Archive for “April, 2016”

CORE Targets Return to Podium in Monterey

ROCK HILL, S.C. (April 26, 2016) – The West Coast leg of the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship continues this weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California. CORE autosport is ready to shake off a tough Long Beach event and return to the Prototype Challenge podium.

The CORE team has been hustling to get the No. 54 Flex-Box/Composite Resources ORECA FLM09 ready for Monterey after a hard hit on the streets of Long Beach significantly damaged the car’s rear suspension. Luckily, the team already had plans to work out of a west coast race shop between races and was able to make the repairs in time.

The Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix Powered by Mazda is actually two races; the four IMSA classes have been split so that Prototype Challenge and GT Daytona cars have their own two-hour race, as do the Prototype and GT Le Mans classes. This means drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun have the opportunity to win an IMSA race overall.

 

NOTES

  • Bennett and Braun won their first PC race at Mazda Raceway in 2012. They finished runner-up in 2013 and 2015.
  • Braun was the 2013 PC polesitter at Mazda Raceway.
  • Bennett will go wing-walking in Washington state on April 27. The daredevil experience was a Christmas gift from his staff at Composite Resources and CORE.
  • CORE is currently fifth in the PC Team Championship. Bennett and Braun are seventh in the PC Driver Championship.
  • Bennett’s birthday is May 4.

 

16-CORE-JB-HeadshotW“Racing can be tough at times. In both of our DNFs, we were the recipients of some bad racing luck. Our team has incredible confidence and we know that our potential is greater that our latest results. Each race is a fresh start and an opportunity to excel. We are all looking forward to celebrating a strong result at Laguna Seca.
 
“I love the fast flowing nature of Laguna Seca. It’s always great to climb the hill at Turn Six and drop down the Corkscrew. Colin and I shared our first win together and my first professional win at this track in 2012. I look forward to our déjà vu moment this weekend.
 
“Personally, I enjoy the events in which all four classes are on track together. The constant passing and position exchange among the classes is exciting and a challenge. Certainly, qualifying for the pole and racing for the overall win does spotlight our class and I look forward to the clear view ahead.
 
“Last Christmas, my employees came together to give me a gift I wouldn’t forget; given my interest in going fast and flying, I will be traveling to Washington state for a wing walking experience. I’ll take off in a vintage open cockpit biplane and then climb my way on top of the upper wing. Once I’ve strapped myself to a small brace, the pilot begins a series of aerobatic maneuvers. It should be a good view from up there! If I survive the experience, our team manager Morgan Brady will be the next CORE wing walker. This should be a good warm up for a race event at Laguna!”
– Jon Bennett

 

 

 

16-CORE-CB-Headshot“It hasn’t been the storybook start to the season that we’ve had in years’ past, but that’s how racing goes. I think the greatest thing about the team that Morgan and Jon have built is that we really haven’t done anything different in the last five or six years; we just haven’t had a lot of racing luck on our side this year. A lot of things that have happened have been out of our control. The good thing about that is we don’t beat ourselves up thinking ‘what could we have done differently.’ We’ll continue on as we have, knowing that if luck is on our side we have a fast race car and first-rate crew. We know we’re capable of winning races as we saw at Sebring. I know we’ll get the monkey off our back sooner or later and I hope that turns into a nice streak of race wins.
 
“I guess IMSA has its reasons for separating the classes in Monterey, but I prefer having all of them together. We’re a multi-class series. We’re about having a lot of cars on the racetrack at different speeds and managing traffic. Sportscar racing is slowly becoming more understood by the public, so the simpler we can keep the series, the better. Even at Long Beach, I think it would have been exciting to have all the classes on the track at once.
 
