Archive for “June, 2016”

CORE Set for Fireworks at Watkins Glen

ROCK HILL, S.C. (June 28, 2016) – It’s time for the meat of the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season as CORE autosport prepares to tackle four races in six weeks. Kicking things off is Watkins Glen International, which hosts Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, the third segment of the Tequila Patròn North American Endurance Cup.

 

The question on everyone’s minds heading into Watkins Glen is how the repaving of the circuit in the off-season will affect the track’s handling and lap times. CORE attempted to get a head start on that question with some testing in May and returned with rave reviews from drivers Jon Benett, Colin Braun and Mark Wilkins.

 

Wilkins will once again join Bennett and Braun in the driver seat for this six-hour event. Wilkins last raced with CORE at the 12 Hours of Sebring, in March, which ended in a victory.

 

Notes

  • CORE finished fourth in last year’s event at Watkins Glen and won the race in 2014.
  • Braun earned the PC pole for the 2014 race. Qualifying was rained out in 2015.
  • Wilkins won overall in a Daytona Prototype at Watkins Glen in 2008.
  • CORE is currently fourth in the PC team standings. Bennett and Braun are fifth in the driver standings.
  • CORE is third in the TPNAEC team championship.

 

 

16-CORE-JB-HeadshotW“Watkins Glen is one of North America’s iconic road courses. I can’t think of a road course with more history. My favorite section is Turn 10. This corner has a bit of camber and the prototype’s downforce is in full effect here. It feels like being fired out of a cannon.

 

“The repaving of Watkins Glen was executed with perfection. When we tested here in May I found the surface to be super-smooth with incredible grip. I predict track records will be easily broken this weekend.

 

“I think racing shares many values with the spirit of our country. The bravery to take risks, the belief that we can always improve and perform better, and the determination to win despite any setbacks. I think our early patriots shared many personality traits with race teams and drivers, so the IMSA weekend at Watkins Glen is a fitting Independence Day celebration.”
– Jon Bennett

 

 

16-CORE-CB-Headshot“Watkins Glen, newly repaved, is a lot of fun and I can’t wait to get back in the PC car with Jon and Mark. The new pavement has a lot of grip. Even though we tested there for a couple of days, the surface is still a bit of an unknown, because that was right after they repaved it. I’m sure its ever-changing. It won’t be similar to our setup notes from last year for sure! It’ll be fun to figure out and see how it develops over the weekend.

 

“I think in the longer races, there’s more opportunity for mistakes to happen and CORE is good at minimizing mistakes. That’s a key element to our success in the long endurance races like Watkins Glen.

 

“There’s nothing more American than Watkins Glen and the history that place has. With the work we do at CORE with the Wounded Warrior Project and the tourniquets that Composite Resources makes, there’s lots of things that tie together to make for a cool, patriotic Independence Day weekend!”
– Colin Braun

 

 

16-CORE-MW-Headshot“Watkins Glen has always been a top track in my mind. I’ve always enjoyed racing there. I’ve had some tough luck there, but I won a big race there in the Daytona Prototype days. My opinion of the track elevated significantly at the test in May. The changes made to the track, the repaving, the choice of material they used, is spectacular. It’s quicker, it’s smooth and it’s super grippy. I’m holding out my final judgment until we race on it, but I was really impressed.

 

“I think the process and procedures that CORE have in place are what prevent us from making mistakes and help us stay out of trouble. I think the amount of experience that everybody has and how long we’ve been racing together makes for a strong cohesiveness. All of that comes together into a well-oiled machine and we just need to go out and execute. We all know what our jobs are and what we bring to the team. In the end, if we can put that all together, then we’re in a position to do well.”
– Mark Wilkins

 

Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen | July 1 – 3

VENUE

Track Length: 3.4 miles, 11 turns

Race Length: Six Hours

 

SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

Friday, July 1

11:25am – 12:25pm: Practice #1 (All Classes)

3:20pm – 4:20pm: Practice #2 (All Classes)

Saturday, July 2

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

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

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

Sunday, July 3

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

9:00am – 9:40am: Open Grid

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

 

TV SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

LIVE Qualifying:

Friday, July 2

3:40pm – 5:10pm: IMSA.com

LIVE Race U.S.:

Saturday, July 3

10:00am – 4:30pm: FOX Sports 1

LIVE Race International:

Saturday, July 3

10:00am – 4:30pm: IMSA.com

 

LIVE In-Car Cameras & Commentary:

IMSA.tv

Podium Finish in GRC Debut for CORE

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 20, 2016) –In its first Red Bull Global Rallycross event, CORE autosport captured a GRC Lites podium finish at Daytona International Speedway.

