All posts in “Colin Braun”

Stand Out GRC Weekend for CORE autosport

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 21, 2017) – In the second round of the Red Bull Global Rallycross Lites series at the Kentucky Exposition Center, CORE autosport scored two heat wins, helping both cars skip the last chance qualifier and go on to top-five finishes in the final.

 

The weekend got off to a strong start with Braun qualifying the No. 56 GRC Lites car in fourth and Bennett seventh in the No. 54. This separated the teammates into different heat races. Bennett finished fourth in Saturday’s heat while Braun finished second in his group after leading much of the race.

 

On Sunday, Braun and Bennett both won their heat races, a GRC career-first for Bennett. The teammates then went on to finish fourth in their respective semi-finals, which meant they would both skip the LCQ and move straight to the final, another first for Bennett.

 

Rain was threatening, but held off for the final, where Bennett started seventh and Braun eighth.

 

Braun had an excellent start in the final and was quickly up to fifth. He held station there until the final lap when he moved up one more spot to finish fourth.

 

Contact slowed Bennett down at the start, but he gradually picked off positions in the second half of the 10-lap race. He crossed the finish line in fifth behind his teammate. It was Bennett’s best GRC Lites finish to date.

 

The GRC Lites action from Louisville will air on NBC Sports Network, Wednesday, May 24, at 5pm ET.

 

CORE autosport will have the Memorial Day weekend off before heading to Detroit, Michigan, to race on the streets of Belle Isle as part of the latest IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship round.

 

 

 

JON BENNETT
No. 54 CORE autosport GRC Lites

“It was a good weekend all around. We had a very productive test outing in Charlotte and arrived with a strong setup on the car. We unloaded the trucks and rolled out to the grid all sorted and that’s always a good start to the event!

 

“Colin and I learned the track pretty quickly and I think took to some of the nuances faster than our competitors. Plus, the guys on both the No. 54 and No. 56 did a stellar job getting the cars prepared and fixing any crash damage between heats. It was a very poised event for CORE and it showed in our performance.

 

“My win in the second heat was partly due to a really good start. Then, I was able to maintain my composure through the whole race without giving my competitors an opening. It was a flag-to-flag win and I think getting your first heat win takes a little bit of pressure off. I think more heat wins are to come.

 

“In the first corner of the final, I saw an opportunity to pick up a couple of places and stuck my nose down the inside where I thought I had a good opportunity to pass two cars. Unfortunately, the car I was trying to pass either didn’t get good spotting information or was being super aggressive, and we all collided. Fortunately, all three of us continued. My bodywork was in bad shape, but the structural part of the car was fine. I looked for a couple openings, picked off cars each lap and ended up P5.

 

“It was very much a coming of age event for our whole team and I think Colin and I are both in a fortunate position to be looking for our first win or my first podium in the next couple of races!”

 

 

COLIN BRAUN
No. 56 CORE autosport GRC Lites

“The Louisville track was pretty straightforward; there wasn’t a whole lot to it technically, which is what I think made the qualifying and races so close. It was a hard track to pass on though; you had to make bold, aggressive moves. We saw a lot of contact and side-by-side racing.

 

“I got a pretty good start in the first heat and led some of that. Cyril Raymond and I had a good fight in the first heat and another tight battle in heat two. He beat me in the first one and I beat him in the second one.

 

“We were looking pretty good up until the semi-final. I had a rough and tumble semi, which is unfortunate because that sets the grid for the main, so I lined up eighth in the main. I managed to charge up to fourth, but that was all the time we had.

 

“I’m really excited about our results, because all our guys did a good job with the cars and we’re getting better and better as a team. Jon’s performance was awesome this week! I think we’ve shown that when we finally have a little bit of racing luck fall our way, we’ll be up there contending for wins for sure.”

CORE Continues GRC Season in Louisville

ROCK HILL, S.C. (May 17, 2017) – CORE autosport is prepped and ready for Round Two of the Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship. It’s taking its two GRC Lites entries to Louisville, Kentucky, with drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun.

 

CORE narrowly missed out on a GRC Lites podium in the season opener at Memphis International Raceway, but was able to tally a heat win for Braun and Bennett lead all but one lap of the LCQ. Leaving Memphis, Braun was fourth in the GRC points and Bennett eighth.

 

The track layout CORE will face at the Kentucky Exposition Center is a night and day difference from Memphis. GRC course designers did not have to work within the confines of a paved oval, like in Memphis. Instead, they let their imagination run wild in the expansive expo parking lot.

