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
“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