All posts in “Colin Braun”

CORE NorthEast Grand Prix

CORE’s Lime Rock Race Ends Early

CORE autosport’s quest for its first podium in its new Porsche 911 GT3 R was dashed at the Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park with an early exit just before the halfway mark.

 

A showcase of GT-only cars and the shortest track on the IMSA schedule (1.474 miles), Lime Rock Park challenges teams with fierce traffic and fast corners. Added to the challenge this weekend was intense heat with temperatures reaching upwards of 90 degrees.

 

Though Colin Braun was the second quickest in GTD qualifying, it was the team’s strategy to use qualifying as an additional practice session and start Jon Bennett in the No. 54 Composite Resources/Flex Box Porsche 911 GT3 R on fresh tires. The change resulted in the No. 54 starting the race at the back on the grid, 17th in the GT Daytona class.

 

Just over 45 minutes into the race, and nearing the completion of his stint, Bennett reported trouble over the radio. The engine lost power and the car coasted through the final corner with enough momentum for Bennett to maneuver onto pit lane. The CORE crew quickly got the car back to the paddock for repairs, but upon inspection it was clear the problem was terminal.

 

CORE has two weeks to regroup before it hits the track again at the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase in Elkhart Lake, WI. The GT classes rejoin with the Prototype classes to take on the four-mile circuit, August 3 – 6.

 

 

“The team did a wonderful job tuning the car and optimizing as much performance as we could get. It was exciting to see Colin nearly get the pole yesterday.

 

“My race start was fairly aggressive. In past races, I did my best to keep the GT field in sight and hand Colin the car in a position to move up the ranks. Today, I intended to do the same and get the car up several spots before handing it to Colin. At the start, I got on the inside of the number 50 car with moderately cold tires. I had a bit too much enthusiasm and ran into some trouble. However, I caught back up with the GTD field and was driving one of the better races I had driven in a long time.

 

“Then, on what ended up being my last lap, unfortunately, I nipped one of the curves in the chicane. As I climbed the hill on the backside of the track, I got a red warning light that something was amiss and I coasted back to the pits. We have one of the hardest working teams, so it’s always disappointing to end the race early.

 

“The GTD field looks a lot different on race day than it does in practice. I would even say during qualifying too. It takes a lot of discipline to have an optimistic outlook racing against factory teams and nearly all-pro lineups. I’m looking forward to the challenge, and we’re all looking forward to Road America. We’ll re-rack and hope for a better result at the next race.

– Jon Bennett

 

 

We were quick in practice. Jon did well in the car and we made some improvements with the setup of the car. The guys did a great job too. It was fun to get to qualify and to be up in the mix. I was so close to getting the pole! It was a fun weekend and a disappointing way to end an event.”

– Colin Braun

CORE on Front Row for Northeast Grand Prix

LAKEVILLE, Conn. (July 21, 2017) – CORE autosport earned its best WeatherTech SportsCar Championship qualifying position of the year at Lime Rock Park. Colin Braun entered a lap just shy of the pole, but will start second in tomorrow’s Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park.

In his first-ever qualifying attempt with the No. 54 Flexbox / Composite Resources Porsche 911 GT3 R, Braun was only 0.191-second off the GT Daytona pole time. His best lap around the 1.474, 7-turn road course, a 52.699, put him second on the grid, the best of the Porsche GTD entries and 0.137-second faster than Porsche factory driver Patrick Long.

The last time Braun served as the qualifying driver for CORE was at Lime Rock Park one year ago.

Braun will pair with Jon Bennett for Saturday’s two-hour and 40-minute race that features just the GT Daytona and GT Le Mans classes. The Northeast Grand Prix will go green tomorrow at 3pm ET on FS2.

 

“We decided to try a different strategy today to see how things shook out. Traffic is an issue here because the track is so short. We don’t have great pit lane position, so I was at the back of the pack for the qualifying session. There were some slower guys in front of me that I tried to build gaps to. I felt like I had a pretty good shot at it, but on my last lap there was a lot of dirt on the track in many of the corners. That made it tough to go through some of these fast corners knowing that there was a pile of dirt waiting.

“All in all, we’re happy to be P2 and on the front row. I haven’t qualified in a long time and didn’t have a chance to do a new tire run because we were so focused on our race package. I’m a little bit surprised, to be honest, to be that close to pole.

