ROCK HILL, S.C. (March 14, 2017) – Though Daytona wasn’t the race the team had hoped for, CORE autosport took away many positives from its first GT Daytona event and is looking forward to getting on track again at Sebring International Raceway.
CORE is a three-time winner at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring and most recently won the Prototype Challenge class last year. The team knows what it takes to win at the historic circuit, but is still on a learning curve with its new Porsche 911 GT3 R. Luckily, CORE took part in a two-day test at Sebring in February and posted the fastest GTD lap time each day.
Its performance at the test combined with the race-leading pace it showed at Daytona, have CORE looking forward to taking the green flag on March 18.
In the cockpit of the No. 54 Porsche 911 GT3 R, full-season drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun welcome Nic Jönsson back to the driver line-up for Sebring.
- CORE won the PC class at the 12 Hours of Sebring in 2012, 2014 and 2016.
- Colin Braun earned the PC pole at Sebring in 2013 and 2016.
- Jon Bennett finished second in PC in his Sebring debut (2011).
- Nic Jönsson has twice finished on the Sebring podium with a Porsche (2003 and 2005). He won in a GTE-Am Ferrari in 2011.
- The 12 Hours of Sebring is also the second round of the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup.
“It was exciting to start a new chapter at Daytona with the Porsche 911 GT3 R. The transition to the new car required much effort in a short time to match the efficiency we expected from our PC program. With a new program and almost 30 class competitors, I was impressed to see our car in P1 roughly eight hours into the race. Unfortunately, a mistake by another competitor ended our run about 10 hours into the event. Overall, it was a promising start for our new Porsche GTD program.
“Post Daytona, our team continues to work on cockpit ergonomics and more driver change aids to ensure quick stops. We all left the Sebring test with optimism and excitement for the upcoming 12-hour race. We made big gains in improving the Porsche’s handling on the challenging surface at Sebring. We also learned some new set-up tricks that will sharpen our Porsche’s handling at the historic, and rough, Sebring circuit.
“Sebring’s rough surface is one of the biggest differences compared to Daytona. The darkness at Sebring is another challenge compared to Daytona, which is almost completely lit at night.
“Time is precious in the days leading up to the Sebring 12-Hour. Our days are full with track time and meetings. That said, we always make time Friday night to sneak out into the infield and simply enjoy being at the racetrack and with the diehard Sebring race fans who enjoy our sport.”
“I’m very proud of the effort by CORE autosport to transition from PC to GTD. We were leading laps and competitive and right up there at the front. I think that goes to show the strength of CORE autosport and the competitiveness that we have. Unfortunately, a mistake by another driver took us out of the race. It was a big hit, but our crew is the best in the business and had the car ready for the Sebring test two weeks later.
“We had a great test at Sebring and were the quickest car both days. Not that, that means a whole lot, but it gives us good momentum to roll into the race weekend with and shows that we’re comfortable with the car. We worked through our test plan and things we wanted to learn. Up to then, we’d done all our testing and racing at Daytona, so it was nice to work on the car someplace besides a roval.
“We’re facing a lot of changes at Sebring: we’re running a different Continental Tire compound, all of our notes from previous Sebring races don’t apply, and you couldn’t pick two more different track than Daytona and Sebring. That’s the fun and challenge of a new car though; everywhere we go, we’re starting from scratch. We’ve got a lot of support from the guys at Porsche and hopefully they can point us in the right direction. Plus we know from Daytona we have a solid lineup that works well together with Jon, Nic and myself.”
“If you look back at the big picture from Daytona, we were continuously picking up speed in a car that was new to the team. The crew did a phenomenal job preparing the car for the race and we were able to run the pace that we wanted to. Unfortunately, someone made a mistake and took us out of the race, but coming away from Daytona I think everyone had a very positive attitude. The pace was there and the guys all did a great job on the pit stops.
“The car was pretty good right off the truck for the Sebring test. We worked through a lot of the management systems on the car and getting attuned to the tire. We made good progress with Porsche’s help and came away with a very positive result and a good idea what we need to do to have a good race.
“At Sebring, you have to be a little more aggressive from the get-go. The equipment is so much more reliable, that it’s almost a 12-hour sprint race. I think the plan is to stay on the lead lap, stay out of trouble, keep the car healthy and take care of your brakes. The last three hours is when everyone is going to start pushing really hard and you need to take care of your car so you still have all your aerodynamic pieces onboard and you want good brakes.”
Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring | March 16 – 19
Track Length: 3.74miles, 17 turns
Race Length: 12 Hours
SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)
Thursday, March 16
11:10am – 12:10pm: Practice #1 (All Classes)
3:15pm – 4:15pm: Practice #2 (All Classes)
7:30pm – 9:00pm: Practice #3 (All Classes)
Friday, March 17
9:20am – 10:20am: Practice #4 (All Classes)
11:45am – 12:30pm: Driver Autograph Session
1:00pm – 1:15pm: Qualifying (GTD Class)
Saturday, March 18
8:00am – 8:20am: Warm Up (All Classes)
9:15am – 10:10am: Open Grid / Fan Walk
10:50am – 10:40pm Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring
TV SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)
Friday, March 16
1:00pm – 2:30pm: IMSA.com
LIVE Race U.S.:
Saturday, March 17
10:30am – 11:00pm: FOX Sports Go
12:30pm – 11:00pm: FS1
Full flag-to-flag coverage is available on FOX Sports GO with FS1 authentication
LIVE Race International:
Saturday, March 17
10:30am – 11:00pm: IMSA.com
LIVE In-Car Cameras & Commentary: