All posts in “Colin Braun”

CORE Heads West for Penultimate IMSA Race

ROCK HILL, S.C. (Sept. 19, 2017) – Only two rounds remain in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Challenge, the first of which is the Continental Monterey Grand Prix. CORE autosport will take its GT Daytona class Porsche 911 GT3 R west to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, located in Monterey, California.

 

It’s been four weeks since Jon Bennett and Colin Braun were last in the driver seat of the Porsche at VIRginia International Raceway, where the duo scored its third top-10 finish of the season. Mazda Raceway is a very different animal; shorter, tighter and grittier. Sand blows across the track surface and a cool ocean breeze keeps temperatures low.

 

In previous IMSA seasons the race at Mazda Raceway has taken place in May. This is the first time it will take place in September since 2011, CORE’s debut season.

 

NOTEWORTHY

  • CORE has amassed six podium finishes at Mazda Raceway since 2011, all in the Prototype Challenge class.
  • In 2012, Bennett and Braun scored their first IMSA victory as teammates at Mazda Raceway.
  • CORE made its ALMS GT class debut at Mazda Raceway in 2013 with Patrick Long and Tom Kimber-Smith driving a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, they finished seventh.
  • Braun’s birthday is Friday, September 22.

 

“A few years ago, the Laguna event was an annual six-hour race held in the early fall. This is my favorite memory of the Laguna event. Although the 2017 event is a bit shorter, I look forward to Laguna Seca in September.

 

“Laguna is a swoopy, flowing circuit that rewards drivers that can conserve momentum. Yes, traffic can sometimes interrupt the flow and GTD drivers must learn to coexist with the faster prototypes and GTLM cars while maintaining the “flow” and momentum.

 

“You can be certain Laguna Seca will be covered in a light coating of sand during the entire event. Setting up the car and managing aggression are the key to going fast while conserving the tires.

 

“We have had a challenging season in a hyper competitive GTD field. Colin and I enjoy our Porsche GT3 R and continue to unlock more speed at every event. We are determined to join our competitors on the podium at one or both of these final races of 2017.”
– JON BENNETT

 

 

 

“Laguna is always a fun place and a cool track to drive at. Jon and I have a lot of experience in the PC car there. It’s a tough circuit from a passing opportunity standpoint. It’s easy to dip a wheel and get stuck in the gravel. It’s going to be an interesting mix to see how all the classes work together and get along. I’m sure there will have to be a lot of give and take between the three classes.

 

“Tire degradation is going to be a big factor. I think Laguna is hard on tires because the surface doesn’t have a lot of grip, so you’re always sliding across the racetrack. That wears out the tires quite a bit. It’s also easy for sand to blow onto the racetrack. The sand acts like sand paper and wears the tires out really quickly. We’ve got plenty of notes from prior visits, but none with the GTD car.

 

“For us at CORE, I think our goals in these last two races are to continue to improve and learn as much as we can. This year, we’ve had some good results and shown good speed. Whether we’re winning races or we’re not, we’re always working as hard as we can. We never waiver from trying to constantly improve.

 

“Ironically, Laguna always used to fall on Jon’s birthday in May and now it’s moved to September and it falls on my birthday, so they must be arranging the Laguna dates around the CORE autosport drivers’ birthdays!”
– COLIN BRAUN

 

 

Continental Monterey Grand Prix | September 22 – 24

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VENUE

Track Length: 2.238-miles, 11 turns

Race Length: 2 hours, 40 minutes

 

SCHEDULE (All times Pacific)

Friday, September 22

10:00am – 11:00am: Practice #1 (All Classes)

2:50pm – 3:50pm: Practice #2 (All Classes)

 

Saturday, September 23

8:00am – 9:00am: Practice #3 (All Classes)

11:30am – 11:45am: Qualifying (GTD class)

 

Sunday, September 24

9:10am – 9:30am: Warm Up (All Classes)