 

The 0.699-mile course features 10-turns, the traditional 70-foot jump and an idyllic Joker Lap that bypasses the entire dirt section and should provide a great advantage.

 

The GRC Louisville event kicks off Saturday, May 20, with finals taking place on Sunday, May 21. Tickets are available at redbullglobalrallycross.com.

 

The GRC Lites final will air on NBC Sports Network, Wednesday, May 24, at 5pm ET.

 

 

 

 

JON BENNETT

No. 54 CORE autosport GRC Lites

“I was actually born in an Army hospital at Fort Knox on May 4th, 1965.  I moved to Rochester, New York, when I was a year old, but, nevertheless, Louisville is where I was born and I look forward to my return in a big way: sideways and airborne!

 

“One of the challenges of Red Bull GRC is learning the new track. While we have the layout ahead of time, I have learned not to read too much into the design until the final track walk. I look forward to solving another GRC puzzle this weekend.

 

“My focus at Louisville will be to search for more speed while staying in the rhythm of the heat races, building to the final. There will likely be positive factors and a couple negative factors. The skill is to keep moving forward with a constructive, positive mind set and enjoy the unexpected.”

 

 

 

 

COLIN BRAUN

No. 56 CORE autosport GRC Lites

“The Louisville layout looks pretty interesting. It looks a bit like the D.C. or L.A. courses from last year. The fact that it’s set up in a big empty parking lot means it will be like a street course, so it’ll have some walls that define the track limits. It’ll be a good thing for both Jon and I, since we have a lot of street course experience.

 

“I know our GRC crew have been busy preparing the cars back at the shop and the fact that we brought them back in relatively good shape after Memphis means we’ll be well prepared. We’ve done some good work between the last race in Memphis and this race, so I think we’re in a suitable position to keep battling for strong finishes.”

CORE Hangs on for 13th at COTA

AUSTIN, Texas (May 6, 2017) – CORE autosport faced stiff WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition and rising temperatures at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. Never the less, drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun persisted and were able to finish four positions ahead of their qualifying spot in Austin, Texas.

 

Bennett qualified the Porsche 17th on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Daytona grid and took on starting duties. His position was improved even prior to the start of the race when two competitors opted to change their tires and move to the back of the field.

 

On the start, Bennett adeptly dodged several spinning cars in the first corner and came out unscathed. As track temperatures rose to 120 degrees, the hottest in IMSA competition so far this year, Bennett managed the tires through his stint in the No. 54 Flex-Box / Composite Resources Porsche 911 GT3 R.

 

After an hour in the car, it was time to hand the wheel over to Braun. On the way into pit lane, Bennett was caught exceeding the pit lane speed limit. As a result, the team was issued a drive-through penalty.

 

Thanks to smart pit strategy, Braun was able to make up the ground lost by the penalty and began some intense battles among his GTD rivals. Though fading brakes hindered his forward progress, Braun managed to advance two more spots to 13th, even with a late-race caution and restart.

 

The next IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship round will take place on the streets of Detroit, June 2 – 3. Prior to that, Bennett and Braun will compete in the second round of the Red Bull Global Rallycross series, May 20 – 21, in Louisville, Kentucky.

 

 

“Brick-by-brick we are making progress. We were able to finish on the lead lap this race, which is an indication of forward progress. I’m still a little behind pace-wise and we are still working to learn the various systems of the car – ABS, traction control, etc. Each of these systems has to be catered to, so we’re learning more and more about the car.

“I think we are all encouraged going forward and heading to Detroit. It’s a track that both Colin and I like and it’s a bit challenging. There’s a bit of opportunity and chaos that will ensue at Detroit and our learning season continues.”

– JON BENNETT

 

 

 

“The car had a really good pace this race. Jon did a good job in his opening stint. Unfortunately, he got a pit road speeding penalty coming in. We were fortunate enough to get our lap back with our pit sequence that the guys on the box called.

“Even though we had that set back, the whole team stayed focused forward and I gave it my all to pick up some spots and get these CORE guys a finish they could be proud of.  All-in-all, we finished on the lead lap and we continue to improve our performance each race. We’re moving forward and had great stops on pit road.”
– COLIN BRAUN

CORE is Bringing the Heat to Texas

ROCK HILL, S.C. (May 2, 2017) – Days after competing in the opening round of the Red Bull Global Rallycross GRC Lites Championship, CORE autosport is back on the road for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun will go from dirt and air time to the immaculate Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

 

CORE has plenty of reasons to look forward to COTA: it’s finished on the podium there in all of its visits with the Prototype Challenge car, including a win in 2015. This year, however, the team takes its GTD Porsche 911 GT3 R for its first crack at the 3.4-mile, 20-turn road course, which hosts the Formula 1 US Grand Prix in October.

 

Traditionally, IMSA has raced at COTA in September, but this year sees the first time the race is held in the spring. Though temperatures are not expected to be as brutal as September, COTA will still be one of the hottest races on the calendar.

 

 

Noteworthy:

  • Thursday, May 5 is Jon Bennett’s birthday.
  • Bennett and Colin Braun’s PC win at COTA in 2015 sealed its fifth-straight PC Championship.
  • CORE finished second in PC at COTA in 2014 (Bennett & Braun) and third in 2013 (Bennett and Tom Kimber-Smith).
  • CORE did not take part in last year’s race at COTA.
  • Braun grew up in Ovalo, Texas, 3.5 hours from Austin.

 

 

 

“We’re looking to put together our first mistake-free event of the season. We’ve had several snafus that hurt our performance over the course of the season. We’re looking forward to what our performance will be when we can accomplish a typical CORE weekend, which is normally mistake-free.

 

“We’re pretty well suited for our first hot race of the season. We have good systems to keep the driver cool. More importantly, in some ways, COTA is our first traditional road circuit with the Porsche. It’s not an oval converted for road racing, it’s not an old airport, and it’s not a street course. We’re looking forward to getting the Porsche onto a more conventional road circuit.

 

“I like COTA because it’s used for Formula 1, so it has generous amounts of runoff and I like to take risks and I think in the process learn the limits of the race car without putting the equipment in jeopardy. I’m looking forward to that aspect of COTA; it allows you to hang the car out on the edge without big mechanical risks.”
– JON BENNETT

 

 

 

 

“COTA is a pretty unique place. It’s a very exciting, cool track, since it’s a Formula 1 track. It’s got a lot of first-gear hairpins, it’s got an interesting section of Esses and a really long right-hand corner. It has a lot of unique things that mix together for a track that doesn’t have a lot of flow, but certainly presents a lot of challenges and is fun in that aspect.

 

“At a place like COTA, with the surface that they have, tire wear isn’t too big of a concern. For us, it’s going to be different since we’re going earlier in the year. We’re used to seeing really high track temperatures and high ambient temps. If we were going back in the PC car, we’d probably take a different approach than previous years, but we’re going in a car that we’ve never run there, so we don’t know any better.

 

“If you look on paper at the performance Mercedes has had over the first three races, those would have to be the cars to beat. They’ve had good pace and been very dominant. Those were a completely different set of tracks though and COTA is going to be interesting one. It has very long straightaways and very long braking zones. It has a lot of places where putting the power down is going to be important and I think those areas are where the Porsche is going to be very strong.

 

“Jon and I have both had success at COTA and locked up PC championships there, so I feel like we have a lot of confidence about that circuit. We’re learning every time we go racing with this car. This is the fourth different race track we’ve been to now, so we’re leaps and bounds ahead of where we were. Jon and the whole team have done an amazing job, building on everything through the season, so I’m excited to get things kicked off at COTA.”
– COLIN BRAUN

 

 

Advance Auto Parts Sportscar Showdown | May 4 – 6

Track Length: 3.4 miles, 20 turns

Race Length: 2 hours, 40 minutes

 

SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

Thursday, May 4

10:45am – 11:45am: Practice #1 (All Classes)

3:55pm – 4:55pm: Practice #2 (All Classes)

 

Friday, May 5

9:55am – 10:55am: Practice #3 (All Classes)

1:05pm – 1:20pm: Qualifying (GTD Class)

 

Saturday, May 6

9:40am – 10:00am: Warm Up (All Classes)

11:45am – 12:30pm: Driver Autograph Session

2:35pm – 5:15pm: Advance Auto Parts Sportscar Showdown

 

TV SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

LIVE Qualifying:

Friday, May 5

12:55pm – 2:35pm: IMSA.com

Race U.S.:

Saturday, May 6

7:00pm – 10:00pm: FS1

LIVE Race International:

2:35pm – 5:15pm: IMSA.com

 

LIVE In-Car Cameras & Commentary:

IMSA.com

CORE Narrowly Misses GRC Podium in Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (May 1, 2017) – CORE autosport narrowly missed out on a podium finish in the opening round of the 2017 Red Bull Global Rallycross season. In the end Colin Braun came away with a fourth-place and Jon Bennett earned a seventh-place result in their first GRC Lites race of the year.

