Archive for “July, 2016”

CORE Continues on GRC Learning Curve

WASHINGTON D.C. (July 31, 2016) – CORE autosport’s Red Bull Global Rallycross journey continued this weekend at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C. Drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun showed strong pace in their second-ever GRC event, but their final results did not illustrate the big improvements made by the team.

With one GRC event under its belt, CORE autosport had a better understanding of what to expect at RFK Stadium. But, by GRC’s very nature, two important elements change with each track: the location of the Joker Lap and the surface texture (both permanent and dirt). The team quickly realized on the track walk that D.C.’s dirt was quite a bit sandier than the dirt they raced on in Daytona.

After a strong showing in practice where Braun even topped the timing screens for a bit, qualifying ended with Braun fifth and Bennett 10th. Neither Braun nor Bennett were able to crack the top three in the heat races to advance to the main, which meant both drivers would have to fight their way through the last chance qualifier (LCQ).

Braun quickly took the lead in the LCQ, but was hit hard by another car. The hit broke the car’s steering and ended Braun’s day in the No. 56. Bennett had better luck and captured the final transfer spot to take up the 10th position on the grid for the final. There, he would advance one spot to finish ninth in the No. 54.

The final result belied the major strides made by the team in their rookie GRC season. As CORE continues to make progress with its GRC program, it looks forward the next rallycross event in Atlantic City, August 28.

The GRC Lites race from Washington D.C. will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network, Thursday, August 25, at 5:30pm ET.

 

16-CORE-JB-HeadshotGRC“The good news for GRC D.C. was we’re beginning to get used to the flow of the event; where to be and when to be there. It sounds small, but it does affect you mentally and your performance. Beyond that, we’re beginning to understand the characteristics and personalities of the competition each weekend. Unfortunately, we don’t have the results to reflect that we had a very positive weekend in Washington.
 
“The last chance qualifier was interesting. On the grid it began to rain, which is something I enjoy. It’s a bit of an equalizer. I was optimistic when it began to rain. Colin was on his way to winning that race, but unfortunately he was the victim of someone else’s mistake, which broke the steering and ended his chances for the final. I was able to move to the final by finishing fourth in the LCQ.
 
“I started 10th in the final and it was a good opportunity for me to learn how to be competitive. In the final, you’re racing against the best drivers in our field. It was a good seminar for me when it comes to sharpening my competitiveness. I was able to move up a position to P9 and gained a lot of experience.
 
“I think we’re building a toolbox for future races and I think each race will help CORE’s program get stronger and stronger. I think if we can get both cars in the final and one car on the podium at the next one, that’d be a good finish for us. Hopefully our experience builds as we go to Atlantic City and Los Angeles. I suspect we’ll begin to move up to the top of the results sheet.
 
“One of the coolest things that’s happening is the brand awareness of CORE. On more than one occasion people have commented that ‘we’re happy to see you guys here after all the success in sportscars.’ It’s cool to see our business grow. I think growing outside the IMSA paddock adds more legitimacy to how good we are at what we do.”
– Jon Bennett

 

16-CORE-CB-HeadshotGRC“The track itself was a nice layout when you’re driving by yourself, but was nearly impossible to pass on. It was really important to qualify well and get a good start. It was so easy to get trapped behind a slower car. There was maybe one semi-passing opportunity around the whole place. The track was fun and technical by yourself, which I think is why we were so quick during practice.
 
“I felt like all our procedures and processes are getting better and our understanding of how the weekend flows. With this only being our second race, we’re still learning a ton. We’ve come to a new venue and it’s our first time seeing what the differences can be in where the Joker Lap is and the texture of the dirt. It was sandier here than it was at Daytona. On one hand it was nice to go to the second race, because we knew what to expect, but on the other hand, we learned that a lot of things can change from race to race.
 
