All posts in “CORE”

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 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 Heads West for Long Beach Street Fight

ROCK HILL, S.C. (April 12, 2016) – Four weeks after winning the 12 Hours of Sebring, CORE autosport is en route to the streets of Long Beach, California, where it is undefeated in the Prototype Challenge class.

A celebrated event in North American motorsports, CORE autosport has raced and won at the Grand Prix of Long Beach three times (2011 – 2013). The PC category took a two-year hiatus from the popular street race in 2014 – 2015 after the merger of ALMS and GRAND-AM. The addition of the PC class brings the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship grid to 25 entries this weekend.

For Long Beach, CORE downshifts from the two longest races of the season (Daytona and Sebring) to the shortest race of the season at one hour and 40 minutes. A short race time and sharing the track with IndyCar means limited practice time (two hours and 25 minutes) before Friday evening qualifying.

Thankfully, the weather forecast shows sunny skies throughout the event, but any yellow flags will cost teams valuable track time.

 

Noteworthy

  • CORE won Long Beach in 2011 with Gunnar Jeannette and Ricardo Gonzalez, in 2012 with Ryan Dalziel and Alex Popow and in 2013 with Colin Braun and Jon Bennett.
  • CORE’s 2013 win was on a one-stop strategy when the race was still two hours in length.
  • Braun officially led eight laps overall in the 2013 race.
  • Despite winning Sebring, a DNF at Daytona has CORE third in the PC team standings and sixth in the driver standings.
  • CORE recently announced plans to field two cars in the 2016 Red Bull Global RallyCross season. http://coreautosport.com/core-autosport-expands-into-red-bull-global-rallycross/

 

16-CORE-JB-HeadshotW“I’m thrilled to be back at Long Beach with Colin Braun and CORE autosport. This has always been a favorite event of mine and I can’t wait to get back on the Long Beach streets.

 

“I’m not sure why, but I love street circuits and Long Beach is a great one. It’s fun for the spectators and there is always a festival atmosphere. Plus, there is the secret satisfaction of driving a purpose built race car at the limit on public streets.

 

“During our down time in Long Beach, I always look forward to attending the celebration at Circle Porsche on Wednesday evening. I also look forward to seeing the progress of the new, exciting Porsche Experience Center, near LAX, which is nearing completion.

 

“The upgrades to the PC car, especially the traction control, should help us exit the slow tight corners like the hairpin. I don’t expect we will need to re-learn the technique, just get the wheel straight and ‘let her rip!’

 

“Long Beach is our shortest race of the year. Mistakes do not erase easily with time like they may at Daytona or Sebring. It’s time to bring your focus and aggression A-game.”
– Jon Bennett

 

 

16-CORE-CB-Headshot“I’m looking forward to going back to Long Beach! It’s a great race and it’s always good to see all the people that come out. The last couple of years, I’ve kept an eye on it via TV, wishing we were there, so I’m really happy to be back in the PC cars.

 

“It’s an interesting track for our cars. Most of the corners are pretty tight, so the PC cars don’t get to use all the downforce they make, but there’s also a couple quick corners that our cars make pretty good downforce on and it’s pretty fun.

 

“When we raced in 2013, I led the race overall for a bit, so the PC cars are certainly quick. The GTLM cars make a lot of good mechanical traction and grip though. It’s always been a pretty tight field there across the classes. I think with the traction control system on the PC cars, that’ll help us a lot in the low speed corners. That could potentially open the gap a bit to the GTLM cars.

 

“A track like Long Beach is really hard to pass on, so track position is really important. However, with the drive-time rules for our class, it makes for a pretty narrow window to make the drive-time requirements and have enough fuel for a one-stop strategy. You’d have to catch all the right yellows. There’s a lot of factors that will play into making it a one-stop versus a two-stop race.”
– Colin Braun

 

 

BUBBA burger® Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach | April 15 – 16

VENUE

Track Length: 1.698 miles, 11 turns

Race Length: 1 hour, 40 minutes

 

SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

Friday, April 15

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

8:00pm – 8:25pm: Practice #2 (All Classes)

8:55pm – 9:10pm: Qualifying (PC Class)

Saturday, April 16

4:00pm – 4:45pm: Driver Autograph Session (Team Transporters)

7:05pm – 8:45pm: BUBBA burger® Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach

 

TV SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

LIVE Qualifying:

Friday, April 15

8:00pm – 9:30pm: IMSA.com

 

Race U.S.:

Saturday, April 16

7:00pm – 9:00pm: FOX Sports 2

11:00pm – 1:00am: FOX Sports 1

Sunday, April 17

12:30pm – 2:30pm: FOX Sports 1

 

LIVE Race International:

Saturday, April 16

7:00pm – 9:00pm: IMSA.com

 

LIVE In-Car Cameras & Commentary:

IMSA.tv

 

 

CORE Launches 2016 Season with Rolex 24

ROCK HILL, S.C. (Jan. 27, 2016) – The 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship kicks off this weekend with the 54th Running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Defending Prototype Challenge Champions CORE autosport are in search of their second victory at the twice-around-the-clock race, after a heartbreaking finish robbed the team of that feat in 2015.

