The defending Prototype Challenge Champion’s Daytona race may have come to a firey end, but still, the team’s impeccable performance enabled them to hold onto second place. Now, CORE autosport is ready to shake off what might have been at Daytona and focus on winning its second-straight victory at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring fueled by Fresh from Florida.
CORE maintains the same driver lineup as last year’s Sebring race, which it won by 2.428 seconds. It was the first Sebring win for drivers Jon Bennett, Colin Braun and James Gué, but the second Sebring victory for the team (the first in 2012).
The team’s nearly dominant performance at Daytona enabled it to take the lead in the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup. It will now aim to extend that lead in the legendary 12 Hours of Sebring, the second race on the TPNAEC schedule and Round Two of the TUDOR United Sports Car Championship.
- CORE autosport is second in the TUDOR PC Championship as are drivers Jon Bennett, Colin Braun and James Gué in the PC Drivers’ Championship.
- CORE leads the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup in the PC class by four points.
- Jon Bennett has made four starts at Sebring, finishing on the podium in 2011, 2012 and 2014.
- Braun has made five starts at Sebring, finishing on the podium in 2012 and 2014. He was the PC polesitter in 2013.
- James Gue has made four starts at Sebring and finished on the podium in 2004 (LMP2) and 2014.
- Braun will take part in Patrick Long’s charity go-kart event on Sunday.
“Our team did not need to regroup after the unexpected end to our 2015 Rolex 24. We were all disappointed with the final minutes of the competition. In the final analysis, it is hard to improve upon leading the race for the majority of the first 23 and a half hours. There is no reason to regroup. We continue to polish our process.
“Preparing for the 12-hour race at Sebring looks and feels quite similar to preparing for a 24-hour race. We use less fuel and tires. We will require a team of three drivers rather than four. Those are really the only distinctions between the 12-hour race at Sebring and a 24-hour event. In fact, to protect our race car, we will start the Sebring race with more new parts and vibration damping techniques than any race on our calendar.
“Personally, my favorite portion of the track is the first 20 seconds of the lap. Running at high speed in sixth gear down the bumpy front straight you give a tip of the hat to your crew and prepare for the super high speed, blind entry Turn One. The exit of this turn is breathtaking and leads into a technical, combination of quick turns leading onto the run down to the hotel. Once you exit this group of turns, you know you’re in Sebring.
“Sebring has a rich tradition in endurance sport car events. Sebring has always been part of the LeMans endurance racing mystique. It’s a tough race on teams, drivers and equipment. In many ways, it could be a more difficult race than Le Mans. I look forward to the day when the international sanctioning bodies will come together and bring all endurance competitors together for this grueling endurance race. That will be a good day for motorsports.”
– Jon Bennett
“There was a ton of work to get done after Daytona and in preparation for Sebring. As always, the guys at the CORE shop have been working extremely hard and I think it really speaks to the processes and everything in place at CORE that they were able to get things fixed back up in no time. It was a big accident, but those guys had all the parts and pieces in place and were able to get it turned around into a working racecar again in no time. It gives you a lot of confidence, as a driver, when you’ve got the guys and the facility to make that happen.
“I think a lot of people have very high expectations of what we’re capable of this year. I think it’s one of those deals where, you can be at the top of your game and be doing everything right and putting yourself in positions to win races, but there are things that are completely out of your control, like at Daytona. I think there’s always a chance of things happening that stop you from meeting those high expectations. It might be disappointing, but we definitely dominated that race (Daytona) and were in a position to win. I’ve always had the thought that if you’re in a position to win races at the end, you do that enough times and you’ll end up winning. I think it’s unrealistic in this sport to think you can win every single race. We just do our part to be prepared and put ourselves in a position to win races.
“I think the hardest thing about Sebring is how physical it is: on both the driver and the car. It’s such a rough race track that it wears everything out. It’s a good test of driver fitness and machine strength because it’s a long track and bumpy. That’s also what makes it enjoyable. For me, I think Sebring would lose a lot of its mystique and a lot of the history and heritage that it has if it were repaved. I think it’s cool that we go to an old school race track like this that’s rough and bumpy. It’s challenging. Too me it’s special because it’s an old school, tough to drive, bounces you around kind of race track. That’s what makes it special to me and I’d like to see it stay the way it is.”
– Colin Braun
“For me Sebring ranks right up there as one of the most recognized endurance races in the world. Whenever I think of endurance sportscar racing Daytona and Sebring always come to mind. It’s a very unique track that really puts a huge stress on both driver and car. That is why you find so many teams want to use it for testing; it’s a great place to test strength and durability.
“I don’t have any one part of the track that I could name my favorite. I just enjoy the challenge of the entire place. It’s such a unique surface and it has so much character; it’s really a fun place to race.
“I really don’t have too different of an approach to a 12-hour race versus a 24-hour race. With the level of competition and technology these days, I feel both are almost run as sprint races. Also, the cars are so strong currently that you can get away with running 100 percent from start to finish.
“Everyone knows it can get a bit crazy in the infield. In the drivers’ seat, you usually can’t see it, but around lunch and dinner time you can always smell what’s cooking on all the grills!”
– James Gue
12 Hours of Sebring | March 19 – 21
Track Length: 3.74 miles, 17 turns
Race Length: 12 Hours
SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)
Thursday, March 19
10:15am – 11:15am: Practice #1 (All Classes)
2:25pm – 3:25pm: Practice #2 (All Classes)
7:15pm – 8:45pm: Practice #3 (All Classes)
Friday, March 20
9:50am – 10:50am: Practice #4 (All Classes)
11:30am – 12:15pm: Driver Autograph Session (Team Transporters)
5:10pm – 5:25pm: Qualifying (PC Class)
Saturday, March 21 8:00am – 8:20am: Warm Up
9:05am – 10:30am: Pre-Race / Open Grid
10:40am – 10:40pm: Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring fueled by Fresh from Florida
TV SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)
LIVE Qualifying (Worldwide)
Friday, March 20
4:15pm – 5:55pm: IMSA.com
LIVE Race U.S.:
Saturday, March 21
10:30am – 12:30pm: FOX Sports 1
12:30pm – 7:00pm: FOX Sports 2
7:00pm – 10:00pm: IMSA.com
10:00pm – 11:00pm: FOX Sports 2
LIVE Race (Canada, Europe, Asia and Africa)
10:30am – 11:00pm: IMSA.com
Race Recap U.S.:
Sunday, March 22
8:00am – 10:00am: FOX Sports 1
LIVE In-Car Cameras & Commentary: