ROCK HILL, S.C. (May 31, 2017) – CORE autosport has one busy weekend ahead of it, as it will take part in both the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix and the latest round of the Red Bull Global Rallycross Lites Championship in Thompson, Connecticut.
Continuing their WeatherTech GT Daytona season, drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun will share the No. 54 Flex-Box / Composite Resources Porsche 911 GT3 R on the streets of Belle Isle on Friday and Saturday, culminating in the 100 minute race on Saturday at 12:40pm ET. Bennett and Braun nearly won the Detroit race last year in the Prototype Challenge category, but ultimately ended up second.
Immediately after the checkered flag, Bennett and Braun will rush to the airport to board a plane bound for Thompson, Connecticut, where the latest round of the Global Rallycross Championship will already be underway and CORE’s GRC crew will have the No. 54 and No. 56 GRC Lites cars ready to go. If all goes according to plan, Bennett and Braun will have time to join the Last Chance Qualifier, scheduled for 5pm ET, and hopefully qualify for the final by finishing in the top two.
The GRC round at Thompson is a doubleheader, so even if the pair do not arrive in time on Saturday, they’ll have a full day of activities on Sunday.
Braun is currently third in the GRC Lites Championship and Bennett fifth.
The IMSA race from Detroit will air live on FS2, Saturday, June 3, at 12:30pm ET. The GRC Lites races from Thompson will air on NBC Sports Network, Wednesday, June 7, at 5pm ET.
“CORE autosport is committed to competing for championships in both IMSA WeatherTech GTD and Red Bull GRC Lites. We noticed the possibility of competing in both events. The idea was like an ember, that spread to a flame, which became a mission. Our IMSA WeatherTech race on Belle Island ends at 2:40pm. With the miracle of air travel, Colin, myself, and some crew will fly to a regional airport near Thompson arriving at the circuit with 30 minutes to spare before the Saturday LCQ!
“I have always enjoyed the street circuits we visit with IMSA. I like the precision and intensity that racing on a street circuit demands. On the other hand, the Belle Island circuit is extremely bumpy. Conveniently, this meshes well with recent GRC experience I have gained; tires off the ground are no problem.
“It’s also great to be in Detroit so we can welcome our friends from Paragon D&E to the track.
“I was certainly pleased with our entire team’s performance at the most recent GRC event in Louisville. Our GRC learning curve is beginning to flatten out and I expect more successful events to come. Colin and I have extensive experience understanding and learning new circuits. While not ideal, I expect we will be competitive in the LCQ.”
“Jon and I were talking about how disappointing it was going to be to miss Thompson with the GRC cars. We kind of looked at each other and said ‘hey, there’s a possibility, since the Detroit race is on Saturday, that we could do both.’ We looked at the schedules and it looks like we could make the LCQ on Saturday and then all day Sunday. We’re doing pretty well in the GRC points, so we’d hate to give up being a contender over there.
“I like Belle Isle. It’s a great street course. It’s got corners that are a bit faster than a street course would usually have. The high-speed stuff is fun, but it also has the technical, low-speed, 90-degree corners. The flow and blend of corners makes it really cool.
“It’s going to be tough arriving in Thompson without any track time, but we’ve got a great group of guys on the GRC side. They’ll send us some videos from the practice on Friday to give us an idea on the layout, braking points etc., so when we do show up for the LCQ, we’ll be good to go and hopefully transfer right into the main. One of the great things about GRC is that the track changes so much during the weekend, you’re always figuring it out lap by lap, so hopefully that doesn’t put us at such a big disadvantage.”