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Two Titles in the North American Endurance Cup for New 911 RSR

BRASELTON, Ga. (Oct. 8, 2017) – At legendary Road Atlanta, the maiden race season for the Porsche 911 RSR in the USA and Canada drew to a close with a significant success: Patrick Pilet and Dirk Werner secured the GTLM-class title in the prestigious Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup.

 

The long-distance classics of Daytona, Sebring and Watkins Glen as well as Saturday’s Petit Le Mans in the US state of Georgia count towards the world’s toughest performance and reliability competition in GT racing. With the 911 RSR, developed from scratch by Porsche Motorsport in Weissach for the 2017 season, the Porsche GT Team also won the team classification. Finishing second in the manufacturers’ classification, just one point off taking home the title, Porsche beat strong competition from Chevrolet, BMW and Ferrari. At the four long-distance races of the North American Endurance Cup, teams and drivers had to underline their consistency and reliability over a total of 52 hours.

 

Petit Le Mans on the 2.54-mile Road Atlanta circuit also marked the last round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, North America’s premier sports car race series. In the hotly contested ten-hour race, Patrick Pilet (France) and Dirk Werner (Germany) joined forces with a third driver, overall Le Mans winner Nick Tandy (Great Britain), to bring home sixth place in the GTLM class after 392 laps. This result was enough for the drivers and the Porsche GT Team, who travelled to the race leading the points table, to win the North American Endurance Cup. After spending long stretches on course for a podium spot, their teammates Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) and Gianmaria Bruni (Italy) were ultimately flagged off as fifth in the sister 911 RSR. The third driver in this car was Earl Bamber (New Zealand), another outright Le Mans winner from Porsche’s factory squad.

 

During its maiden race season in the USA and Canada, the new Porsche 911 RSR had already notched up numerous successes. Its first victory came on 22 July at Lime Rock, with four podium placings at Daytona, Long Beach, Elkhart Lake and Laguna Seca as well as pole position at Mosport.

 

Dr Frank-Steffen Walliser, Vice President Motorsport and GT Cars: “We’ve clinched the first title for the new 911 RSR at this race. By winning the North American Endurance Cup for drivers and teams, we’ve shown that we were always at the front at the right time for the major endurance races and, hence, have underlined the reliability of our car over the season. For a maiden season with a completely new car, this was a good performance.”

 

Patrick Pilet (911 RSR #911): “Winning the North American Endurance Cup is a great team effort. I’m thrilled to take this trophy home to Weissach as a thank you to everyone who has worked on the new 911 RSR and has supported us this season so brilliantly. This race was very tough for us. We had to fight hard to defend ourselves against the strong opposition. I’m pleased we managed it.”

 

Dirk Werner (911 RSR #911): “Our main goal at this race was to win the North American Endurance Cup. We did that and I’m delighted for everyone in our team. It was a difficult season, and this final race, with its many incidents and safety car phases, was anything but easy. That makes this success all the more thrilling.”

 

Nick Tandy (911 RSR #911): “It was wonderful for me to be a part of this team again on this legendary circuit and to support Patrick and Dirk in their bid to win the North American Endurance Cup. The fact that it’s also the first title for the new 911 RSR makes it even more valuable.”

 

Laurens Vanthoor (911 RSR #912): “We didn’t have the pace today to seriously fight for victory. We tried everything, we had a great strategy, but it wasn’t enough. I’m pleased that our teammates have won the North American Endurance Cup. That’s a terrific achievement. Now we’re looking ahead to 2018 and we’re all determined to come back even stronger.”

 

Gianmaria Bruni (911 RSR #912): “What a tough fight. We lost time with the pit stop incident, when our 911 RSR caught fire briefly. However, thanks to a perfect pit stop strategy, we were able to make up that lost lap. The many spirited duels were huge fun.”

 

Earl Bamber (911 RSR #912): “It was great to drive the new 911 RSR at Road Atlanta. Our long runs were good, we only had problems at the restarts. Still, we fought to the flag. It’s a shame that we weren’t able to reward ourselves with a podium result.”