 

Red Bull GRC events feature two heat races, where drivers battle to confirm a starting spot on the final grid. Drivers outside the top three in the heat races go to a last chance qualifier (LCQ) race to earn the final four spots on the grid.

 

Finishing third in both heat races, despite an accident in practice, Colin Braun automatically qualified for Saturday’s GRC Lites main event in the No 56. Jon Bennett found himself in the LCQ but fought his way to a third-place finish and earned the No. 54 a spot in the final.

 

Saturday’s 10-lap feature was delayed for some time due to thunderstorms moving through the area, but when it did get underway, Braun was embroiled in a fight for the podium with Tanner Whitten and Alejandro Fernandez. At the checkered flag Braun snagged himself a third-place finish in his rallycross debut.

 

Bennett, another rallycross rookie, showed he earned his spot in the final by keeping on pace for a ninth-place result.

 

Sunday proved a bit tougher. Bennett did not advance to the final and Braun finished second in both heat races, but had an accident on the opening lap of the final and soldiered on to finish 10th.

 

The GRC Lites event from Daytona International Speedway will air on NBC Sports Network Wednesday, June 22 at 4:30pm ET.

 

CORE’s next Red Bull GRC target is the July 30 event at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C.

 

16-CORE-JB-HeadshotGRC“Our GRC debut was a really fun experience. Our results are definitely something we can be proud of, especially considering it was our first ever rallycross outing. A podium finish was beyond our expectations. We have a lot to learn still, but we have the right people in place and great partners in ORECA and Sonic Tools. I can’t wait to get behind the wheel again!”

– Jon Bennett

 

16-CORE-CB-HeadshotGRC“GRC was a blast! I am super impressed with the series and the level of competition, but also how quickly these CORE guys put together a strong program. I’m happy I could put it on the podium for them on Saturday. GRC is pretty much a contact sport and sometimes you come out on the bad end of it like we did in the main on Sunday, but we sure showed we had a fast car in the heats and raced well all day! We have a lot to learn, but everyone at CORE is up to the task and we’ll be back and even more prepared at the next one.”

– Colin Braun

Porsche and CORE Renew GT Partnership

LE MANS, France (June 17, 2016) – During the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Porsche has renewed the contracts with Manthey Racing and CORE autosport after many years of successful collaboration.

 

With Manthey Racing, Porsche recently won the 2015 GT championship titles for manufacturers, drivers and teams in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), and paralleled this with three GT titles in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in the USA and Canada with CORE autosport.

 

“With the Le Mans 24-hour race, we chose a very special event to extend the contracts with our key GT-motorsport partners officially and in good time,” said Porsche Head of Motorsport Dr Frank-Steffen Walliser at the signing of the contracts. “With Manthey Racing and CORE autosport we will continue our close ties to two of the very best teams in the campaigning of our GT vehicles. Together, we have achieved a great deal in recent years and we want to achieve even more in the future.”

 

Manthey Racing will continue to run race operations for Porsche Motorsport in the WEC, with CORE autosport doing the same in IMSA.

 

“We’re proud that Porsche will stand behind our team in the coming years and thus trusts us to contest the WEC on behalf of Porsche Motorsport,” said Nicolas Raeder, Managing Director of Manthey Racing at Le Mans.

 

Jon Bennett, owner of CORE Autosport, said: “Everyone at CORE is thrilled to continue our relationship with Porsche. Our partnership started with a Rolex 24 at Daytona victory and continued with multiple championships. We are prepared to offer more of the same.”

 

As the most successful manufacturer in the history of the prestigious long distance classic, Porsche is again represented by a large contingent at Le Mans. In the strongly supported GT classes, a total of seven 911 RSR tackle the world’s toughest automobile race: The Porsche Motorsport factory squad fields two 911 RSR with the overall Le Mans winners Earl Bamber (New Zealand) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain) and with five 911 contenders campaigned by customer teams. With the two 919 Hybrid in the LMP1 class, Porsche is represented at Le Mans by total of nine vehicles and 16 works drivers.

