DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 24, 2019) – The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship begins its 2019 season with the Rolex 24 at Daytona. CORE autosport qualified 10th for the legendary endurance race with its newly acquired No. 54 Nissan Ligier DPi.
Thursday marked the first day of IMSA track action at Daytona International Speedway. Even though he did not participate in the two practice sessions leading up to qualifying, driver Jon Bennett was given driving duties. Four laps in, he turned his quickest lap, a 1:36.686 (132.546 mph), only 0.073-second behind the ninth-place qualifier.
There is one more practice session on Friday before the Rolex 24 goes green on Saturday at 2:35pm ET. Bennett will share the driver seat with Colin Braun, Romain Dumas and Loïc Duval; the same CORE lineup that finished third in last year’s Rolex 24.
Live TV coverage begins Saturday at 1:00pm ET on NBC Sports Network.
Driver: No. 54 Nissan Ligier DPi
“First and foremost, I’m very honored to compete at this level in a Nissan DPi. I’m proud of the herculean effort of our team to switch gears to an unknown race car and in a short amount of time, get it to the point where it’s nice and balanced and ready to do a 24-hour race.
“We have so little track time here before the race that we looked at qualifying as a sort of test session for me. It was my first time in the car this week. I’d say we’re exactly where we hope to be for the race. We have a fast race car and a strong team with good chemistry. I don’t think you can ask for much more at this point in the weekend.
“At this point in the season, everyone is at zero, so there’s still a lot to play out, but I like exactly where we are. Without jinxing the situation, I’d say I’m very optimistic about our season.”