CORE autosport qualified the No. 54 Porsche 911 GT3 R in tricky conditions at Watkins Glen International. Driver Jon Bennett was able to put the car 17th on the GT Daytona grid for the latest round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Since the team’s arrival at Watkins Glen International in upstate New York, weather conditions have changed constantly. Brief showers passed through the area during Friday’s practice sessions and a heavy storm dropped enough precipitation on track this morning that teams needed to run rain tires in the final practice session.
When it came time for qualifying, the rain had stopped and the sun was out, but grey clouds still loomed in the area. The track surface was different from anything the team had run in practice, but a dry line had formed and slick tires were affixed to the Porsche.
Bennett’s best lap, a 1:50.973, put him 17th on the grid. He and co-drivers Colin Braun and Nic Jönsson will have six hours to climb their way forward on Sunday.
The Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen will air live on FS1 starting at 10am ET. Live coverage moves to FS2 from 1pm to the conclusion at 4:30pm.
“We were wondering what we would get for qualifying in terms of track conditions. Fortunately, we got a dry track. There were a couple spots where water was crossing the track, especially in the exit of Turn Nine, which required special care. Other than that, I was pleasantly surprised that we were able to get qualifying in on what was essentially a dry track.
“We’ve been struggling with some handling in our GT3 R, so it was a good opportunity to at least test a few things that we changed overnight to see what we would have for the race. We made good progress, and we were able to get a good qualifying effort in. We certainly would have liked to qualify a little higher, but we’re happy where we’re at.”
“Watkins Glen, since it’s been repaved, is quite smooth and quite fast. It requires a setup that takes advantage of that. We’ve done some testing here, but anytime you unload you end up with a little different track surface. We’re chasing it a little bit, but we’ll be good for the race.”
– JON BENNETT