LAKEVILLE, Conn. (July 25, 2015) – CORE autosport battled its way through traffic at the short and fast Lime Rock Park circuit to finish fourth in the Northeast Grand Prix. The four-time Prototype Challenge Champions leave Round Eight of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship with their PC points lead in tact.
Starting from fourth, Connecticut native Jon Bennett initially held his position on the opening laps, but lost a spot 15 minutes in. As the PC field began to work its way through the GT Daytona field (the only two classes participating in the Northeast Grand Prix), Bennett was caught up in GTD traffic and fell to sixth.
At the one-hour mark, Bennett pitted for full service and handed the car over to Colin Braun. Quick work by the crew helped the No. 54 Composite Resources/Flex Box ORECA FLM09 pick up a spot in the pits.
Not long after the pit stop, a full-course caution was issued for the then PC leader stopped on course. This advanced Braun to fourth. Shortly after the race restarted, a second full-course caution was issued when the new PC leader and GTD leader tangled in Turn Seven. Braun was now up to third.
With 50 minutes remaining in the race, the No. 8 Starworks car was able to get around Braun. After a final pit stop with 40 minutes left in the race, Braun found his stride and set the fastest lap of the race (49.091, a new record). He was reeling in the No. 8 and was less than a second away from reclaiming the final podium spot before he was held up by traffic. With less than 10 minutes remaining in the race, Braun was unable to make up the lost ground and crossed the finish line in fourth.
Though it missed the podium by seconds, CORE maintained its lead in the PC Team Championship. It has a three-point advantage over the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports with three rounds remaining in the TUDOR season.
Next up is the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase at Road America, Aug. 7 – 9. The green flag drops on Aug. 9 at 3:05pm ET. The 2-hour and 40-minute event will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1.
If you missed Saturday’s Northeast Grand Prix, FOX Sports 1 will air a replay on Sunday, July 26 at 5pm ET.
“Obviously traffic is always part of the equation for these races. It seemed like today there was a lot of debris and rubber off line and the traffic here requires a lot of off-line passing, which made the tires mad. I would say the Continental Tires themselves did well, but we were just dealing with a slippery surface today.
“I had some fairly minor contact in my stint. Passing another class requires cooperation and I don’t think the GTD driver knew that I’d snuck up underneath him and we made contact. I’m glad he and I were able to proceed without any damage, but it was pretty exciting there for a minute!
“We’ll have a better race at Road America. I’m very proud of Colin and the team and another solid finish.”
– Jon Bennett
“For me the race was pretty uneventful. We had a couple of cautions, but were never in the right place to get the wave-by. I was stuck a lap down and we tried some strategies to get it back, but we didn’t have the car dialed in like we wanted it today.
“All in all, it wasn’t a bad day; the car is in one piece and everyone did their job, but it’s easy to miss it by a little bit and fall behind quick. It just seemed like we couldn’t quite catch a break.
“I was catching Ranger [van der Zande] pretty quick for third at the end and then I got stuck behind Bruno [Junqueira]. He wanted to race me hard, which I thought was strange because I was a lap down. I was hoping he’d cut me a break, but he didn’t and I couldn’t get by.”
– Colin Braun