DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 16, 2016) – CORE autosport unveiled its new IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship entry over two days of testing at Daytona International Speedway. Jon Bennett and Colin Braun gave the No. 54 Porsche 911 GT3R its first taste of the race track in preparation for the team’s GTD class debut.
Under sunny skies, Bennett, Braun and crew logged approximately 250 laps in the IMSA-sanctioned test. Though Braun was slightly familiar with the car already thanks to his driver coaching duties, it was Bennett’s first time behind the wheel of the German-marque’s GT3 racer.
Prior to arriving in Daytona Beach, Bennett and Braun had already logged substantial mileage; both took part in the Los Vegas Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon, November 13th.
The two days of testing were completed without issue and allowed the team to experiment with the car’s full range of suspension and aerodynamic adjustments. It gave CORE a solid base of knowledge moving into two more IMSA-sanctioned tests at Daytona in December and January.
The 2017 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship official begins with the Rolex 24 at Daytona, January 26 – 29.
“It’s a joy to move onto a new chapter for our race team. For me, I’ve been a fan of Porsche for a long time. I drive a 911 to work. It’s not a big stretch to move to this racecar. We had a very productive test and it bodes well for the season, because there’s a lot of manufacturer interest in the GTD class and it’s going to be a very competitive season.”
“Looking ahead to the Rolex 24, I think we’ll experience a change in traffic, having to manage what’s coming up behind us, just as much as what’s ahead. Another big change, going from PC to GTD, will be a lot more direct competition. There’s going to be a good number of GTD cars and they’ll be matched fairly closely.
“Obviously, we’ll have to re-invent our driver change. That’s easy enough to do in our shop in Rock Hill. Everything that we’ve learned and polished about getting in and out of the Prototype is out the window, but that’s just part of the new chapter. I’m definitely going to save money on tear-offs this year!”
– Jon Bennett
“I have a bit of seat time in the GT3R. I have a client that I coach in the World Challenge Series. I’ve driven his car a bit, but not on the Continental Tire. I’ve only run those on the PC car so far.
“Porsche builds a fantastic car out of the box. This is a car that’s driven a lot of laps in all different forms of racing. For us, this test is about learning the car together as a team. The guys need experience working on the car and we need to learn how to engineer the car. We’ll continue to keep pushing. That’s how CORE autosport works; getting the most out of every procedure and process.
“As a driver, the biggest adjustment is going to be the traffic and how the newer Prototypes work. Coming from the PC car where we were the second-quickest class to the slowest class, GTD, is going to be an adjustment.
“It’s been a great test and what a great place to drive it for the first time!”
– Colin Braun