“I was leading the LCQ and then the person I passed decided to riffle it in there in the dirt section, as it was raining, and got into the water and slammed into me. The hit was so hard it broke the steering shaft. It’s a big disappointment, because we were super fast in the first practice and decent in the second one. The CORE guys did an awesome job giving me a fast car and our results on paper don’t really show the huge amounts of progress we’re making.”
– Colin Braun

CORE Ready for Sophomore GRC Event

ROCK HILL, S.C. (July 26, 2016) – After securing a podium finish in its Red Bull Global Rallycross debut last month, CORE autosport gained valuable insight into the series that will help keep the podium finishes coming. As a result, drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun are eager to take on their second GRC event this weekend at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C.

 

Even beyond the dirt and jumps, GRC Lites is a totally different world compared to CORE’s usual sportscar racing. Instead of qualifying, where the course is open to all drivers attempting to set their fastest lap time, GRC features two heat races, where drivers fight to finish in the top three and earn a spot on the grid for the main. All drivers finishing outside the top three go to a last-chance qualifier (LCQ) to battle for the final four spots on the grid.

 

Instead of a two-hour and 40-minute race, GRC Lites main events are only 10 laps and all races begin with a standing start. In each race, every driver must complete one “joker lap,” which is a deviation from the main course that could either be slower or faster than the main course depending on the event setup. Deciding when to take the “joker lap” is a key strategic decision, much like when to make a pit stop in sportscar racing.

 

Now that CORE has one full GRC event under its belt, the team has a better understanding of how to utilize track time and employ the best race strategies. Bennett, Braun and team are looking forward to measured improvement at this weekend’s Washington D.C. event.

 

The GRC Lites main event is streamed live on Red Bull TV, Saturday, July 30, at 2:30pm ET. A full recap show will air on NBC Sports Network, Thursday, August 25, at 5:30pm ET.

 

 

16-CORE-JB-HeadshotGRC“We have our first event under our belt and we understand the way the event flows and a little bit about our competitors and the feel of a GRC weekend. I think Colin and I are really looking forward to going to Washington D.C. and focus more on our actual racing and not just on understanding how the event works and the mechanics of going GRC racing. Plus, we both know how to properly jump a car now, so that chapter’s been written! We’re looking forward to settling into a groove and doing our homework on how to make the cars faster and be more competitive.

 

There are some aspects of GRC racing that are new to us: one being the standing starts and two being the jumps. I think we have some data from the cars now that we’re able to analyze and figure out what kind of start seems to be better. In terms of the jumps, we can figure out if we’re better with a fast and long jump or a slower and shorter jump, in terms of overall lap time. Those are all things we didn’t have any information on prior to Daytona and we are armed with going to Washington. We’re looking forward to a new level of competitiveness and watching that grow as our abbreviated GRC season continues.”
– Jon Bennett

 

 

16-CORE-CB-HeadshotGRC“I’m really looking forward to getting back in the GRC car. It’s so much fun. It’s so different and we’re still in the steep part of the learning curve. I’m really excited to continue that learning process and figure out more about the car and how to go fast. Daytona was a lot of fun, but it was also a taste of all the stuff we needed to learn. We went back to the shop and talked about it as a group and I think we’ll be a lot stronger doing our second race.

 

“I think one of the biggest things we’ve learned is how the race works, how the practices work, how it all flows. The weekends are so different from our typical sportscar weekends. There are so many little details about how the weekend goes from an operations standpoint. I think it’ll be a real help having that experience under our belt now. We know how many times we need to practice standing starts and a lot of little procedural things like that, so I feel like we’ll be in good shape this weekend.”
– Colin Braun

 

 

 

CORE Lime Rock Park

Unlucky Lime Rock

Lady luck was no friend of CORE autosport at Lime Rock Park. After qualifying on the Prototype Challenge pole for the latest WeatherTech SportsCar Championship round, the team was forced to exit the race early due to crash damage.

Though Colin Braun was yesterday’s PC polesitter, the team opted to put Jon Bennett in the car to start the race. The change in starting drivers meant the No. 54 Flex-Box/Composite Resources ORECA FLM09 had to start from the back of the PC grid. The team knew this wasn’t an impossible obstacle to overcome; it went from last to first at Mosport two weeks ago.

Bennett moved all the way up to fourth before it was time to hand the car over to Braun, but a penalty for driving over pit equipment required Braun to return to pit lane and serve a drive-through.

