprint to finish fourth.

Though it was CORE’s first non-podium finish of the season, it was better than the team’s two main rivals in the championship and helped widen the points margin. With five rounds in the books, CORE leads the PC Team Championship by five points. Bennett and Braun lead the PC Drivers’ Championship by the same margin.

The TUDOR United SportsCar Championship now has a healthy break before it’s next race; the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen at Watkins Glen in upstate New York, June 26 – 28.

 

15-CORE-JB-Headshot“Starts are advertised ‘expect the unexpected’ and this one didn’t disappoint. Street circuits are already a strange place to have to pack up on for the start, because everyone knows it’s a hard place to pass and is feeling the pressure to get a good start. I’m usually a bit defensive and prepare for the worst. For some reason, today, we were experiencing a terrible amount of starting and stopping. I was okay on the first one and second one, but the third one was a bit of a surprise and unfortunately I hit Mirco Schultis ahead of me. I feel bad about that, but there was nothing I could do.

“Our reasonable finish today is in large part because of our crew being able to get everything fixed quickly. I went out and was careful not to make a big problem bigger. We were given a bit of a gift when the No. 8 and No. 52 go together and Colin did a great job in changing conditions. We’d prefer a better finish, but in terms of the season and gathering points, it’s not bad.

“I had no rain at all in my stint, but you could see it coming. The rain today was right on the edge of where the track is, so it was changing constantly.”

 

 

15-CORE-CB-Headshot“It was an uneventful stint for me. Unfortunately, Jon got hit on the start and we had to come in so the guys could change the nose and the suspension out really quick. After that we had to play to our strengths, which at that point was to stay out of trouble. Fortunately for us, not so fortunate for some other PC guys, some of the teams we’re battling with in the championship got collected. We were able to get back by them and savage good points.

“All and all not a bad day. It was a really good, championship-effort by the crew getting the car fixed on pit lane and back out. Jon did a good job keeping cool afterwards and we were able to get a reasonable finish in some pretty treacherous conditions at points.”

CORE to Start Fifth on Streets of Detroit

DETROIT, Mich. (May 29, 2015) – CORE autosport will start the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic on the Raceway at Belle Isle Park from fifth, Saturday, May 30. The 100-minute race is Round Five of the TUDOR United SportsCar Prototype Challenge Championship.

The PC class is partaking in the Detroit street race for the first time this year, making today’s two practice sessions on the 2.3-mile, 13-turn circuit, invaluable for drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun. Though both practice sessions were a comfortable 90 minutes in length, the second session was hampered by steady rain. In the end, the time in the wet could prove valuable, considering Saturday’s weather forecast includes a 60 percent chance of rain.

The 15-minute qualifying session was rain free. Bennett had qualifying duty in the No. 54 Composite Resources/ Flex Box ORECA FLM09. He picked up the pace throughout the session, running as high as third. Bennett put the hammer down on the final lap, turning his best lap yet, but so did five of the six PC entries. A lap of 1:31.180 (92.784 mph) put the No. 54 fifth on the PC grid.

Bennett will start the 100-minute race and hand the car off to Braun for the finish.

Saturday’s Chevrolet Sports Car Classic is set for 12:05 pm ET and will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 2. Live coverage is also available on IMSA.com and the IMSA app.

 

 

15-CORE-JB-Headshot“It’s always nice to come to a new venue. The track is a bit bumpier than I expected. In the end, it’s the same for everyone, so it’s just a challenge to overcome. I think we’ll be good for the race. It’ll be a matter of being careful and on the right side of attrition.
 
“Tomorrow could have some changing weather, so that’s another variable to consider. I like driving in the rain and I’m kind of looking forward to a rain race tomorrow. It’ll certainly make the race interesting and put an additional premium on being precise and using good judgment.
 
“I think everyone has their own approach to qualifying. I look at it as eight to nine attempts at a good lap. The first couple are handicapped because of cold tires etc. After that, the Continental Tires are pretty even through the 15 minute run. I think we all, as a group, lap by lap, increase the intensity and that’s how it naturally happens.”

