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CORE Aims for a Strong Monterey Finish

CORE autosport driver Jon Bennett qualified for the America’s Tire 250 under idyllic California skies today at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Bennett earned 14th-place on the grid for Sunday’s two-hour and 40-minute race.

 

With a strong ocean breeze continuously dragging sand onto the 2.238-mile, 11-turn circuit, Laguna Seca is notoriously tricky to find grip on. Bennett, co-driver Colin Braun and team worked through two practice sessions on Friday and one Saturday morning to solve the grip problem and prepare a setup for Saturday afternoon’s 15-minute qualifying session.

 

At the wheel of the No. 54 Flex-Box / Composite Resources Porsche 911 GT3 R, Bennett turned a quick lap of 1:27.304 (92.284mph), which places him 14th on the GT Daytona grid for Sunday’s race. As the qualifying driver, Bennett is required to start the race and will eventually hand it over to Braun to finish.

 

The America’s Tire 250 will air on FS1, Sunday, September 24, at 5pm ET.

 

“It’s always great to be back at Laguna Seca. It’s an iconic track. I’m happy with the way our Porsche is performing and handling at this track. I think we have it engineered really well. It’s a super competitive class and you have to bring you’re A-game every day. I feel like I did a good job in the car. My performance is improving every race, in comparison to my class, but it’s a steep climb. I’m pretty determined and am looking forward to a good race tomorrow and finishing the season strong at Petit Le Mans.

 

“It’s a track that requires a lot of concentration and discipline. One of the strengths Colin and I have shown time and time again is to finish races. I think that will fall to our favor tomorrow. The combination of my reliability and Colin’s pace gives us a good shot for a great finish tomorrow, if not a podium.”
-JON BENNETT

CORE Moves to IMSA Prototype Class with ORECA in 2018

ROCK HILL, S.C. (Sept. 21, 2017) – Five-time Prototype Challenge Champions CORE autosport will move to the Prototype Class for the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with an ORECA 07 LMP2 and drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun.

 

CORE makes the switch to the P category after six seasons in the PC class (2011 – 2013 American Le Mans Series; 2014 – 2016 IMSA) and the current IMSA season in the GT Daytona class.

 

“Our start at CORE was with prototypes in 2010,” driver and team owner Bennett said. “It feels good to get back to our roots and progressing as a team.

 

“We’ve spent the past season watching with interest how the competition and budgets would shake out in the re-vamped Prototype category. We are encouraged to see the growth and competitiveness in this premier class and look forward to our debut at the 2018 Rolex 24 at Daytona.”

 

The Prototype class features both P2 and DPi-style cars racing together. The ORECA 07 LMP2 falls into the P2 group. CORE already has a successful history with ORECA, running the ORECA FLM09 chassis in all six years of its PC program.

 

“We are of course really happy to have CORE autosport joining the ORECA family in LMP2,” Hugues de Chaunac, President Group ORECA said. “Actually, it feels like the team is coming back home because of the long-term relationship we have since the involvement in Prototype Challenge. Jon Bennett, Morgan Brady and the whole CORE autosport team have done such a great job in IMSA that we are looking forward to working together with the ORECA 07.”

 

Both Pro-Pro and Pro-Am driver lineups are allowed in the Prototype class, which races at all the 2018 IMSA venues except for the GT-only events at Lime Rock Park and VIRginia International Raceway.

 

CORE will finish the 2017 season in GTD with the No. 54 Porsche 911 GT3 R, including this weekend’s Monterey Grand Prix and the Petit Le Mans season finale in October. The team expects to take delivery of its ORECA by the end of the year.

 

“We’ve enjoyed our experience in GTD with Porsche and expect the Prototype class to be no less competitive,” CORE COO Morgan Brady said. “The potential to win races like Daytona and Sebring, overall, is something we’re all looking forward to. No doubt this transition will be a lot of work, but everyone at CORE has proven time and again that they are up to the challenge.”

 

The 2018 IMSA season begins with the Rolex 24 at Daytona, January 25 – 28, at Daytona International Speedway.

CORE Heads West for Penultimate IMSA Race

ROCK HILL, S.C. (Sept. 19, 2017) – Only two rounds remain in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Challenge, the first of which is the Continental Monterey Grand Prix. CORE autosport will take its GT Daytona class Porsche 911 GT3 R west to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, located in Monterey, California.