 

CORE autosport Unveils GRC Program Ahead of Daytona Debut

ROCK HILL, S.C. (June 7, 2016) – CORE autosport is ready to make its RedBull Global RallyCross debut at Daytona International Speedway, June 18 – 19, with drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun and with support from SONIC Tools and ORECA.

 

After receiving two RallyCross Lites vehicles in May, CORE has carried out testing and is ready to put both cars into competition at Daytona for Rounds Four and Five of RedBull Global RallyCross. Filling the driver seats will be CORE’s regular Prototype Challenge drivers Bennett and Braun, who will both make their GRC debut.

 

“I’m really looking forward to this new evolution of CORE autosport,” Bennett said. “We’ve got the right people in place and the perfect partners in ORECA and SONIC Tools. Colin and I may not have any rallycross experience, but we’ve tested and had a blast in the GRC Lites cars. It seems fitting for us to make our debut at Daytona, where we’ve achieved a good amount of success in sportscars. We even won the 24 Hours of Daytona in our debut… maybe that’s a tradition we can continue with GRC!”

 

CORE’s expansion into GRC comes with support from two partners: ORECA, which supplies CORE’s GRC program with steering wheels, seats and belts, and SONIC Tools, which CORE will use exclusively for this program.

 

“ORECA is glad and proud to bring support to CORE autosport as part of this exciting project in GRC Lites,” ORECA North America Manager, Renaud Chevalier declared. “GRC Lites is what our products are targeted for: a discipline involving budding young talents in keenly-fought and fascinating races. It’s the ideal challenge to show our products’ quality and we want to thank CORE autosport for trusting us.”

 

“As we continue to expand our motorsports presence, and presence in the USA, there was no better partner to enter into the GRC arena with besides CORE,” stated Colby McConnell, Chief Marketing Officer, SONIC Tools. “We have been working with teams in multiple areas of motorsports, and CORE is the one of the best in the business, so we are excited”

 

RedBull Global RallyCross rounds Four and Five at Daytona International Speedway take place June 18 – 19. Live timing and scoring is available on www.redbullglobalrallycross.com and the GRC Lites races will air on NBC Sports Network, Wednesday, June 22, at 4:30pm ET.

 

“This is a very exciting time for everybody at CORE autosport,” Program Manager Brian Colangelo said. “We’re venturing outside of our comfort zone into something new, but everybody here loves a challenge and we’ve hit the ground running. Partnering with ORECA and SONIC Tools has been tremendously helpful in getting our GRC program launched and feeling confident going into our competition debut. Recruiting Jon and Colin to drive was a no-brainer considering their racing accomplishments and we can expect excellent feedback from each of them.”

 

CORE autosport was founded in 2010 and has since gone on to win five Prototype Challenge Championships in American Le Mans Series and IMSA competition and has grown to include support of the factory Porsche GTLM program in North America, which produced back-to-back Manufacturer Championships in 2014 and 2015.

 

 

CORE Battles to the End for P2 Finish in Detroit

DETROIT, Mich. (June 4, 2016) – CORE autosport earned its second-straight WeatherTech SportsCar Championship podium on the streets of Detroit, finishing second in the Chevrolet Sports Car Challenge.

Jon Bennett was due to start fifth, but a missing car on the grid promoted the No. 54 Flex-Box/Composite Resources ORECA FLM09 to fourth before the green flag. When it did, Bennett was cool and composed, holding his ground through the tight, concrete-lined street course. He briefly made his way up to third, but was back to fourth when it came time to pit.

CORE was one of the first Prototype Challenge teams to pit and it was a lightning quick stop. Colin Braun took over the driver’s seat and returned to the track just before a full-course caution. After the remaining PC teams pitted and the pass around procedures were complete, Braun was sitting in second place.

On the restart, Braun got around the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports and took over the PC lead.

A series of short full-course yellow periods followed. On each restart, Braun was able to pull out a comfortable gap, that was then erased a few laps later with the next full-course caution. When green flag racing returned for the final 25 minutes of the race, the gap to the new second-place car—the No. 8 Starworks Motorsports entry—began to close.