Shortly after returning to the circuit, Braun was hit by a GTD car attempting to re-join the action after a spin. The hit damaged the left-rear suspension and brought the No. 54 onto pit lane for repairs. The team replaced as much as they could on pit lane before sending Braun back out, but the issue proved to be terminal and the team had to call it a day with an hour and half left in the race.

It was a trying day at Lime Rock Park for CORE autosport, but they have plenty of chances to race for wins ahead. CORE is off to its second RedBull Global RallyCross event next week in Washington D.C. and then it’s back to IMSA racing in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, the first weekend in August.

16-CORE-JB-HeadshotW“We were all braced for a relatively simple track but a complex race in terms of traffic and race strategy – when to stop and when not to stop. With some selective aggression, I was able to stay on the lead lap with the lead pack. I maintained a spot that, when handed over to Colin, would be something we could work with and head toward the win. Unfortunately, we had a bit of a lengthy stop and a penalty for running over an air hose on pit lane. It certainly wasn’t terminal for our chance to win though. Then Colin was unfortunately the victim of another driver’s mistake.

 

“You kind of hope at a track like Lime Rock Park that the stars will align for you and you can work your way through bad luck and things that aren’t necessarily in your control. Unfortunately, we came up on the wrong side of luck today.”
– JON BENNETT

 

16-CORE-CB-Headshot“I jumped in the car and did a handful of laps and was behind a GTD car that ran wide off into the grass in Turn 5. I drove under him, then he spun out in the grass and stayed on the throttle. He drove into my left rear tire and spun me out wildly. There’s not too much you can do when that happens. I feel bad for the guys because they worked hard on the car. Jon did a great job bringing the car in on the lead lap for us to go to work. I would have liked to see how it played out, but that’s what sometimes happens in multi-class racing at this level.”
– COLIN BRAUN

Second Straight Pole for CORE autosport

Fresh off a victory from pole position at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, CORE autosport earned the Prototype Challenge pole once again, this time at Lime Rock Park. It is CORE’s third WeatherTech SportsCar Championship PC pole of the season.

In this unique two-day Northeast Grand Prix, practice was limited to two, one-hour sessions on the same day as qualifying. To maximize the track time available, CORE opted to put Braun in the car for qualifying and work on race setup for the No. 54 Flex-Box/Composite Resources ORECA FLM09.

Braun led the 15-minute qualifying session from green flag to checkered. His pole-setting lap, a 48.824 (108.4 mph), bested his nearest opponent by a slim 0.016-second.

Tomorrow’s Northeast Grand Prix features only three of IMSA’s four race categories: PC, GTLM and GTD. This means an overall win is in the cards if Bennett and Braun can keep the No. 54 out front.

The two-hour and 40-minute race will air live on FOX, Saturday, July 23, at 3pm ET.

16-CORE-CB-Headshot“We needed to use qualifying as a test session. We had limited track time. The race is during the middle of the day in really high heat and this was a good opportunity in similar track conditions to evaluate what the car is like and see what the setup is like. I’m happy to get the pole. It wasn’t our primary goal for the session; Saturday is really the important one.

 

“There will be a lot of traffic tomorrow. For me as a driver, it’s fun. There will be frustrating moments for sure, but then there will be moments where it goes your way and you can make a pass and it kind of falls in your lap. Tomorrow will be about managing your tires and traffic more than it will be about raw speed and performance. It’ll be more about being smart and staying out of trouble and being aggressive when you need to be in traffic but knowing when it’s smarter to fight another day.”
– Colin Braun

CORE Rides Latest Win to Lime Rock Park

ROCK HILL, S.C. (July 19, 2016) – After securing its second Prototype Challenge win of the year at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, CORE autosport is feeling strong as it heads to the shortest track on the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship calendar: Lime Rock Park.

The Connecticut circuit is home ground for driver and team owner Jon Bennett, who grew up watching races at Lime Rock Park and attended his first Skip Barber Driving School there.

Last year’s race at Lime Rock Park featured only two classes: PC and GTD. This year, the GTLM class will join in, making for plenty of traffic and non-stop action. It will be imperative to stay on pace and make zero mistakes, as it can be easy to go a lap down, but extremely difficult to get the lap back.