 

CORE Concludes IMSA Season with Top Five Finish

CORE autosport completed its 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar season with a hard-fought fifth-place finish at Petit Le Mans. Drivers Jon Bennett, Colin Braun, and Nic Jönsson survived a high-attrition race and successfully rolled the dice on fuel in the team’s final appearance in the GT Daytona category.

Starting from 17th on the grid, Bennett advanced as high as 11th in his opening stint that started in the wet and ended dry. Through both of his stints Bennett had strong restarts and kept the car out of trouble.

Smart strategy from the timing stand kept Jönsson and Braun on the lead lap through their middle stints. The team eventually ran into trouble when Jönsson was hit from behind by a Prototype. Thankfully there was no serious damage and the team continued to press ahead and break into the top 10.

The team cracked the top five shortly after the sun went down at Road Atlanta. Braun was tasked with closing out the race and held onto fifth while saving fuel and maintaining a gap to sixth-place. A late yellow helped Braun save just enough to make it to the checkered flag without issue.

CORE ends its 2017 season with five, top-10 finishes in GTD, including a season-best of fourth at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The team now looks ahead to 2018 and its debut in the Prototype class with an ORECA 07 LMP2.

“I’m super proud of the team. We had a strong car all week. Our team executed flawlessly. We had amazing stops. Colin and Nic did a tremendous job inside the car. Pretty much, it was a mistake-free 10 hours, which is pretty unheard of in sports car racing. I’m proud to have a top-five finish to go along with our fourth-place finish at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca a few weekends ago. I’m so proud of our team.

 

“It’s always a learning process to go from one platform to another. There’s a lot of potential to unlock, but you have to understand the car and learn what it likes and doesn’t like. I’m pretty proud of how our organization continued to polish and optimize our performance in the Porsche. All of the hard work began to show at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and then here. I’m really happy to finish with our Porsche GT3 R really strong here at Petit Le Mans.”
– JON BENNETT

 

“It was a great race for us – we finished in the top five. From start to finish, we just had a good solid race. Nic and Jon did a really great job in the car, and we had a really great strategy. The guys did a nice job on pit road. It all played out for us. There wasn’t anything majorly lucky but then again there wasn’t anything unlucky. We were able to come away with a really great finish. My time in the car was good. We had great pace and were able to pass the fourth-place guy but we were stuck a lap down, unfortunately. I felt like we had pace to be right there in second or third place. I felt like we had a really good car and had a great event. I’m proud of the progression all year.

 

“The yellow flags were tough. It was easy to get off sequence and find yourself caught under green and having to pit while another guy catches a yellow and doesn’t. You loose a lap quickly that way. That’s inevitably how we ended up a lap down. It’s pretty much a roll of dice. But then again, at the end, we got a yellow that we needed to make it on fuel, so it all worked out.

 

“The best part about the race was the last restart. I was able to pass Jeroen Bleekemolen on the restart and pull out a nice gap on Townsend Bell who was racing us for fifth place. I love doing the restarts. They’re a lot of fun, especially at night with all of the lights flashing and stuff going everywhere.”
– COLIN BRAUN

 

“It’s great to be back with the team again. I joined them for all of the endurance races this year. It’s been a great run with a top team like this. I haven’t been in the car since the race at Watkins Glen, but I was able to log some consistent laps in night practice and fully settle into the car. We had a good run where we gained a lap back and got up to second, but then I got punted off in Turn 7 by a Prototype, which was completely unnecessary. I gave plenty of room for him to go by at the exit, but he must have not seen me. All in all, I feel pretty good about the run. We finished in the top five and the team finished in fourth place at the prior race. It shows that the program really came to gather and had the car working for them. I’m pleased to be a part of this group.”
– NIC JÖNSSON

Petit Le Mans Qualifying

CORE on Eve of Final IMSA Race of 2017

CORE autosport will make its final IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship start of 2017 tomorrow, October 7, at the Motul Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. The No. 54 Flex-Box / Composite Resources Porsche 911 GT3 R qualified 17th on the GT Daytona grid for Saturday’s 10-hour race.