11:15am – 12:00pm: Driver Autograph Session

12:45pm – 1:45pm: Open Grid

2:05pm – 4:45pm: America’s Tire 250 Race

 

TV SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

LIVE Qualifying:

Saturday, September 23

2:20pm – 3:35pm: IMSA.com

LIVE Race U.S.:

Sunday, September 24

5:00pm – 8:00pm: FS1

LIVE Race International:

4:55pm – 7:45pm: IMSA.com

 

LIVE In-Car Cameras & Commentary:

IMSA.com

CORE Earns Another Top-10 IMSA GTD Finish

CORE autosport collected its third IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship top-10 finish at VIRginia International Raceway. Though the all-GT race had zero full-course cautions, there was still plenty of bumping and banging throughout the field.

Jon Bennett took the opening stint in the No. 54 Flex-Box / Composite Resources Porsche 911 GT3 R. He immediately had to avoid chaos in the first corner when three cars got together in front of him. Bennett maneuvered through the mess with ease, and after the opening lap he was up to 10th.

Though he faded back to 13th, 45 minutes into his stint, Bennett was back up to 10th just in time to hand the car over to co-drive Colin Braun.

A quick and clean pit stop had Braun back on course in 12th. He soon found the track littered with grass and dirt from the numerous cars making off-course excursions.

In a race that went the full two hours and 40 minutes without a yellow flag, making up positions depended on pace. Braun delivered by setting the quickest race lap by a Porsche entry, cracking into the top 10 and advancing to eighth by the checkered flag.

The finish is the third top-10 GTD result for CORE this season.

Next up is the America’s Tire 250, September 22 – 24, at Monterey, California’s Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

 

“The first corner on the first lap was nuts. I’ve been doing this a while, but starts are a little bit of mystery sometimes. You have to have your eyes up. It worked out for us. There was a lot of chaos. I didn’t see all of it directly but I did see flashes of cars in places that they shouldn’t be. I was constantly looking for an exit or a plan b. For me, actually, I just did my job and was fortunate to sneak through there and gain a couple of positions.

 

“I enjoyed the first laps of the race. Ultimately, I struggled a little with pace today. Some of the positions I gained on the start evaporated over my stint. Our team did a fantastic job during both stops. We had a clean driver change and Colin, of course, did his magic in the car. When you add it all together, an eighth-place finish isn’t bad. I’m pretty happy with that. “
– JON BENNETT

 

 

“It was tough. A lot of guys were flying off the track and bringing a lot of debris onto it, which made it like a Russian roulette game through the corners. You’d never know when the debris was there and when it wasn’t.

 

“The traffic was tricky because our pace was almost the same as the GTLM class. It was tough because they had their own race to fight but we had just enough pace to interrupt their battles. We don’t want to be in the way and we want to let them through so we can get racing. But for whatever reasons, our paces were so similar here we just had to let them go, which meant we had to give up time that we could be racing, but that’s part of the excitement of our series.

 

“All in all, it was a good day for us. We got a top-10 finish. With no yellows to bunch it up, it makes it hard to catch up. The boys did a great job with pit stops. We had decent pace. We were kind of in our own little spot – there wasn’t much to gain and not a lot to be lost.”
– COLIN BRAUN

CORE Takes Positive Momentum to VIR

ROCK HILL, S.C. (Aug. 23, 2017) – Coming off of its best GT Daytona finish thus far, CORE autosport hopes to carry that positive momentum to VIRginia International Raceway for the latest round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

 

The Michelin GT Challenge at VIR features just the GT Le Mans (GTLM) and GT Daytona (GTD) classes, with the Prototype (P) and Prototype Challenge (PC) cars getting the weekend off. This is the second such all-GT event, the first taking place last month at Lime Rock Park.

 

VIR has historically been a strong track for CORE, which has put a car on the podium every year since its first trip in 2012. In 2013, Braun and Patrick Long finished second in a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR in the American Le Mans Series GT class.

 

The two-hour and 40-minute race will air live on FS1, Sunday, August 27, at 1:30pm ET.

