All posts in “GRC”

Stand Out GRC Weekend for CORE autosport

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 21, 2017) – In the second round of the Red Bull Global Rallycross Lites series at the Kentucky Exposition Center, CORE autosport scored two heat wins, helping both cars skip the last chance qualifier and go on to top-five finishes in the final.

 

The weekend got off to a strong start with Braun qualifying the No. 56 GRC Lites car in fourth and Bennett seventh in the No. 54. This separated the teammates into different heat races. Bennett finished fourth in Saturday’s heat while Braun finished second in his group after leading much of the race.

 

On Sunday, Braun and Bennett both won their heat races, a GRC career-first for Bennett. The teammates then went on to finish fourth in their respective semi-finals, which meant they would both skip the LCQ and move straight to the final, another first for Bennett.

 

Rain was threatening, but held off for the final, where Bennett started seventh and Braun eighth.

 

Braun had an excellent start in the final and was quickly up to fifth. He held station there until the final lap when he moved up one more spot to finish fourth.

 

Contact slowed Bennett down at the start, but he gradually picked off positions in the second half of the 10-lap race. He crossed the finish line in fifth behind his teammate. It was Bennett’s best GRC Lites finish to date.

 

The GRC Lites action from Louisville will air on NBC Sports Network, Wednesday, May 24, at 5pm ET.

 

CORE autosport will have the Memorial Day weekend off before heading to Detroit, Michigan, to race on the streets of Belle Isle as part of the latest IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship round.

 

 

 

JON BENNETT
No. 54 CORE autosport GRC Lites

“It was a good weekend all around. We had a very productive test outing in Charlotte and arrived with a strong setup on the car. We unloaded the trucks and rolled out to the grid all sorted and that’s always a good start to the event!

 

“Colin and I learned the track pretty quickly and I think took to some of the nuances faster than our competitors. Plus, the guys on both the No. 54 and No. 56 did a stellar job getting the cars prepared and fixing any crash damage between heats. It was a very poised event for CORE and it showed in our performance.

 

“My win in the second heat was partly due to a really good start. Then, I was able to maintain my composure through the whole race without giving my competitors an opening. It was a flag-to-flag win and I think getting your first heat win takes a little bit of pressure off. I think more heat wins are to come.

 

“In the first corner of the final, I saw an opportunity to pick up a couple of places and stuck my nose down the inside where I thought I had a good opportunity to pass two cars. Unfortunately, the car I was trying to pass either didn’t get good spotting information or was being super aggressive, and we all collided. Fortunately, all three of us continued. My bodywork was in bad shape, but the structural part of the car was fine. I looked for a couple openings, picked off cars each lap and ended up P5.

 

“It was very much a coming of age event for our whole team and I think Colin and I are both in a fortunate position to be looking for our first win or my first podium in the next couple of races!”

 

 

COLIN BRAUN
No. 56 CORE autosport GRC Lites

“The Louisville track was pretty straightforward; there wasn’t a whole lot to it technically, which is what I think made the qualifying and races so close. It was a hard track to pass on though; you had to make bold, aggressive moves. We saw a lot of contact and side-by-side racing.

 

“I got a pretty good start in the first heat and led some of that. Cyril Raymond and I had a good fight in the first heat and another tight battle in heat two. He beat me in the first one and I beat him in the second one.

 

“We were looking pretty good up until the semi-final. I had a rough and tumble semi, which is unfortunate because that sets the grid for the main, so I lined up eighth in the main. I managed to charge up to fourth, but that was all the time we had.

 

“I’m really excited about our results, because all our guys did a good job with the cars and we’re getting better and better as a team. Jon’s performance was awesome this week! I think we’ve shown that when we finally have a little bit of racing luck fall our way, we’ll be up there contending for wins for sure.”

CORE Continues GRC Season in Louisville

ROCK HILL, S.C. (May 17, 2017) – CORE autosport is prepped and ready for Round Two of the Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship. It’s taking its two GRC Lites entries to Louisville, Kentucky, with drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun.

 

CORE narrowly missed out on a GRC Lites podium in the season opener at Memphis International Raceway, but was able to tally a heat win for Braun and Bennett lead all but one lap of the LCQ. Leaving Memphis, Braun was fourth in the GRC points and Bennett eighth.

 

The track layout CORE will face at the Kentucky Exposition Center is a night and day difference from Memphis. GRC course designers did not have to work within the confines of a paved oval, like in Memphis. Instead, they let their imagination run wild in the expansive expo parking lot.

 

The 0.699-mile course features 10-turns, the traditional 70-foot jump and an idyllic Joker Lap that bypasses the entire dirt section and should provide a great advantage.