 

Petit Le Mans represents not only the final race of the 2017 IMSA season for CORE, but also the team’s final race with the Porsche 911 GT3 R. CORE announced last month that it will switch to the Prototype class in 2018 with an ORECA.

 

Jon Bennett qualified the Porsche 17th on the grid with a lap of 1:23.379. He will take the green flag in tomorrow’s race and share the car with Colin Braun and Nic Jönsson.

 

Live TV coverage of the Motul Petit Le Mans begins at 10:30am ET on FS1 with continuing coverage on FS2 at 11:30am and 5:30pm.

 

“The car has been getting better and better all week. At some level, I’m quite happy with the qualifying results. Personally, I need a little more pace. The car is engineered well, and it’s handling well. Colin and Nic both have excellent pace.

 

“Tomorrow is a long race and I think we’re poised for success. The key will be to stay somewhat invisible and out of trouble until the sun goes down. Then it becomes a 90-minute sprint race until the end. We’ll have Colin and Nic in the car at that time, and we’ll have an excellent chance at our best result of the year.”

– JON BENNETT

IMSA Season Comes to a Close at Petit Le Mans

ROCK HILL, S.C. (Oct. 3, 2017) – It’s time for the season finale of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship this weekend at Road Atlanta.

 

CORE autosport will close out its 2017 season with the 10-hour Motul Petit Le Mans endurance race. Nic Jönsson will once again join Jon Bennett and Colin Braun for driving duties in the No. 54 Flex-Box / Composite Resources Porsche 911 GT3 R.

 

The team comes into the season finale off of its season-best finish of fourth at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. There, CORE led the most GT Daytona laps before having to pit for a splash of fuel.

 

The Motul Petit Le Mans is also the final race in the Patron North American Endurance Cup, which is composed of the IMSA season races that are six hours or more in length.

 

 

Noteworthy

  • CORE won Petit Le Mans in the PC class with Alex Popow, Ryan Dalziel and Mark Wilkins in 2012.
  • CORE has earned four podium finishes in total at Petit Le Mans, all of them in the PC class.
  • This will be CORE’s last race in GTD. The team recently announced its move to the Prototype class for 2018.

 

 

 

“We were all pleased to see the CORE and Porsche colors leading the GTD field for much of the race at Laguna. We all have been pushing through our personal limits to improve our competitiveness in GTD. It was great to see the effort generate results.

 

“I believe we all embrace the basic physics of long races. While it is important to be fast and aggressive at all times, there is a bigger picture in play that involves smart choices, self-control, and a bit of luck. Our ultimate goal is to keep the car off the TV broadcast until the end!

 

“The hardest part of PLM, like the Rolex 24 and Sebring, is understanding the bigger strategy of peaking in the final minutes of the race. You need to resist the urge to attack too soon and be fast and aggressive while keeping the big picture in mind.

 

“I think a fair goal is to always improve upon your last result. If we accomplish this goal at Petit Le Mans, we should all be soaked with champagne late Saturday night.”
– JON BENNETT

 

 

 

“I feel like the momentum we bring from Laguna is a good thing. We don’t really change our approach or how hard we work based on prior results, but a good race is always boosts everyone’s spirits. The guys have been working extremely hard and I feel like it’s going to be a helpful thing going into the last race of the season for sure.

 

“The longer races are an opportunity to execute good strategy and pit stops and smart racing. Those are things that, as a team, we’re good at. Also, in terms of a driver package, I feel like that’s an area where we excel. Jon’s done a great job in the long races and over the past couple years, we’ve had some great guys joining us and it will be no different with Nic at Petit.

 

“The hardest part of Petit is the intensity of the race. It’s a relatively short lap. It’s easy to get behind. It’s not a super long race where you have a ton of time to make it up. It’s a really interesting mix of length of the track, distance of the race and the cadence of the race. It’s unlike Sebring and Daytona. Even though it’s only a few hours shorter than Sebring, it has a totally different flow to the race.