“The Porsches qualified really well here. We had good balance right off the truck. But, it’s always a bit of a game here. You never know who’s doing what, so we’ll see the last 10 laps the true pace of all these cars.”
– Colin Braun

Lime Rock Park on Deck for CORE autosport

ROCK HILL, S.C. (July 19, 2017) – CORE autosport’s hectic summer schedule continues this weekend with the Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut.

 

Lime Rock Park is the shortest track on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship calendar at only 1.474-miles in length. It is also the first of two GT-only events, with just the GT Le Mans and GT Daytona classes taking part in the two hour and 40-minute race.

 

Driver and team owner Jon Bennett spent his teenage years in this area of Connecticut, going to high school in nearby Newtown and attending races and a driver’s school at Lime Rock.

 

 

Noteworthy

  • Bennett and Braun won at Lime Rock Park in 2012 in the Prototype Challenge category.
  • Braun earned the PC pole at Lime Rock last year (2016) and in 2013.
  • Braun holds the PC qualifying lap (48.078) and race lap (48.480) records at Lime Rock.

 

 

“I enjoy going to Lime Rock. I spent a lot of time there in my youth. I’m really hoping that we get to return to our next event with a car that is easier to tune and more on pace with the balance of our competitors.

 

“I went to driver’s school at Lime Rock when I was 15 in 1980. I spent a lot of time there watching the Camel GT series on what was usually Memorial Day. It’s always fun to go back. As a driver and team owner, Lime Rock offers its own set of challenges. It’s a very short track with a high concentration of cars and traffic. I’m really hoping that we’re able to return to competition with a sharper tool. I’m looking forward to a well-executed race and hopefully we’ll get a finish that matches our performance.”
– Jon Bennett

 

 

“I’m sure Lime Rock is going to be a tight race. Hopefully we have more pace compared to the rest of the group so that we can actually get out and fight a bit more with those guys. All the normal stuff will be important – staying out of trouble, having good pit stops, and executing great stints. It was fun to race Lime Rock in a PC car because we were on the quicker side of the group. It will be interesting to see the other side of the card and to be watching in the mirror for the GTLM cars.”
– Colin Braun

 

 

Northeast Grand Prix | July 21 – 22

————————————————————

VENUE

Track Length: 1.474-miles, 7 turns

Race Length: 2 hours, 40 minutes

 

SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

Friday, July 21

12:05pm – 1:05pm: Practice #1 (All Classes)

2:25pm – 3:25pm: Practice #2 (All Classes)

5:15pm – 5:30pm: Qualifying (GTD Class)

 

Saturday, July 22

9:35am – 10:00am: Warm Up (All Classes)

12:30pm – 1:15pm: Driver Autograph Session

2:00pm – 2:45pm: Pre-Race / Open Grid

3:05pm – 5:45pm: Northeast Grand Prix

 

TV SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

LIVE Qualifying:

Friday, July 21

5:05pm – 5:55pm: IMSA.com

LIVE Race U.S.:

Saturday, July 22

3:00pm – 6:00pm: FS2

LIVE Race International:

2:55pm – 5:45pm: IMSA.com

 

LIVE In-Car Cameras & Commentary:

IMSA.com

Canada Yields 14th-Place Finish for CORE

CORE autosport finished 14th in the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Rain came into play twice during the two-hour and 40-minute WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race, which eventually finished under yellow.

Jon Bennett qualified the No. 54 Flexbox / Composite Resources Porsche 911 GT3 R 14th, but the team opted to change its tires before the race, which moved the car to the back of the GT Daytona grid.

On the start, Bennett was able to keep pace with the GTD pack, but zero full-course cautions during his stint and faster classes coming through slowed his progress.

Not long after Braun took over, rain moved into the area just as the race got its first full-course caution. The rain got worse during the yellow and some teams pitted to change to rain tires, but CORE anticipated the rain would stop just as the race went back to green and stayed on slicks. It was the right choice. The rain stopped.

When the GTD teams that pitted under yellow for rain tires returned to pit lane after the restart to go back to slicks, Braun was bumped up to the team’s original qualifying position: 14th.

Two more full-course cautions followed, preventing any more progress for Braun, and the race ended under yellow, as again, more rain moved across the track.

