A Hard-Earned Second for CORE in Watkins Glen Enduro


WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (June 27, 2021) – The pieces needed for an IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship win gradually fell into place for CORE autosport at Watkins Glen International, but ultimately collateral damage on the nose of the car held the team back from scoring a victory. Instead, it was a runner-up finish for the team in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.


For the first time this season, George Kurtz qualified the No. 54 Composite Resources / CrowdStrike Ligier JS P320. He secured a third place starting position for the team.


Kurtz was showing his strongest pace of the weekend in his opening stint. Then, shortly after his first pit stop, contact with an LMP2-class car damaged the front nose of the No. 54. Initially, the damage seemed insignificant, but came into play later in the race.


Kurtz took the LMP3 lead of the race right before the first full-course caution of the race, during which he pitted and handed the car over to Jon Bennett. When green-flag racing resumed, Bennett was third, but getting held up by another LMP3 car desperate to stay on the lead lap. The lost time created a large gap to the leaders that was difficult to erase. When Bennett’s stint was up, he brought the car to pit lane in fourth and it was Colin Braun’s turn to run to the end.


A perfect pit stop got Braun back out in third and it was during his stint that the damage to the left front dive plane began to affect the car’s handling. To fix this, the whole nose would need to be changed during one of the final two pit stops, but neither were long enough to give the crew time to do so in addition to changing tires and filling the car with fuel.


Despite this, Braun was able to move into second during the final restart from yellow. Braun gave chase to the leader, but the inconsistent front grip slowed him whenever he was in traffic or close to the leader’s rear bumper.


In the end, Braun finished second, 1.635 seconds behind the class winner.


CORE will have a second chance to go for the Watkins Glen victory, albeit during a much shorter race; the WeatherTech 240 also takes place at Watkins Glen, July 1 – 2. The two-hour and 45-minute race will be shown live on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold TrackPass and on IMSA.com/TVLive for viewers outside of the USA and Canada.

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

“It was certainly a close race. We put the car in a position to do well, but racing is racing.


“It’s always a compromise when you’re running in the middle; you’ve got to keep the car in one piece, but you also need to go as fast as you can. I think my middle stint was good and, in the end, we had a chance for a win, but it wasn’t in the cards. Colin did a great job. George did a fantastic job. We chased the handling toward the end, but we’re happy with the result and it bodes well for our race next week.”

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

“Jon and George did a great job in their opening stints. It’s unfortunate that P2 car ran into George and did some damage. I could feel it in my stint, the dive plane was flipping down, flipping up, and it kept moving around. Our engineer Tyler (Neff) was doing a great job trying to make some tire pressure changes to dial it back in. When the dive plane starts moving around it’s hard to have a consistent car. All in all, we’re happy to finish second. Certainly, would have loved to win the race, but happy to contend and be right in the mix and I think we have a good game plan for making improvements next week and being even stronger.

George Kurtz
Driver: No. 54 Composite Resources / CrowdStrike Ligier LM P320

“I was extremely happy with my stint. I had great speed, great pace and I brought it into the pitlane in P1, which was all I needed to do.


“I was out on cold tires and was letting the car pass in 10, but he moved over and banged into the front of me. He didn’t clear me before he actually got by, so that was pretty unfortunate. The handling wasn’t so bad for the first part of the race, but at the end, the dive plane kind of broke off and that’s when Colin started to slow down a bit.


“We’re disappointed because we thought we had a shot at the win today, but it is what it is and P2 is a solid result.”