 

Memphis International Raceway is a paved 3/4-mile oval, previously used for NASCAR Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series. The GRC course used the entire oval, except for the Turn Three area, plus a good portion of the paved infield, including a quarter-mile section covered in dirt. With its extensive road racing experience and Braun’s Xfinity Series appearance at Memphis International Raceway in 2007, CORE was optimistic it would have an edge on its GRC Lites competition.

 

That looked to be the case early in practice and qualifying rounds, but the rest of the 11-car field quickly adjusted to the learning curve. Bennett and Braun were in for some stiff competition in the heat races.

 

Braun was able to pick up his first heat race win and after finishing third in the Semi-Final, earned a spot in the Final without having to first make it through the LCQ. Bennett was not as lucky, but was able to finish second in the LCQ, which punched his ticket to the Final as well.

 

Two cars were served penalties on the opening lap of the 10-lap Final, which immediately promoted Bennett to eighth and Braun to fourth.

 

Driving the No. 56 Composite Resources/ORECA Gear GRC Lites, Braun did an expert job reeling in the No. 44 of Cyril Brooks. Braun used his Joker Lap with two laps to go to pass Brooks for third, but Brooks did the same thing right back on the final lap to take back the final podium spot. Braun finished fourth, while Bennett picked up one additional spot in his No. 54 Composite Resources/ORECA Gear GRC Lites car to finish seventh. This matches Bennett’s best GRC finish to date.

 

“I want to thank everyone on the team for the hard work leading up to the race and for the long nights due to late parts delivery,” GRC Program Manager Brian Colangelo said. “We’ve made significant gains as a team and with the cars as a result of everyone’s efforts. Jon and Colin drove well and we feel confident we are close to the top step of the podium, even with the stacked GRC Lites field.”

 

The next stop for CORE on the GRC tour is Louisville, Kentucky, May 21. But first, Bennett and Braun will head to Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas to compete in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, May 4 – 6.

 

 

 

JON BENNETT

No. 54 Composite Resources/ORECA Gear GRC Lites

“I would say the layout in general was good, but there’s certain aspects of converting a race track to GRC course that can be complex. There was trouble with some of the pavement in the infield that wasn’t meant to be used as race track. Our cars and the Supercars really broke up the surface quite a bit. Parts of it were a little bit like Baja. I didn’t really mind that much, but it was really hard on equipment.

 

“The dirt section after the ramp was mixture of gravel and sand. For the first half of the event it got very rutted. I think from Friday to Saturday they came up with something to give that sand and gravel some more body. The dirt section wasn’t too bad Saturday.

 

“The LCQ went fairly smoothly. I lead every lap except the last lap, but two cars transfer, so we went to the Final. I had a great start and was moving through traffic pretty well. I’d say that our cars lacked a little bit of top speed and that hurt us a little bit. I ran a clean, mostly mistake-free race. I was able to move up a bit through attrition.

 

“I’d say that as a team, this was probably our best executed GRC event. Some of the work that we did in the off-season has made the cars better handling and we’ve put together a really solid crew that can get the job done in a matter of minutes. I think we’re steadily making progress, but the competition is tight and all the cars are really dialed in.”

 

 

COLIN BRAUN

No. 56 Composite Resources/ORECA Gear GRC Lites

“The track itself was a great concept, I think, but the layout made it incredibly hard to pass. The dirt section was very loose like kitty litter. That dirt ended up getting dragged all around the asphalt surface and so you had one clear lane, which is where everyone drove and that made it hard to pass. It made the starts really important. The way the Joker Lane was configured didn’t really make it a huge gain either. It was important to get a good start and from there it was all about track position.

 

“We had very rutted out and bumpy dirt section. There were quite a few cars, us included, who hit those bumps the wrong way and ended up bending bumpers underneath the suspension. The CORE guys had to work extra hard to fix these cars up.

 

“We had a good, fast car and got our first heat win. They have a new format this year for how points are accumulated and they’ve added semi-finals too. It was interesting to see how it played out. We were able to get a heat win, but we ended up lining up fifth for the Final. It wasn’t where we wanted to start considering how important track position was. We had a really fast car all weekend, we just never really had good track position in the Final. With the track being so hard to pass, it kind of kept you stuck where you were.

 

“For the Final, the top four cars were all nose-to-tail for the whole race. We had the Joker in our pocket. We thought we’d do it one lap ahead of Brooks and put in a good lap and put in a gap, so that when he Jokered, we’d still be in front and in third. The cars were so competitive and so close that we Jokered and popped ahead of him, but on the final lap, he Jokered and got right back to the position where he was before.