CORE autosport has a week off before its next WeatherTech Championship event: the Northeast Grand Prix. Lime Rock Park, in Lakeville, Conn., will host the event July 21 – 22.

“I’m happy with my stint, and I’m especially happy with Colin’s performance and the team’s performance. This is a notoriously tough event, and even more so with back-to-back race weekends. We’re trying to catch up with the performance of the other manufacturers in our class. I am hopeful that things will change at Lime Rock, and I am looking forward to the balance of the season.”
– Jon Bennett

 

“It was just one of those days. We didn’t have the performance of the other manufacturers, but we did a good job and did all we could with what we had. Sometimes that is how it goes. It was a tough call to decide whether to put on rain tires or slicks. The guys made the right call, even though I thought at the time I needed rain tires. The conditions were sketchy and different teams were taking different strategies, which made it fun for a few laps. I wish it had rained more because maybe that would have changed things up and we would have had a chance to do something different. However, it dried up pretty quickly and we were back to a dry pace.”
Colin Braun

CORE Wants to Continue Canadian Win Streak

ROCK HILL, S.C. (July 6, 2017) – It’s only been a few short days since the checkered flag fell at Watkins Glen International, but CORE autosport is eager to return to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP), site of its most recent IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship victory.

 

CTMP is one of CORE’s most successful tracks. The team has scored four Prototype Challenge victories at the circuit formerly known as Mosport, including the last two seasons (2015 – 2016). In fact, CORE has never finished off the podium at CTMP.

 

Continuing such a streak will be no easy task this weekend. Now running a Porsche 911 GT3 R in the GT Daytona category, drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun are up against a field of 14 incredibly diverse and competitive cars.

 

 

Noteworthy

  • CORE autosport has won the PC class at CTMP in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2016.
  • Braun has earned the PC pole at CTMP twice: 2012 and 2016.
  • Bennett raced in the Porsche GT3 Cup races at CTMP in 2013 and finished second in the Masters Class.
  • CORE is missing its first GRC race of 2017 because of the conflict with CTMP this weekend.

 

 

“Colin and I always look forward to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. It’s a track that we’ve had success at in the past and it’s just a really fast, flowing track that requires a lot of commitment and confidence. It will be interesting to attack its fast corners in the Porsche instead of the PC car that we’ve brought there since 2011. We won’t have the same kind of downforce as we had with the PC car, so it will be about finding the most mechanical grip that we can.

 

“It’s a shame to be missing our first GRC event of the season, but it will be good for Colin and I to have back-to-back races in the Porsche. It’s only been a few days since Watkins Glen, so the muscle memory and the feel for what the car wants is still in the forefront of our minds.”
– JON BENNETT

 

“It’s good to have back-to-back races. We’re fortunate enough that we didn’t tear our car up, so we’re able to polish on it and make it a little better and take it to Canada. I think it’s good for everyone that we get to work some back-to-back weekends. We get to carry some momentum forward. For Jon and I specifically, we’re not jumping into something different, like the GRC cars, between IMSA events. I think for us it’s nice that we can carry that momentum into the next one. Hopefully that helps us move the bar forward at Mosport.

 

“We’ve had a lot of success at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, but PC racing was a different game. We’re still learning this car and figuring it out as a group. We do our best every weekend and we’re improving. We’re learning a lot about this kind of racing and what this car needs. I think we’ll have a decent result at Mosport. This kind of racing is up and down with the way the cars are and the balance of performance. We race wheel-to-wheel. We beat the Acura at the Circuit of the Americas, and then they won the last two races. It just goes to show how the cycle of speed and tracks favor a car. We’re looking forward to Mosport and hoping that it will be a great track for the Porsche.”
– COLIN BRAUN

CORE Ready to Flex Its Endurance Muscles

ROCK HILL, S.C. (June 28, 2017) – It’s been a month since CORE autosport last took part in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun are itching to get back into the No. 54 Porsche 911 GT3 R. They’ll be re-joined by Nic Jönsson at Watkins Glen International for the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.

 

After three IMSA rounds lasting two hours and 40 minutes or less, this weekend’s race will go six hours from green to checker. Watkins Glen is part of the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup. It is the third of four races that compose this championship within a championship, Daytona, Sebring and Petit Le Mans being the other races.

