Archive for “July, 2015”

Hard-Fought Fourth at Lime Rock

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.

 

 

15-CORE-JB-Headshot“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

 

 

15-CORE-CB-Headshot“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

CORE Fourth on Lime Rock Grid

LAKEVILLE, Conn. (July 24, 2015) – CORE autosport will start fourth in the Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park on Saturday after a tricky qualifying session that was interrupted by a red flag and the start of a rain shower.

Jon Bennett once again took on qualifying duties for the No. 54 Composite Resources/Flex Box ORECA FLM09 in the latest round of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. After slotting into fourth place in the opening laps of the 15-minute session, Bennett began to chip away at his time; edging closer and closer to taking over third place, but a red flag for a car off track in Turn Five halted his momentum.

Rain clouds moved into the area while the Prototype Challenge class sat in pit lane for nearly 10 minutes. When qualifying resumed for a three-minute showdown, rain drops started to fall.

In light of the changing track conditions and limited time remaining in the session, Bennett did not advance any higher than fourth before the checkered flag. He will start the car for tomorrow’s two-hour and 40-minute race before handing off the controls to co-driver Colin Braun.

The Northeast Grand Prix will go green at 3:15pm ET tomorrow, July 25. The race will be carried live on IMSA.com and the IMSA App. It will air on FOX Sports 1, Sunday, July 26 at 5pm ET.

 

 

15-CORE-JB-Headshot“I think qualifying is so short that any interruption, especially a red flag, is very valuable lost time. It was an unwanted distraction, but it was the same for everybody. I was happy we got a few laps in the end. We were fighting the onset of rain as well.

 

“I think the session that we had after the red was short enough that it was hard to get temperature back in the tires and there was a light mist falling; it was a bit of a lost cause to try and run for the pole at that point. All in all, the car was strong and it was a reasonable effort. Certainly, I would like to have earned the pole, but I think that’s in the cards before the end of the year and I look forward to the race tomorrow.

 

“We tend to fall in line at the start and then it’s all about strategy and being aggressive and staying with the lead pack through our first and second stop. The team strategy will play out toward the end, depending on if there’s a lot of yellows or very few. There are a lot of unknowns in a race like this. The short lap makes it different as well. We’re in a good place and I think we’re going to have a great race tomorrow.”

CORE Rides Latest Win into Lime Rock Park

ROCK HILL, S.C. (July 22, 2015) – Fresh off their victory in Canada, CORE autosport heads to Lakeville, Connecticut’s Lime Rock Park for this weekend’s Northeast Grand Prix, Round 7 of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.

Lime Rock Park has been a staple on the North American sportscar racing calendar for decades. Since entering the Prototype Challenge class in 2011, CORE autosport has yet to finish off the podium there. Jon Bennett and Colin Braun scored their second PC victory together at Lime Rock Park in 2012.

Only the GT Daytona class will join the PC cars at Lime Rock Park, due to the short circuit and pit lane length. This means the No. 54 Composite Resources/Flex Box ORECA FLM09 will have the opportunity to be an overall race winner and Jon Bennett will have a chance at an overall pole position. Either would be especially meaningful to Bennett who grew up in the area, attending nearby Newtown High School.

The Northeast Grand Prix will be streamed live on IMSA.com, Saturday, July 25, at 3:15pm ET. The race will air on FOX Sports 1, Sunday, July 26, at 5pm ET. Follow live timing, radio and in-car cameras at IMSA.com or on the IMSA App.

 

 

15-CORE-JB-Headshot“Personally I think Lime Rock Park is the toughest race of the year. I don’t exactly know why. It’s not a particularly aggressive track, but it’s very short and it’s part road course, part autocross course with the chicanes.

 

“The traffic will hopefully be less busy, having only the GTD field out there with us, but we’ve had these split races before and the the traffic seems to stay about the same. Plus, Lime Rock is half the length of the tracks we’re used to. It’ll make for a good race!”
– Jon Bennett

 

 

15-CORE-CB-Headshot“I like Lime Rock a lot. It’s a really fun track. It kind of reminds me of my NASCAR days, racing a place like Bristol. It’s really short, tight and everyone is scrapping for everything they can. There’s slow corners, but there’s not a tremendous amount of passing opporunities, so you have to force your way through sometimes. It’s a neat part of the country with a strong fan base.

 

“It’s traditionally been very hot at Lime Rock, but the Continental Tire seems to do well in a range of heat. For me, the heat makes me very glad that the GTD guys, who were nice and dry at Watkins Glen get some payback when it’s warm and we have the cool breeze blowing through our helmets.”
– Colin Braun

 

 

Noteworthy

  • Jon Bennett and Colin Braun won the PC category at Lime Rock Park in 2012. They finished second in 2013.
  • The 2012 race was a 1-2 finish for CORE, with Alex Popow and Tom Kimber-Smith finishing 2nd.
  • In 2011, CORE finished second at Lime Rock Park with Gunnar Jeannette and Ricardo Gonzalez.
  • Bennett grew up near Lakeville, attended Newtown High School and the University of Connecticut.
  • The TUDOR Championship did not go to Lime Rock in 2014.