 

It’s been four weeks since Jon Bennett and Colin Braun were last in the driver seat of the Porsche at VIRginia International Raceway, where the duo scored its third top-10 finish of the season. Mazda Raceway is a very different animal; shorter, tighter and grittier. Sand blows across the track surface and a cool ocean breeze keeps temperatures low.

 

In previous IMSA seasons the race at Mazda Raceway has taken place in May. This is the first time it will take place in September since 2011, CORE’s debut season.

 

NOTEWORTHY

  • CORE has amassed six podium finishes at Mazda Raceway since 2011, all in the Prototype Challenge class.
  • In 2012, Bennett and Braun scored their first IMSA victory as teammates at Mazda Raceway.
  • CORE made its ALMS GT class debut at Mazda Raceway in 2013 with Patrick Long and Tom Kimber-Smith driving a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, they finished seventh.
  • Braun’s birthday is Friday, September 22.

 

“A few years ago, the Laguna event was an annual six-hour race held in the early fall. This is my favorite memory of the Laguna event. Although the 2017 event is a bit shorter, I look forward to Laguna Seca in September.

 

“Laguna is a swoopy, flowing circuit that rewards drivers that can conserve momentum. Yes, traffic can sometimes interrupt the flow and GTD drivers must learn to coexist with the faster prototypes and GTLM cars while maintaining the “flow” and momentum.

 

“You can be certain Laguna Seca will be covered in a light coating of sand during the entire event. Setting up the car and managing aggression are the key to going fast while conserving the tires.

 

“We have had a challenging season in a hyper competitive GTD field. Colin and I enjoy our Porsche GT3 R and continue to unlock more speed at every event. We are determined to join our competitors on the podium at one or both of these final races of 2017.”
– JON BENNETT

 

 

 

“Laguna is always a fun place and a cool track to drive at. Jon and I have a lot of experience in the PC car there. It’s a tough circuit from a passing opportunity standpoint. It’s easy to dip a wheel and get stuck in the gravel. It’s going to be an interesting mix to see how all the classes work together and get along. I’m sure there will have to be a lot of give and take between the three classes.

 

“Tire degradation is going to be a big factor. I think Laguna is hard on tires because the surface doesn’t have a lot of grip, so you’re always sliding across the racetrack. That wears out the tires quite a bit. It’s also easy for sand to blow onto the racetrack. The sand acts like sand paper and wears the tires out really quickly. We’ve got plenty of notes from prior visits, but none with the GTD car.

 

“For us at CORE, I think our goals in these last two races are to continue to improve and learn as much as we can. This year, we’ve had some good results and shown good speed. Whether we’re winning races or we’re not, we’re always working as hard as we can. We never waiver from trying to constantly improve.

 

“Ironically, Laguna always used to fall on Jon’s birthday in May and now it’s moved to September and it falls on my birthday, so they must be arranging the Laguna dates around the CORE autosport drivers’ birthdays!”
– COLIN BRAUN

 

 

Continental Monterey Grand Prix | September 22 – 24

————————————————————

VENUE

Track Length: 2.238-miles, 11 turns

Race Length: 2 hours, 40 minutes

 

SCHEDULE (All times Pacific)

Friday, September 22

10:00am – 11:00am: Practice #1 (All Classes)

2:50pm – 3:50pm: Practice #2 (All Classes)

 

Saturday, September 23

8:00am – 9:00am: Practice #3 (All Classes)

11:30am – 11:45am: Qualifying (GTD class)

 

Sunday, September 24

9:10am – 9:30am: Warm Up (All Classes)

11:15am – 12:00pm: Driver Autograph Session

12:45pm – 1:45pm: Open Grid

2:05pm – 4:45pm: America’s Tire 250 Race

 

TV SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

LIVE Qualifying:

Saturday, September 23

2:20pm – 3:35pm: IMSA.com

LIVE Race U.S.:

Sunday, September 24

5:00pm – 8:00pm: FS1

LIVE Race International:

4:55pm – 7:45pm: IMSA.com

 

LIVE In-Car Cameras & Commentary:

IMSA.com

Porsche GT Team Score Seventh and Eighth in Virginia

ALTON, Va. (Aug. 28, 2017) – After scoring the first victory with the new Porsche 911 RSR at Lime Rock and second place in Elkhart Lake, the Porsche GT Team was not able to fight for top positions on the Virginia International Raceway. At round nine of the IMSA SportsCar Championship, the team’s and drivers’ intensive preparations and good performances went unrewarded.