 

CORE took part in a test at Watkins Glen in May to prepare for this weekend’s six-hour race. The team won the race in 2014 in the Prototype Challenge category, but this will be its first race at the historic road course in the Porsche 911 GT3 R.

 

Noteworthy

  • CORE autosport won at Watkins Glen in 2014 with Bennett, Braun and Mark Wilkins.
  • The 2014 PC win was from pole position, scored by Braun.
  • CORE finished fourth at WGI in 2015 and sixth in 2016.
  • Jönsson’s last race at WGI was 2012 in the Continental Tire Series.
  • Jönsson won the 2005 WGI race in a Daytona Prototype with Krohn Racing.
  • WGI marks the halfway point of the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.

 

“The long race at Watkins Glen provides a great opportunity for our first podium of the season. CORE autosport excels at the longer endurance races. These long races allow our team to leverage our skills in car preparation, race strategy, and quick pit stops.

 

“Turn 10 is my favorite portion at Watkins Glen. It’s slightly banked and super fast. It reminds me of a quick flick turn on a bobsled run.

 

“Our recent test at The Glen was helpful to learn how our new Porsche will perform during the race event. We discovered a few tuning concepts that should give us an advantage during the race. Testing always helps confidence by providing an opportunity to experiment and uncover techniques to find speed. With Colin’s support and Jeff Braun’s engineering, I was able to continuously reduce lap times throughout the test. We were all encouraged with our results at the conclusion of the test.

 

“Colin and I are happiest when inside a race car. While alternating between IMSA and GRC has been fun, we are looking forward to this active period of the IMSA season.”
– JON BENNETT

 

“I’m looking forward to a longer race. We seem to do well in longer races with more pit stops and more opportunity to execute good strategy. That’s what we excel at as a group.

 

“We had a really good test at Watkins Glen a month ago. One of the biggest things that came out of it was a breakthrough moment for Jon. He gained a lot of confidence from being able to drive the car flat-out in the privacy of our test session.

 

“For me, it’s been a busy schedule between IMSA, GRC and my coaching commitments. I love that part of the job. The opportunity to be busy and always driving race cars is what I love to do. No matter what the series is or what race track we’re at, I’m pushing to the limit. It’s becoming similar for Jon too, incorporating the GRC schedule into the mix. It’s going to be a lot of fun clicking off a bunch of back-to-back IMSA weekends and getting some momentum going on the Porsche side of things.”
 – COLIN BRAUN

 

“Watkins Glen has everything you could ask for. I like the whole track and the whole environment. It’s an old-school track with elevation changes, high-speed sweeping corners and hard braking zones. It’s on my list of top-five tracks in the world. If I had to pick a favorite section, it’s probably The Boot section from the Bus Stop until you come back to the straight.

 

“I haven’t been to Watkins Glen since they repaved it (2015). I’ve spoken with Jon and Colin and other drivers over the last couple of years about it. Like any other track, it gains a lot of grip, which is no big surprise. I can imagine the physical aspect of it has changed as well. Anytime you pick up more grip, it becomes more physical. I think you won’t have as much tire degradation. It’s going to be a very close, tight, competitive race just because people will probably double or even triple-stint tires. I don’t think the traction-control or ABS will be much of a factor because of the grip level. It’s going to be very high-pace, possibly the fastest Six Hours of The Glen ever.”
 – NIC JÖNSSON

Another GRC Podium for CORE at Demanding Ottawa Circuit

OTTAWA, Canada (June 20, 2017) – CORE autosport took home another podium finish in an especially grueling Red Bull Global Rallycross weekend in Canada. While both of the team’s GRC Lites cars took a beating in the doubleheader, driver Colin Braun scored a second-place finish in Saturday’s final.

 

GRC’s first event in Canada took place on the runways of the Ottawa-Rockcliffe Airport, just next door to the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. The fan turnout was impressive despite the threat of storms in the area.

 

The doubleheader got off to a great start for Braun, who won his opening heat in the No. 56. Teammate Jon Bennett had the opposite experience, however, when an engine failure took him out of the first heat, and subsequently the rest of the day.