 

The GRC Louisville event kicks off Saturday, May 20, with finals taking place on Sunday, May 21. Tickets are available at redbullglobalrallycross.com.

 

The GRC Lites final will air on NBC Sports Network, Wednesday, May 24, at 5pm ET.

 

 

 

 

JON BENNETT

No. 54 CORE autosport GRC Lites

“I was actually born in an Army hospital at Fort Knox on May 4th, 1965.  I moved to Rochester, New York, when I was a year old, but, nevertheless, Louisville is where I was born and I look forward to my return in a big way: sideways and airborne!

 

“One of the challenges of Red Bull GRC is learning the new track. While we have the layout ahead of time, I have learned not to read too much into the design until the final track walk. I look forward to solving another GRC puzzle this weekend.

 

“My focus at Louisville will be to search for more speed while staying in the rhythm of the heat races, building to the final. There will likely be positive factors and a couple negative factors. The skill is to keep moving forward with a constructive, positive mind set and enjoy the unexpected.”

 

 

 

 

COLIN BRAUN

No. 56 CORE autosport GRC Lites

“The Louisville layout looks pretty interesting. It looks a bit like the D.C. or L.A. courses from last year. The fact that it’s set up in a big empty parking lot means it will be like a street course, so it’ll have some walls that define the track limits. It’ll be a good thing for both Jon and I, since we have a lot of street course experience.

 

“I know our GRC crew have been busy preparing the cars back at the shop and the fact that we brought them back in relatively good shape after Memphis means we’ll be well prepared. We’ve done some good work between the last race in Memphis and this race, so I think we’re in a suitable position to keep battling for strong finishes.”

CORE Narrowly Misses GRC Podium in Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (May 1, 2017) – CORE autosport narrowly missed out on a podium finish in the opening round of the 2017 Red Bull Global Rallycross season. In the end Colin Braun came away with a fourth-place and Jon Bennett earned a seventh-place result in their first GRC Lites race of the year.

 

Memphis International Raceway is a paved 3/4-mile oval, previously used for NASCAR Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series. The GRC course used the entire oval, except for the Turn Three area, plus a good portion of the paved infield, including a quarter-mile section covered in dirt. With its extensive road racing experience and Braun’s Xfinity Series appearance at Memphis International Raceway in 2007, CORE was optimistic it would have an edge on its GRC Lites competition.

 

That looked to be the case early in practice and qualifying rounds, but the rest of the 11-car field quickly adjusted to the learning curve. Bennett and Braun were in for some stiff competition in the heat races.

 

Braun was able to pick up his first heat race win and after finishing third in the Semi-Final, earned a spot in the Final without having to first make it through the LCQ. Bennett was not as lucky, but was able to finish second in the LCQ, which punched his ticket to the Final as well.

 

Two cars were served penalties on the opening lap of the 10-lap Final, which immediately promoted Bennett to eighth and Braun to fourth.

 

Driving the No. 56 Composite Resources/ORECA Gear GRC Lites, Braun did an expert job reeling in the No. 44 of Cyril Brooks. Braun used his Joker Lap with two laps to go to pass Brooks for third, but Brooks did the same thing right back on the final lap to take back the final podium spot. Braun finished fourth, while Bennett picked up one additional spot in his No. 54 Composite Resources/ORECA Gear GRC Lites car to finish seventh. This matches Bennett’s best GRC finish to date.

 

“I want to thank everyone on the team for the hard work leading up to the race and for the long nights due to late parts delivery,” GRC Program Manager Brian Colangelo said. “We’ve made significant gains as a team and with the cars as a result of everyone’s efforts. Jon and Colin drove well and we feel confident we are close to the top step of the podium, even with the stacked GRC Lites field.”

 

The next stop for CORE on the GRC tour is Louisville, Kentucky, May 21. But first, Bennett and Braun will head to Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas to compete in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, May 4 – 6.

 

 

 

JON BENNETT

No. 54 Composite Resources/ORECA Gear GRC Lites

“I would say the layout in general was good, but there’s certain aspects of converting a race track to GRC course that can be complex. There was trouble with some of the pavement in the infield that wasn’t meant to be used as race track. Our cars and the Supercars really broke up the surface quite a bit. Parts of it were a little bit like Baja. I didn’t really mind that much, but it was really hard on equipment.

 

“The dirt section after the ramp was mixture of gravel and sand. For the first half of the event it got very rutted. I think from Friday to Saturday they came up with something to give that sand and gravel some more body. The dirt section wasn’t too bad Saturday.

