ROCK HILL, S.C. (April 26, 2016) – The West Coast leg of the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship continues this weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California. CORE autosport is ready to shake off a tough Long Beach event and return to the Prototype Challenge podium.
The CORE team has been hustling to get the No. 54 Flex-Box/Composite Resources ORECA FLM09 ready for Monterey after a hard hit on the streets of Long Beach significantly damaged the car’s rear suspension. Luckily, the team already had plans to work out of a west coast race shop between races and was able to make the repairs in time.
The Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix Powered by Mazda is actually two races; the four IMSA classes have been split so that Prototype Challenge and GT Daytona cars have their own two-hour race, as do the Prototype and GT Le Mans classes. This means drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun have the opportunity to win an IMSA race overall.
- Bennett and Braun won their first PC race at Mazda Raceway in 2012. They finished runner-up in 2013 and 2015.
- Braun was the 2013 PC polesitter at Mazda Raceway.
- Bennett will go wing-walking in Washington state on April 27. The daredevil experience was a Christmas gift from his staff at Composite Resources and CORE.
- CORE is currently fifth in the PC Team Championship. Bennett and Braun are seventh in the PC Driver Championship.
- Bennett’s birthday is May 4.
“Racing can be tough at times. In both of our DNFs, we were the recipients of some bad racing luck. Our team has incredible confidence and we know that our potential is greater that our latest results. Each race is a fresh start and an opportunity to excel. We are all looking forward to celebrating a strong result at Laguna Seca.
“I love the fast flowing nature of Laguna Seca. It’s always great to climb the hill at Turn Six and drop down the Corkscrew. Colin and I shared our first win together and my first professional win at this track in 2012. I look forward to our déjà vu moment this weekend.
“Personally, I enjoy the events in which all four classes are on track together. The constant passing and position exchange among the classes is exciting and a challenge. Certainly, qualifying for the pole and racing for the overall win does spotlight our class and I look forward to the clear view ahead.
“Last Christmas, my employees came together to give me a gift I wouldn’t forget; given my interest in going fast and flying, I will be traveling to Washington state for a wing walking experience. I’ll take off in a vintage open cockpit biplane and then climb my way on top of the upper wing. Once I’ve strapped myself to a small brace, the pilot begins a series of aerobatic maneuvers. It should be a good view from up there! If I survive the experience, our team manager Morgan Brady will be the next CORE wing walker. This should be a good warm up for a race event at Laguna!”
– Jon Bennett
“It hasn’t been the storybook start to the season that we’ve had in years’ past, but that’s how racing goes. I think the greatest thing about the team that Morgan and Jon have built is that we really haven’t done anything different in the last five or six years; we just haven’t had a lot of racing luck on our side this year. A lot of things that have happened have been out of our control. The good thing about that is we don’t beat ourselves up thinking ‘what could we have done differently.’ We’ll continue on as we have, knowing that if luck is on our side we have a fast race car and first-rate crew. We know we’re capable of winning races as we saw at Sebring. I know we’ll get the monkey off our back sooner or later and I hope that turns into a nice streak of race wins.
“I guess IMSA has its reasons for separating the classes in Monterey, but I prefer having all of them together. We’re a multi-class series. We’re about having a lot of cars on the racetrack at different speeds and managing traffic. Sportscar racing is slowly becoming more understood by the public, so the simpler we can keep the series, the better. Even at Long Beach, I think it would have been exciting to have all the classes on the track at once.
“Jon going wing walking… wouldn’t that have been better to do in the off-season? Joking aside, it’ll be good for him. He’s always up for a crazy challenge. I know Morgan will take good care of him and I hope they have a lot of fun.”
– Colin Braun
Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix Powered by Mazda | April 29 – May 1
Track Length: 2.238 miles, 11 turns
Race Length: 2 Hours
SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)
Friday, April 29
1:50pm – 2:50pm: Practice #1 (PC/GTD)
7:45pm – 8:45pm: Practice #2 (PC/GTD)
Saturday, April 30
12:00pm – 12:45pm: Practice #3 (PC/GTD)
5:15pm – 6:00pm: Driver Autograph Session
8:20pm – 8:35pm: Qualifying (PC)
Sunday, May 1
4:50pm – 5:05pm: Warm Up (PC/GTD)
5:30pm – 6:20pm: Open Grid (PC/GTD)
6:45pm – 8:45pm: Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix Powered by Mazda
TV SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)
Saturday, April 30
7:30pm – 9:00pm: IMSA.com
LIVE Race U.S.:
Sunday, May 1
6:30pm – 9:00pm: FOX Sports 2
Taped Race U.S.:
Monday, May 2
12:30am – 2:30pm: FOX Sports 1
LIVE Race International:
Saturday, April 16
6:30pm – 9:00pm: IMSA.com
LIVE In-Car Cameras & Commentary: