All posts in “GRC”

Another GRC Podium for CORE at Demanding Ottawa Circuit

OTTAWA, Canada (June 20, 2017) – CORE autosport took home another podium finish in an especially grueling Red Bull Global Rallycross weekend in Canada. While both of the team’s GRC Lites cars took a beating in the doubleheader, driver Colin Braun scored a second-place finish in Saturday’s final.

 

GRC’s first event in Canada took place on the runways of the Ottawa-Rockcliffe Airport, just next door to the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. The fan turnout was impressive despite the threat of storms in the area.

 

The doubleheader got off to a great start for Braun, who won his opening heat in the No. 56. Teammate Jon Bennett had the opposite experience, however, when an engine failure took him out of the first heat, and subsequently the rest of the day.

 

A strong Heat 2 and Semi-Final for Braun, put him in a great starting position for Saturday’s Final. He was able to take advantage of that and finish runner-up behind the championship leader. It was Braun’s second podium of the 2017 GRC season.

 

Sunday brought the promise of a fresh start for both Bennett and Braun. For Sunday’s event, the series switched the Joker Lap around, which was planned, but made additional unexpected changes to the track between practice and qualifying, which had the CORE crew hustling to make set-up changes to both cars.

 

Braun struggled in Heat 1, but bounced back to win Heat 2 and finished second in the Semi-Final.

 

Bennett’s car still had some mechanical gremlins to work out through the Heats and Semi-Final, but was feeling fast once he got to the Final. The No. 54 started from the back, but Bennett was moving up as soon as the green dropped. The rough dirt section thwarted his forward progress though; two hard landings there caused the suspension to fail and took Bennett out of the race.

 

A poor start for Braun in Sunday’s Final had him fighting to make up ground. One of those fights included some significant side-by-side contact that bent the suspension on the No. 56. Braun soldiered on with his injured car and finished eighth.

 

The GRC Lites races from Ottawa will air on NBC Sports Network, Wednesday, June 21, at 5pm ET.

 

CORE autosport will put the trials of Ottawa behind it now and focus on the next round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The Six Hours of the Glen takes place June 30 – July 2 in Watkins Glen, N.Y.

 

 

“Ottawa was a great circuit at a super interesting location: the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. The weather was threatening all weekend, but primarily dry. A lot of Canadian fans came out to watch the GRC races. It was probably one of the better-attended events of the year.

 

“My Ottawa event was a string of mechanical misfortunes from the start. I had a good practice session but during qualifying I ended up with a stuck throttle, which led to a gearbox issue in the following heat race. It decided to completely fail and with multiple downshifts over-reving the engine, the gearbox failure cascaded into a full engine failure and I was done for the day.

 

“Sunday morning in warm up we were still sorting out an electrical and then a sensor problem. I wasn’t competitive and was struggling mechanically through the heat races. We got the car sorted for the final. I was quite competitive and moving my way up, but two hard landings back-to-back caused the suspension to fail.

 

“My hat’s off to the crew, especially my crew chief Darren Papworth. He worked very, very fast and feverishly all weekend. He did everything he could to get the car back on track and solve the mechanical issues quite quickly.”

 

“I’m looking forward to our next race when all the mechanical gremlins will be behind us!”
JON BENNETT

 

 

“Obviously we had an up and down weekend. It was a really cool track with an interesting layout that kept changing throughout the weekend, which was exciting. They tweaked the lead up to the jump area quite a bit all three days.

 

“We had some good speed in our cars. We weren’t the outright fastest, but the guys kept working on them and did a great job finding more speed. We were able to shine with some good calls on the Joker Lap and things like that, that helped us move to the front.

 

“We had some really good heat races on Saturday that put us in a good position in the Semi-Final. We were fortunate on quite a few of the starts and first couple of corners. We seemed to always have a good position coming out of the second corner and with how hard it is to pass in GRC, that’s critical. I’m really happy we were able to execute that well on Saturday. We ended up with a good finish of second in the final. It was a hard fought race.

 

“On Sunday they had a cool layout for practice, but they changed it for qualifying which required a different setup. I think we did a good job adapting to the new layout. All in all we qualified fourth on Sunday, but I had a rough first heat. We won the second heat though and had a good spot to start in the Semi-Final.

 

“We ended up starting fourth in the final. We didn’t get a great start in the first two corners. That put me fifth or sixth coming out of the first set of corners. I was stuck with guys I’m not used to racing and I got caught up in some side-by-side contact, which bent the suspension and effectively ended our race. It was kind of a disappointing way to end what had started as a good weekend on Saturday.

