CORE autosport is looking for its fifth win in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship this weekend, but faces four miles of fast straightaways, steep hills and gutsy corners to make it happen.
The PC Championship leaders are en route to Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, home of the season’s longest venue: Road America. A favorite amongst many race drivers, the historic road course offers a mix of long straightaways, daunting elevation changes, plentiful passing zones and flowing corners.
The No. 54 ORECA FLM09 finished fourth at last year’s event. CORE would like to return to the podium once again at Road America where it scored its first one-two finish in 2012.
- Road America is the longest circuit on the TUDOR schedule at 4.048 miles.
- CORE has collected one PC win at Road America (2012) and never finished outside the top five.
- At Indianapolis, CORE was awarded the VP Racing Fuels Front Runner Award for leading more laps than any other car in the first half of the season.
- CORE autosport leads the PC Team Championship by 28 points.
- Jon Bennett and Colin Braun lead the PC Drivers’ Championship by 44 points.
“Road America is one of my favorite circuits with beautiful hillsides and tree-lined corners. One of the challenges is the length of the circuit. It reduces the number of timed laps during our testing and practice sessions.
“My favorite part of the Road America circuit is banking our prototype through the infamous Kink (Turn 11). It is an absolute thrill. It’s flat out at 90 percent of our top speed. When you arrive, top speed is still building so the feeling is you are going faster and faster. At the moment you arrive, the road disappears between the narrowness of the inner and outer guardrails. You make a quick check in the mirrors, because ‘flat out through the Kink’ is absolutely a one car at a time proposition. You grip the wheel and thread the needle. When you arrive at the exit with some road left, you exhale and get ready for a major brake zone at Canada Corner with zero escape options in the event of a mechanical failure.
“A year ago at this track, we raced as two separate series. Now, every race of the new TUDOR series improves the quality of competition. At this point in the season, the focus has shifted from the merger to the racing. I am pleased the competition and racing is now overshadowing the mechanics of the merger. The merger is done . . . it’s time to race.”
“Road America is a place CORE has been fast and successful at. We finished 1-2 there in 2012 and in 2013 we had a really fast race car, but the caution flags didn’t fall our way and we got a bit behind in the pit cycle. We had the pace and speed to win last year, so I’m hoping this year we’re able to get the win.
“Both of my parents grew up in Wisconsin within a couple hours of the race track. We have family and a lot of friends up there, so it’s nice to be able to go up and see everyone.
“My favorite part of the track is the concession stands. They have the best food at a race track you’ll ever find. Sweet corn and funnel cake fries? It’s awesome! I love it!
“As far as the race track goes, Road America is a challenging place that I really enjoy from a driving and engineering stand point because it has a little bit of every corner in the world folded into one race track. There’s a lot of fast corners, where you need high-speed grip, but a lot of heavy braking zones and you’ve got a lot of low-speed corners where you need a lot of mechanical grip. I don’t think I’ve ever had a race car there that was good in every corner. You always have to compromise a bit because it’s such a diverse mix of corners in one race track.”