 

 

Chevrolet Sports Car Classic | May 29 – 30

————————————————————

VENUE

Track Length: 2.3 miles, 13 turns

Race Length: 100 minutes

 

SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

Saturday, May 30

8:15am – 8:35am: Warm Up (All Classes)

9:30am – 10:15am: Driver Autograph Session (IMSA Fan Village, Picnic Shelter 3)

11:15am – 11:45am: Open Grid Fan Walk (Pit Lane)

12:05pm – 1:45pm: Chevrolet Sports Car Classic (100 Minutes)

 

TV SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

LIVE Race U.S.

Saturday, May 30

12:00pm – 2:00pm: FOX Sports 2

 

Race Replay U.S.

Saturday, May 30

2:00pm – 4:00pm: FOX Sports 1

 

LIVE Race (Worldwide)

Saturday, May 30

12:00pm – 2:00pm: IMSA.com

 

LIVE In-Car Cameras & Commentary:

IMSA.com & IMSA App

CORE Makes First Trip to Streets of Detroit

ROCK HILL, S.C. (May 27, 2015) – CORE autosport kicked off May with a podium finish at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and now looks to bookend the month with another podium at the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic in Detroit, May 29 – 30.

The Prototype Challenge field hasn’t tackled a temporary street circuit since Baltimore in 2013 and has never raced on the Detroit Belle Isle track before. Luckily, Colin Braun brings his experience from racing a Daytona Prototype with GRAND-AM in 2012, though the layout has changed slightly since.

Detroit not only represents the sole street course on the PC schedule, but also the shortest race on the schedule at 100 minutes. The limited time combined with limited passing opportunities on the tight circuit could place extra emphasis on Jon Bennett’s qualifying effort on Friday and his opening stint in Saturday’s race. Working in the PC category’s favor, however, is the absence of the GTLM class, which so far has proven the most evenly matched with the PC cars.

CORE’s third-straight podium finish earlier this month moved the team into the PC Championship lead. A strong performance in Detroit would strengthen that lead before moving onto the Six Hours of The Glen in June.

The Chevrolet Sports Car Classic will air LIVE on FOX Sports 2, Saturday, May 30, beginning at 12pm ET. Qualifying coverage will be available on IMSA.com, Friday, May 29, at 5:10pm ET.

 

 

15-CORE-JB-Headshot“Driving our PC car on a street circuit is always challenging. You can plan on a rough surface that requires careful chassis tuning by our race engineer Tom Brown and useful feedback from Colin and I. Street circuits also favor drivers who can be very precise and mistake free. I have been fortunate in this area during my street circuit experiences.
 
“I have been studying on-board video from similar cars that have competed on Belle Island in the past. Since Colin has experience at Belle Isle in a prototype, he and I have discussed the circuit in detail. Most importantly, I was able to locate a simulation of the circuit and have become familiar with its layout through driving the simulator.
 
“Qualifying will certainly be important and I look forward to it, but qualifying is just a part of the equation. Smart driving, strategy, and pit stop efficiency all play important roles. The short nature of the race places increased importance on being efficient and mistake-free throughout the event from first practice to the end of the race.
 
“This circuit is a bit more high speed than Long Beach or Baltimore, but generally the keys to success are the same. Being respectful of slower cars in front and faster cars behind, while being aggressive for ultimate pace, is the foundation for being successful on a street circuit in my opinion.”

– Jonathan Bennett

 

 

 

15-CORE-CB-Headshot“I was there in the GRAND-AM DP days. I think a few corners have changed since I was there, but for the most part it’s very similar. I’m looking forward to going to a track that I’ve been to before, but also a different track for the PC cars. With how many years that I’ve been in racing and driving for CORE and with Jon, it’s rare that we go to a race track that we haven’t been to with the PC cars.
 
“Detroit has quick corners and I think that will be fun for us with the downforce that the PC cars make. I’m looking forward to the high-speed sections that I think Detroit has. That should make it easier for us getting around the GTD cars.
 