 

“Closing out the season with a win would be great. It’s been an up and down year, not by any fault of our own. I’m hopeful we can have a trouble-free event and show what we’re capable of doing. I know if we can do that, we’ll be right in the mix to contend at the end of the race.”
– COLIN BRAUN

 

 

“Compared to Daytona and Sebring it’s a shorter lap. I think the track is more physical; you don’t have a lot of time to rest. The track is a little more narrow, so you have to have a lot of patience. The darkness lasts an hour to an hour and a half and usually it brings quite a bit of excitement, because it can be hard to see where exactly the other cars are.

 

“CORE had been very successful in the PC class for a number of years and they changed to a completely different formula. That takes some time to adapt, not just for the drivers, but also for the crew. CORE is a very professional team and we had really good pace right away at Daytona and Sebring, unfortunately we didn’t have luck on our side. The crew has become more accustomed to the car and they do phenomenal pit stops.

 

“CORE has done a great job adapting to GTD this year and I think they showed that with a strong result at Laguna a couple weeks ago. Hopefully the momentum from Laguna will carry to Petit and help us finish the season with a podium.”
– NIC JÖNSSON

 

 

Motul Petit Le Mans | October 5 – 7

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VENUE

Track Length: 2.54-miles, 12 turns

Race Length: 10 hours

 

SCHEDULE (All times Pacific)

Thursday, October 5

11:10am – 12:10pm: Practice #1 (All Classes)

3:15pm – 4:15pm: Practice #2 (All Classes)

7:30pm – 9:00pm: Practice #3 (All Classes)

 

Friday, October 6

11:40am – 12:40pm: Practice 4 (All Classes)

2:30pm – 3:15pm: Driver Autograph Session

4:20pm – 4:35pm: Qualifying (GTD class)

 

Saturday, October 7

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

9:45am – 10:45am: Open Grid

11:05am – 9:05pm: Motul Petit Le Mans

 

TV SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

LIVE Qualifying:

Friday, October 6

4:10pm – 5:50pm: IMSA.com

LIVE Race U.S.:

Saturday, October 7

10:30am – 11:30am: FS1

11:30am – 2:30pm: FS2

5:00pm – 9:30pm: FS2

LIVE Race International:

10:55am – 9:05pm: IMSA.com

 

LIVE In-Car Cameras & Commentary:

IMSA.com

Porsche GT Team Scores Fifth Podium in the USA

MONTEREY, Calif. (Sept. 25, 2017) – At the Laguna Seca Raceway in the dunes of Monterey, California, the new Porsche 911 RSR clinched its fifth podium result in the IMSA SportsCar Championship.

 

At the wheel of the newly developed race car from Weissach, Patrick Pilet (France) and Dirk Werner (Germany) secured third in the GTLM class on Sunday on the 2.238-mile racetrack in California. After a gripping finale, they crossed the finish line only five seconds behind the winners. Their teammates Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) and Gianmaria Bruni (Italy) in the sister 911 RSR took the flag in seventh place.

 

Laurens Vanthoor got the best start of the entire field. In the first lap, he promptly overtook three rivals in his No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR to settle into fifth place behind Patrick Pilet, who had managed to gain two places. The Frenchman then launched a spectacular pursuit for the top spot, first overtaking a BMW, then a Ford. After a good half hour he was running in second place.

 

Laurens Vanthoor was poised to follow his lead, but a prototype’s careless maneuver not only blocked him from overtaking, but also threw him back three positions. With his teammate Gianmaria Bruni having to serve a drive-through penalty in the pits due to a non-compliant pit stop, the fight for top results continued without them.

 

In the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR, however, Dirk Werner was on course for a podium spot. A fuel-saving strategy worked out for him after he took over the cockpit from Patrick Pilet and eventually began to pay off. For long stretches he was running in third, and he even managed to advance to second place. At times he was less than a second off the leader, and in a thrilling final phase defended his position with a spirited duel against his strongest pursuers. However, shortly before the flag he had to let a Ferrari overtake him. Nevertheless, it was enough for the winner of the Lime Rock race and runner-up at the Daytona to bring home another podium result at the penultimate race of the season.