After 92 laps on the storied 3.27-mile racetrack in Virginia, Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) and Gianmaria Bruni (Italy) reached the flag in seventh place with the 510 hp Porsche 911 RSR (#912). Their team colleagues Patrick Pilet (France) and Dirk Werner (Germany) finished eighth in the second 911 RSR with the starting number 911.

The tenth and penultimate round of the IMSA SportsCar Championship will be contested on 24 September at Laguna Seca in California.

Marco Ujhasi, Director GT Factory Motorsports: “After the qualifying it was obvious that the race would be difficult for us. Because we have a significantly lower top speed than our opponents, we had to come up with a special strategy on this track with its long full-throttle passages. However, for our strategy to work, we needed safety car phases, and there weren’t any today. We tried everything, but all in all it was a very difficult weekend for us. I hope that the IMSA authorities will take a very close look at this race and draw the appropriate conclusions. Then I’m confident that we’ll be back up amongst the frontrunners at the next race in Laguna Seca.”
Laurens Vanthoor (911 RSR #912): “That’s obviously not the result we wanted to fly home with. Our 911 RSR ran well and I had a good feeling in the car. Everyone could see that we didn’t have the pace, especially on the straights. The effect was particularly noticeable on this racetrack.”
Gianmaria Bruni (911 RSR #912): “Aside from the lack of top speed, the race for us ran without any problems. The team worked well over the entire weekend. What came out in the end, however, is frustrating, but it’s no reason to hang our heads. As a team, we have to pull together again and do better at Laguna Seca.”
Patrick Pilet (911 RSR #911): “That was a difficult weekend. Especially for me because I made mistake in Corner 5 and I ended up in the grass. But even without this setback, we were still simply not fast enough.”
Dirk Werner (911 RSR #911): “As expected, the race was difficult. As always, we were well prepared. But our pace was not good enough, especially on this racetrack, where our lack of engine power was particularly noticeable. For the time being we have to accept this, but I hope the situation looks better again for the last two races.”

 

CORE Earns Another Top-10 IMSA GTD Finish

CORE autosport collected its third IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship top-10 finish at VIRginia International Raceway. Though the all-GT race had zero full-course cautions, there was still plenty of bumping and banging throughout the field.

Jon Bennett took the opening stint in the No. 54 Flex-Box / Composite Resources Porsche 911 GT3 R. He immediately had to avoid chaos in the first corner when three cars got together in front of him. Bennett maneuvered through the mess with ease, and after the opening lap he was up to 10th.

Though he faded back to 13th, 45 minutes into his stint, Bennett was back up to 10th just in time to hand the car over to co-drive Colin Braun.

A quick and clean pit stop had Braun back on course in 12th. He soon found the track littered with grass and dirt from the numerous cars making off-course excursions.

In a race that went the full two hours and 40 minutes without a yellow flag, making up positions depended on pace. Braun delivered by setting the quickest race lap by a Porsche entry, cracking into the top 10 and advancing to eighth by the checkered flag.

The finish is the third top-10 GTD result for CORE this season.

Next up is the America’s Tire 250, September 22 – 24, at Monterey, California’s Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

 

“The first corner on the first lap was nuts. I’ve been doing this a while, but starts are a little bit of mystery sometimes. You have to have your eyes up. It worked out for us. There was a lot of chaos. I didn’t see all of it directly but I did see flashes of cars in places that they shouldn’t be. I was constantly looking for an exit or a plan b. For me, actually, I just did my job and was fortunate to sneak through there and gain a couple of positions.

 

“I enjoyed the first laps of the race. Ultimately, I struggled a little with pace today. Some of the positions I gained on the start evaporated over my stint. Our team did a fantastic job during both stops. We had a clean driver change and Colin, of course, did his magic in the car. When you add it all together, an eighth-place finish isn’t bad. I’m pretty happy with that. “
– JON BENNETT

 

 

“It was tough. A lot of guys were flying off the track and bringing a lot of debris onto it, which made it like a Russian roulette game through the corners. You’d never know when the debris was there and when it wasn’t.