“Jon going wing walking… wouldn’t that have been better to do in the off-season? Joking aside, it’ll be good for him. He’s always up for a crazy challenge. I know Morgan will take good care of him and I hope they have a lot of fun.”
– Colin Braun

 

 

 

 

 

Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix Powered by Mazda | April 29 – May 1

VENUE

Track Length: 2.238 miles, 11 turns

Race Length: 2 Hours

 

SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

Friday, April 29

1:50pm – 2:50pm: Practice #1 (PC/GTD)

7:45pm – 8:45pm: Practice #2 (PC/GTD)

Saturday, April 30

12:00pm – 12:45pm: Practice #3 (PC/GTD)

5:15pm – 6:00pm: Driver Autograph Session

8:20pm – 8:35pm: Qualifying (PC)

Sunday, May 1

4:50pm – 5:05pm: Warm Up (PC/GTD)

5:30pm – 6:20pm: Open Grid (PC/GTD)

6:45pm – 8:45pm: Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix Powered by Mazda

 

TV SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

LIVE Qualifying:

Saturday, April 30

7:30pm – 9:00pm: IMSA.com

LIVE Race U.S.:

Sunday, May 1

6:30pm – 9:00pm: FOX Sports 2

Taped Race U.S.:

Monday, May 2

12:30am – 2:30pm: FOX Sports 1

 

LIVE Race International:

Saturday, April 16

6:30pm – 9:00pm: IMSA.com

 

LIVE In-Car Cameras & Commentary:

IMSA.tv

Long Beach

Contact Ends CORE’s Long Beach Win Streak

CORE autosport has previously enjoyed three successful trips to the BUBBA burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach, but this time around the streets of Long Beach were not kind to the reigning Prototype Challenge Champions. The No. 54 Flex-Box/Composite Resources ORECA FLM09 exited the latest WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race early.

It began in PC qualifying, which was abandoned after an incident brought out a red and prevented the session from meeting the minimum green flag time. As a result, the PC grid was set by driver points, despite Jon Bennett being second-quickest in class when the red came. Instead, Bennett lined up fourth for the start.

After holding his own at the start, Bennett got caught in traffic and fell to sixth. Shortly before reaching his minimum drive time, Bennett got hit by a GT car, which spun him into the wall between Turns Nine and 10. The hit broke the car’s left rear suspension and rear wing.

Bennett was able to get the car back to the pits and the CORE crew immediately got to work repairing the damage. The No. 54 was back on track within 20 minutes, but it was several laps down to its competitors.

Bennett completed one lap to meet his minimum drive time and then handed the car off to co-driver Colin Braun. Despite being the quickest PC car on tack upon his return, Braun reported something wasn’t right at the back of the car. The issue worsened and ultimately, the left rear suspension failed as result of the first hit. Braun came to a halt on course in Turn 11.

CORE’s Long Beach race ended with 30 minutes left on the clock.

The team has little more than a week to get the No. 54 back in top shape before the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix, April 29 – May 1.

 

16-CORE-JB-HeadshotW“Our weekend started with our typical organized and positive tone from the moment we unloaded the truck. With Jeff Braun’s engineering and a well-built car from Rock Hill, we had a super fast car in all of the practices.

 

I had a pretty good qualifying effort too that unfortunately got reversed.

 

“I had difficulty finding pace in the disorganization of packing up for the start of the race and I encountered difficult traffic. Later a GT car hit me, I spun and made contact with a concrete wall. The car was significantly damaged, but I was able to drive it to pit lane. The guys did a remarkable job repairing it in the pits.

 

“I handed the car over to Colin, and even with a damaged car, Colin went out and turned the fastest PC lap at the time. The team did a great job getting the car back together and Colin did a great job with a hurt car. Unfortunately, some of the damage from the hit caused us to retire the car before the end of the race. It was a rough day in the office. We’ll pick up the pieces and take the car to Laguna Seca and get back to scoring championship points.”
– JON BENNETT

 

 

16-CORE-CB-Headshot“We just didn’t seem to have any luck this weekend. We had a really fast car and we were quickest in every practice session by a good chunk. Jon did a killer job in qualifying, but we didn’t get to count qualifying. The race start was pretty strewn about and not orderly, so we lost quite a bit of time avoiding the chaos.

 

“Jon was doing a good job, but then a GT car hit him and it spun him into the wall pretty hard. The guys did a good job fixing it up. It was a really big hit. I’m proud of the guys for digging hard and getting it fixed. It’s not easy to assess the damage and change the parts and figure out what needs to be fixed and what doesn’t.