 

 

NOTEWORTHY

  • CORE has five podium finishes at VIR, including a PC win for Bennett and Braun in 2012.
  • In 2013, the team’s GT entry (Braun/Long) and PC entry (Bennett/Tom Kimber-Smith) both finished second in class at VIR.
  • CORE’s Rock Hill, South Carolina shop is only 175 miles away from VIR.

 

 

 

“It’ll be interesting, because I’ve watched the all-GT show at VIR from a distance in the past when we were in the Prototype Challenge car. I think the all-GT show at VIR will be similar to the all-GT show at Lime Rock Park. I think in particular at VIR, the circuit will really play to the strengths of the GT cars, which are, these days, at the speeds of prototypes a few years ago. The speeds will be high.

 

“I think because all the cars will be at a similar performance level, the race will be good without constant interruption of prototypes coming through at two times our speed. It’ll be good, focused racing and racing that will continue in a good flow from start to finish. I’m looking forward to it.

 

“I’ve seen these breathtaking photos of GT cars with two wheels in the air through the Esses at VIR. My recent GRC experience has me well prepared for that!”
– JON BENNETT

 

 

 

“I’ve missed VIR. It’s one of my favorite race tracks in North America. It has a great rhythm and flow to it. It’s a place Jon and I both love racing at. It’s got great staff and great facilities. When we switched from PC to GTD, VIR was probably at the top of my list, in terms of excitement for the switch; I realized ‘hey we get to go to VIR again!’

 

“The all-GT format thins out traffic a bit. Personally, I like when all the classes are together, but I understand there are other factors at play. It should be easier for us being in the slowest class; not having two prototype classes makes it a bit easier. We don’t have to watch our mirrors so much and can focus on our own battles. A big, flowing track like VIR with not too many cars should be a real joy to drive.”
– COLIN BRAUN

 

 

Michelin GT Challenge at VIR | August 25 – 27

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VENUE

Track Length: 3.27-miles, 17 turns

Race Length: 2 hours, 40 minutes

 

SCHEDULE (All times Central)

Friday, August 25

11:20pm – 12:20pm: Practice #1 (All Classes)

4:10pm – 5:10pm: Practice #2 (All Classes)

 

Saturday, August 26

8:55am – 9:55am: Practice #3 (All Classes)

12:35pm – 12:50pm: Qualifying (GTD class)

2:00pm – 2:45pm: Pre-Race / Open Grid

3:05pm – 5:45pm: Northeast Grand Prix

 

Sunday, August 27

8:30am – 8:50am: Warm Up (All Classes)

10:45am – 11:30am: Driver Autograph Session

12:15pm – 1:15pm: Open Grid

1:35pm – 4:15pm: Continental Tire Road Race Showcase

 

TV SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

LIVE Qualifying:

Saturday, August 26

12:10pm – 1:00pm: IMSA.com

LIVE Race U.S.:

Sunday, August 27

1:30pm – 4:30pm: FS1

LIVE Race International:

1:25pm – 4:15pm: IMSA.com

 

LIVE In-Car Cameras & Commentary:

IMSA.com

CORE Full of Comebacks in GRC Atlantic City

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (Aug. 15, 2017) – Returning to Red Bull Global Rallycross action for the first time in nearly two months, CORE autosport rebounded on several occasions to earn solid finishes in the Atlantic City doubleheader.

 

This year’s GRC Atlantic City course was markedly different from last year. Not only was the layout new, but the dirt section was actually composed of sand on top of asphalt. This made things especially tricky on Saturday when heavy rains passed through the area and made the sandy area especially slick.

 

Driving the No. 54 Composite Resources/ORECA gear GRC Lites car, Jon Bennett nearly got his first heat win on Saturday and then proceeded to bypass the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) by finishing second in the semi-final.

 

A strong start had him into the top five, but he began to fall back after contact with other competitors damaged his car. He was able to finish, but back in ninth.

