LAKEVILLE, Conn. (July 24, 2015) – CORE autosport will start fourth in the Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park on Saturday after a tricky qualifying session that was interrupted by a red flag and the start of a rain shower.
Jon Bennett once again took on qualifying duties for the No. 54 Composite Resources/Flex Box ORECA FLM09 in the latest round of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. After slotting into fourth place in the opening laps of the 15-minute session, Bennett began to chip away at his time; edging closer and closer to taking over third place, but a red flag for a car off track in Turn Five halted his momentum.
Rain clouds moved into the area while the Prototype Challenge class sat in pit lane for nearly 10 minutes. When qualifying resumed for a three-minute showdown, rain drops started to fall.
In light of the changing track conditions and limited time remaining in the session, Bennett did not advance any higher than fourth before the checkered flag. He will start the car for tomorrow’s two-hour and 40-minute race before handing off the controls to co-driver Colin Braun.
The Northeast Grand Prix will go green at 3:15pm ET tomorrow, July 25. The race will be carried live on IMSA.com and the IMSA App. It will air on FOX Sports 1, Sunday, July 26 at 5pm ET.
“I think qualifying is so short that any interruption, especially a red flag, is very valuable lost time. It was an unwanted distraction, but it was the same for everybody. I was happy we got a few laps in the end. We were fighting the onset of rain as well.
“I think the session that we had after the red was short enough that it was hard to get temperature back in the tires and there was a light mist falling; it was a bit of a lost cause to try and run for the pole at that point. All in all, the car was strong and it was a reasonable effort. Certainly, I would like to have earned the pole, but I think that’s in the cards before the end of the year and I look forward to the race tomorrow.
“We tend to fall in line at the start and then it’s all about strategy and being aggressive and staying with the lead pack through our first and second stop. The team strategy will play out toward the end, depending on if there’s a lot of yellows or very few. There are a lot of unknowns in a race like this. The short lap makes it different as well. We’re in a good place and I think we’re going to have a great race tomorrow.”