 

“It was an unfortunate weekend for Jon and the No. 54 guys. They worked super hard all weekend and fought and fought, and it was cool to see the whole team gel together trying to get Jon’s car sorted out. They didn’t deserve a weekend like that. I’m really proud of them. The track was not gentle on the cars and they kept our stuff in one piece. Hopefully, we got all the bad luck out of the way in one event. I’m sure we’ll have better times from here forward.”
COLIN BRAUN

CORE Rolls Into Canada for GRC Doubleheader

ROCK HILL, S.C. (June 15, 2017) – CORE autosport is taking its Red Bull Global Rallycross program north of the border this weekend to take part in a GRC Lites doubleheader at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa.

 

While GRC teams will be paddocked just behind the museum, the actual course is made up of runways from the Ottawa-Rockcliffe Airport. The 0.762-mile track is a tight and technical one, but features a generous Joker Lap that knocks 0.44-mile off the full distance. The GRC signature 70-foot jump in the dirt section also marks the finish line and will make for an exciting mid-air finish!

 

The doubleheader means drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun have the opportunity to score points in races on both Saturday and Sunday. Currently, Braun is fourth in the GRC Lites Championship standings and Bennett is eighth.

 

Braun and Bennett are coming off of an impressive GRC round in Thompson, Connecticut, two weeks ago, when they raced in both the IMSA WeatherTech Series in Detroit and then used all means possible, including a helicopter, to get to the Thompson track in time for the GRC Lites final. Starting from the back row of the grid, with only one sighting lap to work from, Bennett finished eighth and Braun fourth. Braun went on to pick up his first GRC Lites podium of the year the following day.

 

Saturday’s GRC Lites race in Ottawa is scheduled to begin at 4:40pm ET. Sunday’s race is slated for 4:45pm. Both races will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network, Wednesday, June 21 at 5pm ET.

 

 

 

“I do enjoy my ‘air time’ in our GRC Lites car, so it is appropriate to race near Canada’s museum dedicated to air and space. In fact, I am an instrument-rated pilot and aviation enthusiast, so I hope to find a few minutes to enjoy the museum myself.

 

The Ottawa layout looks interesting and technical. Technique and patience in the dirt section should pay dividends and the Joker merge just before the jump should be entertaining for the fans!

 

“Colin and I both enjoyed our IMSA/GRC double at our last event. I am looking forward to focusing on the GRC Lites car and always look forward to having races on Saturday and Sunday.

 

“The helicopter ride to Thompson was helpful to ensure our arrival before the Saturday final, and I could definitely get used to that kind of service, but I’m fairly confident our arrival at the Ottawa circuit will involve a rental car.”
– JON BENNETT

 

 

“Focusing on one series this weekend will be nice, but I think both Jon and I really enjoyed the challenge of doing both at the last event!

 

“The Ottawa layout looks great. I do have to say that the layouts the series sends out can sometimes be a bit misleading as to what the actual course feels like and drives like, so I usually don’t get too wrapped up in analyzing them. We’ll know what we’re working with when we have a chance to do the real track walk. GRC does a great job with the space they have at each event to make an exciting and fun layout; I am sure this will be no different.

 

“I really, really want to get my first GRC win. I am not as concerned about the points; winning is the goal! I have always disagreed with people on the championship mentality versus winning races. To me, if you want to win races you have to finish races and not crash out, so winning a championship and winning a race really have the same level of driving effort as you cannot crash and win the race. Sure, maybe you turn up the risk a bit more but this is GRC where you can’t turn the risk up much higher!”
– COLIN BRAUN

First GRC Podium of 2017 for CORE autosport

THOMPSON, Conn. (June 5, 2017) – A day after its best IMSA performance of 2017, CORE autosport earned its first Red Bull Global Rallycross podium of 2017 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.

 

CORE drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun successfully completed a double race weekend in two different states thanks to some help from modern aviation. After finishing eighth on the streets of Detroit in the No. 54 Flex Box / Composite Resources Porsche 911 GT3 R, Bennett and Braun rushed to the Detroit airport to catch a plane to Worcester, Massachusetts. From Worcester, they boarded a helicopter, which landed directly at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.

 

The GRC Series was kind enough to allow both Bennett and Braun to take a sighting lap in their GRC Lites cars before the two took up the last spots on the grid for the main.

 

With only the single sighting lap and some video footage to learn from, Braun charged his way to fourth in Saturday’s main, while Bennett finish eighth.

 

On Sunday, the drivers finally got a full day of practice, qualifying and heat races under their belt on the long and technical course. In addition to being the longest circuit thus far on the GRC schedule, the track was quite rough in places, and suspension damage became a key concern for all teams.