 

“I feel like we made some good improvements. We’ve finished on the podium and had good results before, but I feel like this time, we had better pace to the front-runners. We still have some work to do, but I feel like we’re much closer to getting our first Final win. We’ve made great strides. Jon showed good pace and had good results. I feel like as a team, we’re getting closer to where we need to be. We’ll keep working and keep our heads down.”

CORE Returns to GRC Lites with Bennett, Braun and ORECA Gear

ROCK HILL, S.C. (April 18, 2017) – CORE autosport will continue its two-car Red Bull Global Rallycross Lites program in 2017. Jon Bennett and Colin Braun return as drivers and ORECA Gear returns as an official partner and equipment supplier.

 

After collecting four podium finishes in its GRC Lites debut last year, CORE has its sights firmly set on capturing its first GRC Lites win in 2017. Bennett and Braun’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship commitments will prevent them from attending three of the 12 GRC rounds, and thus take them out of a championship run.

 

“When we debuted in GRC-Lites last year, our goal was to familiarize ourselves with the cars, circuits and specifics of the series, but also to demonstrate how competitive we were by finishing on the podium,” CORE GRC Program Manager Brian Colangelo said. “Our preparation improved with each race and our four podium finishes proved that to be true. For 2017, we have our sights set on race wins and hope to establish ourselves as the team to beat in rallycross and a viable option for OEM partners.”

 

One such partner already on board for CORE’s 2017 GRC Lites campaign is ORECA Gear, who will supply the team with steering wheels, seats and harnesses for both the No. 54 and No. 56 entries. This is the second-straight year CORE has partnered with ORECA Gear for its GRC Lites program.

 

Launched in 2013, Red Bull Global Rallycross is the perfect blend of car racing and extreme sports, bringing together asphalt, dirt and airtime for a one-of-a-kind show! The series is broken down into two categories: Supercar and GRC Lites. GRC Lites is an invaluable step toward the Supercar class. Driver talent is able to flourish in this class composed of identical tubular chassis powered by a Ford 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine with 320 hp.

 

The Red Bull Global Rallycross program kicks off April 29 at Memphis International Raceway in Tennessee. Television coverage of the GRC Lites race will air Tuesday, May 2, on NBC Sports Network, at 5pm ET.

 

Founded by owner/driver Jon Bennett in 2010, CORE autosport is a five-time Prototype Challenge champion in IMSA competition and as of 2017, has transitioned to GT Daytona competition with a Porsche 911 GT3 R. Since 2014, CORE has served as the competition partner for Porsche’s two-car GTLM factory program, which has earned two Manufacturer Championships. CORE autosport is located in Rock Hill, South Carolina, across the street from Composite Resources, a manufacturing firm started by Bennett in 1992.

 

Involved in motorsports for 40 years as a racing car team and constructor, ORECA has put the experience of its various endeavors to the benefit of its range of driver and cockpit equipment. Developed within the scope of sporting programs at the highest global level, ORECA products are designed to prioritize the safety and comfort of its clients.

 

Jon Bennett
No. 54 ORECA Gear GRC Lites

“Auto racing is my passion no matter what form it comes in. Taking part in my first Red Bull Global Rallycross season last year was a real eye-opener to this new genre of motorsport and a blast to experience. I enjoyed learning a totally different driving style and race craft, and being encouraged to have all four wheels leave the ground was fun! Thanks to our ORECA Gear equipment though, I always felt safe.

 

“I was very impressed with our team’s ability to learn the ins and outs of these cars and this series in a short amount of time. It was fantastic to see CORE autosport on the podium in its debut in such a competitive class. We want to continue with this momentum in 2017 and show that we are a team OEMs will want to work with in GRC.”

 

 

Colin Braun
No. 56 ORECA Gear GRC Lites

“I love to experience all kinds of different race cars, so getting the opportunity to do GRC Lites last year was an awesome experience. One of the things I enjoy most about motorsports is the learning process and we had a lot of learning to do in 2016. I was on the podium three times and I know that this season, a win isn’t too far off. At CORE, we’re all about constantly improving and that makes me very eager to get back to work!

 

“We’re returning to quite a few places we raced at last year, so we have some idea of the different surfaces we’ll be working with, but because GRC changes up its courses every year, it’ll still be a new ball game for all the teams. It’s going to be a lot of fun and I can’t wait to get back in the GRC Lites car, especially knowing that our cockpit will be outfitted with ORECA Gear again!”