 

“The traffic was tricky because our pace was almost the same as the GTLM class. It was tough because they had their own race to fight but we had just enough pace to interrupt their battles. We don’t want to be in the way and we want to let them through so we can get racing. But for whatever reasons, our paces were so similar here we just had to let them go, which meant we had to give up time that we could be racing, but that’s part of the excitement of our series.

 

“All in all, it was a good day for us. We got a top-10 finish. With no yellows to bunch it up, it makes it hard to catch up. The boys did a great job with pit stops. We had decent pace. We were kind of in our own little spot – there wasn’t much to gain and not a lot to be lost.”
– COLIN BRAUN

CORE Qualifying VIR

CORE Ready for GT Face Off at ‘Home’ Track

Just a three-hour drive from the team’s Rock Hill, South Carolina shop, CORE autosport is taking on the 3.27-mile, 17-turn VIRginia International Raceway in the latest round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

In the highly competitive GT Daytona class, Jon Bennett was given qualifying duties for the No. 54 Flex-Box / Composite Resources Porsche 911 GT3 R. Bennett was 13th quick early in the 15-minute session, but the competition stepped up the pace, knocking him back to 15th.

Bennett opted to pit with time left on the clock and save his tires for the race. He locked in 15th on the GTD grid with a fast lap of 1:46.106 (110.945mph).

Bennett will take the opening stint for tomorrow’s Michelin GT Challenge at VIR. He’ll hand the car over to Colin Braun to close out the two-hour and 40-minute race featuring only the GT Le Mans and GT Daytona cars. The event will be broadcast live on FS1, at 1:30pm ET.

 

 

“Our engineering team of Jeff Braun and Colin Mason along with my co-driver Colin Braun did a great job as always. Our Porsche GT3 R seems to be really well suited to this circuit. Colin had fast practice times, and relative to my peers, I’ve been quicker than I have been at other tracks.

 

“I did a fairly good qualifying lap, four laps into the session. I realized that I probably wouldn’t eclipse that, so we decided to stop a little early to save our equipment. I still have a little work to do to get up to the pace of the others in the class. In terms of personal effort, I did well and we’ll see how the race unfolds. That said, I really like the way things are unfolding so far this weekend.”
– JON BENNETT

 

CORE Takes Positive Momentum to VIR

ROCK HILL, S.C. (Aug. 23, 2017) – Coming off of its best GT Daytona finish thus far, CORE autosport hopes to carry that positive momentum to VIRginia International Raceway for the latest round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

 

The Michelin GT Challenge at VIR features just the GT Le Mans (GTLM) and GT Daytona (GTD) classes, with the Prototype (P) and Prototype Challenge (PC) cars getting the weekend off. This is the second such all-GT event, the first taking place last month at Lime Rock Park.

 

VIR has historically been a strong track for CORE, which has put a car on the podium every year since its first trip in 2012. In 2013, Braun and Patrick Long finished second in a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR in the American Le Mans Series GT class.

 

The two-hour and 40-minute race will air live on FS1, Sunday, August 27, at 1:30pm ET.

 

 

NOTEWORTHY

  • CORE has five podium finishes at VIR, including a PC win for Bennett and Braun in 2012.
  • In 2013, the team’s GT entry (Braun/Long) and PC entry (Bennett/Tom Kimber-Smith) both finished second in class at VIR.
  • CORE’s Rock Hill, South Carolina shop is only 175 miles away from VIR.

 

 

 

“It’ll be interesting, because I’ve watched the all-GT show at VIR from a distance in the past when we were in the Prototype Challenge car. I think the all-GT show at VIR will be similar to the all-GT show at Lime Rock Park. I think in particular at VIR, the circuit will really play to the strengths of the GT cars, which are, these days, at the speeds of prototypes a few years ago. The speeds will be high.

 

“I think because all the cars will be at a similar performance level, the race will be good without constant interruption of prototypes coming through at two times our speed. It’ll be good, focused racing and racing that will continue in a good flow from start to finish. I’m looking forward to it.

 

“I’ve seen these breathtaking photos of GT cars with two wheels in the air through the Esses at VIR. My recent GRC experience has me well prepared for that!”
– JON BENNETT

 

 

 

“I’ve missed VIR. It’s one of my favorite race tracks in North America. It has a great rhythm and flow to it. It’s a place Jon and I both love racing at. It’s got great staff and great facilities. When we switched from PC to GTD, VIR was probably at the top of my list, in terms of excitement for the switch; I realized ‘hey we get to go to VIR again!’