 

Notes

  • Jon Bennett went to high school in nearby Newtown, Connecticut.
  • Bennett and Colin Braun won at Lime Rock in 2012. It was their second career-win together.
  • The 2012 win was a one-two finish for CORE. Alex Popw and Tom Kimber-Smith finished second.
  • At 1.474 miles in length, Lime Rock Park is the shortest circuit on the schedule.
  • CORE is third in the PC Team Championship.
  • Bennett and Braun are fourth in the PC Driver Championship.

 

 

16-CORE-JB-HeadshotW“I lived nearby in Newtown, Connecticut, during my high school years and Lime Rock was the closest road racing circuit. I spent many weekends on the hill watching IMSA’s Camel GT and fire-breathing Porsche 935’s. At 16, I’d saved enough money from an after school job to attend a one-day Skip Barber school in a Crossle Formula Ford.
 
“Lime Rock is one of the most grueling races of the season. The short track length and traffic combine to create a busy and mentally taxing time in the car. I can also remember Lime Rock as being a race with some heat to contend with. Personally, I enjoy the strategy of working through traffic by being careful and clever, but add in some heat, stress, traffic and non-stop turns, and Lime Rock can turn into one of the most grueling races of the season.
 
“It’s difficult to predict the number of cautions we’ll see. There no science to it, but when the yellows begin to occur, each one seems to create the next one.”
– Jon Bennett

 

16-CORE-CB-Headshot“Lime Rock is going to be very challenging this year with the addition of the GTLM cars, particularly because they are so quick compared to the PC cars. I can certainly envision the kind of beating and banging people associate with Lime Rock.
 
“From a physical and mental side of things, Lime Rock is one of the toughest places we go to. The laps are really fast and short. You only really have the front straightaway for a chance to rest. Mentally, working through the traffic and trying to predict what’s going to happen and who’s going where really takes a toll. Lime Rock is generally pretty hot also. Luckily for us, we have an open top car, so it’s a little bit better, but it can still be incredibly muggy. It’s a great test of overall mental and physical strength.
 
“Strategy-wise, it’s tricky, because it’s really easy to get a lap down. On the flip-side, with all the traffic, you’d expect a bunch of yellows where you might have the chance to make your lap back up. Track position is so important because of how hard it is to pass. Even within our own class, there’s so much GT traffic, it makes it really challenging to make passes on cars in your own class.”
– Colin Braun

 

 

 

Northeast Grand Prix | July 22 – 23

Track Length: 1.474 miles, 7 turns

Race Length: 2 hours and 40 minutes

 

SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

Friday, July 22

11:10am – 12:10pm: Practice #1 (All Classes)

2:05pm – 3:05pm: Practice #2 (All Classes)

5:20pm – 5:35pm: Qualifying (PC Class)

Saturday, July 23

9:05am – 9:25am: Warm Up (All Classes)

11:30am – 12:15pm: Autograph Session

1:40pm – 2:35pm: Open Grid

3:05pm – 5:45pm: Northeast Grand Prix

 

TV SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

LIVE Qualifying:

Friday, July 22

4:25pm – 5:35pm: IMSA.com

LIVE Race U.S.:

Saturday, July 23

3:00pm – 6:00pm: FOX

LIVE Race International:

Saturday, July 23

3:00am – 6:00pm: IMSA.com

 

LIVE In-Car Cameras & Commentary:

IMSA.tv

CORE Takes Stunning Victory in Canada

First class pit stops and strategy helped CORE autosport earn its third Prototype Challenge victory at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Jon Bennett and Colin Braun made their way from the back of the grid to the top step of the podium in the latest round of the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship: the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix.

IMSA rules require the qualifying driver to start the car in the race. Although Braun qualified the No. 54 Flex-Box/Composite Resources ORECA FLM09 on pole, the team’s race plan was for Bennett to start the race. Changing its starting driver meant CORE needed to start from the back of the Prototype field.

Bennett had no problem with this hurdle, especially at one of his favorite tracks. He used the right balance of aggression and caution to move from seventh to second in his stint, which included an early pit stop for a splash of fuel.