 

“The LCQ went fairly smoothly. I lead every lap except the last lap, but two cars transfer, so we went to the Final. I had a great start and was moving through traffic pretty well. I’d say that our cars lacked a little bit of top speed and that hurt us a little bit. I ran a clean, mostly mistake-free race. I was able to move up a bit through attrition.

 

“I’d say that as a team, this was probably our best executed GRC event. Some of the work that we did in the off-season has made the cars better handling and we’ve put together a really solid crew that can get the job done in a matter of minutes. I think we’re steadily making progress, but the competition is tight and all the cars are really dialed in.”

 

 

COLIN BRAUN

No. 56 Composite Resources/ORECA Gear GRC Lites

“The track itself was a great concept, I think, but the layout made it incredibly hard to pass. The dirt section was very loose like kitty litter. That dirt ended up getting dragged all around the asphalt surface and so you had one clear lane, which is where everyone drove and that made it hard to pass. It made the starts really important. The way the Joker Lane was configured didn’t really make it a huge gain either. It was important to get a good start and from there it was all about track position.

 

“We had very rutted out and bumpy dirt section. There were quite a few cars, us included, who hit those bumps the wrong way and ended up bending bumpers underneath the suspension. The CORE guys had to work extra hard to fix these cars up.

 

“We had a good, fast car and got our first heat win. They have a new format this year for how points are accumulated and they’ve added semi-finals too. It was interesting to see how it played out. We were able to get a heat win, but we ended up lining up fifth for the Final. It wasn’t where we wanted to start considering how important track position was. We had a really fast car all weekend, we just never really had good track position in the Final. With the track being so hard to pass, it kind of kept you stuck where you were.

 

“For the Final, the top four cars were all nose-to-tail for the whole race. We had the Joker in our pocket. We thought we’d do it one lap ahead of Brooks and put in a good lap and put in a gap, so that when he Jokered, we’d still be in front and in third. The cars were so competitive and so close that we Jokered and popped ahead of him, but on the final lap, he Jokered and got right back to the position where he was before.

 

“I feel like we made some good improvements. We’ve finished on the podium and had good results before, but I feel like this time, we had better pace to the front-runners. We still have some work to do, but I feel like we’re much closer to getting our first Final win. We’ve made great strides. Jon showed good pace and had good results. I feel like as a team, we’re getting closer to where we need to be. We’ll keep working and keep our heads down.”

CORE Returns to GRC Lites with Bennett, Braun and ORECA Gear

ROCK HILL, S.C. (April 18, 2017) – CORE autosport will continue its two-car Red Bull Global Rallycross Lites program in 2017. Jon Bennett and Colin Braun return as drivers and ORECA Gear returns as an official partner and equipment supplier.

 

After collecting four podium finishes in its GRC Lites debut last year, CORE has its sights firmly set on capturing its first GRC Lites win in 2017. Bennett and Braun’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship commitments will prevent them from attending three of the 12 GRC rounds, and thus take them out of a championship run.

 

“When we debuted in GRC-Lites last year, our goal was to familiarize ourselves with the cars, circuits and specifics of the series, but also to demonstrate how competitive we were by finishing on the podium,” CORE GRC Program Manager Brian Colangelo said. “Our preparation improved with each race and our four podium finishes proved that to be true. For 2017, we have our sights set on race wins and hope to establish ourselves as the team to beat in rallycross and a viable option for OEM partners.”

 

One such partner already on board for CORE’s 2017 GRC Lites campaign is ORECA Gear, who will supply the team with steering wheels, seats and harnesses for both the No. 54 and No. 56 entries. This is the second-straight year CORE has partnered with ORECA Gear for its GRC Lites program.

 

Launched in 2013, Red Bull Global Rallycross is the perfect blend of car racing and extreme sports, bringing together asphalt, dirt and airtime for a one-of-a-kind show! The series is broken down into two categories: Supercar and GRC Lites. GRC Lites is an invaluable step toward the Supercar class. Driver talent is able to flourish in this class composed of identical tubular chassis powered by a Ford 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine with 320 hp.

 

The Red Bull Global Rallycross program kicks off April 29 at Memphis International Raceway in Tennessee. Television coverage of the GRC Lites race will air Tuesday, May 2, on NBC Sports Network, at 5pm ET.

 

Founded by owner/driver Jon Bennett in 2010, CORE autosport is a five-time Prototype Challenge champion in IMSA competition and as of 2017, has transitioned to GT Daytona competition with a Porsche 911 GT3 R. Since 2014, CORE has served as the competition partner for Porsche’s two-car GTLM factory program, which has earned two Manufacturer Championships. CORE autosport is located in Rock Hill, South Carolina, across the street from Composite Resources, a manufacturing firm started by Bennett in 1992.