 

Teammate Colin Braun didn’t even get a chance at Saturday’s final in the No. 56 Composite Resources/ORECA gear GRC Lites machine. After a strong showing in the heat races, Braun lined up on pole for the semi-final, but the engine in his car expired at the start. The GRC schedule is so tight, that the team didn’t have nearly enough time to change the engine before the LCQ.

 

After an all-nighter changing out the No. 56 engine, CORE autosport bounced back on Sunday, with Braun winning his first heat race. He tangled with another competitor in his second heat race, which put him in a poor starting spot for the semi-final. Still, Braun stayed focused and was able to advance to the final without issue. There, he clawed his way from eighth on the grid to a fourth-place finish.

 

Bennett was unlucky in his heat races, which forced him into the LCQ, but he came back strong by winning it. He finished where he started in Sunday’s final: ninth.

 

You can watch Bennett’s and Braun’s GRC Lites races from Atlantic City on CBS Sports Network, Wednesday, August 23, at 5 p.m. ET.

 

CORE autosport is back with Global Rallycross, September 9 – 10, in Seattle, Washington.

 

 

“I was pleasantly surprised that the circuit that they laid out was in the same place but completely different. There were some new twists to the design. Sand over asphalt was substituted for natural dirt sections. The course raced really well and it was a good event in general.

 

“The genius in putting sand over asphalt was that even in poor weather conditions, in the rain, we didn’t get a lot of deep ruts and roughness that you’d see in a natural terrain dirt section. On the other side, where it did rain, the sand on asphalt section got very slippery and required a very delicate touch.

 

“I moved from 10th to fourth on the first lap of Saturday’s final, but then I tangled with a couple other cars and ultimately broke the car. This racing is very exciting with lots of contact, but the GRC Lites car is a bit fragile and it doesn’t take much to put it out of competition.

 

“I had another good start in Sunday’s final, but for me, some technique issues in the sand section were my Achilles heel. I never quite found a technique that was both consistent and fast. I was able to get through those sections pretty well, but struggled to match the speed of other drivers.

 

“It was a little surprising, because in previous events, the dirt section is where I gained a lot of spots. This form of racing is very intuitive. You need to have a good intuition to find speed and adjust for conditions. I’m getting better at, but you’ve got to keep up with the competition.”
– JON BENNETT

 

 

 

“They had a new dirt section concept with sand on top of asphalt. That made it quite slippery and challenging to figure out how to drive and make it work. Add in the rain that came in the afternoon and it made for quite an interesting time. You’re almost hydroplaning in sand over asphalt. That’s something I’ve never done before. It took some getting used to. We started to drag the sand onto the race track and the whole track got really slippery.

 

“I started on pole in the semi-final, but on the starting line the engine blew up. That was disappointing. I felt like we were doing well in those conditions and we had a good shot at a strong result. The speed of the schedule is such that when you have an engine blow up, it’s not possible to change it in time for the final.

 

“The CORE guys were heroes and stayed at the track until 1am changing the engine. It’s a pretty big deal changing the engine in those cars. I’m super proud of our crew who never hesitated and put the effort in to get it changed.

 

“We got through Sunday reasonably well. The start at Atlantic City is very challenging; it was a tight left-hand corner with not a lot of options, so everybody piled in and it was like roulette to see how you came out. I didn’t come out on the shiny side of that in the semi.

 

In the final, I got a good start, got up to fifth or sixth and then was in a big pack from third to seventh and ended up finishing fourth.”
– COLIN BRAUN

CORE Returns to GRC Action in Atlantic City

 ROCK HILL, S.C. (Aug. 10, 2017) – After a nearly two-month absence from the Red Bull Global Rallycross series, CORE autosport is back with Jon Bennett and Colin Braun for the latest doubleheader event in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

 

CORE’s last GRC event was June 17 -18 in Ottawa, Canada. Due to a conflict with its IMSA schedule, the team missed the July 9 event at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indiana. Missing an event has effectively taken Bennett and Braun out of GRC Lites title contention, but both drivers still have their eye on scoring their first GRC wins.

