DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 30, 2022) – Many hurdles were placed in CORE autosport’s way during the Rolex 24 at Daytona, but the team battled back each time and finished the 2022 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season opener on the podium.


Starting the 24-hour race was Jon Bennett, who picked up several positions on the opening lap. Unfortunately, he also picked up a puncture from a piece of debris on track. The unscheduled stop immediately dropped CORE to eighth in class.


Not long after, George Kurtz was at the wheel for a restart from a full-course caution when he was hit from behind by a GT car. At the time the damage was minimal, but as the hours ticked by, the damage to the right rear of the car worsened and began to adversely affect the handling.


Though the team would eventually recover all the way up to second place, a safety setting in the car caused it to shut off in the Bus Stop eight hours into the race. Bennett got the car going again, but in his following pit stop, IMSA judged he exceeded the pit lane speed limit, which resulted in a drive-through penalty.


The penalty put the team a lap down, but it didn’t stay that way for long thanks to clever pit strategy from the CORE timing stand.


CORE survived the night and come morning it looked like it would be a two-car fight for the win with the No. 74 Riley Motorsports entry, the same car the team finished runner-up to in last year’s championship.


Then, another pit lane speeding violation required Braun to serve a stop-and-go penalty. With the car’s handling deteriorating courtesy of the earlier damage to the rear, Braun was unable to catch the No. 74. The distance grew further with another uncharacteristic penalty for passing under yellow.


Through all the adversity, CORE kept charging and was rewarded with a third-place finish at the checkered flag. It is CORE’s fifth LMP3 podium.


Next up is the 12 Hours of Sebring, an endurance racing classic that was won by CORE last year. It takes place March 16 – 19 in Sebring, Florida.

Jon Bennett
Driver: No. 54 CrowdStrike / Flex-Box Ligier JS P320

“One of the interesting things between this race and the Roar was that at the Roar we spent so much time in the rain and in mixed conditions and cold conditions. That was the interesting aspect of our two weeks here, was how many different weather conditions we had to compete in. At the end of the day you adapt and it’s the same for everyone, but it makes things interesting.


“Our race car has a safety feature that if you decide to drive with both the brake and the throttle it will shut off because it thinks you’re having a problem when really I’m trying to drive the car on the limit. We’ve become accustomed to it, but it’s a drag because you have to stop and control+alt+delete.


“Of course, we’re a little disappointed with the result, but the disappointment is built on the fact that we had such a good run and really had a chance to win this race from the first hour. I’m super proud of the team. Everyone did their part, but racing is racing. I’m happy to be on the podium and pleased with the effort. I think it will lead to better things at Sebring.”

Colin Braun
Driver: No. 54 CrowdStrike / Flex-Box Ligier JS P320

“Overall we’re really happy with P3. The guys in the pits and in strategy and Jon and George and Nic all did a nice job in the car. It didn’t seem like the race flowed our way when we needed it to. We had some penalties that were odd for this group and a bit of contact that put our car in a position where we didn’t have the raw speed at the end and we had to overcome the penalties and those issues. If you look at the amount of adversity we battled back from, it was a heck of an effort from everybody. It was a super-impressive job by everyone to stay in the mix throughout the whole race really. It takes a whole team effort. Some days it’s just not your day.”

George Kurtz
Driver: No. 54 CrowdStrike / Flex-Box Ligier JS P320

“I feel good about the performance today. I think we tried to put ourselves in a position to win. We had a few things not go our way. It was a tough break. We had a win in sight potentially, but hey, that’s why we race and we’re happy to be on the podium. I’m happy CORE gave us a great car. It’s a tremendous race. You think about the diversity and how cold it was and what we needed to do with the tires… I think it’s a testament to the team and the drivers that we’re on the podium.”

Nic Jönsson
Driver: No. 54 CrowdStrike / Flex-Box Ligier JS P320

“The issue with the tires and the cold was through the whole race. It started cold and never really got warm until maybe the last hour. We had to be very careful about hitting the curbs on the first three laps or so. I ran two triple stints at night. That’s what I was here to do and unfortunately, we had some small penalties that put us behind a bit. The CORE guys did a phenomenal job to get us back on the lead lap. The last penalty really hurt us, but I don’t think we had the pace for the 74 in general. It was fantastic to have the opportunity to drive again with Jon and Colin and George. I’m very appreciative of the whole team to give me the opportunity to come back and do this again.”