 

Involved in motorsports for 40 years as a racing car team and constructor, ORECA has put the experience of its various endeavors to the benefit of its range of driver and cockpit equipment. Developed within the scope of sporting programs at the highest global level, ORECA products are designed to prioritize the safety and comfort of its clients.

 

Jon Bennett
No. 54 ORECA Gear GRC Lites

“Auto racing is my passion no matter what form it comes in. Taking part in my first Red Bull Global Rallycross season last year was a real eye-opener to this new genre of motorsport and a blast to experience. I enjoyed learning a totally different driving style and race craft, and being encouraged to have all four wheels leave the ground was fun! Thanks to our ORECA Gear equipment though, I always felt safe.

 

“I was very impressed with our team’s ability to learn the ins and outs of these cars and this series in a short amount of time. It was fantastic to see CORE autosport on the podium in its debut in such a competitive class. We want to continue with this momentum in 2017 and show that we are a team OEMs will want to work with in GRC.”

 

 

Colin Braun
No. 56 ORECA Gear GRC Lites

“I love to experience all kinds of different race cars, so getting the opportunity to do GRC Lites last year was an awesome experience. One of the things I enjoy most about motorsports is the learning process and we had a lot of learning to do in 2016. I was on the podium three times and I know that this season, a win isn’t too far off. At CORE, we’re all about constantly improving and that makes me very eager to get back to work!

 

“We’re returning to quite a few places we raced at last year, so we have some idea of the different surfaces we’ll be working with, but because GRC changes up its courses every year, it’ll still be a new ball game for all the teams. It’s going to be a lot of fun and I can’t wait to get back in the GRC Lites car, especially knowing that our cockpit will be outfitted with ORECA Gear again!”

 

 

 

2017 Red Bull Global Rallycross Lites Schedule

 

Rd. 1 April 29

Memphis International Raceway

Memphis, TN

 

Rd. 2 May 21
Kentucky Exposition Center

Louisville, KY

 

*Rd. 3 June 3

Thompson Speedway

Thompson, CT

 

*Rd. 4 June 4

Thompson Speedway

Thompson, CT

 

Rd. 5 June 17

Canada Aviation And Space Museum

Ottawa, Canada

 

Rd. 6 June 18

Canada Aviation and Space Museum

Ottawa, Canada

 

*Rd. 7 July 9

Lucas Oil Speedway

Indianapolis, IN

 

Rd. 8 August 12

Bader Field

Atlantic City, NJ

 

Rd. 9 August 13

Bader Field

Atlantic City, NJ

 

Rd. 10 September 9

Evergreen Speedway

Seattle, WA

 

Rd. 11 September 10

Evergreen Speedway

Seattle, WA

 

Rd. 12 October 14

TBD

Los Angeles, CA

 

*No CORE attendance due to IMSA schedule conflict

CORE Heads to GRC Seattle with New Driver

ROCK HILL, S.C. (Sept. 14, 2016) – CORE autosport will participate in the latest Red Bull Global Rallycross round in Seattle with an adjustment to its driver lineup. Scott Anderson will join Jon Bennett in the team’s pair of GRC Lites cars at Evergreen Raceway.

 

For its fourth GRC Lites event, CORE welcomes rookie Scott Anderson to the team. The 26 year-old is making his GRC debut, but comes into the series with a strong open-wheel background. Since 2011 he has raced in the Skip Barber National Championship, USF2000, Pro Mazda Championship and Indy Lights.

 

Bennett will continue to drive the No. 54 in Seattle. Anderson has signed on to drive the No. 56 car at Seattle and the finale in Los Angeles.

 

Similar to the Daytona International Speedway layout, the 0.791-mile Seattle course incorporates the banked oval of Evergreen Speedway as well as the dirt infield. Its Joker Lap allows drivers to skip half of the dirt section, including the jump.

 

The GRC Lites race from Seattle will be shown on Red Bull TV Sunday, Sept. 18 at 2pm ET. The race will air on NBC Sports Network, Thursday, Sept. 22, at 5:30pm ET.

 

 

16-CORE-JB-HeadshotGRC“One of the challenges of a GRC event is the uniqueness of each circuit. Each circuit requires strategic thinking to unlock the speed. Predicting the grip level and speed on a section of purpose-built racing surface should be familiar for us.