 

“The all-GT format thins out traffic a bit. Personally, I like when all the classes are together, but I understand there are other factors at play. It should be easier for us being in the slowest class; not having two prototype classes makes it a bit easier. We don’t have to watch our mirrors so much and can focus on our own battles. A big, flowing track like VIR with not too many cars should be a real joy to drive.”
– COLIN BRAUN

 

 

Michelin GT Challenge at VIR | August 25 – 27

————————————————————

VENUE

Track Length: 3.27-miles, 17 turns

Race Length: 2 hours, 40 minutes

 

SCHEDULE (All times Central)

Friday, August 25

11:20pm – 12:20pm: Practice #1 (All Classes)

4:10pm – 5:10pm: Practice #2 (All Classes)

 

Saturday, August 26

8:55am – 9:55am: Practice #3 (All Classes)

12:35pm – 12:50pm: Qualifying (GTD class)

2:00pm – 2:45pm: Pre-Race / Open Grid

3:05pm – 5:45pm: Northeast Grand Prix

 

Sunday, August 27

8:30am – 8:50am: Warm Up (All Classes)

10:45am – 11:30am: Driver Autograph Session

12:15pm – 1:15pm: Open Grid

1:35pm – 4:15pm: Continental Tire Road Race Showcase

 

TV SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

LIVE Qualifying:

Saturday, August 26

12:10pm – 1:00pm: IMSA.com

LIVE Race U.S.:

Sunday, August 27

1:30pm – 4:30pm: FS1

LIVE Race International:

1:25pm – 4:15pm: IMSA.com

 

LIVE In-Car Cameras & Commentary:

IMSA.com

CORE Full of Comebacks in GRC Atlantic City

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (Aug. 15, 2017) – Returning to Red Bull Global Rallycross action for the first time in nearly two months, CORE autosport rebounded on several occasions to earn solid finishes in the Atlantic City doubleheader.

 

This year’s GRC Atlantic City course was markedly different from last year. Not only was the layout new, but the dirt section was actually composed of sand on top of asphalt. This made things especially tricky on Saturday when heavy rains passed through the area and made the sandy area especially slick.

 

Driving the No. 54 Composite Resources/ORECA gear GRC Lites car, Jon Bennett nearly got his first heat win on Saturday and then proceeded to bypass the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) by finishing second in the semi-final.

 

A strong start had him into the top five, but he began to fall back after contact with other competitors damaged his car. He was able to finish, but back in ninth.

 

Teammate Colin Braun didn’t even get a chance at Saturday’s final in the No. 56 Composite Resources/ORECA gear GRC Lites machine. After a strong showing in the heat races, Braun lined up on pole for the semi-final, but the engine in his car expired at the start. The GRC schedule is so tight, that the team didn’t have nearly enough time to change the engine before the LCQ.

 

After an all-nighter changing out the No. 56 engine, CORE autosport bounced back on Sunday, with Braun winning his first heat race. He tangled with another competitor in his second heat race, which put him in a poor starting spot for the semi-final. Still, Braun stayed focused and was able to advance to the final without issue. There, he clawed his way from eighth on the grid to a fourth-place finish.

 

Bennett was unlucky in his heat races, which forced him into the LCQ, but he came back strong by winning it. He finished where he started in Sunday’s final: ninth.

 

You can watch Bennett’s and Braun’s GRC Lites races from Atlantic City on CBS Sports Network, Wednesday, August 23, at 5 p.m. ET.

 

CORE autosport is back with Global Rallycross, September 9 – 10, in Seattle, Washington.

 

 

“I was pleasantly surprised that the circuit that they laid out was in the same place but completely different. There were some new twists to the design. Sand over asphalt was substituted for natural dirt sections. The course raced really well and it was a good event in general.

 

“The genius in putting sand over asphalt was that even in poor weather conditions, in the rain, we didn’t get a lot of deep ruts and roughness that you’d see in a natural terrain dirt section. On the other side, where it did rain, the sand on asphalt section got very slippery and required a very delicate touch.

 

“I moved from 10th to fourth on the first lap of Saturday’s final, but then I tangled with a couple other cars and ultimately broke the car. This racing is very exciting with lots of contact, but the GRC Lites car is a bit fragile and it doesn’t take much to put it out of competition.