 

A strong Heat 2 and Semi-Final for Braun, put him in a great starting position for Saturday’s Final. He was able to take advantage of that and finish runner-up behind the championship leader. It was Braun’s second podium of the 2017 GRC season.

 

Sunday brought the promise of a fresh start for both Bennett and Braun. For Sunday’s event, the series switched the Joker Lap around, which was planned, but made additional unexpected changes to the track between practice and qualifying, which had the CORE crew hustling to make set-up changes to both cars.

 

Braun struggled in Heat 1, but bounced back to win Heat 2 and finished second in the Semi-Final.

 

Bennett’s car still had some mechanical gremlins to work out through the Heats and Semi-Final, but was feeling fast once he got to the Final. The No. 54 started from the back, but Bennett was moving up as soon as the green dropped. The rough dirt section thwarted his forward progress though; two hard landings there caused the suspension to fail and took Bennett out of the race.

 

A poor start for Braun in Sunday’s Final had him fighting to make up ground. One of those fights included some significant side-by-side contact that bent the suspension on the No. 56. Braun soldiered on with his injured car and finished eighth.

 

The GRC Lites races from Ottawa will air on NBC Sports Network, Wednesday, June 21, at 5pm ET.

 

CORE autosport will put the trials of Ottawa behind it now and focus on the next round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The Six Hours of the Glen takes place June 30 – July 2 in Watkins Glen, N.Y.

 

 

“Ottawa was a great circuit at a super interesting location: the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. The weather was threatening all weekend, but primarily dry. A lot of Canadian fans came out to watch the GRC races. It was probably one of the better-attended events of the year.

 

“My Ottawa event was a string of mechanical misfortunes from the start. I had a good practice session but during qualifying I ended up with a stuck throttle, which led to a gearbox issue in the following heat race. It decided to completely fail and with multiple downshifts over-reving the engine, the gearbox failure cascaded into a full engine failure and I was done for the day.

 

“Sunday morning in warm up we were still sorting out an electrical and then a sensor problem. I wasn’t competitive and was struggling mechanically through the heat races. We got the car sorted for the final. I was quite competitive and moving my way up, but two hard landings back-to-back caused the suspension to fail.

 

“My hat’s off to the crew, especially my crew chief Darren Papworth. He worked very, very fast and feverishly all weekend. He did everything he could to get the car back on track and solve the mechanical issues quite quickly.”

 

“I’m looking forward to our next race when all the mechanical gremlins will be behind us!”
JON BENNETT

 

 

“Obviously we had an up and down weekend. It was a really cool track with an interesting layout that kept changing throughout the weekend, which was exciting. They tweaked the lead up to the jump area quite a bit all three days.

 

“We had some good speed in our cars. We weren’t the outright fastest, but the guys kept working on them and did a great job finding more speed. We were able to shine with some good calls on the Joker Lap and things like that, that helped us move to the front.

 

“We had some really good heat races on Saturday that put us in a good position in the Semi-Final. We were fortunate on quite a few of the starts and first couple of corners. We seemed to always have a good position coming out of the second corner and with how hard it is to pass in GRC, that’s critical. I’m really happy we were able to execute that well on Saturday. We ended up with a good finish of second in the final. It was a hard fought race.

 

“On Sunday they had a cool layout for practice, but they changed it for qualifying which required a different setup. I think we did a good job adapting to the new layout. All in all we qualified fourth on Sunday, but I had a rough first heat. We won the second heat though and had a good spot to start in the Semi-Final.

 

“We ended up starting fourth in the final. We didn’t get a great start in the first two corners. That put me fifth or sixth coming out of the first set of corners. I was stuck with guys I’m not used to racing and I got caught up in some side-by-side contact, which bent the suspension and effectively ended our race. It was kind of a disappointing way to end what had started as a good weekend on Saturday.

 

“It was an unfortunate weekend for Jon and the No. 54 guys. They worked super hard all weekend and fought and fought, and it was cool to see the whole team gel together trying to get Jon’s car sorted out. They didn’t deserve a weekend like that. I’m really proud of them. The track was not gentle on the cars and they kept our stuff in one piece. Hopefully, we got all the bad luck out of the way in one event. I’m sure we’ll have better times from here forward.”
COLIN BRAUN

CORE Rolls Into Canada for GRC Doubleheader

ROCK HILL, S.C. (June 15, 2017) – CORE autosport is taking its Red Bull Global Rallycross program north of the border this weekend to take part in a GRC Lites doubleheader at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa.