 

“It is difficult to determine how much previous experience at our recent GRC rounds will help us in Seattle. The course map gives us an idea of what is ahead, but walking the final course is the key to understanding the circuit.  Additionally, there are often small changes to the course to accommodate nuances of the actual venue.

 

“Considering this will be my fourth GRC event, making The Final is an important goal for me.  While I respect the quality of the GRC Lites field, I believe a podium finish in my inaugural season is achievable.”

 

 

16-core-grc-mailchimp-anderson

“I’ve wanted to try out some kind of rally racing since I first started racing. GRC seems like a perfect mix of both the side-by-side racing I’m used to and the unpredictable, extreme elements that got me interested in rally in the first place. I think GRC is going to be the next big series.

 

“I found CORE through my sponsor Hull & Knarr. We had been looking at getting into GRC and knew CORE was getting involved. Hull & Knarr was able to provide their services to both CORE and their partners, so it’s a natural fit.

 

“Besides sliding around in the snow in my street car, I have basically no rally experience. I just finished my second day of testing in the GRC lites car, so I think that should be enough to know what I’m doing during the race weekend, but there’s plenty to learn still.

 

“I’d like to thank Hull & Knarr for their huge support and making this happen and Evil Bikes for their support as well. I think they have a big future in the GRC paddock, it’s not even the race weekend yet and I’m getting people telling me how cool it is to have them in GRC.”
– Scott Anderson

Another GRC Lites Podium for CORE autosport

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (Aug. 29, 2016) – CORE autosport scored its second podium finish in only its fourth Red Bull Global Rallycross Lites event. Near the bustling boardwalk of Atlantic City, Colin Braun took the GRC Lites checkered flag in third place.

Each GRC course presents its own unique challenge. At Atlantic City, that challenge was a dirt section that quickly became rutted and bumpy. This caused the race line to change constantly as drivers aimed to avoid the largest potholes.

Jon Bennett in the No. 54 CORE autosport/ORECA/Sonic Tools GRC Lites and Braun in the No. 56 CORE autosport/ORECA/Sonic Tools/GRC Lites both showed strong pace in the opening practice sessions before qualifying third (Braun) and 10th (Bennett).

Braun was unable to convert his third-place qualifying position into a heat race win. In the first heat, he got squeezed out on the start by two cars and finished fourth. In the second heat race, Braun had to battle a loss of power-steering and ended up finishing fourth again. That placed Braun in the Last Chance Qualifier along with Bennett who finished fifth and sixth in the heat races.

Starting first in the LCQ, Braun led the way for all four laps to take the win. Bennett, looked like he had fourth-place locked up and would advance to the final as well, but an overly optimistic move by a competitor left Bennett with a flat tire on the last lap. He was able to bring it home in sixth, but did not advance to the final as a result.

Braun had a spectacular start in the final, going from seventh on the grid to fourth exiting Turn One. He timed the Joker Lap perfectly, which put him in position to pass Miki Weckstrom for third. He held down the podium spot all the way to the finish, despite getting his rear bumper caught on one of the dirt section’s potholes and losing half of it.

It is the second GRC Lites podium finish for CORE autosport in its rookie season. Braun finished third in the team’s GRC debut at Daytona International Speedway in June.

The GRC Lites race at Atlantic City will air on NBC Sports Network on Thursday, September 1, at 5:30pm ET.

 

 

16-CORE-JB-HeadshotGRC“Colin did great all weekend. He was very competitive, but sometimes there are circumstances that will ruin a session from time to time. Colin always had great pace, but had some unfortunate things happen in the heats. He definitely belongs on the podium, as does our team, which is getting better at solving the interesting problems that come up on these GRC weekends.

 

“I was having a really good race in the LCQ, but some of the young, inexperienced drivers can get a bit reckless and you become the victim of their mistake. That’s what happened to me in the LCQ. I was P4 and then got hit by another car, which caused one of my tires to go flat. There’s not much you can do in that situation. When you’re turning the happy way, the car still turns pretty good, but when you’re turning the flat tire way, it’s terrible!

 

“Overall, I had a good, aggressive race weekend that was made easier thanks to our new Scoot-E-Bikes™ getting us around. I feel like I’m making good progress in my rallycross skill set. I think, just like Colin, my pace is getting faster and ultimately the results will get better.”
– Jon Bennett

 

 

16-CORE-CB-HeadshotGRC“We had really good pace in the practice sessions and qualifying, but I had a rough couple of heats. In the first heat I got jammed between two cars and we had an alternator fail in the second heat so subsequently the power steering shut off. I struggled through the second heat with no power steering. The guys fixed it back ups, so in the LCQ we started on the pole and controlled the race from up front.

