Archive for “June, 2015”

2015 Watkins Glen

CORE Narrowly Misses Podium at Watkins Glen

CORE autosport narrowly missed a TUDOR United SportsCar Championship podium finish at Watkins Glen International. After a strong drive in six hours of difficult conditions, the team finished fourth in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.

Wet weather arrived in Watkins Glen on Saturday during the final practice session and worsened throughout the day to the point that IMSA officials were forced to cancel qualifying. This meant the grid would be set by point standings, putting the No. 54 Composite Resources/Flex Box ORECA FLM09 on the pole position.

The rain continued today. It began with a sprinkle, but morphed into a full on downpour two-thirds through the six-hour race.

Jon Bennett had the challenge of starting the race in not quite wet, but not quite dry conditions. The team opted for slick tires on their Prototype Challenge car. Bennett did a miraculous job keeping the car on the track while other PC cars ran into trouble, causing multiple safety car periods. Though he was unable to keep the lead, but keeping the car pointed in the right direction, he was able to hand it over to James Gué in fourth place.

Shortly after taking over the reigns of the No. 54, Gué was tagged by a GTLM car and spun around, but was able to avoid any contact with the guardrail or other cars and rejoined the field in one piece.

When it was time for Gué to hand the car over to Colin Braun, they were fifth and a lap down, but a full-course caution period enabled Braun to get back on the lead lap. He then set on a charge for the front, setting the fastest lap of the race in the process, (1:41.987), but then the rain got heavy.

As conditions deteriorated, Braun was forced to pit for wet tires, dropping from second to third. Minutes after taking on wet tires, as the rain continued to get worse, Braun spun on his own in Turn 11. He didn’t make contact with the guardrail, but did need to get the car into reverse to get the No. 54 facing the right direction. Once he got going, he was down to fifth, one lap down.

Moments later, race officials issued a red flag for weather conditions. Cars sat, queued up at the end of pit lane until the rain let up, then, they were released on track in full-course caution conditions. This gave Braun an opportunity to get the lap back with the pass-around procedure.

Braun moved into fourth on the restart, but the race went right back to full course-caution for an accident. After yet another yellow, the race resumed and the rain wasn’t letting up.

Time was running out, but Braun was clearly quicker than the leaders. Just when the team thought they had enough time to make it to the podium, an accident on the front straight with less than 10 minutes to go put the field back behind the safety car and the race ended under yellow with Braun in fourth.

The fourth-place finish was enough to keep CORE autosport in the PC Team Championship lead and Bennett and Braun in the PC Drivers’ Championship lead, but their margin has shrunk from five points to one.

Highlights from the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen will air on FOX Sports 1, July 5, at 1pm ET.

In two weeks’ time, CORE autosport will head north of the border to Canada for the Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, July 10 – 12.

15-CORE-JB-Headshot

 

“There were really tricky conditions today. Six hours is a long time when you’re in wet-dry, back-to-dry, back-to-wet conditions. I think all of us were hoping for a better performance. At the end of the day, the car is one piece and we gained points for the season championship. It’s not too bad, but I think we’re all a bit underwhelmed. It’s just a really tough day; it’s hard to make progress when the conditions are changing so often. Now we move on to Mosport, which is usually a good track for us. We’re looking for that first win of the season.”
– Jon Bennett

 

 

“M15-CORE-CB-Headshoty time on track was exciting. Our car was really good in the dry weather. We were pretty quick right away, and I got up to second. We were close to pitting when I got behind a couple GT cars. They went kind of straight through the bus stop, so I followed them off, which caused me to have a quick little spin. But it wasn’t a big deal, and I got back going. We put the rain tires on when it started to pour down rain. We struggled early when it was wet for some reason, but toward the end we had much better pace.

 

It seemed like we couldn’t catch a break, nothing went our way. We tried to stay out on slick tires when it started to rain, and we got caught out for a long time on slicks hoping it was going to dry out, but it didn’t. That’s the way it goes. We came out of here with our car in one piece and finished fourth, so that’s a decent result.”
– Colin Braun

 

15-CORE-JG-Headshot“The stint I had went fairly well. I unfortunately got tangled up with another car. I’m not really sure what happened, but I got a little love tap that put us off track. Fortunately, it didn’t damage the car too badly and we were able to continue on. It was a challenging race given the conditions, but the team did really well. We got down a lap, and then we got back on the lead lap right at the end. We were at the mercy of the yellows and the red flag. We just needed more time.”
– James Gué

2015 Watkins Glen

CORE Set to Battle for Six Hours at The Glen

ROCK HILL, S.C. (June 23, 2015) – CORE autosport is back in action with its three-man roster this weekend when it travels to Watkins Glen International Raceway for the latest round of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship: The Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.

Jon Bennett, Colin Braun, James Gue and their No. 54 Composite Resources/Flex Box ORECA FLM09 are the defending race winners at Watkins Glen. The trio completed six trouble-free hours to finish more than eight seconds ahead of the second-place Prototype Challenge car. The victory helped CORE, Bennett, Braun and Gue practically lock up the inaugural Tequila Patrón Endurance Cup (a prize for the best performance in the season’s four longest races).

This year, CORE comes into Watkins Glen hoping to defend its win and earn its first victory of the season. Though the team hasn’t climbed on the top step of the podium so far this season, it leads the PC Championship (both team and driver) by a five point margin. In the TPNAEC, CORE trails leaders PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports by one point.

The Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen will be broadcast live, June 28 on FOX Sports 1 from 10am – 2pm ET and from 2pm – 4:30pm on FOX Sports 2. Be on the lookout for a special feature about Bennett and Composite Resources during the broadcast.

 

 

15-CORE-JB-Headshot“Watkins Glen is in the top three of my personal favorite tracks. Like Mosport, WGI is a fast circuit that requires commitment to be fast. We always have a well-engineered car, so making the commitment and trusting the car is second nature. The two corners that follow the Bus Stop (Turn Five and Six) are fast and you must flow speed while being perfect.  For me, this section is the foundation for a great lap.
 
“I feel longer races play to our strengths at CORE. The longer races pay dividends for smart strategy inside and outside the car. We have proven to ourselves that smart decisions are key to success in the longer races.
 
“Winning is always the goal. There are factors within our control and factors outside our control. All we can do at each event is perfectly execute those factors in our control. Winning comes naturally when we execute to perfection the factors within our control . . . .  no pressure needed.
 
“It’s necessary to keep the car in one piece to win races.  Our team is not intimidated by quickly rebuilding a car between events, if necessary.  Let’s hope they have an easy summer.”
– Jon Bennett

 

 

15-CORE-CB-Headshot“I really, really enjoy Watkins Glen. It is such a drivers track!  I enjoy all the fast corners and big commitment it takes to be fast there! I think the key to being fast at WGI is a car that has a good balance in high-speed corners; there are not too many slow corners at WGI and that is what makes it fun. Having the confidence to drive around the outside of a GT car in a lot of these high speed corners is very important for race pace.
 
“I enjoy the longer events. As a sports car fan, I think the longer formats really show what the teams and drivers are made of. There are so many variables in our normal length races and when you stretch it out even more over these longer events it just makes it more interesting and fun to see it all play out.
 
“I think certainly Jon, the team, and I would love to get our first win. Jon has been doing a great job in the car and the guys have done a great job on pit road and we certainly have a fast car – we have been in a position to win almost every race this year.  We just need to keep putting in these strong efforts and we will win.  I don’t think we feel much ‘outside’ pressure at CORE, we are very self motivated!”
– Colin Braun

 

15-CORE-JG-Headshot“It’s been a while since I was last in the car at Sebring, so I’m really looking forward to getting back in the seat and working with all the CORE autosport guys. We haven’t had quite as good of a start as we did last year, so I’m really looking forward to trying to get back on the top step of the podium.
 
“Watkins Glen is by far my favorite track in North America, everything about this track suits my style and it has a great rhythm and flow to it. In the past I’ve always had a lot of success at Watkins, which is probably part of the reason I like it so much!
 
“Watkins Glen is a very high-speed track, so it is very important to have a stable/settled car at high speeds. Typically, one of keys is being able to get up the fast Esses, but in the PC car it is easy flat through that section (at least it should be). The other area that I think is important is getting through the Bus Stop and around the Carousel.  All of those sections require that the back of the car is very stuck; to be quick in the PC it can’t be really loose here.
 
“I really hope I can contribute to CORE’s first win of the year! If we have a car that is as good as the one we had last year I think we will be really competitive. [Engineer] Tom (Brown) and all the CORE guys always give us really good cars so I think we will be in good shape for the race.”
– James Gue

 

 

Noteworthy

  • CORE had been on a streak of runner-up finishes until finishing fourth at Detroit.
  • Colin Braun score the PC pole at Watkins Glen last year with a lap of 1:40.562.
  • In April, Braun made a trip to Albany, N.Y., with WGI officials to thank Senators for their support of the track.
  • Watkins Glen International is a permanent road course located one hour and 45 minutes southwest of Syracuse, N.Y.

 

 

Point Standings
PC Team Championship

1. CORE autosport #54   128

2. PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports #52 123

3. JDC/Miller Motorsports #85   122

 

PC Driver Championship

1. J.Bennett/C.Braun   128

2. M.Guasch/T.Kimber-Smith  123

3. Mikhail Goikhberg   122

 

 

Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen | June 26 – 28

 

VENUE

Track Length: 3.37 miles, 11 turns

Race Length: 6 Hours

 

SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

Friday, June 26

11:00am – 12:00pm: Practice #1 (All Classes)

4:05pm – 5:05pm: Practice #2 (All Classes)

 

Saturday, June 27

10:15am – 11:15am: Practice #3 (All Classes)

1:00pm – 1:45pm: Driver Autograph Session

4:30pm – 4:45pm: Qualifying (PC Class)

 

Sunday, June 28

8:00am – 8:20am: Warm Up (All Classes)

9:00am – 9:40am: Open Grid / Fan Walk

10:10am – 4:10pm: Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen

 

 

TV SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

LIVE Qualifying (Worldwide)

Saturday, June 27

3:40pm – 5:10pm: IMSA.com

 

LIVE Race U.S.

Sunday, June 28

10:00am – 2:00pm: FOX Sports 1

2:00pm – 4:30pm: FOX Sports 2

 

Race Replay U.S.

Sunday, July 5

1:00pm – 3:30pm: FOX Sports 1

 

LIVE Race (Worldwide)

Sunday, June 28

10:00am – 4:30pm: IMSA.com

 

LIVE In-Car Cameras & Commentary:

IMSA.com (http://www.imsa.com) & IMSA App (http://www.imsa.com/all-new-mobile-app)