Driver Renger Van Der Zande had Braun in his sights, but as the two began to work their way through slower GTD traffic, it appeared Braun had the edge. With two laps to go, Braun attempted a pass through the Turn Seven, Eight and Nine complex. He got too far offline and spun. He was able to return to the circuit quickly, but it allowed Van Der Zande to get by and take the win. Braun crossed the finish line in second.

The podium finish is CORE’s second-straight; the team finished third at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in May.

CORE now has a month off, before returning to the race track, July 1 – 3, at Watkins Glen International.

 

16-CORE-JB-HeadshotW“During my stint I was pushing really hard and watching the race develop. I was running laps close to my qualifying times. It was all pretty clean and uneventful stint. Then, the strategy started to unveil itself.

 

“We had a super fast pit stop and driver exchange. The crew did an excellent job during the pit stop and Colin was just magic during his first stint. We just about won the race! My hat’s off to the team and a super driver for Colin. It’s definitely a positive step in the championship and now we look forward to Watkins Glen.”
Jon Bennett

 

 

16-CORE-CB-Headshot“I had to push pretty hard, early, because I felt like we had a good car on the restarts. Once I passed Tom [Kimber-Smith], I was trying to keep some of the prototype cars behind me and Renger [Van Der Zande] and I had built a little bit of a gap.

 

“We’d get a yellow and I’d pull a little bit of a gap, over and over. Each time we had a restart, I could get going for a lap or two, but I don’t think we had the long-run pace today. Unfortunately, the end was the longest green flag run we had.

 

“Things started to get tight, but then we hit traffic and I was able to keep a car between us through traffic. I went around the outside of a BMW in the triple-left, where I’d been passing cars all weekend. I didn’t expect to half spin out. He moved a little to the right and I moved a little to the right to give him some room and I got off in the marbles and that was that. It doesn’t take much to make it work versus not work and I had been able to make it work up until that moment. I’m disappointed, but that’s racing and part of being on the limit.”
Colin Braun

CORE autosport Lines up Fifth on Detroit Grid

DETROIT, Mich. (June 3, 2016) – Jon Bennett will start the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic from fifth on the Prototype Challenge grid for the latest round of the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Bennett will share the car with Colin Braun for Saturday’s 100-minute race on Detroit’s Belle Isle.

A 15-minute qualifying session wrapped up a busy day for CORE autosport in Detroit that also included two 90-minute practice sessions. Come late afternoon, it was time for Bennett to give the 2.3-mile, 14-turn temporary street circuit his best lap in the No. 54 Flex-Box/Composite Resources ORECA FLM09.

An initial flyer put Bennett up to third on the timing screens, but the pace of the field picked up dramatically as the session wore on. When the checkered flag appeared, Bennett was fifth with a lap of 1:28.903 (95.1 mph).

Bennett will start the No. 54 in Saturday’s race and hand the car over to Braun for the second half and finish.

The Chevrolet Sports Car Classic will air live on FOX Sports 1 at 12:30pm ET on Saturday, June 4. Live timing, radio and in-car cameras are available on IMSA.com.

16-CORE-JB-HeadshotW“This track is impressively bumpy, but that’s not a surprise to us, because we experienced it last year. It is definitely an obstacle you need to overcome here. You want to finish the race and be very precise and fast, but this track surface will take your breath away!
 
“Detroit doesn’t change as much as some street circuits do. I think it might be because these streets aren’t used as much by the public during the year. The grip is slightly improving after each session. The IndyCars are putting down a lot of rubber, so that’s changing the personality of the track a little bit.
 
“We have a quite a competitive field this year in PC. Making it through the race unscathed is a goal, but you have to be very fast also, and that can present a challenge at a street circuit. Both Colin and I are up to the challenge of going fast and taking care of the equipment.”
– Jon Bennett

CORE Ready to Attack Streets of Detroit

ROCK HILL, S.C. (June 1, 2016) – After nearly a month-long break, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is back in action and CORE autosport is ready to take on its second street course of the season: Detroit Belle Isle.