 

Atlantic City is the first return event of the 2017 GRC season, although the track differs greatly from last year. The races still takes place at Bader Field (a.k.a. Atlantic City Municipal Airport), but the layout has been shortened from 1.102 miles, to 0.902-mile. The Joker Lap has also been shortened and no longer bypasses the dirt section and the course will be run counterclockwise instead of clockwise as it was last year.

 

The event, minutes away from the Atlantic City Boardwalk, has also been expanded to a two-day event.

 

Coming off their best GT Daytona finish yet in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (seventh at Road America), Bennett and Braun are eager to jump back into their No. 54 and No. 56 GRC Lites entries and catch some air!

 

The GRC Lites final in Atlantic City will take place at 4:50pm ET on Saturday, August 12, and at 4:45pm on Sunday, August 13. Both finals will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network, Wednesday, August 23, at 5pm ET.

 

 

 

“I’m looking forward to our next GRC round. It’s massively different from our racing in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Colin and I always enjoy the GRC weekends. Colin has been really competitive, and I have had success as well. I hope we can take our momentum from our successful finish at Road America to Atlantic City.

 

“Atlantic City is an exciting town. For once, we’re heading back to a track that will look somewhat similar to a track from last year, which will be helpful. Being at an abandoned airstrip will give the cars some room to stretch their legs.”

– JON BENNETT

 

 

“I’m looking forward to hopping in a GRC car. It’s been a while. We missed the event at Indianapolis. I think it’s actually helpful for Jon and I to skip an event and come back at it fresh. It helps us to avoid going at it with the same approach. We’ll go in there and drive the best we can and figure it out as we go. The guys have had a good amount of time in the shop to get the cars shined up and ready to go. I’m excited to go to Atlanta City, I think we’ll have a good run there.”

– COLIN BRAUN

CORE P7 at Road America

CORE Improves on Best GTD Finish

CORE autosport delivered its best IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship finish of the season so far at Road America. In the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase, drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun finished seventh in the GT Daytona category.

CORE got a boost before the race even started, as three cars who qualified faster, opted to change tires or starting drivers and were moved to the back. This moved the No. 54 Flex-Box/Composite Resources Porsche 911 GT3 R up to 11th on the GTD grid.

Bennett took the opening stint for the two-hour and 40-minute race. Though he lost two spots to quicker cars starting from the back, he was able to keep the Porsche on the lead lap and bring it in for the first pit stop in 13th.

Braun took over after the first stop. Forty minutes later, he was up to 10th, before a slew of full-course cautions. A combination of attrition, strong pit stops and quick pace had Braun up to seventh for the final 16-minute sprint to the finish. He was reeling in the lead pack of GTD cars, but ran out of time and crossed the finish line in seventh.

This betters CORE’s previous best GTD finish of eighth, which it scored on the streets of Detroit in June.

CORE returns to IMSA action August 25 – 27 at VIRginia International Raceway. Prior to that, it returns to the Red Bull Global Rallycross Series for a doubleheader in Atlantic City, August 12 – 13.

 

“I’m very happy about our race today. This is our best finish of the season. I struggled a good bit in my stint, but nevertheless, was able to keep it on the lead lap. We had good pits stops. Colin did a great job in the car. I am really happy to see the progress. I’m happy for the guys and for Colin. It gives us a boost of confidence as we head to our next race at VIRginia International Raceway.”
– JON BENNETT

 

“I got in the car and tried to push as hard as I could. We had to save some fuel in the middle of the race, so it was fun to balance the fuel saving strategy while I was still trying to go fast. Everyone did a really good job.

