ROCK HILL, S.C. (July 26, 2016) – After securing a podium finish in its Red Bull Global Rallycross debut last month, CORE autosport gained valuable insight into the series that will help keep the podium finishes coming. As a result, drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun are eager to take on their second GRC event this weekend at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C.
Even beyond the dirt and jumps, GRC Lites is a totally different world compared to CORE’s usual sportscar racing. Instead of qualifying, where the course is open to all drivers attempting to set their fastest lap time, GRC features two heat races, where drivers fight to finish in the top three and earn a spot on the grid for the main. All drivers finishing outside the top three go to a last-chance qualifier (LCQ) to battle for the final four spots on the grid.
Instead of a two-hour and 40-minute race, GRC Lites main events are only 10 laps and all races begin with a standing start. In each race, every driver must complete one “joker lap,” which is a deviation from the main course that could either be slower or faster than the main course depending on the event setup. Deciding when to take the “joker lap” is a key strategic decision, much like when to make a pit stop in sportscar racing.
Now that CORE has one full GRC event under its belt, the team has a better understanding of how to utilize track time and employ the best race strategies. Bennett, Braun and team are looking forward to measured improvement at this weekend’s Washington D.C. event.
The GRC Lites main event is streamed live on Red Bull TV, Saturday, July 30, at 2:30pm ET. A full recap show will air on NBC Sports Network, Thursday, August 25, at 5:30pm ET.
“We have our first event under our belt and we understand the way the event flows and a little bit about our competitors and the feel of a GRC weekend. I think Colin and I are really looking forward to going to Washington D.C. and focus more on our actual racing and not just on understanding how the event works and the mechanics of going GRC racing. Plus, we both know how to properly jump a car now, so that chapter’s been written! We’re looking forward to settling into a groove and doing our homework on how to make the cars faster and be more competitive.
There are some aspects of GRC racing that are new to us: one being the standing starts and two being the jumps. I think we have some data from the cars now that we’re able to analyze and figure out what kind of start seems to be better. In terms of the jumps, we can figure out if we’re better with a fast and long jump or a slower and shorter jump, in terms of overall lap time. Those are all things we didn’t have any information on prior to Daytona and we are armed with going to Washington. We’re looking forward to a new level of competitiveness and watching that grow as our abbreviated GRC season continues.”
– Jon Bennett
“I’m really looking forward to getting back in the GRC car. It’s so much fun. It’s so different and we’re still in the steep part of the learning curve. I’m really excited to continue that learning process and figure out more about the car and how to go fast. Daytona was a lot of fun, but it was also a taste of all the stuff we needed to learn. We went back to the shop and talked about it as a group and I think we’ll be a lot stronger doing our second race.
“I think one of the biggest things we’ve learned is how the race works, how the practices work, how it all flows. The weekends are so different from our typical sportscar weekends. There are so many little details about how the weekend goes from an operations standpoint. I think it’ll be a real help having that experience under our belt now. We know how many times we need to practice standing starts and a lot of little procedural things like that, so I feel like we’ll be in good shape this weekend.”
– Colin Braun