 

“Winning the LCQ isn’t anything to write home about, but we did beat the championship leader whose won a couple races this year, so to beat him outright was a good moment for us.

 

“We started inside row three for the final. I got a good launch and dove into Turn One and made up some good spots. I was up to fourth on the exit of the first corner. I Jokered at a good time and then made a pass on Miki Weckstrom for third a couple laps into the race. We had a little bit of a gap from second back to me, but didn’t have enough laps to catch him. Certainly, we were running him down though. All things considered, we were happy with the weekend.”
– Colin Braun

 

CORE Takes GRC Lites to Atlantic City

ROCK HILL, S.C. (Aug. 23, 2016) – Atlantic City, New Jersey awaits CORE autosport for the latest round of the Red Bull Global Rallycross season. For the third time this year, drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun will compete in the GRC Lites class.

 

So far CORE’s GRC program has taken on the infield of Daytona International Speedway and the parking lot of RFK Stadium, but this weekend, the two-car team will face the coastline runways of Bader Field, aka Atlantic City Municipal Airport. At 1.102 miles, the 10-turn course is the longest on the 2016 GRC calendar.

 

After its second-ever GRC event, Bennett, Braun and team learned how much could change from course to course. With that lesson in mind, they know to carefully study not just the layout of the track, but also the weight of the dirt and the material underneath it.

 

“We are really enjoying being a part of the series and how helpful the GRC paddock is,” CORE GRC Program Manager Brian Colangelo said. “We have experienced a warm welcome from everyone. With each event, we’re eager to apply what we’ve learned at the previous round. We are achieving our goals every step of the way and I am proud of everything this team has accomplished in such a short span of time.”

 

This weekend CORE welcomes a new sponsor to its GRC program: Scoot-E-Bike™. Bennett and Braun will be able to get around the event grounds on these compact electric scooters with a top speed of 20 mph. The on-board charger can plug into any standard wall outlet and provides a range of up to 30 miles per charge. It will be an invaluable mode of transportation every race weekend.

 

The GRC Lites Final will be streamed live on Red Bull TV, Sunday, August 28, at 3:30pm ET. A full broadcast will air on NBC Sports Network, Thursday, Sept. 1, at 5:30pm ET.

 

 

 

16-CORE-JB-HeadshotGRC“Colin and I are both enjoying this new challenge of GRC. It’s been great to meet new and talented competitors. I have also enjoyed learning to adapt our cars and my driving style to a constantly changing surface.”

 

“With two GRC events under our belts, we have learned there’s much more to the track walk than studying the racing line. It’s important to study the make-up and composition of the dirt surface and how it will react to being watered down. Looking for good passing areas is another important aspect of learning these new circuits. Our new Scoot-E-Bikes will make it easy to get around the venue and observe other drivers. I’m really excited about having a quick and rechargeable way of getting around at these events!”

 

“In preparing for Atlantic City, I now have some good notes from our previous events to review and better understand the feel of our GRC Lites car and how it’s affected by changing conditions.”
– Jon Bennett

 

 

16-CORE-CB-HeadshotGRC“I’m enjoying the new challenge and I’ve been learning a lot of new things. There are a lot of things to learn, not just about making the car fast, but about how the event works and making everything flow the right way. It reminds me a lot of when I transitioned from sportscars to NASCAR. There were so many things to learn.

 

“I think we’ve learned that on our track walk, instead of looking at it in a two-dimensional way, there’s a third dimension, which is: what kind of dirt is being used, how is it going to change and what’s under it. At Daytona, we had dirt on dirt. At Washington D.C., we had dirt on asphalt, which pretty quickly would get pushed aside and you’d have spots of asphalt. I think there’s a lot more in the dirt section for us to study and understand.

 

“We definitely have the pace to be competitive, so for me, the biggest thing I’m working on is putting the whole weekend together. I want two clean practice sessions that lead into a good qualifying and then having good starts in the heats to put myself in a position to be in the first row or two for the final. These races are a lot about track position and getting through the first two corners. Once you fall a little bit behind it’s really hard to catch up.”
– Colin Braun

CORE Continues on GRC Learning Curve

WASHINGTON D.C. (July 31, 2016) – CORE autosport’s Red Bull Global Rallycross journey continued this weekend at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C. Drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun showed strong pace in their second-ever GRC event, but their final results did not illustrate the big improvements made by the team.

With one GRC event under its belt, CORE autosport had a better understanding of what to expect at RFK Stadium. But, by GRC’s very nature, two important elements change with each track: the location of the Joker Lap and the surface texture (both permanent and dirt). The team quickly realized on the track walk that D.C.’s dirt was quite a bit sandier than the dirt they raced on in Daytona.