 

Marco Ujhasi, Director GT Factory Motorsports: “This podium at an exciting and highly competitive race is thanks to a good strategy and a 911 RSR that proved consistently fast on this demanding racetrack. The fact that we focused on preparing for the race during our days here rather than on fast lap times in qualifying proved to be the right decision. With this result under our belt we can now head to Atlanta. There, we’ll do everything at the season finale to finish two positions further up the field – and win the coveted North American Endurance Cup for Porsche.”

 

Patrick Pilet (911 RSR #911): “That was really close. In the end it was a pure game of chance with the fuel. We assumed that the leading BMW would have to pit, but he kept going. Dirk saved as much fuel as he could, but he couldn’t keep up with the Ferrari, which was following a different strategy. We did the best we could with what we had today, and, as always, we’ve enjoyed wonderful support from our team.”

 

Dirk Werner (911 RSR #911): “It’s great to head home from Laguna Seca with a podium result. The entire team threw themselves completely into this race and improved the car even more. It was a fiercely competitive race, and fans really got their money’s worth. In the closing phase we all tried to conserve fuel and turn our laps without having to make a pit stop. My fuel light came on shortly before the flag, so that strategy worked perfectly. I think this is a great achievement for the team.”

 

Laurens Vanthoor (911 RSR #912): “We had a great car for the weekend and a great tire strategy. Unfortunately we couldn’t turn it into a better result. We had a chance for the podium spot, but we made mistakes. We’ll now look closely at what happened and we’ll be back in the fight at the season finale at Road Atlanta.”

 

Gianmaria Bruni (911 RSR #912): “We had pretty much everything going against us in this race. Our 911 RSR had the speed to run at the front, but bad luck struck and we made mistakes. Now we need to concentrate totally on Petit Le Mans and on winning the North American Endurance Cup for Porsche.”

 

CORE Narrowly Misses Podium in Monterey

CORE autosport led more laps than any other GT Daytona car at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, but a late pit stop for a splash of fuel resulted in a fourth-place finish in the America’s Tire 250. It is the highest WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTD finish to-date for the team.

Starting from 14th on the grid, Jon Bennett left the pair of Mercedes-AMG GT3s behind him in the dust and set off to catch the 13th-place car. He nearly had it, when several early pit stops from other cars promoted him to 11th. That’s where he handed the car to teammate Colin Braun, 45 minutes into the two-hour and 40-minute race.

Thirty minutes later, the race’s first and only full-course caution was issued. Just before the flags came out, Braun dove into pit lane for a full-service stop. It was a keen strategy move, as it allowed the No. 54 Flex-Box / Composite Resources Porsche 911 GT3 R to advance up to third, while the rest of the GTD field pitted.

When the race restarted, Braun only needed a handful of laps to take over the class lead. From there it was a race of fuel consumption. With no further full-course cautions in the remaining 65 minutes, CORE was unable to make it the distance without a splash for fuel.

Braun hit pit lane with three minutes to go. The quick work of the CORE pit crew had Braun back out in fourth-place for the finish. It is the highest GTD finish for CORE in its debut season in the class.

The IMSA season will come to a close in two-week’s time at Road Atlanta with the 10-hour Petit Le Mans, October 5 – 7.

 

 

“There are lot a positives from today. It’s very exciting to see the whole team optimized. I have to say the weak link for a lot of the season has been me, but today I was really happy with my first stint. The team backed it up with a stellar day. It was fun to watch the No. 54 back on top of the charts for most of the afternoon. Had we been a tad bit luckier, it may have turned into the ideal scenario. We are progressing race after race, and I’m so proud of the engineering, strategy and pit stops. Everything all around was totally optimized. It’s a wonderful thing to see.

– JON BENNETT

 

“We had a great strategy and Jon did a great job driving in the first stint. His driving was awesome. We had good stops. We made a good call to dive in to the pits when we saw that car spin. We knew we would be a little bit short on fuel. But, we knew it could work if we got a yellow or if things fell a way that we could be in the mix. I tried to save fuel as I much as I could while holding the lead.

 

“We were really hoping for a yellow near the end, but all-in-all, to come back and finish in fourth is a big improvement. Jon’s pace all weekend was great and that’s a huge contribution to finishing where we did. The guys did a great job on the pit stops.”

– COLIN BRAUN

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

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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.”