CORE Ends 2021 IMSA Season with Challenging Petit Le Mans Race


BRASELTON, Ga. (November 13, 2021) –  CORE autosport arrived at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta with a shot at the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship LMP3 title. Frustrating mechanical issues, however, brought that possibility to an end early and denied CORE a sixth team championship.


Having tested at Road Atlanta only a few weeks ago, CORE was confident it was prepared in every way to fight for the LMP3 championship in the 10-hour Petit Le Mans race. Though the team was meticulous in its work, some things cannot be prevented or predicted.


The No. 54 Composite Resources / CrowdStrike Ligier JS P320 was quick in practice with drivers Jon Bennett, Colin Braun and George Kurtz. When qualifying day arrived, the tables turned: the crew discovered a fuel flow issue and spent the day working on a solution. The car was not ready for qualifying and as a result had to start from ninth on the LMP3 grid and scored zero qualifying points.


The team stayed late into Friday evening to make sure the problem was resolved. On race day, during the early morning warm up session, all signs indicated that the fuel cell issue was indeed fixed.


Bennett started the race and ran as high as third thanks to some clever pit strategy.


Kurtz took over next and continued to show strong pace through several restarts from yellow. It was toward the end of his stint though, that the car began to show signs that perhaps the fuel cell issue wasn’t fully resolved.


The team attempted several quick fixes during Braun’s first stint and Bennett’s second, but the problem was getting worse. By Kurtz’ second stint, it was obvious the problem was not fuel cell related, but instead connected to fuel pressure. CORE had no choice but to bring the car back to the paddock for a lengthy repair.


The team completed the fix and got the car back out on track with Braun behind the wheel. The No. 54 returned to the circuit in seventh place and multiple laps down.


The fuel pressure set back was solved, but there was not enough time left in the race to make a difference in the championship. So as not to risk the car or impact any other team’s race, Braun brought the No. 54 into the pits to officially retire.


CORE ends the 2021 IMSA season second in the LMP3 championship with four podium finishes, including wins at Road America and the 12 Hours of Sebring.

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

“We had a really good race car for part of the day and unfortunately toward the end of my stint there were some abnormalities that got worse and worse as we went. There are some things that just can’t be fixed quickly in the middle of a race and this was one of them.


“The season as a whole was fantastic. I missed racing a lot in 2020, a lot more than I thought I would. It was fun to come back. The Ligier is a great race car and we enjoyed racing it. We had success at Sebring and Road America. We added George Kurtz to the team. I enjoyed spending time with George and he’s very, very fast in the race car. He fits in with our team very well.”

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

“We had some fuel pressure issues in the race. The guys had to take it back and fix it up. It was unfortunate. I think we had a reasonably good car. The guys recovered well from missing qualifying. We were back in the mix somewhat. I’m proud of our guys and Jon and George drove well, but it wasn’t meant to be for us.


“The season as whole was great, of course with wins at Sebring and Road America being the highlights. I really enjoyed getting to drive again with Jon after he took a break. The crew did a great job with the car. It was a lot of fun driving with George and I’m happy we could get him that first, big sports car racing win at Sebring. I think you’ve got to be happy with your season when you come into the last race fighting for a championship. It doesn’t always go your way but that’s what makes it even better when it does.”

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

“Overall it was a great season. I was really excited to be a part of the CORE team for the endurance races. We got the big win at Sebring and had good results at Watkins Glen. We were hoping for fantastic results here, but that’s just racing. The car got really bad when I was out there for my second stint and really became undrivable. We did the right thing and we brought the car in, got it fixed and got Colin back out there.”