“If I’m honest, I’m glad the GTLM cars aren’t there, because we always have a struggle with those guys because of the amount of grip they produce. It’ll be nice to not have to work so hard to pass the GTLM cars. I expect the Prototype cars will be a lot quicker than us on the straightaways, as they usually are, and we’ll be quicker than the GTD cars on the straightaways and high-speed corners. I don’t expect traffic will be too much of an issue at Detroit.
 
“I think it’s going to be important for Jon to qualify well. On the flip side, I think this race will either have a lot of yellows or go completely green. We’ve seen a lot more green flag racing this year in the TUDOR series than I would have expected, so I could see it going green for quite some time. I think with the way our fuel window and minimum drive times work out, we could do a lot of different things with strategy so that qualifying isn’t as important. Certainly, a good opening stint from Jon is going to be important, but I’m sure he’ll deliver like he normally does.”

– Colin Braun

 

 

Noteworthy

  • The last street course the Prototype Challenge class raced on was Baltimore in 2013. CORE finished second.
  • Colin Braun drove a Daytona Prototype at Detroit in 2012 with Starworks Motorsport and finished 8th.
  • Last year’s Detroit race featured only the Prototype and GT Daytona classes.
  • Last year’s Detroit race had two full-course caution periods for a total of 13 laps.
  • The Detroit circuit is situated on a 982-acre island in the Detroit River named Belle Isle. It is connected to the main land by the MacArthur Bridge.

 

Point Standings

PC Team Championship

  1. CORE autosport #54   99
  2. PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports #52   97
  3. RSR Racing #11   91

 

PC Driver Championship

  1. J.Bennett/C.Braun   99
  2. M.Guasch/T.Kimber-Smith 97
  3. B.Junqueira/C.Cumming   91

 

 

Event Facts

Chevrolet Sports Car Classic | May 29 – 30
Track Length: 2.3 miles, 13 turns
Race Length: 100 minutes

 

SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

Friday, May 29

8:45am – 10:15am: Practice #1 (All Classes)

1:15pm – 2:45pm: Practice #2 (All Classes)

5:30pm – 5:45pm: Qualifying (PC Class)

Saturday, May 30

8:15am – 8:35am: Warm Up (All Classes)

9:30am – 10:15am: Driver Autograph Session (IMSA Fan Village @Meijer Fan Zone)

11:15am – 11:45am: Open Grid Fan Walk (Pit Lane)

12:05pm – 1:45pm: Chevrolet Sports Car Classic (100 Minutes)

 

TV SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

LIVE Qualifying (Worldwide)

Friday, May 29

5:10pm – 6:10pm: IMSA.com

 

LIVE Race U.S.

Saturday, May 30

12:00pm – 2:00pm: FOX Sports 2

 

Race Replay U.S.

Saturday, May 30

2:00pm – 4:00pm: FOX Sports 1

 

LIVE Race (Worldwide)

Saturday, May 30

12:00pm – 2:00pm: IMSA.com

 

LIVE In-Car Cameras & Commentary:

IMSA.com & IMSA App 

CORE Continues Podium Streak in Monterey

CORE autosport moved into the lead of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Prototype Challenge points after collecting its third-straight runner-up finish in the Continental Tire Grand Prix of Monterey Powered by Mazda.

Jon Bennett started the No. 54 Composite Resources/ Flex Box ORECA FLM09 from fourth and maintained the position throughout the opening laps of the race. Bennett had slipped to fifth by the time the first full course caution of the race was issued, but a pass-around procedure under yellow caught him back up with the class. While the majority of the PC teams pitted under yellow, Bennett and the No. 38 Performance Tech car did not. This moved Bennett to second.

Bennett maintained second place on the restart, but another full course caution was issued shortly thereafter for a GTD car stuck in a gravel trap. Bennett once again defended his position on the second restart, but was later bumped to third by the No. 11 RSR car. Bennett regained second when the PC leader, No. 38, pitted.

Bennett closed out his opening stint in second and handed the car to co-driver Colin Braun with just over an hour and a half to go.