 

 

 

2017 Red Bull Global Rallycross Lites Schedule

 

Rd. 1 April 29

Memphis International Raceway

Memphis, TN

 

Rd. 2 May 21
Kentucky Exposition Center

Louisville, KY

 

*Rd. 3 June 3

Thompson Speedway

Thompson, CT

 

*Rd. 4 June 4

Thompson Speedway

Thompson, CT

 

Rd. 5 June 17

Canada Aviation And Space Museum

Ottawa, Canada

 

Rd. 6 June 18

Canada Aviation and Space Museum

Ottawa, Canada

 

*Rd. 7 July 9

Lucas Oil Speedway

Indianapolis, IN

 

Rd. 8 August 12

Bader Field

Atlantic City, NJ

 

Rd. 9 August 13

Bader Field

Atlantic City, NJ

 

Rd. 10 September 9

Evergreen Speedway

Seattle, WA

 

Rd. 11 September 10

Evergreen Speedway

Seattle, WA

 

Rd. 12 October 14

TBD

Los Angeles, CA

 

*No CORE attendance due to IMSA schedule conflict

CORE Takes on Busy Streets of Long Beach

ROCK HILL, S.C. (April 4, 2017) – The third round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship takes CORE autosport to one of the most famous temporary circuits in the world; the BUBBA burger Sports Car Grand Prix takes place on the streets of Long Beach, California.

 

Featuring the Prototype, GT Le Mans and GT Daytona categories, this year’s event features the largest field IMSA has ever brought to the 1.968-mile, 11-turn street course. Thirty-five cars are slated to take the green flag for the 100-minute race, 16 of them GTD cars. With minimal passing opportunities and a full race track, qualifying, pit lane performance and race strategy will be critical to a win at Long Beach.

 

Jon Bennett and Colin Braun are no strangers to Long Beach, but once again they face a familiar circuit in an unfamiliar vehicle: the No. 54 Porsche 911 GT3 R. It will be the duo’s first time running the GTD car on a street circuit. The Porsche offers more forgiving suspension, plus traction control and ABS, as compared to the Prototype Challenge car they raced together at Long Beach in 2012, 2013 and 2016.

 

Noteworthy

  • CORE won the PC class at Long Beach in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
  • This year’s Long Beach race is earlier in the day (1pm local time) than previous years.
  • CORE’s No. 54 Porsche 911 GT3 will be on display for fans at Thunder Thursday in the Pike Outlets. The event starts at 6:30pm local time.
  • Long Beach is the only race that will be broadcast live, in its entirety on FOX.
  • IMSA shares the weekend with the Verizon IndyCar Series and Pirelli World Challenge.

 

 

 

Jon Bennett
Driver: No. 54 Porsche 911 GT3 R

“Colin and I have had good results at Long Beach in recent years and we are both excited to bring the Porsche GT3 R to the streets of Long Beach. The Porsche’s sophisticated suspension is more compliant than the prototype; this will give us the freedom to use more of the race course, including the curbs.

 

“The set up is tough at Long Beach because the race course is constantly changing grip level from the first session right through the end of the race. We will start with a set up that suits a slippery surface and adapt to the grip for every on track outing.

 

“Traffic will be a challenge and should be quite interesting for the race fans. The speeds of the GTLM and GTD cars are similar. Combined, there will be 25 GT type cars. Finding passing opportunities for the faster prototypes will be a challenge in many areas of the circuit.

 

“Our team’s spirits are high despite our slower than usual start. We all understand the ups and downs of motorsport. We also realize the effort required to adapt to a new race car platform. Despite the quality of the 2017 GTD field, I expect to see CORE autosport on the top of the podium in the near future.”

 

 

Colin Braun
Driver: No. 54 Porsche 911 GT3 R

“I think the biggest change from PC to GTD is going to be how the classes interact together. In the PC cars we were the second-fastest class on track, but with the GTD cars, we’ll be the slowest class, so the interaction might be a bit easier, but we’ll have more cars to contest with. A lot of people are unsure what to expect on the GTD side, because it’s the first time this class has gone to Long Beach. I’m as interested as anyone to see what it will look like.

 

“The biggest challenge for us when it comes to setup is the schedule. We’re the first thing on track Friday morning and it’s usually very dusty and dirty. We have all of our practice and qualifying on Friday and then we don’t race until Saturday afternoon. It’s hard to set your car up for what the race will be like when there’s a lot more rubber and grip on the track. We’re always trying to set it up to be strong on Saturday and trying to know what that feels like on Friday is always a challenge.