When the No. 54 returned to the track with Braun at the wheel, it was fourth. Steadily, the remaining three cars ahead of Braun needed to pit and none of them could do it faster than CORE. Each competitor came out behind Braun. When he finally took over the lead it was by eight seconds. The gap hovered there for the remaining 20 minutes of the two-hour and 40-minute race.

A full-course caution was issued with less than two minutes remaining, forcing the race to end under yellow. This sealed CORE’s victory, its second of the 2016 season and third at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. It was a well-deserved reward for the team, who had to rebuild the car in only a day after a rough race at Watkins Glen.

CORE autosport has a week off before it goes to Lime Rock Park, July 22 – 23, for the Northeast Grand Prix. It will air live on FOX, Saturday, July 23, at 3pm ET.

 

16-CORE-JB-HeadshotW“In my stomach, I knew it was going to be a good race. It’s been a trying couple of races lately, and we’ve had to work through some technical problems. Personally, I think the events that start off a little difficult always have a good ending.

 

“My hats off to the team, no matter how difficult things get, they try harder. Their pits stops during the race were key to our success. Colin and I leap-frogged some competitors with excellent pit work. It’s the way I like it; it was an absolute team-effort win. Colin was flawless in the car, I held up my end, and we had an awesome team supporting us.

“Colin and I talk about this track often for months ahead of time. It’s a lot of fun. It’s a very, very fast track, and Colin and I both enjoy going fast. Maybe it’s your outlook going into a race – I expect to do well here. And, I expect to do well in Lime Rock.”
– JON BENNETT

 

16-CORE-CB-Headshot“The crew guys did an amazing job. My dad [team Engineer Jeff Braun] and Colin Mason called a great strategy that didn’t really unfold until the last little bit of the race. We found ourselves with a really nice lead and a big chunk of that was thanks to great stops on pit road. Our guys absolutely killed it. We had good in- and out-laps. Jon did a great job keeping the car right in the mix. The whole strategy sort of hinged around Jon’s performance in the car, and he did a really good job keeping it where we needed to, to do our strategy. It was fantastic!

 

“I love this place. In years past, we really seemed to get into the swing of it in the middle of the summer and find ourselves right in the mix. I’m really hoping to be able to do that again. This is a tough track, but at the same time, it’s a place where you got to have a lot of guts to make some passes but a lot of patience to know where not to. I think it plays to Jon’s strengths and mine. We’re smart when we have to be smart and absolutely on the ragged edge when we have to be.”
– COLIN BRAUN

Colin Braun Qualifies P1 in Canada

Pole Position in Canada

Defending Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix winner CORE autosport scored its second WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Prototype Challenge pole of the season at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Colin Braun’s quickest lap was half a second faster than his nearest rival to claim the top spot on the PC grid.

CORE autosport was ready to get to work shaking down its freshly rebuilt No. 54 Flex-Box / Composite Resources ORECA FLM09 after mechanical issues ended its race early at last weekend’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen. Mother Nature had other plans for the team with rain slowing both of Friday’s practice sessions.

With little dry track time, Braun got strapped in for qualifying. He went to the top of the timing screens straight away and continued to improve his time, finally settling in with a 1:11.946 (123.0 mph). It is Braun’s fifth-career WeatherTech pole position. He will share the car with teammate Jon Bennett in the race. The pair won last year’s event by more than five seconds.

Weather is forecasted to be rain free for tomorrow’s Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix. The two-hour and 40-minute race will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1 starting at 11am ET.

 

16-CORE-CB-Headshot“It was fun to go out there and qualify against these guys. For us, we wanted to use the session as a little bit of a test and get better for tomorrow.

 

“My dad, Jeff Braun, and all these guys do everything they can to get every little bit out of the car. Hats off to our mechanics. They’ve done such a great job getting our car switched over. We had some mechanical issues at Watkins Glen. They pulled out the spare chassis and built that thing up over the short break we had between races. A huge thanks to them and the work they did to be able to switch it out like that. It was pretty impressive. It was really rewarding to be able to come here and put it on the pole for them.”
– COLIN BRAUN

Poised for a Rebound

ROCK HILL, S.C. (July 5, 2016) – After a tough race weekend at Watkins Glen International, CORE autosport is already en route to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP) for the latest round of the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The team is ready to rebound and repeat its 2015 victory at the 2.459-mile, 10-turn road course.

