All posts in “2017 COTA”

Best 911 RSR Narrowly Misses Podium at COTA

AUSTIN, Texas (May 7, 2017) – After a successful start to the season in the USA, the new Porsche 911 RSR narrowly missed out on securing its third podium result in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Circuit of the Americas in Austin. With the 510 hp racing car, which is a totally new development of Porsche Motorsport in Weissach, Patrick Pilet (France) and Dirk Werner (Germany) secured fourth in the GTLM class after holding the lead at one point. In the second 911 RSR fielded by the Porsche GT Team, Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) and Wolf Henzler (Germany) took the flag in eighth place.
 
Patrick Pilet got off the line well at the 3.4-mile Grand Prix circuit near the capital of Texas. When several cars became entangled during the sprint to the first turn, Pilet managed to avoid the melee and launch a pursuit race from fourth place. First he snatched third and several laps later he overtook another competitor. After almost an hour of racing he was in the lead. This pace, however, could not go on. His teammate Dirk Werner, who took the wheel of the 911 RSR, was first shunted by a GTD car, and was then handed a 60-second penalty for running the red light at pit exit. As a result, all hopes for a possible podium finish were dashed. After two hours and forty minutes, Patrick Pilet finally took the checkered flag in fourth place.
 
The Turn 1 accident put an early end to the race for the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR shortly after the start. Wolf Henzler, who replaced Kévin Estre (France) at Austin so that the Frenchman could contest the WEC round in Spa, rejoined the race in fifth after the first stop for repairs. However, associated damages required longer repairs in the team garage. When Laurens Vanthoor finally returned to the racetrack, he was too far behind to make up any positions.
 
Round five of the IMSA SportsCar Championship will be contested on July 2 at Watkins Glen in upstate New York, following a break after the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

 
 
Steffen Höllwarth, Program Manager IMSA SportsCar Championship: “Everything actually ran according to plan with the 911. Our strategy to strengthen the car in the practices worked perfectly. We managed to take over the lead. In the middle stint, however, we were shunted by a GTD car, which affected the rear aerodynamics. The penalty for not seeing the lights in the pit lane was the final straw. Although we continued to fight our way back up, it was not enough for a podium. Now we have time to analyze the first third of the season. This is what we’ll do and after the summer break we’ll be back in full force.”
 
Patrick Pilet (911 RSR #911): “This race was pretty disappointing. We had the best chances to do well here, but it was our own fault that it didn’t succeed. We make mistakes that shouldn’t happen. I hope things go better for us at the next race in Watkins Glen.”
 
Dirk Werner (911 RSR #911): “We had the chance for a podium result here. It’s a shame that we didn’t managed to use it. At the exit of the pit lane I was alongside a BMW and I didn’t notice – for whatever reason – that the pit lights were red. The resulting penalty cost us the race, what’s more I had already been sent into a spin by a GTD car prior to this. All in all, it wasn’t a great race for us.”
 
Wolf Henzler (911 RSR #912): “I didn’t imagine my first race this season with the 911 RSR would be like this. In the very first corner after the start, a Ford and a Ferrari had a big encounter and that set off a chain reaction. When I sped up right behind a Corvette, it suddenly spun. I couldn’t avoid it and we collided. Our 911 RSR was so badly damaged that the resulting repairs cost us all chances of a good result.”
 
Laurens Vanthoor (911 RSR #912): “By the time I climbed into the car for my stint, the race was as good as over for us. That was not a great weekend for us. We’ll now go testing and hopefully we’ll return stronger after the summer break.”

CORE Hangs on for 13th at COTA

AUSTIN, Texas (May 6, 2017) – CORE autosport faced stiff WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition and rising temperatures at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. Never the less, drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun persisted and were able to finish four positions ahead of their qualifying spot in Austin, Texas.

 

Bennett qualified the Porsche 17th on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Daytona grid and took on starting duties. His position was improved even prior to the start of the race when two competitors opted to change their tires and move to the back of the field.