 

In a stroke of luck for Bennett and Braun, a heavy rain began to fall on the Thompson track just as the final was about to begin. Having a wet track would seemingly negate all the additional track time CORE’s competitors had on Friday and Saturday.

 

Braun started fourth and Bennett 10th on the GRC Lites grid. Braun had a fantastic start and was into second early in the race. Bennett too was on a tear and up to fifth, but became a victim of the treacherous course and broke a left control arm with only four laps to go.

 

Up front, Braun was unable to close the gap to the race leader and crossed the finish line in second—his first podium of the season.

 

The GRC Lites races from Thompson, will air Wednesday, June 7, on CBS Sports Network, at 5pm ET.

 

Next up for CORE’s GRC program is a doubleheader in Ottawa, Canada, June 17 – 18, at the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum.

 

 

 

“We were coming off a pretty good finish in Detroit and we had some sophisticated air transport methods getting us to Thompson. We landed in Worcester, Massachusetts. The helicopter was already on the ramp with rotors spinning. The helicopter co-pilot met us at the stairs, walked us over and we boarded the helicopter. He said ‘okay, nine minutes and we’ll be on the ground.’

 

“The GRC Series nudged the schedule a little for us and tried to accommodate our needs without giving us too much preferential treatment, which I totally understand. It was nice to be able to do both events and I think they were happy to see us!

 

“My son graduated from high school a few years ago, on the same night I needed to qualify the Prototype Challenge car in Kansas. It was a quick flight to Kansas and I think I landed at 4:40 and was in the racecar at 5:00, so I’m no stranger to the scenario. The advantage is you don’t have a lot of time to overthink what you’re about to do. You’re super focused on whatever information you have and you go out and execute.

 

“On both days, I saw my personal performance improving, but I seem to be in this zone where it’s not showing in my finishing position. I’m racing wheel-to-wheel with guys who have won races and won championships, so I think my podium and my breakout event is just around the corner.

 

“I was looking forward to the wet conditions on Sunday. I think it’s an equalizer and Colin and I have a lot of experience running in the rain compared to some of our competition. There was a lot of chaos and Colin and I were both picking our way through the field.

 

“As interesting as the track was, there were some areas that were really, really hard on the car. I had been lucky all event not having any damage. Sure enough, on lap six out of 10 in the final, it was my turn. I simply hit a hole—not a dirt hole, but a hole in the asphalt—and it snapped the left-side control arm and that was it. I was P5 at the time and holding my own, so that was really encouraging for me.

 

“In any event, the most important thing is that my level of competitiveness is getting strong and stronger and it’s a short time before I’m on the podium and contending for race wins going forward. The team has a great chemistry, so we have all the ingredients for a championship.”

 

“I’d absolutely do the double again!”
– JON BENNETT

 

 

 

 

“It was great of GRC to give us that sighting lap. We had a chance on the plane to look at some video. We had outside car and inside car video. When we arrived, we had a couple minutes to spend with our spotter and team manager. Those guys had watched all the practices and heat races, so it was great to break it down the videos with them and see what the starts looked like and how people were getting into the first corner.

 

“I’m proud of how the logistics came together and how we got to Thompson and set out to do what we wanted to do. It was a big team effort by everybody. Both the GTD guys and the GRC guys did everything they could to make it happen.

 

“The track had a really cool layout. A lot more technical and spread out than what we’ve seen in the last few races. On the one hand I was really excited on the other hand, I was disappointed that we missed out on all the practice sessions, because it was such a long, technical track.

 

“We started ninth in the main. I got a good start and picked through some positions. Without having anything besides the sighting lap, we were a little unsure of what it was going to look like, so we just decided early on to run as many laps as we could and joker on the last lap, because we figured it’d be good to follow the rest of the field. I ran laps, learned the racetrack, made passes, and on the last lap, we jokered and came out fourth. We were quite pleased with that.

 

“In the first heat on Sunday, the track started to break apart in the dirt section. I went through there and found one of the many pot holes and tore the left front suspension off the car. That was the end of Heat 1. Not a good way to start the day, but the guys did a good job getting us fixed up.

 

“It started pouring rain right before the final, which I was really excited about, because I knew nobody had done any laps in the rain prior, so I thought that might equalize the field a little bit.

 

“I got a really good start from fourth. Out of the first set of corners I was into second and just put my head down. It was definitely a fun race in the rain for me. It was only my second time driving a GRC car in the wet, so I was still figuring a lot of things out.

 

“The first two laps I ran pretty hard trying to keep up with the leader, but once I knew I didn’t really have the pace to contend with him, I decided ‘I’m not going to catch the leader and with how bad the conditions are, I’d rather go ahead and finish second and not try to make something happen.’”
– COLIN BRAUN

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