After a strong showing in practice where Braun even topped the timing screens for a bit, qualifying ended with Braun fifth and Bennett 10th. Neither Braun nor Bennett were able to crack the top three in the heat races to advance to the main, which meant both drivers would have to fight their way through the last chance qualifier (LCQ).

Braun quickly took the lead in the LCQ, but was hit hard by another car. The hit broke the car’s steering and ended Braun’s day in the No. 56. Bennett had better luck and captured the final transfer spot to take up the 10th position on the grid for the final. There, he would advance one spot to finish ninth in the No. 54.

The final result belied the major strides made by the team in their rookie GRC season. As CORE continues to make progress with its GRC program, it looks forward the next rallycross event in Atlantic City, August 28.

The GRC Lites race from Washington D.C. will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network, Thursday, August 25, at 5:30pm ET.

 

16-CORE-JB-HeadshotGRC“The good news for GRC D.C. was we’re beginning to get used to the flow of the event; where to be and when to be there. It sounds small, but it does affect you mentally and your performance. Beyond that, we’re beginning to understand the characteristics and personalities of the competition each weekend. Unfortunately, we don’t have the results to reflect that we had a very positive weekend in Washington.
 
“The last chance qualifier was interesting. On the grid it began to rain, which is something I enjoy. It’s a bit of an equalizer. I was optimistic when it began to rain. Colin was on his way to winning that race, but unfortunately he was the victim of someone else’s mistake, which broke the steering and ended his chances for the final. I was able to move to the final by finishing fourth in the LCQ.
 
“I started 10th in the final and it was a good opportunity for me to learn how to be competitive. In the final, you’re racing against the best drivers in our field. It was a good seminar for me when it comes to sharpening my competitiveness. I was able to move up a position to P9 and gained a lot of experience.
 
“I think we’re building a toolbox for future races and I think each race will help CORE’s program get stronger and stronger. I think if we can get both cars in the final and one car on the podium at the next one, that’d be a good finish for us. Hopefully our experience builds as we go to Atlantic City and Los Angeles. I suspect we’ll begin to move up to the top of the results sheet.
 
“One of the coolest things that’s happening is the brand awareness of CORE. On more than one occasion people have commented that ‘we’re happy to see you guys here after all the success in sportscars.’ It’s cool to see our business grow. I think growing outside the IMSA paddock adds more legitimacy to how good we are at what we do.”
– Jon Bennett

 

16-CORE-CB-HeadshotGRC“The track itself was a nice layout when you’re driving by yourself, but was nearly impossible to pass on. It was really important to qualify well and get a good start. It was so easy to get trapped behind a slower car. There was maybe one semi-passing opportunity around the whole place. The track was fun and technical by yourself, which I think is why we were so quick during practice.
 
“I felt like all our procedures and processes are getting better and our understanding of how the weekend flows. With this only being our second race, we’re still learning a ton. We’ve come to a new venue and it’s our first time seeing what the differences can be in where the Joker Lap is and the texture of the dirt. It was sandier here than it was at Daytona. On one hand it was nice to go to the second race, because we knew what to expect, but on the other hand, we learned that a lot of things can change from race to race.
 
“I was leading the LCQ and then the person I passed decided to riffle it in there in the dirt section, as it was raining, and got into the water and slammed into me. The hit was so hard it broke the steering shaft. It’s a big disappointment, because we were super fast in the first practice and decent in the second one. The CORE guys did an awesome job giving me a fast car and our results on paper don’t really show the huge amounts of progress we’re making.”
– Colin Braun

CORE Ready for Sophomore GRC Event

ROCK HILL, S.C. (July 26, 2016) – After securing a podium finish in its Red Bull Global Rallycross debut last month, CORE autosport gained valuable insight into the series that will help keep the podium finishes coming. As a result, drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun are eager to take on their second GRC event this weekend at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C.

 

Even beyond the dirt and jumps, GRC Lites is a totally different world compared to CORE’s usual sportscar racing. Instead of qualifying, where the course is open to all drivers attempting to set their fastest lap time, GRC features two heat races, where drivers fight to finish in the top three and earn a spot on the grid for the main. All drivers finishing outside the top three go to a last-chance qualifier (LCQ) to battle for the final four spots on the grid.

 

Instead of a two-hour and 40-minute race, GRC Lites main events are only 10 laps and all races begin with a standing start. In each race, every driver must complete one “joker lap,” which is a deviation from the main course that could either be slower or faster than the main course depending on the event setup. Deciding when to take the “joker lap” is a key strategic decision, much like when to make a pit stop in sportscar racing.