 

On the start, Bennett adeptly dodged several spinning cars in the first corner and came out unscathed. As track temperatures rose to 120 degrees, the hottest in IMSA competition so far this year, Bennett managed the tires through his stint in the No. 54 Flex-Box / Composite Resources Porsche 911 GT3 R.

 

After an hour in the car, it was time to hand the wheel over to Braun. On the way into pit lane, Bennett was caught exceeding the pit lane speed limit. As a result, the team was issued a drive-through penalty.

 

Thanks to smart pit strategy, Braun was able to make up the ground lost by the penalty and began some intense battles among his GTD rivals. Though fading brakes hindered his forward progress, Braun managed to advance two more spots to 13th, even with a late-race caution and restart.

 

The next IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship round will take place on the streets of Detroit, June 2 – 3. Prior to that, Bennett and Braun will compete in the second round of the Red Bull Global Rallycross series, May 20 – 21, in Louisville, Kentucky.

 

 

“Brick-by-brick we are making progress. We were able to finish on the lead lap this race, which is an indication of forward progress. I’m still a little behind pace-wise and we are still working to learn the various systems of the car – ABS, traction control, etc. Each of these systems has to be catered to, so we’re learning more and more about the car.

“I think we are all encouraged going forward and heading to Detroit. It’s a track that both Colin and I like and it’s a bit challenging. There’s a bit of opportunity and chaos that will ensue at Detroit and our learning season continues.”

– JON BENNETT

 

 

 

“The car had a really good pace this race. Jon did a good job in his opening stint. Unfortunately, he got a pit road speeding penalty coming in. We were fortunate enough to get our lap back with our pit sequence that the guys on the box called.

“Even though we had that set back, the whole team stayed focused forward and I gave it my all to pick up some spots and get these CORE guys a finish they could be proud of.  All-in-all, we finished on the lead lap and we continue to improve our performance each race. We’re moving forward and had great stops on pit road.”
– COLIN BRAUN

CORE Wraps Up COTA Qualifying

After skipping last year’s IMSA round at Circuit of the Americas, CORE autosport has returned to find May much cooler than the race’s traditional September date. Under a clear blue sky with temperatures in the 70’s, Jon Bennett qualified 17th for Saturday’s Advance Auto Parts SportsCar Showdown.

 

Hopping aboard the No. 54 Flexbox / Composite Resources / Micro WaterJet Porsche 911 GT3 R one day after his birthday, Bennett once again was given qualifying duties on the 3.4-mile, 20-turn road course. Bennett’s early times put him in the top-15 in class, but at the close of the 15-minute session for the ultra-competitive GTD field, Bennett was 17th on grid.

 

The two-hour and 40-minute race will go green at 1:35pm ET Saturday, May 6. Coverage on FS1 will air later, at 7pm ET. Live radio, scoring and in-car cameras will be available on IMSA.com as well as a live race stream for viewers outside the U.S.

Jon Bennett
Driver: No. 54 Porsche 911 GT3 R

“We hoped for a little faster lap time, but we’ve been improving the car each session since we’ve been here. The car is working pretty well. The race is entirely different than practice and qualifying. We have a strong team and I think that pays at the end of the race. We’ll be in good shape on Saturday afternoon.”

CORE is Bringing the Heat to Texas

ROCK HILL, S.C. (May 2, 2017) – Days after competing in the opening round of the Red Bull Global Rallycross GRC Lites Championship, CORE autosport is back on the road for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun will go from dirt and air time to the immaculate Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

 

CORE has plenty of reasons to look forward to COTA: it’s finished on the podium there in all of its visits with the Prototype Challenge car, including a win in 2015. This year, however, the team takes its GTD Porsche 911 GT3 R for its first crack at the 3.4-mile, 20-turn road course, which hosts the Formula 1 US Grand Prix in October.

