MONTEREY, Calif. (Sept. 15, 2019) – CORE autosport advanced three positions from its qualifying spot to finish seventh in the Monterey SportsCar Championship, the penultimate round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

 

After two days of unseasonably warm temperatures, race day saw a return of the cooler temperatures this part of California is known for. The breezier weather did not make WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca any easier on tires, however. Tire degradation is always a key factor in races at the 2.238-mile road course.

 

Driver Jon Bennett qualified the car 10th, but the No. 54 ADT Nissan Ligier DPi actually took up the ninth spot on the grid after another team opted to changed tires before the race.

 

Last year’s race saw a massive accident on the opening lap that Bennett deftly avoided and he was prepared to do the same this year. After the start, the pack of cars ahead of Bennett began started banging fenders in Turn Two, sending some cars wide into the sand. Through the cloud of dust he emerged seventh, which he held briefly before settling back to 10th.

 

Bennett was up to eighth when it came time to hand the car over to Colin Braun with 40 minutes gone in the race.

 

Braun held onto eighth, but was a lap down and the team needed a yellow to get back on the lead lap.

 

The yellow never came, but attrition contributed to one more spot and Braun crossed the line in seventh.

 

One race remains on the 2019 IMSA calendar: Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, October 9 – 12.

JON BENNETT
Driver: No. 54 ADT Nissan Ligier DPi

“When there’s only two more prototype races in your future and you always wondered what it would be like to try X, now is the time. I had some fun with the opening lap. I was a bit higher on the risk meter than what I would usually do. There was a lot going on at the start especially in Turn Two, which isn’t uncommon at Monterey. I was ready.”

 

“I had a pretty good stint. The team did a great job all day with the car. It’s very difficult to get the car tuned for this type of track surface. Colin did amazing with what we had.

 

“All and all a good event for us without any mechanical issues and I enjoyed the day.”

COLIN BRAUN
Driver: No. 54 ADT Nissan Ligier DPi

“It seems like a lot of IMSA races this year have finished without yellows. This race has been a mixed bag in the past; sometimes you get none sometimes you get a lot. We needed a yellow obviously, so that was disappointing.

 

“With the race being green the whole way through, it started to get pretty bad offline, so tire pickup became a bit of an issue. In general the tire degradation wasn’t too bad, I think we actually did pretty well. Our car burns a lot of fuel and therefore we put a lot of fuel in the race car, so the first few laps after a stop we struggled a little bit compared to others, but then as we burned off fuel, we were back in the game. Toward the end it’s just about driving the car and sliding around, which I really enjoy.”