 

While GRC teams will be paddocked just behind the museum, the actual course is made up of runways from the Ottawa-Rockcliffe Airport. The 0.762-mile track is a tight and technical one, but features a generous Joker Lap that knocks 0.44-mile off the full distance. The GRC signature 70-foot jump in the dirt section also marks the finish line and will make for an exciting mid-air finish!

 

The doubleheader means drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun have the opportunity to score points in races on both Saturday and Sunday. Currently, Braun is fourth in the GRC Lites Championship standings and Bennett is eighth.

 

Braun and Bennett are coming off of an impressive GRC round in Thompson, Connecticut, two weeks ago, when they raced in both the IMSA WeatherTech Series in Detroit and then used all means possible, including a helicopter, to get to the Thompson track in time for the GRC Lites final. Starting from the back row of the grid, with only one sighting lap to work from, Bennett finished eighth and Braun fourth. Braun went on to pick up his first GRC Lites podium of the year the following day.

 

Saturday’s GRC Lites race in Ottawa is scheduled to begin at 4:40pm ET. Sunday’s race is slated for 4:45pm. Both races will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network, Wednesday, June 21 at 5pm ET.

 

 

 

“I do enjoy my ‘air time’ in our GRC Lites car, so it is appropriate to race near Canada’s museum dedicated to air and space. In fact, I am an instrument-rated pilot and aviation enthusiast, so I hope to find a few minutes to enjoy the museum myself.

 

The Ottawa layout looks interesting and technical. Technique and patience in the dirt section should pay dividends and the Joker merge just before the jump should be entertaining for the fans!

 

“Colin and I both enjoyed our IMSA/GRC double at our last event. I am looking forward to focusing on the GRC Lites car and always look forward to having races on Saturday and Sunday.

 

“The helicopter ride to Thompson was helpful to ensure our arrival before the Saturday final, and I could definitely get used to that kind of service, but I’m fairly confident our arrival at the Ottawa circuit will involve a rental car.”
– JON BENNETT

 

 

“Focusing on one series this weekend will be nice, but I think both Jon and I really enjoyed the challenge of doing both at the last event!

 

“The Ottawa layout looks great. I do have to say that the layouts the series sends out can sometimes be a bit misleading as to what the actual course feels like and drives like, so I usually don’t get too wrapped up in analyzing them. We’ll know what we’re working with when we have a chance to do the real track walk. GRC does a great job with the space they have at each event to make an exciting and fun layout; I am sure this will be no different.

 

“I really, really want to get my first GRC win. I am not as concerned about the points; winning is the goal! I have always disagreed with people on the championship mentality versus winning races. To me, if you want to win races you have to finish races and not crash out, so winning a championship and winning a race really have the same level of driving effort as you cannot crash and win the race. Sure, maybe you turn up the risk a bit more but this is GRC where you can’t turn the risk up much higher!”
– COLIN BRAUN

CORE Cracks Top-10, Finishes Eighth in Detroit

DETROIT, Mich. (June 3, 2017) – CORE autosport earned its best finish of the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship thus far, finishing eighth on the streets of Detroit’s Belle Isle. The No. 54 Flexbox / Composite Resources Porsche 911 GT3 R driven by Jon Bennett and Colin Braun was also the highest finishing Porsche in the race.

 

Starting from 14th on the GT Daytona grid, Bennett kept the car out of trouble and within striking distance of his GTD competitors during his stint.

 

Thirty minutes into the 100-minute race, the first and only full-course caution was issued for an accident in Turn One. This presented the perfect opportunity to pit and hand the car over to Braun.

 

A flawless pit stop under yellow had Braun back out in 13th and ready for the restart. Competitors serving penalties for pit stop violations immediately bumped Braun up to 11th. He was then able to get around the No. 73 Porsche 911 GT3 R for 10th with 30 minutes left in the race.

 

Two more GTD cars dropped out of contention, promoting the No. 54 to eighth.

 

With three laps to go, Braun went on the attack, running side-by-side with the seventh-place No. 15 Lexus RCF GTS. He came up just short, however, and crossed the line in eighth, the best finish so far for CORE in 2017 IMSA competition and the team’s best finish to-date with the Porsche 911 GT3 R.