 

CTMP was the site for CORE’s first victory of the 2015 season and was a launching pad to the team’s fifth-straight Prototype Challenge Championship.

 

After exiting the Six Hours of the Glen early with a suspension issue, the CORE team spent Monday examining every inch of the car to ensure the problem had been fixed, before loading up and heading to Canada.

 

 

Notes:

  • In CORE’s 2015 victory Colin Braun drove his stint without power steering.
  • In addition to 2015, CORE had victories at CTMP in 2013 (Bennett, Braun) and in 2011 (Jeannette, Gonzalez).
  • CORE is fourth in the PC Team Championship.
  • Bennett and Braun are fourth in the PC Driver Championship.

 

 

 

16-CORE-JB-HeadshotW“Colin and I always look forward to Mosport. It’s a track that we’ve had good success at in the past. It’s nice to be in that part of Canada and drive at one of my favorite tracks of the season.

 

“Mosport is fast because of a combination of several very fast corners that all flow very well together. They match up well to the downforce and handling characteristics of the PC car. It’s a super-fun roller coaster and a great place to race.

 

“Back-to-back races is a bit of a strain on our crew in terms of keeping the car maintained, but it’s something we’ve prepared for and it shouldn’t pose much of a problem.”
– Jon Bennett

 

 

16-CORE-CB-Headshot“I really look forward to Mosport every year. It’s one of the fastest and most flowing tracks on our schedule. That’s something that Jon and I both really enjoy.

 

“Back-to-back races are a challenge for the crew to prepare the cars and get everything turned around within a few days. For the drivers though, it’s pretty straightforward. We’re staying on the road though and not going back to the shop in Rock Hill, which adds to the challenge. The guys had to be prepared and organized as they left the shop so that they were not only ready for Watkins Glen but for Mosport too.”
Colin Braun

 

 

 

Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix | July 8 – 10

VENUE

Track Length: 2.459 miles, 10 turns

Race Length: 2 hours and 40 minutes

 

SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

Friday, July 8

10:35am – 11:35am: Practice #1 (All Classes)

2:55pm – 3:55pm: Practice #2 (All Classes)

Saturday, July 9

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

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

Sunday, July 10

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

8:30am – 9:15am: Driver Autograph Session

9:55am – 10:35am: Open Grid

11:05am – 1:45pm: Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix

 

TV SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

LIVE Qualifying:

Saturday, July 9

3:35pm – 5:10pm: IMSA.com

LIVE Race U.S.:

Sunday, July 10

11:00am – 2:00pm: FOX Sports 1

LIVE Race International:

Sunday, July 10

11:00am – 2:00pm: IMSA.com

 

LIVE In-Car Cameras & Commentary:

IMSA.tv

CORE Makes Early Exit at Six Hours of The Glen

After a strong start, CORE autosport was unable to complete all six hours of the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at Watkins Glen International. A mechanical issue brought the team’s Prototype Challenge entry out of contention with less than two hours to go in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.

Starting from sixth, Jon Bennett emerged from the opening race mayhem in a strong position to begin his battle for the lead. The cards appeared stacked in his favor when the No. 20 BAR1 Motorsports car was involved in a collision and the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports car had a long pit stop for repairs, which enabled him to pick up two spots. His blessings continued when the team took advantage of the first full-course caution to perform its initial pit stop. A strong stop from the team put Bennett in second and he battled in the top three for the remainder of his stint. He took over the top spot just before handing the car over to co-driver Mark Wilkins.

Another quick and clean stop put Wilkins back on track in third, but he was knocked to fourth after serving a drive-thru penalty for Bennett’s speed at the pit entrance. He made quick work to recover positions and had the car up to second in short order. As his stint continued, the car’s suspension malfunctioned and caused the front right tire to detach from the car. Wilkins skillfully maneuvered to the pits under his own power and the team set to work repairing the issue. He was back on track in fifth just 10 minutes later, but four laps down to the PC leader. Wilkins held his position through the remainder of his stint and used the second full-course caution of the race for the final driver change to Colin Braun.

