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CORE Displays Quick Pace at Daytona Test

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 7, 2018) – CORE autosport rolled out its new No. 54 ORECA 07 LMP2 for the Roar Before the 24 test at Daytona International Speedway and showed strong pace amongst its Prototype-class rivals. The team turned the second-quickest lap time of the ORECA entries over the three days of testing to prepare for the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

 

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship teams took part in nearly nine hours of testing over three days. Temperatures throughout the test were unseasonably cold, with highs barely in the 50’s and lows below freezing.

 

Full-season drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun had their first opportunity to team up with co-drivers Romain Dumas and Loïc Duval. The pair of Frenchmen will join CORE for the 24-hour WeatherTech season opener and Dumas will return to assist Bennett and Braun at the 12 Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans.

 

The No. 54 drivers were frequently at the sharp end of the timing sheets throughout the Roar Before the 24 event. Braun turned the quickest lap of the weekend for the team, a 1:37.303 (131.706 mph) on Friday afternoon. The time was the second-fastest set by an ORECA overall.

 

The team returns to Daytona International Speedway, January 25 – 28, for the Rolex 24 at Daytona. The race will air live on the FOX family of networks and IMSA.tv for international audiences.

 

“The new race car is fantastic! We had a good test and it’s been great to meet our new teammates Romain and Loïc. I’d say it was a very productive weekend overall. We learned a lot and I think we’re poised to have a strong Rolex 24.

“The ORECA 07 LMP2 is quite different from our previous two race cars, but I think we all sort of adapt to our surroundings. Colin and I both have a lot of Prototype experience and I think that’s made this transition easier.”
– JON BENNETT

 

 

“I’m really enjoying our new car. ORECA’s done a great job and the CORE guys have been fantastic getting it ready for us. We did a lot of work on our driver changes this weekend and I’m very happy with how we’ve sorted those out with Romain and Loïc.

 

“The competition in the Prototype class reminds me of the days of 2006 and 2007 when Daytona Prototypes were very popular and you had a lot of deep fields and stacked driver lineups. It also reminds me of my NASCAR days when you were racing a stout 36-car field every weekend. I like it. The more, the better and the more enjoyable it is, because know you’re competing against the best.”
– COLIN BRAUN

 

 

 

“The test went very well. I was quite surprised by the team and how professional they are. In terms of performance, we did our job. We tested a lot of different setups. We did okay, but we’ll have to wait and see when the other manufacturers start to race. We have to stay focused on our job, because we’ll try to get the best performance out of our ORECA and it will be complicated against the DPi cars, but we’ll do our best.”
– ROMAIN DUMAS

 

 

“It’s always difficult here, in terms of time, because you have to share the car with three other drivers and on top of that I’ve been sick, so I stayed out of the car on Saturday.

 

“Overall, I think we are one of the best ORECA entries, which is what we have to target. That’s our reference point. We are pretty happy with the car behavior. We still have to make some adjustments because it’s quite a big difference from the day when it’s warm to the night when it is cold; you have to find a balance.”
– LOÏC DUVAL

CORE Adds Endurance Champions Dumas and Duval to Daytona Lineup

ROCK HILL, S.C. (Nov. 30, 2017) – For its Prototype class debut, CORE autosport has recruited Romain Dumas and Loïc Duval to its driver lineup for the Rolex 24 at Daytona. The two Frenchmen will join Jon Bennett and Colin Braun for the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season opener.

 

Dumas and Duval are both former FIA World Endurance Champions and overall winners at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

 

A Porsche Factory Driver, Dumas won the 2016 FIA WEC Championship in a Porsche 919 Hybrid with teammates Neel Jani and Marc Lieb. He’s won the 24 Hours of Le Mans three times; in 2010 driving an Audi R15, in 2013 at the wheel of a Porsche 911 RSR and in 2016 with the Porsche 919 Hybrid. Dumas has also collected wins at the 24 Hours of Spa and the 24 Hours of Nüburgring.

 

Duval is an Audi Factory Driver, the 2013 FIA WEC Champion and 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans winner, both titles with Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish in an Audi R18.

 

Not only do Dumas and Duval bring exceptional endurance racing experience to CORE, but both drivers have prior experience in the ORECA 07 Gibson, taking part in various rounds of the 2017 FIA WEC.

 

Duval made his debut at Daytona in 2017 (driving an ORECA 07 Gibson), while Dumas has made five appearances and finished as high as third in class (2002 and 2008). Neither has tasted victory at Daytona, which is something CORE can boast, having climbed the top step in its first attempt in 2014.

 

CORE is confident this powerhouse driver lineup paired with its IMSA experience will help it achieve success again at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, January 27 – 28.

 

 

“I am excited to share our new ORECA 07 with an amazing group of all-star teammates. Both Romain Dumas and Loïc Duval are simply two of the most talented race drivers in the world. Both Romain and Loïc have unmatched experience in 24 hour endurance competitions. In the trophy case, both Romain and Loïc have proof of the day they stood upon the podium as overall champion at Le Mans. I know Colin [Braun] and I share our new teammates’ passion for adding the Rolex 24 overall win to our collection of victories.

 

“Our team principle, Morgan Brady, was instrumental in searching the world for the best endurance drivers. We have developed many great relationships since CORE’s beginnings in 2010. These relationships and Morgan’s talent for understanding personalities and strong team chemistry brought us to this incredible opportunity for us all.”
– JON BENNETT

 

 

“I’m really happy to go back to Daytona. For a long a time I’ve been looking to come back, but Dakar is always at the same time. This year, as soon as I get the opportunity with CORE, I decided not to do Dakar.

 

“Loïc and I were teammates at Audi in 2012 and as soon as I heard it was a possibility for him to be part of the team, I was very enthusiastic. We live very close to each other—eight miles away—so we have a good relationship. It was clear when I spoke with him that we are there to achieve the best result and we are old enough to understand that we are here for the team and that’s very important for Daytona.

 

“I drove this car [ORECA 07 Gibson], this year at Le Mans with Alpine and at Spa. I know it’s a very cool car. I think its pace will be pretty good. I know we have a lot of competition ahead of us. First, we have to do our own race, without looking at everyone else, then the race will come to us if we are doing a good job.”
– ROMAIN DUMAS

 

 

 

Loïc Duval

“Going to Daytona for a racing driver means a lot. It was good to be there. The most impressive thing for me was the banking. When you’re in those corners and you’ve never done an oval or anything like that, it’s impressive to see the angle you can take.

 

“The main thing I know about CORE is they are the GT factory team for Porsche and to be honest that is about it. I spoke a little but with Romain and he explained to me about how professional the team is. It wasn’t a surprise though, because when you are a factory team for Porsche it means a lot already. I knew that the team was first class.

 

“I’ve been doing some testing back in Europe and I was racing in Bahrain in WEC in the ORECA. It’s definitely good training for me because I will not race any car from now to Daytona, so I’m quite sharp in the LMP2 ORECA, which for me also makes a lot of sense to be fully fit for Daytona.”
– LOÏC DUVAL

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

————————————————————

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.