LEXINGTON, Ohio (May 16, 2021) – CORE autosport started the IMSA WeatherTech Championship weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course strong but was unable to capitalize on that momentum with its race result.

 

Historically, Mid-Ohio has been a tricky track for CORE. A successful test there in April helped the team sort out what the No. 54 Composite Resources / CrowdStrike Ligier JS P320 needed to be quick around the 13-turn, 2.258-mile road course.

 

The preparation appeared to be just what CORE needed, as Colin Braun led the Friday practice session and Jon Bennett qualified the car in second on Saturday, just 0.386-second off the pole time.

 

Bennett’s pace was right where it needed to be and all was going according to plan, until the first pit stop, when it was time to hand the car over to Braun. When the crew pushed the car backwards at the end of the stop to help Braun clear the car in the next pit box, it rolled over an air hose. This resulted in a drive-through penalty and positions lost.

 

The second pit stop went smoothly and was completed just as the only full-course caution of the race came out. When racing resumed, Braun was third and had the leaders in his sights. As Braun gave chase and was navigating slower cars to keep up with the LMP3 leaders, he went too wide in Turn 12, got into the marbles, and slid off the track. He made contact with the tires, but thankfully the damage was not significant enough to stop Braun from continuing on.

 

Braun rejoined the race in fourth, but the trip through the grass and into the tire barrier affected the car’s pace. With only 30 minutes left on the race clock, Braun was unable to re-take third place and crossed the finish line in fourth.

 

It was a race of unfulfilled potential, but CORE looks ahead with the confidence that its race pace continues to improve.

 

Next up is Watkins Glen International, June 25 – 27.

Jon Bennett
Driver: No. 54 Composite Resources / CrowdStrike Ligier LM P320

 

“Not always does your race result equal the amount of effort and progress that goes in. I would say it was still a successful event for us, because it really bodes well for the rest of the season. We’re learning more about our Ligier LMP3 car quite quickly and each outing we’re taking big steps. I’m really proud of the team and Colin. We continue to sharpen the sword and get faster.”

Colin Braun
Driver: No. 54 Composite Resources / CrowdStrike Ligier LM P320

 

“It was a tough day. The opening stint by Jon was fantastic. He really did a killer job. We were in a good position when we came out of the pits, I think we would have been P2, but we got a drive-through penalty for a pit lane violation. That put us back behind [Oliver] Askew. I was kind of pinned behind him and couldn’t find my way by.

 

“We were third when we restarted from yellow. I got by a lapped car and was holding onto third but didn’t have the pace to make a charge and catch those guys. I tried to go with a DPi car around a GTD car in the Carousel, got a bit wide and into the marbles and next thing you know I’m in the grass and once you’re in the grass, you’re going to get into the tires. I feel really bad for the guys. I would have loved to give them a better result. Jon deserved a better result. Tough day, but we’ll regroup and go get them at Watkins Glen.”