 

“Going from a PC car to a GTD car, we’ll be able to use a little bit more of the apex curving. We won’t be getting any closer to the wall though; I’ve already been scraping all of those in some fashion or other in the PC car! There’s not a lot more room to be had! It should be a nice addition for us to have traction control and ABS though, which we did not have the last time we were at Long Beach.”

 

 

 

BUBBA burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach | April 7- 8

Track Length: 1.968 miles, 11 turns

Race Length: 100 minutes

 

SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

Friday, April 7

10:40am – 12:40pm: Practice #1 (All Classes)

7:45pm – 8:10pm: Practice #2 (All Classes)

8:20pm – 8:35pm: Qualifying (GTD Class)

Saturday, April 8

12:45pm – 1:30pm: Driver Autograph Session

4:05pm – 5:45pm: BUBBA burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach

 

TV SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

LIVE Qualifying:

Friday, April 7

7:30pm – 9:15pm: IMSA.com

LIVE Race U.S.:

Saturday, April 8

4:00pm – 6:00pm: FOX

Full flag-to-flag coverage is available on FOX Sports GO with FS1 authentication

 

LIVE Race International:

3:50pm – 5:45pm: IMSA.com

 

LIVE In-Car Cameras & Commentary:

IMSA.com

Sebring Race Ends Early for CORE

CORE autosport put up a strong fight against one of the most grueling tracks in America at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida, the second round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

With a driver line up of experienced Sebring winners Jon Bennett, Colin Braun and Nic Jonsson, the team set out to take on the iconic Sebring International Raceway for the first time in the GT Daytona class with the No. 54 Composite Resources/Flex-Box Porsche 911 GT3 R. The GTD category has the largest car count within the WeatherTech series, boasting 21 entries at Sebring.

As the hours passed by, the team cycled through its driver lineup and stuck with its race plan. However, the ruthless track wasn’t going to let the team off that easy. With just over four hours to go, an engine temperature issue sent the team behind the wall for repairs.

The crew made quick work of the repairs and had the car back on track within 20 minutes, only losing one spot and rejoining the race in 16th with three hours to go.

The racing Gods had more bad luck in store for the team; with little more than an hour left in the race, Braun lost oil pressure and had to pull off the track. This ended the team’s quest for its fourth Sebring class victory.

CORE’s next opportunity to climb the GTD podium will be in three weeks’ time at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

 

Jon Bennett
Driver: No. 54 Porsche 911 GT3 R
“It was an interesting and long day in the office here at Sebring. It started off with a lot of optimism. As the week went along, all of us—as a team—got faster. I think we were all looking forward to our first podium and our first finish with our new Porsche. We ran into a few problems today, and with a race that didn’t really have many cautions, it was hard for us to stay in the race. Nic and Colin were very fast. Colin posted the fastest lap in GTD several times this week. I think that shows promise.

 

“While the car is new to me, I continue to get faster as well. We’ll gather our notes and head to Long Beach. Both our team and Porsche have been very successful there so we’re looking forward to a good run.”

 

Colin Braun
Driver: No. 54 Porsche 911 GT3 R
“Today wasn’t the result we all wanted or deserved. We had an unfortunate engine issue at the end of the race. The guys worked hard all week, but there were a lot of things outside of our control that we fought all weekend. Everyone at CORE kept digging and working hard throughout the event. Nic and Jon did a great job in the car today as well, but some weekends just aren’t your weekend. We had great pace and felt like we were in the mix. I felt like we had some decent race pace, but just never had track position and never had the yellows fall the way we needed them to. We got a lot of the race under our belt, so we have a lot of great notes and we can keep building as a team.”

 

Nic Jönsson
Driver: No. 54 Porsche 911 GT3 R
“A big thanks to Jon and CORE autosport for inviting me back this weekend. It’s a first class operation around here. Unfortunately, this weekend hasn’t been what we were hoping for. We had the pace, but just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. We fought really hard to get caught up, but the yellows just fell in the wrong place for us and we weren’t able to get caught up. Six hours in or so, we started to lose power while I was in the car. After I handed the car over to Colin, it just got worse and we weren’t able to finish the race.

 

“To work with a group like this is always inspiring. There’s certainly potential to win here. They have shown before with their PC operation that they are a team to beat, and once they fully settle in to their new ride, they’ll be back at the top again.”

CORE Takes Positive Momentum to Sebring

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.

 

 

Noteworthy:

  • 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.

 

 

Jon Bennett
Driver: No. 54 Porsche 911 GT3 R

 

“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.”

 

 

Colin Braun
Driver: No. 54 Porsche 911 GT3 R

“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.”