Braun returned to track in fifth, but quickly had the car up to second just 17 laps later. Braun moved into the lead when then leader No. 11 pitted and was able to widen his lead when the No. 11 team served a drive-through penalty.

The lead changed one more time when Braun made his final pit stop of the race for tires and fuel, handing the lead back to the No. 11. Braun returned to track in second, but despite his quick pace, was not able to regain the lead.

CORE’s solid second-place finish moves it into the lead of both the driver and team PC championships.

The team continues its hunt for its fifth-straight PC championship in Detroit, May 29 – 30, at the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic presented by the Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers.

15-CORE-JB-Headshot“We had a pretty good race all in all. I enjoyed starting the car and had good pace during the beginning part of the race. I was trying to do a good job keeping the car straight and clean to hand it over to Colin. I survived a couple yellow flags. I thought we were in pretty good shape when I handed the car over to Colin.

 

“At some point we got out of phase with our pit stops and ultimately, when all the pit stops cycled through, we ended up being a little shy of our goal when it came to the gap to first place. In the end, we’ve had three races and three second-place finishes. It’s an awesome start to the season in terms of points. We can’t really complain about that. I think we’ll be really strong at our next race in Detroit.

 

“I think there was a lot of traffic. It seems like every race, the pace between our cars and the GT Le Mans cars gets closer and closer. It makes it quite busy on track. We were respectful to other cars, but came up a little bit short today.”
– Jon Bennett

15-CORE-CB-Headshot“Jon’s done a great job this whole weekend. He qualified only six-tenths off the pole, which is awesome, and he did a great job in his opening stint.

 

“I don’t exactly know how it all unfolded after I got in the car. I had my head down and was going quick. I was surprised at the pace of the DP cars when they came by. They had to work pretty hard to pass us, so it was fun quasi-racing with those guys.

 

“I put some good laps in and moved up to second and ended up finishing second. Obviously, we would have loved to have a shot at the win, but it was a really good day for points, for us.

 

“All in all it was a strong effort. I’m really proud of the guys for doing a great job on pit lane. We’ll take a look at it and figure out why we came up a little bit short at the end. It was a solid championship performance for sure.”
– Colin Braun

 

 

MRLS Qualifying

CORE Fourth on PC Grid at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

Jon Bennett qualified the No. 54 Composite Resources/Flex Box ORECA FLM09 fourth on the Prototype Challenge grid for Sunday’s Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix Powered by Mazda, part of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.

Bennett was quick throughout the session and jumped to provisional pole on his third flying lap. The rest of the PC qualifiers began to pick up the pace and Bennett hung in the top three for three more laps. Despite turning his quickest time of 1:23.165 (96.877 mph) late in the session, Bennett was bumped to fourth on the grid when the checkered flag dropped.

New in 2015, IMSA regulations require the qualifying driver to start the car for the race. Most PC teams—CORE included—elected to qualify with their bronze-ranked driver. Bennett qualified and will therefore start Sunday’s race. It was Bennett’s first time qualifying the car this season and only his third TUDOR qualifying session.

Bennett teams with co-driver Colin Braun to battle the grueling elevation changes of the 2.238 miles, 11-turn road course. Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is best known for its famed corkscrew, which drops a total 109 feet, or just over 10 stories from Turn 8 to Turn 9.

The duo earned its first win together as co-drivers at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in 2012 driving in the American Le Mans Series.

The green flag for the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix Powered by Mazda drops at 4:05 pm (ET) Sunday. The race is televised live starting at 4 pm (ET) on FOX Sports 1. Live timing and scoring are also available on IMSA.com and on the new IMSA mobile app.

15-CORE-JB-Headshot“It’s a nice change to get a chance to qualify the car. It was a little bit of added pressure, but overall I think I did a pretty good job. The team did a great job with the car. As the season progresses, I think it’ll become more of a natural part of the weekend.

 

“I’m excited to start the car tomorrow. Starting the race is something Colin and I worked out, and it’s worked with good success for us so far. In the longer races it makes more sense for Colin to start. As the balance of the season goes, I look forward to all the starts because they’re never the same and always interesting.”
– Jon Bennett