 

This 14-turn, 2.38-mile temporary street circuit is uniquely situated on a 982-acres island in the Detroit River. It is connected to the mainland by the MacArthur bridge.

 

Street circuits are always a new challenge for drivers and engineers, not just because of the concrete walls that line the circuit, but because the track surface changes from turn to turn and from session to session. IMSA shares the track with IndyCar and Stadium Super Trucks this weekend, which will put down a variety of rubber compounds.

 

Like Long Beach, Detroit will be a quick 100-minute race. It will feature only the Prototype, Prototype Challenge and GT Daytona classes. The GT Le Mans class does not participate.

 

Notes

  • CORE autosport welcomes CrowdStrike (http://www.crowdstrike.com/) as a new partner. CrowdStrike is a leader in next-generation endpoint protection, threat intelligence and response services, attending to global leaders in business, finance, health care and energy.
  • Bennett and Braun finished fourth in last year’s Detroit Belle Isle GP.
  • CORE is currently fourth in the PC Team Championship. Bennett and Braun are fourth in the PC Driver Championship.

 

 

16-CORE-JB-HeadshotW“In my early years, a major crash could affect my limited racing budget to the point that I may not race for six months or more. Early budget limitation shaped my driving personality to be quite tactical and precise with my approach. This precise approach to driving pays off on street circuits where precision is paramount and I hope it pays off for us this weekend with our new sponsor CrowdStrike!”
 
“Sharing the track with multiple race series creates interesting engineering challenges. The rubber left on track is always changing and can blur the engineering inputs required to optimize the handling performance of the race car. In the end, the driver must often find a way to work with an imperfectly balanced car.
 
“While the Detroit layout is fast and flowing in parts, the surface is extremely rough. It takes a few laps to calibrate your senses to the harshness of the track, especially the back straight. In comparison to Long Beach, the fast corners and rough surface at Detroit requires a bit more risk taking to be at the top of the time sheets.”
– Jon Bennett

 

 

16-CORE-CB-Headshot“I love street courses. I think Jon and I both really enjoy them, so I’m really glad CrowdStrike makes its debut with us here.  We like the importance of being really accurate, precise and controlled, but at the same time going as fast as you can. It’s a really fun balance for race car drivers to deal with.

 

“We always know what to expect going to Long Beach. With Detroit, it’s changed over the last couple of years. They repaved the back straightaway last year, which was supposed to be smoother, but I actually thought it was bumpier. It’ll be interesting to see what it looks like this year, compared to last year. It’s not a known quantity like Long Beach is.

 

“It hasn’t been the start to the season that we’ve deserved. From all accounts, we’ve done a really good job. We had an engine issue at Daytona while leading that wasn’t our fault. We went to Sebring and won the race, but then we went to Long Beach and Jon got spun out, but we had been the fastest car all week to that point. At Laguna, we had a freak re-fueling issue before the start of the race that forced us to start from the pitlane and essentially a lap down, but we rallied back to finish on the podium. We’ve had some uncharacteristically bad luck, but everyone’s been doing a good job and we’ve been really fast. When you look at it, probably 95 percent of the things that have gone wrong have been out of our control, so we keep our heads down and keep working.”
– Colin Braun

 

 

Chevrolet Sports Car Classic | June 3 – 4

————————————————————

VENUE

Track Length: 2.3 miles, 14 turns

Race Length: 100 minutes

 

SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

Friday, June 3

8:05am – 9:35am: Practice #1 (All Classes)

12:55pm – 2:25pm: Practice #2 (All Classes)

5:25pm – 5:40pm: Qualifying (PC Class)

 

Saturday, June 4

8:00am – 8:30am: Warm Up (All Classes)

10:15am – 11:00am: Driver Autograph Session

11:50am – 12:20pm: Open Grid / Fan Walk

12:40pm – 2:20pm: Chevrolet Sports Car Classic

 

TV SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

LIVE Qualifying:

Friday, June 3

5:05pm – 6:05pm: IMSA.com

LIVE Race U.S.:

Saturday, June 4

12:30pm – 2:30pm: FOX Sports 1

LIVE Race International:

Saturday, June 4

12:30pm – 2:30pm: IMSA.com

 

LIVE In-Car Cameras & Commentary:

IMSA.tv