 

 

Nic Jönsson
Driver: No. 54 Porsche 911 GT3 R

“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)

LIVE Qualifying:

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:

IMSA.com

 

CORE Leads Class Before Daytona Exit

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 29, 2017) – In its GT Daytona class debut, CORE autosport’s Porsche 911 GT3 R ran up front for the first half of the Rolex 24 at Daytona, before retiring because of crash damage. The team made it to the halfway point of the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opener, before contact forced it to take the car back to the garage.

 

Drivers Jon Bennett, Colin Braun, Nic Jönsson and Patrick Long faced adverse conditions in each of their stints. Bennett started the car from 25th followed by Jönsson. When it was Jönsson’s turn to pass the car to Long, a light rain began to fall. The rain continued to vary in intensity, which made tire choice a tricky decision.

 

As the sun went down, temperatures dropped and the rain held steady. Drivers likened the Daytona International Raceway circuit to an ice skating rink, even on wet tires. Despite this, the No. 54 Porsche 911 GT3 R led a total of 22 laps in the highly competitive and 27-car strong GTD field.

 

Almost precisely at the halfway mark, Jönsson was hit from behind entering the Bus Stop. This sent him spinning into the wall. The Porsche sustained heavy damage to both the front and rear of the car. Upon closer inspection in the garage, it was determined the car would be unable to continue. Fortunately, Jönsson was able to walk away from the incident unharmed.

 

The early exit was disappointing for CORE, but nonetheless, the team was buoyed by their performance as rookies in the GTD class. CORE now looks forward to the 12 Hours of Sebring, March 16 – 18, in Sebring, Florida.

 

 

Jon Bennett
Driver: No. 54 Porsche 911 GT3 R

“It was wonderful to start our first race with the Porsche 911 GT3 R. Our qualifying wasn’t the greatest, but we had a good place to start the race in terms of being able to see what was going on. We took a conservative approach at the start. Then once things started to settle down after a lap or two, we started chipping away. I ultimately got to a really good pace for myself after the start and kept the car basically on the lead lap. Nic, Pat and Colin did a great job moving us up in the order, in addition to some great strategy by the team. In short order, we were near the top of the list. In fact, when the sun fell, Colin had our car in the lead in our first race and we held that lead for quite a long time.

 

“It just wasn’t meant to be. The rain was quite challenging. The car was new to all of us and it was a bit tricky drive. The conditions were some of the most difficult I’ve seen, especially when Nic took the car after my stint. We were struggling to find balance, but Nic did a great job. In the middle of the night, Nic unfortunately was hit from behind and there was nothing that he could do. He was just a victim of circumstances. We have a bit of a broken racecar, but it’ll get mended up quickly. My hat’s off to the crew for their hard work. We’ll be back strong for Sebring.”

 

Colin Braun
Driver: No. 54 Porsche 911 GT3 R

“It was really treacherous for a big portion of our race out there. Nic did a great job in the car, but unfortunately, he got collected by someone. Nic and Jon both did a great job, and we led some laps and stuck to our plan there.

 

“There was so much mist in the air and everything was so cold. At night, it’s really tough to get the temperature in the tire. I’ve done this 13 years now, and it seems there’s always more heartbreak than there is time on the podium. Now we’ll go on to Sebring and I know that we have a fast car and are capable of running with these guys.”

 

 

Nic Jonsson
Driver: Porsche 911 GT3 R

“We had a very well-balanced car. The CORE guys gave us a really great car along with Porsche. I hadn’t driven the car a lot, so we decided to get going with it and get a good handle on it. We had a good pace and advanced to the lead at one point. The rain made the conditions very difficult, but Colin led for a while and Jon did a great job out there. When I got back in, I just carried on in the same style. We were one of the top three cars out there speed-wise.

 

“In my second stint, I got held up by another GTD car in Turn Six, so I had to check up, but then another car got a good run on me and then a Prototype approached fast from the back. The spotter alerted me, but the next thing I knew, I just got hit really, really hard from behind, right into the wall, several times. It was unfortunate; we had such a great car. A big thanks to Porsche Motorsport North America and CORE for all of their hard work.”

 

 

Patrick Long
Driver: No. 54 Porsche 911 GT3 R

“I ran in mixed conditions – cold weather, rain and dark. That is the sort of trifecta of difficulty for a driver. The team did a great job giving me a versatile setup and keeping me calm. I enjoyed being with these guys. It’s a shame that we’re out early, but they’ll fight back. I look forward to following them the whole season.

 

“Every time I run with CORE autosport, it’s everything you could ever ask for. You have everything at your disposal so that you can put forth the best effort.”