MONTEREY, Calif. (Sept. 9, 2018) – Jon Bennett and Colin Braun finished second in the Monterey Grand Prix at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, extending their IMSA podium streak to four and moving to second in the Championship standings.
Starting from 12th on the grid, Bennett had the save of the race, by avoiding a sideways car on the front straight as the race went green. The multi-car collision that followed brought out the first of four full-course cautions during the two-hour and 40-minute race.
At the close of the second full-course caution, Bennett was up to sixth in the No. 54 Composite Resources / Flex-Box ORECA 07 and completed his drive time around the 2.238-mile track just as the race restarted.
Braun re-entered the track at the back of the field since most teams pitted during the yellow, but was on a mission to get to the front. He set the fastest lap of the race, a 1:16.914, before the third full-course caution was issued. This helped Braun catch the back of the Prototype field.
When the green flag came back out, Braun charged all the way to second before pitting and did it once again before his final stop of the race. Thanks to two flawless pit stops, Braun returned to the track in sixth for his final stint. He made a stunning charge to second, which he captured with only three minutes left on the clock; not enough time to chase down the leader.
The runner-up finish is CORE’s fourth-straight podium and fifth total for the season. The team is provisionally second in the IMSA Prototype Championship, four points out of the lead. Only one race remains on the schedule: Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, October 11 – 13.
Driver: No. 54 ORECA 07 LM P2
“You can’t predict the future, but there always seems to be a strange energy this time of year with a lot of people under pressure, trying to save their season in two races. I definitely had my eyes wide open at the start. I was expecting it, but I was also very fortunate, because sometimes you’re just a passenger and there’s nothing you can do. It felt like destiny.
“There is an incredible amount of chemistry and teamwork here at CORE autosport. We take one race at a time and focus on the basics.”
Driver: ORECA 07 LM P2
“Jon did an awesome job at the start avoiding all of the carnage. It was great heads-up driving by him. Then we had great pit stops and a strong strategy. We didn’t really do anything too fancy, we just rose to the top.
“I’m proud of the team. They did an amazing job in the pits and overall it was a well-executed event for us. You’ve got to be smart and stay out of trouble and I’m proud of everyone here for doing that. I’m looking forward to Road Atlanta and who knows what’ll happen!”