 

“We had good pace in the middle stint. Then as we neared the end, it was tough because all of the classes got mixed up. You had some guys who were fighting in their own class really hard that were in between guys that we were fighting with. All of those yellows at the end just kind of mixed everyone up and made it hard to race guys in our own pack. It was a lot of fun to be in the mix, but I wish we had been able to line up five GTD cars and get to race head-to-head. I felt like we had a good race car. We probably had a better long-run car than a short-run car, which at the end was important with all of those cautions.
– COLIN BRAUN

CORE Faces Daunting Road America

ROCK HILL, S.C. (Aug. 1, 2017) – CORE autosport goes from the shortest track of the year (Lime Rock Park) to the longest track of the year this weekend when it arrives at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

 

The historic 14-turn road course is 4.048-miles in length, including three long straightaways.

 

Road America is the site of CORE’s last IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship podium. Drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun finished second in the Prototype Challenge category last year despite starting from eighth.

 

With four rounds left in the 2017 IMSA season, CORE is still looking for its first top-five finish with the Porsche 911 GT3 R in the ultra-competitive GT Daytona (GTD) category.

 

Noteworthy

  • CORE has five podium finishes at Road America, including a 1-2 finish in the PC category in 2012.
  • The Braun family is from the Milwaukee area. Engineer Jeff Braun is a Milwaukee School of Engineering graduate.

 

 

 

“Road America is an amazing, classic road course. It has fast sweeping corners, quick technical sections, and a nearly flat-out kink. It is challenging and beautiful.

 

“It’s difficult to say if the long track length will favor our Porsche 911 GT3 R. Hopefully, our efficient shape and low drag will be an advantage down the long straights. Managing the brakes is always a challenge at Road America; keeping brake temperatures up during the long straights can be difficult.

 

“This has been a challenging season for the team and myself. The competition level in GTD is extremely fierce. Driver rankings and manufacturer involvement have been pushed to the limit. My personal goal is to push myself to the limit and deliver my best possible performance in the car. I owe it to my team and my co-driver Colin.”
– Jon Bennett

 

 

“My parents grew up in that area: my mom in Northern Illinois and my dad in Milwaukee. There’s definitely a lot of family up in that area that will be coming to check out the race. It’s a bit of a home race in a way for me, maybe even more so than COTA. All my surrounding family is in that area still.

 

“Road America is a great facility from an infrastructure perspective and it also has a great layout. It has all aspects of a cool racetrack in one place. You go to some other layouts and they are fun for one reason or another, but Road America has fast corners, slow corners, elevation changes… it has everything!

 

“I think the fact that it’s the longest track can be good; it promotes less jammed up racing between all the classes, it separates them and makes traffic easier. On the flip side, is the fact that you tend to have a lot of green flag runs and not a lot of cautions, which can be good or bad depending on how your day is unfolding. I don’t know that the track length is particularly advantageous or disadvantageous for us.”
– Colin Braun

 

 

Continental Tire Road Race Showcase | August 4 – 6

VENUE

Track Length: 4.048-miles, 14 turns

Race Length: 2 hours, 40 minutes

 

SCHEDULE (All times Central)

Friday, August 4

11:20pm – 12:20pm: Practice #1 (All Classes)

4:10pm – 5:10pm: Practice #2 (All Classes)

 

Saturday, August 5

8:55am – 9:55am: Practice #3 (All Classes)

12:35pm – 12:50pm: Qualifying (GTD class)

2:00pm – 2:45pm: Pre-Race / Open Grid

3:05pm – 5:45pm: Northeast Grand Prix

 

Sunday, August 6

8:30am – 8:50am: Warm Up (All Classes)

10:45am – 11:30am: Driver Autograph Session

12:15pm – 1:15pm: Open Grid

1:35pm – 4:15pm: Continental Tire Road Race Showcase

 

TV SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

LIVE Qualifying:

Saturday, August 5

1:25pm – 3:05pm: IMSA.com

LIVE Race U.S.:

Sunday, August 6

2:30pm – 5:30pm: FS1

LIVE Race International:

2:25pm – 5:15pm: IMSA.com

 

LIVE In-Car Cameras & Commentary:

IMSA.com

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

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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