 

Traditionally, IMSA has raced at COTA in September, but this year sees the first time the race is held in the spring. Though temperatures are not expected to be as brutal as September, COTA will still be one of the hottest races on the calendar.

 

 

Noteworthy:

  • Thursday, May 5 is Jon Bennett’s birthday.
  • Bennett and Colin Braun’s PC win at COTA in 2015 sealed its fifth-straight PC Championship.
  • CORE finished second in PC at COTA in 2014 (Bennett & Braun) and third in 2013 (Bennett and Tom Kimber-Smith).
  • CORE did not take part in last year’s race at COTA.
  • Braun grew up in Ovalo, Texas, 3.5 hours from Austin.

 

 

 

“We’re looking to put together our first mistake-free event of the season. We’ve had several snafus that hurt our performance over the course of the season. We’re looking forward to what our performance will be when we can accomplish a typical CORE weekend, which is normally mistake-free.

 

“We’re pretty well suited for our first hot race of the season. We have good systems to keep the driver cool. More importantly, in some ways, COTA is our first traditional road circuit with the Porsche. It’s not an oval converted for road racing, it’s not an old airport, and it’s not a street course. We’re looking forward to getting the Porsche onto a more conventional road circuit.

 

“I like COTA because it’s used for Formula 1, so it has generous amounts of runoff and I like to take risks and I think in the process learn the limits of the race car without putting the equipment in jeopardy. I’m looking forward to that aspect of COTA; it allows you to hang the car out on the edge without big mechanical risks.”
– JON BENNETT

 

 

 

 

“COTA is a pretty unique place. It’s a very exciting, cool track, since it’s a Formula 1 track. It’s got a lot of first-gear hairpins, it’s got an interesting section of Esses and a really long right-hand corner. It has a lot of unique things that mix together for a track that doesn’t have a lot of flow, but certainly presents a lot of challenges and is fun in that aspect.

 

“At a place like COTA, with the surface that they have, tire wear isn’t too big of a concern. For us, it’s going to be different since we’re going earlier in the year. We’re used to seeing really high track temperatures and high ambient temps. If we were going back in the PC car, we’d probably take a different approach than previous years, but we’re going in a car that we’ve never run there, so we don’t know any better.

 

“If you look on paper at the performance Mercedes has had over the first three races, those would have to be the cars to beat. They’ve had good pace and been very dominant. Those were a completely different set of tracks though and COTA is going to be interesting one. It has very long straightaways and very long braking zones. It has a lot of places where putting the power down is going to be important and I think those areas are where the Porsche is going to be very strong.

 

“Jon and I have both had success at COTA and locked up PC championships there, so I feel like we have a lot of confidence about that circuit. We’re learning every time we go racing with this car. This is the fourth different race track we’ve been to now, so we’re leaps and bounds ahead of where we were. Jon and the whole team have done an amazing job, building on everything through the season, so I’m excited to get things kicked off at COTA.”
– COLIN BRAUN

 

 

Advance Auto Parts Sportscar Showdown | May 4 – 6

Track Length: 3.4 miles, 20 turns

Race Length: 2 hours, 40 minutes

 

SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

Thursday, May 4

10:45am – 11:45am: Practice #1 (All Classes)

3:55pm – 4:55pm: Practice #2 (All Classes)

 

Friday, May 5

9:55am – 10:55am: Practice #3 (All Classes)

1:05pm – 1:20pm: Qualifying (GTD Class)

 

Saturday, May 6

9:40am – 10:00am: Warm Up (All Classes)

11:45am – 12:30pm: Driver Autograph Session

2:35pm – 5:15pm: Advance Auto Parts Sportscar Showdown

 

TV SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

LIVE Qualifying:

Friday, May 5

12:55pm – 2:35pm: IMSA.com

Race U.S.:

Saturday, May 6

7:00pm – 10:00pm: FS1

LIVE Race International:

2:35pm – 5:15pm: IMSA.com

 

LIVE In-Car Cameras & Commentary:

IMSA.com