 

Immediately after the checkered flag, Bennett and Braun quickly changed into street clothes, grabbed their bags and headed for the airport with the goal of making it to Thompson Speedway in Connecticut in time for the Red Bull Global Rallycross Lites final.

 

The duo’s next IMSA event will be in Watkins Glen, New York. The Six Hours of the Glen, at Watkins Glen International Raceway, will take place June 29 – July 2.

 

“Street courses are unique and so are the starts, but I’m really happy with our performance at this event. We all really gelled together as a group. The team did a great job. The car was well engineered. I’m really starting to understand how to get this car dialed in and what it wants. I’m encouraged by our forward progress in this event and I think that helps set the tone for the team as we move into the second half of the season.

 

“The yellow flag came at the perfect time for everybody, so I’m not sure we got a big advantage, but it certainly fit well within our strategy. I think that with our strategy and chemistry this weekend, it wouldn’t have mattered when the caution came.

 

“My focus never wandered to GRC while I was in the car, but now I’m looking forward to the trip!”
– Jon Bennett

 

“Jon did a good job early in his stint to stay with the pack. We got a pretty timely yellow and the guys did a nice pit stop. We gained a little bit and then lost a little bit on the restart. I got stuck behind some Prototype Challenge and Prototype cars.

 

“We had good pace and I caught back up to the pack. I was able to get around Joerg (Bergmeister) and then I ran bumper to bumper with the Lexus teammates. I think we were a bit quicker, but this place is really tight and that makes it hard to pass. The Lexus is a pretty big car and when you’re racing hard you can make your big car pretty wide. We just didn’t have a large enough edge to pass those guys.

 

“It’s tough at the end, when you get all the P cars coming by and the PC cars coming by. Those guys are having their own race, but it’s disruptive to the flow of traffic for us in the GTD cars. As much as I looked ahead trying to plan a pass when I was in PC, that’s how much I’m looking behind to come up with a plan on when to let those guys by. There’s a lot mental work going on even if it looks like you’re just driving around.”
– Colin Braun

 

CORE Starts Wild Double Race Weekend from 14th at Detroit

DETROIT, Mich. (June 2, 2017) – CORE autosport is on the eve of an attempt to take part in both the IMSA Chevrolet SportsCar Classic and Red Bull Global Rallycross New England events on the same day. That day will begin in earnest when Bennett takes the green flag on the streets of Detroit’s Belle Isle from 14th on the GT Daytona grid.

 

The Belle Isle circuit is made up of roads within a park on an island in the Detroit River. Notoriously bumpy, Bennett and co-driver Colin Braun were pleased to find the temporary circuit much smoother when they took to the track for morning practice.

 

After another round of practice in the afternoon, it was time to qualify. Bennett was at the wheel of the No. 54 Flexbox / Composite Resources Porsche 911 GT3 R for the 15-minute qualifying session. He steadily improved with each lap and even picked up 0.5-second on his final try. This put him 14th on the GTD grid for Saturday’s 100-minute race.

 

Bennett will start the race and hand the Porsche over to co-driver Braun during the pit stop.

 

Once the checkered flag waves, Bennett and Braun will rush to the airport to take a plane to Thompson, Connecticut, where the GRC New England event will already be underway. If all goes according to plan, the two drivers will make it to Thompson Speedway in time to take part in the GRC Lites final. Regardless of when they arrive, they’ll be able to take part in a full day of GRC action on Sunday.

 

The Chevrolet SportsCar Classic from Detroit will air live on FS2, starting at 12:30pm ET, Saturday.

 

 

“Coming into Detroit, we heard a rumor that the track had been improved. Sure enough, they did a spectacular job smoothing out the roughness of this track. I think Colin and I both liked the layout before, but now with a smoother track surface, it’s certainly a joy to come here and race.

 

“In terms of qualifying, of course, I would like to be faster. The transition from the prototype to the Porsche requires a great deal of respect and patience. I’m quite happy with my progression so far. Colin and Jeff Braun have helped me a great deal getting up to speed. Little-by-little, session-by-session, we’re getting faster and I’m looking forward to the race tomorrow.”
– Jon Bennett