 

“I jumped in the car and it was definitely wounded. I think we had more severe damage than we initially thought. I was able to go out there and be reasonably quick, but then something more broke in the left rear where the car was hit. Unfortunately, it broke in a spot on the track where I couldn’t easily get off the track and into a safe area. I hate that we brought the yellow out at the end of the race, but I had no where I could get to because I had no drive.”
– COLIN BRAUN

CORE Heads West for Long Beach Street Fight

ROCK HILL, S.C. (April 12, 2016) – Four weeks after winning the 12 Hours of Sebring, CORE autosport is en route to the streets of Long Beach, California, where it is undefeated in the Prototype Challenge class.

A celebrated event in North American motorsports, CORE autosport has raced and won at the Grand Prix of Long Beach three times (2011 – 2013). The PC category took a two-year hiatus from the popular street race in 2014 – 2015 after the merger of ALMS and GRAND-AM. The addition of the PC class brings the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship grid to 25 entries this weekend.

For Long Beach, CORE downshifts from the two longest races of the season (Daytona and Sebring) to the shortest race of the season at one hour and 40 minutes. A short race time and sharing the track with IndyCar means limited practice time (two hours and 25 minutes) before Friday evening qualifying.

Thankfully, the weather forecast shows sunny skies throughout the event, but any yellow flags will cost teams valuable track time.

 

Noteworthy

  • CORE won Long Beach in 2011 with Gunnar Jeannette and Ricardo Gonzalez, in 2012 with Ryan Dalziel and Alex Popow and in 2013 with Colin Braun and Jon Bennett.
  • CORE’s 2013 win was on a one-stop strategy when the race was still two hours in length.
  • Braun officially led eight laps overall in the 2013 race.
  • Despite winning Sebring, a DNF at Daytona has CORE third in the PC team standings and sixth in the driver standings.
  • CORE recently announced plans to field two cars in the 2016 Red Bull Global RallyCross season. http://coreautosport.com/core-autosport-expands-into-red-bull-global-rallycross/

 

16-CORE-JB-HeadshotW“I’m thrilled to be back at Long Beach with Colin Braun and CORE autosport. This has always been a favorite event of mine and I can’t wait to get back on the Long Beach streets.

 

“I’m not sure why, but I love street circuits and Long Beach is a great one. It’s fun for the spectators and there is always a festival atmosphere. Plus, there is the secret satisfaction of driving a purpose built race car at the limit on public streets.

 

“During our down time in Long Beach, I always look forward to attending the celebration at Circle Porsche on Wednesday evening. I also look forward to seeing the progress of the new, exciting Porsche Experience Center, near LAX, which is nearing completion.

 

“The upgrades to the PC car, especially the traction control, should help us exit the slow tight corners like the hairpin. I don’t expect we will need to re-learn the technique, just get the wheel straight and ‘let her rip!’

 

“Long Beach is our shortest race of the year. Mistakes do not erase easily with time like they may at Daytona or Sebring. It’s time to bring your focus and aggression A-game.”
– Jon Bennett

 

 

16-CORE-CB-Headshot“I’m looking forward to going back to Long Beach! It’s a great race and it’s always good to see all the people that come out. The last couple of years, I’ve kept an eye on it via TV, wishing we were there, so I’m really happy to be back in the PC cars.

 

“It’s an interesting track for our cars. Most of the corners are pretty tight, so the PC cars don’t get to use all the downforce they make, but there’s also a couple quick corners that our cars make pretty good downforce on and it’s pretty fun.

 

“When we raced in 2013, I led the race overall for a bit, so the PC cars are certainly quick. The GTLM cars make a lot of good mechanical traction and grip though. It’s always been a pretty tight field there across the classes. I think with the traction control system on the PC cars, that’ll help us a lot in the low speed corners. That could potentially open the gap a bit to the GTLM cars.