 

 

Point Standings

PC Team Championship

  1. CORE autosport #54   193
  2. PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports #52 183
  3. JDC/Miller Motorsports #85 180

 

PC Driver Championship

  1. J.Bennett/C.Braun   193
  2. M.Guasch/T.Kimber-Smith 183
  3. Mikhail Goikhberg   180

 

 

Event Facts

Northeast Grand Prix | July 24 – 25

VENUE

Track Length: 1.474 miles, 7 turns

Race Length: 2 Hours, 40 Minutes

 

SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

Friday, July 24

11:35am – 1:05pm: Practice #1 (All Classes)

2:50pm – 3:50pm: Practice #2 (All Classes)

5:40pm – 5:55pm: Qualifying (PC Class)

 

Saturday, July 25

9:00am – 9:20am: Warm Up (All Classes)

12:30pm – 1:15pm: Driver Autograph Session

1:40pm – 3:00pm: Open Grid

3:15pm – 5:55pm: Northeast Grand Prix

 

 

 

TV SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

LIVE Qualifying (Worldwide)

Friday, July 24

5:15pm – 5:55pm: IMSA.com

 

LIVE Race (Worldwide)

Saturday, July 25

3:15pm – 6:00pm: IMSA.com

 

Race Replay (U.S.)

Sunday, July 26

5:00pm – 7:30pm: FOX Sports 1

 

LIVE In-Car Cameras & Commentary:

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

Jon Bennett at CTMP

A Dominating Win for CORE in Canada

CORE autosport put in a dominating performance at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, earning its first win of the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship by a full lap over the Prototype Challenge field.

Starting the No. 54 Composite Resources/Flex Box ORECA FLM09 from third on the grid, Jon Bennett quickly moved into second place and was reeling in the class leader. Thirty minutes later, the first full-course caution of the race was issued when the lead PC car stopped on the backstretch.

Bennett pitted from the lead during the yellow and returned to the track in third (not all PC cars pitted). On the restart, he was right back into second and took over the lead 10 minutes later at the one-hour mark. When it was time for Bennett to pit again and hand over the car to Colin Braun, he had a 10-second lead over second-place.

Braun returned to the track in second place, 18 seconds behind the leader, but was able to shave that to less than four seconds before the leader experienced a mechanical problem. The No. 54 breezed by and into the lead.

Braun held the lead through the final pit stop and continued to pull away from the rest of the PC field. His closest competitor, who was nearly a minute behind, exited the race with engine trouble, so when Braun crossed the finish line he had a full lap on second-place.

The victory gives CORE its largest point lead of the 2015 season, 10 points, with five rounds remaining in the season. In two weeks’ time, the team heads to Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut, for the Northwest Grand Prix.

15-CORE-JB-Headshot“It was an excellent race start for me. Over the past couple weeks Colin and I have spoken a lot about our approach to the race, and me doing a little more risk sharing as the event unfolds. Before, my goal was to get Colin a square car on the lead lap, now I’m working to do a little more than that. We’ve done some testing and I’m more confident in the car, and I think that showed today at the beginning of the race. I really enjoyed driving the car. I’m happy for the team, they all worked hard for this win.

 

“I had a great race. James French and I sort of hooked our wagons together, and I could see that I was staying with him and setting a good pace. Once I found my groove and used James French’s gearbox as a target, it was great. James eventually had a mechanical issue, which is the unfortunate part of racing, that put us in P1 and I just sailed from there.”
– Jon Bennett

 

15-CORE-CB-Headshot“I think we were on a different pit strategy than most of the other teams and were working to avoid another pit stop. Some other teams seemed like they were rolling the dice to try to catch a yellow. With Jon’s great driving at the start of the race, we were able to play it pretty conservative with our strategy and knew that we didn’t need a yellow to make it to the end. The guys called a great strategy, and we had really great pit stops. It was just a heck of a day by everybody.

 

“We finished a lap ahead, had good pace and were good through traffic. Before the No. 8 car had trouble, we had almost a minute lead on those guys, so we were just trying to manage the gap and be smart. We had some power steering issues when I got in the car. We probably had about 25 percent of the assist that we normally do. Then near the end it went to zero. I was kind of holding on and just hoping that we could make it around and that my arms would hold on!”
– Colin Braun

CORE Third on Grid at Canada’s CTMP

Jon Bennett recorded his best Prototype Challenge qualifying effort to-date in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. He scored third on the grid for the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix presented by Hawk Performance.

After improving his lap times throughout practice, Bennett posted his quickest time of the weekend in qualifying, a 1:13.007 (121.254 mph), in the No. 54 Composite Resources/Flex Box ORECA FLM09. He was holding strong in second place before a late flyer by another driver knocked Bennett to third on the grid just .340 seconds shy of the pole position.

Bennett will start the car for tomorrow’s two-hour and 45-minute race before handing off to co-driver Colin Braun. The pair are defending their 2013 race win at CTMP (the PC class did not race here in 2014).

The Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix green flag drops tomorrow at 12:05pm ET and is televised live on FOX Sports 1. Follow live timing, radio and in-car cameras at IMSA.com (http://www.imsa.com) or on the IMSA App. (http://bit.ly/1PZ9ULi)

15-CORE-JB-Headshot“I’m happy with our performance in qualifying, and I’m glad to be in the hunt. I think as the season goes on I’ll continue to polish my qualifying performance. I certainly made some strides, and I look forward to improving upon that. I’ve had a lot of consistently fast laps this weekend, and if we merge that into the dynamic of the race then we should have a good result.”
– Jon Bennett

CORE Returns to Much Loved Mosport

ROCK HILL, S.C. (July 8, 2015) – CORE autosport is hoping a track they’ve had great success at, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, will give it a chance to cushion its slim lead in the TUDOR United SportsCar Prototype Challenge Championship.

The PC points race is heating up, with only five points separating the top three teams. CORE might be feeling the heat if they weren’t headed to one of its favorite tracks. Formerly known as Mosport, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park is a fast and flowing road course an hour outside of Toronto that leaves no room for mistakes. The team won here in 2013, but much to Jon Bennett and Colin Braun’s dismay, the PC class did not race at CTMP in 2014. This year, PC returns and CORE autosport wants to claim its first win of 2015 there.

After a long and wet race at Watkins Glen, the series returns to its standard two-hour and 40-minute race format and the weather in Bowmanville, Ontario, is forecasted to be sunny throughout the weekend.

The Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix will air LIVE on FOX Sports 1 at Noon ET. Follow live timing, radio and in-car cameras at IMSA.com (http://www.imsa.com) or on the IMSA App (http://bit.ly/1PZ9ULi) .

 

 

15-CORE-JB-Headshot“I was disappointed to miss last year’s race at Mosport. This has historically been a great place for us and it’s one of my all-time favorite circuits. The track really highlights our LMPC’s ability to generate downforce, which makes for an interesting high-speed lap.

 
“One of Mosport’s charms is the passion of the Canadian fans. They arrive early, camp on the infield and really make a vacation out of this race. As teams and drivers, we appreciate their excitement and love to put on a great show.

 
“I actually enjoy events with all four classes in play. Not having GTD on track doesn’t change our approach to the race, but it will simplify traffic concerns a bit.”
– Jon Bennett

 

15-CORE-CB-Headshot“It feels good to have Mosport back on the schedule this year. It’s definitely one of my favorite tracks. For me, I think I spent so long in NASCAR doing fast corners on mile and a half ovals that I’m very comfortable in the high-speed stuff, especially with the downforce the PC car makes. At a track like Mosport, most of them are all fifth- or sixth- gear corners. When you like that kind of thing, it’s a good place to be!

 
“It’s always fun to go up to Canada to race. There’s always a good turnout. It seems like people in that area are passionate about sportscar racing and love coming to these races and support us in a big way. “For the PC class, we’re in a good spot without the GTD cars, because we’re not tremendously quicker than the GTLM guys, nor are the Prototype cars that much faster than we are, so I don’t think we’ll be lapping people often. We’ll probably settle in and do our own races in our own groups. In a way, it’s nice to not have to deal with a bunch of slower traffic, but on the other hand, I enjoy that aspect of sportscar racing.”
– Colin Braun

 

 

 

Noteworthy

  • The Prototype Challenge class did not race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in 2014.
  • Jon Bennett and Colin Braun won the last time PC raced at CTMP in 2013.
  • CORE has never finished off the PC podium at CTMP.
  • The GTD class will not be in attendence at CTMP, making for a grid of 25 cars from the P, PC and GTLM classes.
  • This is the TUDOR Championship’s only race outside of the U.S.

 

PC Team Championship

  1. CORE autosport #54   157
  2. PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports #52 156
  3. Starworks Motorsport #8   152

 

PC Driver Championship

  1. J.Bennett/C.Braun   157
  2. M.Guasch/T.Kimber-Smith 156
  3. Mikhail Goikhberg   149

 

 

 

Event Facts
Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix | July 10 – 12

VENUE

Track Length: 2.549 miles, 10 turns
Race Length: 2 Hours, 40 Minutes

 

 

SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

Friday, July 10

11:20am – 12:20pm: Practice #1 (All Classes)
4:00pm – 5:00pm: Practice #2 (All Classes)

Saturday, July 11

10:00am – 11:00am: Practice #3 (All Classes)
5:05pm – 5:20pm: Qualifying (PC Class)

Sunday, July 12
8:00am – 8:20am: Warm Up (All Classes)
9:30am – 10:15am: Driver Autograph Session
10:55am – 11:35am: Open Grid / Fan Walk
12:05pm – 2:45pm: Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen

 

 

TV SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)
LIVE Qualifying (Worldwide)
Saturday, July 11
4:40pm – 5:45pm: IMSA.com

LIVE Race (U.S.)
Sunday, July 12
12:00pm – 3:00pm: FOX Sports 1

LIVE Race (Worldwide)
Sunday, July 12
12:00pm – 3:00pm: IMSA.com

LIVE In-Car Cameras & Commentary:
IMSA.com & IMSA App