 

“I had another good start in Sunday’s final, but for me, some technique issues in the sand section were my Achilles heel. I never quite found a technique that was both consistent and fast. I was able to get through those sections pretty well, but struggled to match the speed of other drivers.

 

“It was a little surprising, because in previous events, the dirt section is where I gained a lot of spots. This form of racing is very intuitive. You need to have a good intuition to find speed and adjust for conditions. I’m getting better at, but you’ve got to keep up with the competition.”
– JON BENNETT

 

 

 

“They had a new dirt section concept with sand on top of asphalt. That made it quite slippery and challenging to figure out how to drive and make it work. Add in the rain that came in the afternoon and it made for quite an interesting time. You’re almost hydroplaning in sand over asphalt. That’s something I’ve never done before. It took some getting used to. We started to drag the sand onto the race track and the whole track got really slippery.

 

“I started on pole in the semi-final, but on the starting line the engine blew up. That was disappointing. I felt like we were doing well in those conditions and we had a good shot at a strong result. The speed of the schedule is such that when you have an engine blow up, it’s not possible to change it in time for the final.

 

“The CORE guys were heroes and stayed at the track until 1am changing the engine. It’s a pretty big deal changing the engine in those cars. I’m super proud of our crew who never hesitated and put the effort in to get it changed.

 

“We got through Sunday reasonably well. The start at Atlantic City is very challenging; it was a tight left-hand corner with not a lot of options, so everybody piled in and it was like roulette to see how you came out. I didn’t come out on the shiny side of that in the semi.

 

In the final, I got a good start, got up to fifth or sixth and then was in a big pack from third to seventh and ended up finishing fourth.”
– COLIN BRAUN

CORE Returns to GRC Action in Atlantic City

 ROCK HILL, S.C. (Aug. 10, 2017) – After a nearly two-month absence from the Red Bull Global Rallycross series, CORE autosport is back with Jon Bennett and Colin Braun for the latest doubleheader event in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

 

CORE’s last GRC event was June 17 -18 in Ottawa, Canada. Due to a conflict with its IMSA schedule, the team missed the July 9 event at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indiana. Missing an event has effectively taken Bennett and Braun out of GRC Lites title contention, but both drivers still have their eye on scoring their first GRC wins.

 

Atlantic City is the first return event of the 2017 GRC season, although the track differs greatly from last year. The races still takes place at Bader Field (a.k.a. Atlantic City Municipal Airport), but the layout has been shortened from 1.102 miles, to 0.902-mile. The Joker Lap has also been shortened and no longer bypasses the dirt section and the course will be run counterclockwise instead of clockwise as it was last year.

 

The event, minutes away from the Atlantic City Boardwalk, has also been expanded to a two-day event.

 

Coming off their best GT Daytona finish yet in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (seventh at Road America), Bennett and Braun are eager to jump back into their No. 54 and No. 56 GRC Lites entries and catch some air!

 

The GRC Lites final in Atlantic City will take place at 4:50pm ET on Saturday, August 12, and at 4:45pm on Sunday, August 13. Both finals will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network, Wednesday, August 23, at 5pm ET.

 

 

 

“I’m looking forward to our next GRC round. It’s massively different from our racing in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Colin and I always enjoy the GRC weekends. Colin has been really competitive, and I have had success as well. I hope we can take our momentum from our successful finish at Road America to Atlantic City.

 

“Atlantic City is an exciting town. For once, we’re heading back to a track that will look somewhat similar to a track from last year, which will be helpful. Being at an abandoned airstrip will give the cars some room to stretch their legs.”

– JON BENNETT

 

 

“I’m looking forward to hopping in a GRC car. It’s been a while. We missed the event at Indianapolis. I think it’s actually helpful for Jon and I to skip an event and come back at it fresh. It helps us to avoid going at it with the same approach. We’ll go in there and drive the best we can and figure it out as we go. The guys have had a good amount of time in the shop to get the cars shined up and ready to go. I’m excited to go to Atlanta City, I think we’ll have a good run there.”

– COLIN BRAUN

Porsche 911 RSR Second at Road America

 ELKHART LAKE, WISC. (Aug. 7, 2017) – The new Porsche 911 RSR continues on the road to success in the IMSA SportsCar Championship. A fortnight after its maiden victory at Lime Rock, the 510hp racer from Weissach clinched second in the GTLM class in a heart-stopping finale on the legendary Road America racetrack.