 

“A track like Long Beach is really hard to pass on, so track position is really important. However, with the drive-time rules for our class, it makes for a pretty narrow window to make the drive-time requirements and have enough fuel for a one-stop strategy. You’d have to catch all the right yellows. There’s a lot of factors that will play into making it a one-stop versus a two-stop race.”
– Colin Braun

 

 

BUBBA burger® Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach | April 15 – 16

VENUE

Track Length: 1.698 miles, 11 turns

Race Length: 1 hour, 40 minutes

 

SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

Friday, April 15

10:40am – 12:40pm: Practice #1 (All Classes)

8:00pm – 8:25pm: Practice #2 (All Classes)

8:55pm – 9:10pm: Qualifying (PC Class)

Saturday, April 16

4:00pm – 4:45pm: Driver Autograph Session (Team Transporters)

7:05pm – 8:45pm: BUBBA burger® Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach

 

TV SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

LIVE Qualifying:

Friday, April 15

8:00pm – 9:30pm: IMSA.com

 

Race U.S.:

Saturday, April 16

7:00pm – 9:00pm: FOX Sports 2

11:00pm – 1:00am: FOX Sports 1

Sunday, April 17

12:30pm – 2:30pm: FOX Sports 1

 

LIVE Race International:

Saturday, April 16

7:00pm – 9:00pm: IMSA.com

 

LIVE In-Car Cameras & Commentary:

IMSA.tv

 

 

CORE autosport Expands into Red Bull Global Rallycross

ROCK HILL, S.C. (April 6, 2016) – Multi-time IMSA Champion CORE autosport is expanding its operations to include a Red Bull Global Rallycross program. CORE will field two Lites entries for the 2016 season, with a long-term plan to move into the headlining Supercars class.

CORE is no stranger to successfully advancing up a race series ladder. After making its debut in IMSA Prototype Lites and collected championship honors, the team progressed to IMSA’s Prototype Challenge category, winning the team championship in its first season and every season since for a total of five PC Championships. In 2013, CORE added a privateer Porsche GT program to its lineup and the following year was chosen to operate Porsche’s North American GTLM factory team.

“The plan for CORE autosport has always been sustainable, long-term growth and in Red Bull Global Rallycross we saw an opportunity to apply the same model that has worked for us in IMSA,” CORE President Jon Bennett said. “We’re approaching everything with the utmost professionalism, learning everything we can, hiring talented individuals and giving them the tools and environment to continuously improve.”

Created in 2013, Red Bull GRC combines elements of off-road racing, street racing and motocross. Circuits are a unique combination of asphalt and dirt, including a variety of jumps. Each event consists of four heat races, a last chance qualifier (LCQ) and a final. Currently the Supercars class features manufacturer-backed entries from Ford, Honda, Subaru and Volkswagen.

A ‘feeder’ class to Supercars, Lites is a spec class featuring a purpose-built tube-frame chassis with a 2.4L, four-cylinder Ford Duratec engine producing 320hp. The car uses a six-speed sequential gearbox and BF Goodrich tires.

“CORE autosport is just the latest of many premier racing organizations to come to Red Bull Global Rallycross,” Red Bull GRC CEO Colin Dyne said. “Its success in sports car racing speaks for itself. We know they will apply the same level of commitment and dedication to Red Bull GRC, and look forward to seeing them in compete in Lites this year and in the Supercar class down the road.”

CORE has appointed motorsports veteran Brian Colangelo to head its Red Bull GRC program, which will operate out of its 30,000 square-foot headquarters in Rock Hill, South Carolina. The team is actively seeking funded drivers to fill the two available seats as well as experienced crew members for the 2016 GRC season.

“We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us, but it’s the type of challenge that CORE autosport thrives on,” Colangelo said. “Witnessing what CORE has already accomplished I am confident we have the experience and resources to be competitive in Red Bull Global Rallycross and eventually win championships.”

The 2016 Red Bull GRC calendar consists of 12 rounds and kicks off at the Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Phoenix, Arizona, May 21 – 22. All of the Lites races will be shown on NBC Sports Network approximately four days after the event. For more information visit www.redbullglobalrallycross.com.

For more details about CORE’s Red Bull GRC program, contact Brian Colangelo at bcolangelo@coreautosport.com.