Upon returning to the circuit, Braun could tell that the car had sustained additional damage from the earlier suspension failure. Unable make the fix within the remaining one hour and 40 minutes, the team elected to retire the car so it could began the repair process and have the No. 54 ready for next week’s race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. CORE was classified sixth in class on the final results.

The team is already hard at work to get the No. 54 prepped for The Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix, coming up July 7 – 10.

16-CORE-JB-HeadshotGRC“Luckily for me, we had a really well-engineered and well-tuned car for the start of the race. I had my first pit stop at max attack, and I picked my battles carefully throughout my stint. Our Engineer Jeff Braun also came up with a good strategy move to conserve fuel and eliminate a pit stop.

 

“I handed the car off to Mark and that’s when the mechanical gremlins started to creep in. Mark did a great job in the car as did Colin. But from just about two-and a-half hours in, the gremlins just continued with something first in the front of the car and then something in the back. Racing goes that way sometimes. We’ll regroup and put on a good effort at Mosport next weekend.”

– JON BENNETT

 

 

16-CORE-CB-HeadshotGRC“It was a disappointing end to our day. I’m not really sure what happened. Jon and Mark both did really good in the car, and we had strong pit stops. We had what I think was the fastest car all weekend.

 

“When I got in, the car was really inconsistent in the corners with really bad pulling. We obviously had some sort of mechanical issue, and we decided to retire to the paddock so we could figure it out and get it right for Mosport next weekend.”

– COLIN BRAUN

 

 

16-CORE-MW-Headshot“Jon did a great job in the car, so when I went out, I didn’t really have a ton of work to do other than turn good, consistent laps. We were pretty happy with the pace. With the nature of the track and the high speeds, you loose a little grip in traffic, so I was battling through that, but the CORE guys gave me a great car.

 

“I started to experience some unusual handling with the car and then the tire came loose on the back straightaway before the bus stop. I was able to bring it in without much more damage and the guys made quick work to get the car back on track. I was able to complete my stint without any other major issues before handing it off to Colin. It was ultimately a tough day and the guys are working to sort it for Mosport next weekend. I look forward to being back in the car in the fall.”

– MARK WILKINS

Jon Bennett Watkins Glen

Sixth Place Grid Spot for CORE at the Glen

In a hotly contested IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Prototype Challenge qualifying session, Jon Bennett qualified the CORE autosport entry sixth for Sunday’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.

 

Amidst chamber of commerce weather at the historic 3.4-mile, 11-turn road course, Bennett led the early stages of the 15-minute session. He mingled among the top four until final-lap flyers from two competitors bumped the No. 54 Flex-Box/Composite Resources ORECA FLM09 to sixth at the checkered flag. Bennett’s official qualifying time was a 1:40.422 (121.8 mph).

 

Bennett will share the No. 54 with Colin Braun and Mark Wilkins over six hours of racing on Sunday. In addition to being Round Six of the WeatherTech Championship, Watkins Glen is the third part of the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup, which highlights the longest races of the season: Daytona, Sebring, Watkins Glen and Petit Le Mans.

 

The Six Hours of the Glen will air live on FOX Sports 1, Sunday, July 3, at 10am ET.

16-CORE-JB-HeadshotGRC“I’m happy to be back at Watkins Glen. The new surface is amazing. Jeff Braun has our car really well tuned for the track and for our driving personalities. I thought qualifying was going to go better than it did as I was leading the first half of the session, but as the closing minutes ticked off we dropped a few positions. It’s fun to win qualifying, but at the end of the day tomorrow is really more important.

 

“Being a six-hour race, it’s really a mini-endurance race. All the same rules apply: be organized and pick your battles wisely. You also want to go fast but not get yourself into situations too early that aren’t relevant. My plan is to go fast in my stint, and Mark will do the same. Then we’ll hand it off to Colin to finish.”
JON BENNETT