 

Now that CORE has one full GRC event under its belt, the team has a better understanding of how to utilize track time and employ the best race strategies. Bennett, Braun and team are looking forward to measured improvement at this weekend’s Washington D.C. event.

 

The GRC Lites main event is streamed live on Red Bull TV, Saturday, July 30, at 2:30pm ET. A full recap show will air on NBC Sports Network, Thursday, August 25, at 5:30pm ET.

 

 

16-CORE-JB-HeadshotGRC“We have our first event under our belt and we understand the way the event flows and a little bit about our competitors and the feel of a GRC weekend. I think Colin and I are really looking forward to going to Washington D.C. and focus more on our actual racing and not just on understanding how the event works and the mechanics of going GRC racing. Plus, we both know how to properly jump a car now, so that chapter’s been written! We’re looking forward to settling into a groove and doing our homework on how to make the cars faster and be more competitive.

 

There are some aspects of GRC racing that are new to us: one being the standing starts and two being the jumps. I think we have some data from the cars now that we’re able to analyze and figure out what kind of start seems to be better. In terms of the jumps, we can figure out if we’re better with a fast and long jump or a slower and shorter jump, in terms of overall lap time. Those are all things we didn’t have any information on prior to Daytona and we are armed with going to Washington. We’re looking forward to a new level of competitiveness and watching that grow as our abbreviated GRC season continues.”
– Jon Bennett

 

 

16-CORE-CB-HeadshotGRC“I’m really looking forward to getting back in the GRC car. It’s so much fun. It’s so different and we’re still in the steep part of the learning curve. I’m really excited to continue that learning process and figure out more about the car and how to go fast. Daytona was a lot of fun, but it was also a taste of all the stuff we needed to learn. We went back to the shop and talked about it as a group and I think we’ll be a lot stronger doing our second race.

 

“I think one of the biggest things we’ve learned is how the race works, how the practices work, how it all flows. The weekends are so different from our typical sportscar weekends. There are so many little details about how the weekend goes from an operations standpoint. I think it’ll be a real help having that experience under our belt now. We know how many times we need to practice standing starts and a lot of little procedural things like that, so I feel like we’ll be in good shape this weekend.”
– Colin Braun

 

 

 

Podium Finish in GRC Debut for CORE

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 20, 2016) –In its first Red Bull Global Rallycross event, CORE autosport captured a GRC Lites podium finish at Daytona International Speedway.

 

Red Bull GRC events feature two heat races, where drivers battle to confirm a starting spot on the final grid. Drivers outside the top three in the heat races go to a last chance qualifier (LCQ) race to earn the final four spots on the grid.

 

Finishing third in both heat races, despite an accident in practice, Colin Braun automatically qualified for Saturday’s GRC Lites main event in the No 56. Jon Bennett found himself in the LCQ but fought his way to a third-place finish and earned the No. 54 a spot in the final.

 

Saturday’s 10-lap feature was delayed for some time due to thunderstorms moving through the area, but when it did get underway, Braun was embroiled in a fight for the podium with Tanner Whitten and Alejandro Fernandez. At the checkered flag Braun snagged himself a third-place finish in his rallycross debut.

 

Bennett, another rallycross rookie, showed he earned his spot in the final by keeping on pace for a ninth-place result.

 

Sunday proved a bit tougher. Bennett did not advance to the final and Braun finished second in both heat races, but had an accident on the opening lap of the final and soldiered on to finish 10th.

 

The GRC Lites event from Daytona International Speedway will air on NBC Sports Network Wednesday, June 22 at 4:30pm ET.

 

CORE’s next Red Bull GRC target is the July 30 event at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C.

 

16-CORE-JB-HeadshotGRC“Our GRC debut was a really fun experience. Our results are definitely something we can be proud of, especially considering it was our first ever rallycross outing. A podium finish was beyond our expectations. We have a lot to learn still, but we have the right people in place and great partners in ORECA and Sonic Tools. I can’t wait to get behind the wheel again!”

– Jon Bennett

 

16-CORE-CB-HeadshotGRC“GRC was a blast! I am super impressed with the series and the level of competition, but also how quickly these CORE guys put together a strong program. I’m happy I could put it on the podium for them on Saturday. GRC is pretty much a contact sport and sometimes you come out on the bad end of it like we did in the main on Sunday, but we sure showed we had a fast car in the heats and raced well all day! We have a lot to learn, but everyone at CORE is up to the task and we’ll be back and even more prepared at the next one.”

– Colin Braun