After the 2:40-hour race on the 4.048-mile circuit close to Elkhart Lake in the U.S. state of Wisconsin, Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) and Gianmaria Bruni (Italy) were a mere six-tenths of a second off claiming victory. The pair also scored second at Porsche’s double victory at Lime Rock recently.

Their team colleagues and the winners of the Lime Rock race, Patrick Pilet (France) and Dirk Werner (Germany), lost ground after a collision in the final phase and ultimately had to settle for eighth. The Porsche GT Team fields the 911 RSR which was developed from scratch specifically for this season on the basis of the high-performance 911 GT3 RS sports car.

At the wheel of the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR, Gianmaria Bruni initially managed to advance from fourth to third place. In his slipstream, Patrick Pilet even overtook two competitors in the No. 911 racer. The two held onto these positions until the first round of pit stops.

For Porsche, the race remained rather unspectacular – until the last hour. Laurens Vanthoor, Gianmaria Bruni’s teammate, made the most of a short pit stop to snatch the lead. However, when the race went green after a safety car phase, he veered too wide and had to let the Ford past. In a gripping finale, he pulled out all the stops and tried everything to reclaim the lead, but was ultimately pipped at the flag. For Dirk Werner, who took over from Patrick Pilet, the restart was even more dramatic: after falling victim to an accident involving a Corvette, he ended up in the gravel and was robbed of a good result.

Round nine of the IMSA SportsCar Championship will be contested on 27 August at the Virginia International Raceway in Danville in the U.S. state of Virginia.

Dr Michael Steiner, Board Member for Research and Development Porsche AG: “The Porsche GT Team missed out on clinching the second-straight win by a fraction of a second on this fantastic racetrack. But once again, everyone put in a strong team effort. The IMSA SportsCar Championship is a blue ribbon sports car series. Fans witness gripping and fiercely contested races, especially in the GT categories. I found it interesting to follow the tremendous teamwork from the pits during the qualifying session.”
Marco Ujhasi, Director GT Factory Motorsports: “We kept improving over the whole race weekend. During practice we saw that we couldn’t match the pace of the fastest over a lap. So we concentrated on preparing for the race. That paid off. In the race we were up with the play until the end and we were in a position to fight for victory. Unfortunately it wasn’t quite enough. Still, we’re very pleased with the progress we’ve made over the weekend. It’s a shame that our number 911 racer was virtually kicked out of contention in a collision in the first corner after the restart. This cost us a lot of championship points. This car, too, was totally competitive today. We’ll be taking a lot of positive insights with us to the next round in Virginia. Until then, we’ll focus on the things that still need working on.”
Laurens Vanthoor (911 RSR #912): “What a rollercoaster race. We came into the pits earlier than scheduled prior to a caution phase, because we suspected we had a tire problem, and that cost us the lead. We definitely had some luck on our side because there was nothing wrong with the tires. After the restart, I wanted to overtake a slower GTD vehicle but he blocked me and that led to a mistake. It’s annoying to lose the lead and possibly even victory because of this, but such things happen. Nevertheless, finishing second on this tricky circuit is a good result.”
Gianmaria Bruni (911 RSR #912): “That was a really tough race. I got away well at the start, but the Ford managed to overtake me in corner three. The team had worked out a great strategy, which Laurens implemented almost perfectly after the pit stop. Right up until shortly before the finish I thought we might win. But second place is a great result and a good motivation for the remaining races of the season.”
Patrick Pilet (911 RSR #911): “Our 911 RSR ran brilliantly again today, and the team provided great support. Unfortunately it just wasn’t our race. It’s a pity, because we were actually good enough to win at Road America, too, but we just couldn’t do it. Now we’ll try again in Virginia.”
Dirk Werner (911 RSR #911): “In the closing phase of the race we still had every chance open to us. After the final round of pit stops I was running in fifth and I wanted to overtake the Corvette in front of me after the safety car phase. But, while braking, he pulled to the left in the last moment and forced me into the gravel trap. He was given a penalty, but that didn’t do us any good. I’m pleased for our team colleagues in the No. 912 car and I hope that we can make more out of our good possibilities in Virginia.”