BRASELTON, Ga. (Oct. 2, 2022) – A fifth-place finish at Petit Le Mans earned CORE autosport its sixth IMSA team championship. The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship finale at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta was a difficult race for CORE, but ultimately the team stayed the course and did what it needed to do to win the LMP3 team and driver championships.

 

CORE came into the final race with an 83-point lead over the No. 74 Riley Technologies entry. That was shaved to 74 points after qualifying; a comfortable, but by no means safe margin.

 

Starting from fifth, CORE did what it needed to do by steadily moving up the field as drivers Jon Bennett, Colin Braun and George Kurtz all cycled through their first stints. The team even led briefly, but in the third hour of the race, Kurtz got knocked around in a pack of traffic and ended up in the Turn Six gravel. Safety crews were able to extricate Kurtz quickly during a full-course yellow, but the team lost a lap in the process.

 

It looked like it would be an uphill battle to secure the championship since the No. 74 was running up front, but three hours later that car experienced its own problems in Turn Six and was now only one position ahead of CORE. If Bennett, Braun, Kurtz and crew could simply stay in the shadow of their rival, the championship was theirs.

 

CORE ultimately finished fifth in the 10-hour race, which was more than enough to collect the title. This is CORE’s sixth team championship in IMSA competition and the third drivers’ championship for the Bennett/Braun driver pairing.

 

The team will collect its championship trophy Sunday evening at IMSA’s Night of Champions.

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

“Today is a good example of how we have won and lost as a team. We have a great team with great chemistry. It was all the work and all the effort and success earlier in the season that allowed us a little breathing room today that we needed. I think everyone was smart in the race car today. We had fantastic pit stops with great over-the-wall guys. Jeff [Braun] and Josh [Foley] have done a great job with our strategy and understanding where the race is going. Hats off to the team. I couldn’t be happier.

 

“Winning never gets old. It’s always a pleasure, especially when the team chemistry is good and everyone is having a good time and that’s what we did this year.”

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

“When I got in the car for my second stint, us and the No. 74 were back in the field, so that changed our mindset. I think we maybe started in attack mode and then realized where things were going. It came down to being smart, making good decisions and understanding where everyone was at. There were moments we had to be fast, but overall it was about being smart. I’m proud of these guys. Jon and George did a great job driving. Hats off to George for being part of our championship. A great season for the whole group.”

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

“It was tough out there. We got caught up in a bit of traffic and got stuck in the gravel trap, but we got back out. It was a tough first stint and tough race overall. The CORE guys did a great job though. It was great team chemistry all year and I’m glad to be a small part of the championship. I think if you look at what we’ve been able to do as a team, we probably overachieved given our lineup and that’s something we should all be proud of.”