 

Full-season drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun are joined by Mark Wilkins and Martin Plowman in the No. 54 Composite Resources/Flex Box ORECA FLM09. Bennett, Braun and Wilkins were part of the 2014 lineup that won the Rolex 24, while Plowman makes his race debut with CORE this week.

 

The 3.56-mile “roval” uses all four of Daytona International Speedway’s banked turns plus the banked start/finish section. This will place a lot of g-force on the drivers and make the right-side tires work hard. The banking and speeds also make spotters a necessity for the drivers.

 

No rain is predicted for the 54th running of the Rolex 24. Temperatures will be comfortable with highs nearing 70F and lows around 50F.

 

 

Notes

  • This is Braun’s 12th consecutive Rolex 24 start. He’s entered every since he was 16.
  • Braun and Plowman used to race karts against each other in Europe.
  • Plowman has kept busy between Roar and Rolex 24 by getting married.
  • CORE COO Morgan Brady has been named a partner at Composite Resources. His duties with CORE will continue as usual.
  • Braun holds the PC lap record at Daytona, a 1:41.777 (125.922 mph), set in 2014.

 

 

 

16-CORE-JB-HeadshotW“There are a few races in the world that everyone in the motorsports universe is aware of, like the Indianapolis 500, Daytona 500, Le Mans 24, Monaco Grand Prix. I think that the Daytona 24 ranks in that list. For me, it’s very important and it’s an iconic, international race and I’m so glad to be here.
 
“There’s two relatively stressful times to drive: the first lap and the last lap. My favorite time to drive is the shift between 2:15 and 3:30 in the morning. There’s something about the cool night air. The race is always full-on, but there’s a certain calmness in the night that I enjoy.
 
“We’re very fortunate to have the same spotters over the years. We don’t have spotters at every race, so it takes a little time to get used to them, but since they’re not new to the team, it doesn’t take very long. It’s almost relaxing to have that voice in the background with you in the car, warning you about things that could be trouble ahead and on occasion, a little bit of encouragement.
 
“This is an iconic race and I enjoy being distracted to some degree by the pomp and circumstance. You do have to remember to stay grounded. This is a very serious race and the first race in our season. They are taking score, points are being awarded, so you can’t drift away too far. It’s a lot of fun walking to the car on Saturday and seeing all the fans, but then things get really serious.”

– Jon Bennett

 

 

16-CORE-CB-Headshot“The Rolex 24 at Daytona is a race that every driver, no matter their background, wants to win. That’s why you see NASCAR guys and open-wheel guys and people from all over the world driving in this race. It took me 10 tries to finally get a win in 2014. This year is my 12th shot at it and it never gets easier. You can hit all your marks, but it’ll still throw you a curve ball like it did for us last year.
 
“There’s not a whole lot of daytime racing at Daytona and the sunrise and sunset times can be difficult if you’re in the car, because of the sun shining in your eyes; especially in an open cockpit car, we don’t have anything besides our visors protecting us from glare. That’s why we have to chose them wisely depending on the conditions.
 
“At CORE we’re all about preparation, taking things one step at a time and constantly improving. I think that mentality is especially important for these long endurance races. We’ve prepared as best we can for every scenario and we’re going to execute according to the plan we’ve laid out but be ready to adjust for any problems that come our way. I have a great group of co-drivers in Jon, Mark and Martin that all share that mindset so I think we’ll be in good shape.”

– Colin Braun

 

 

16-CORE-MP-Headshot“The Rolex 24 is up there as one of the biggest races in the world and is definitely amongst the most prestigious endurance races. It certainly wouldn’t hurt to add winning the Rolex 24 to your résumé. It’s one of those races that every driver wants to win.
 
“Daytona is one of the only tracks where I think it’s critical to have a spotter on a road course, as they really help you to cut through slower traffic especially in the braking zones coming off of the oval banking; they enable us to make quick decisions without hesitation and having to look in the mirrors.
 
“I love driving at night, but it’s also the most tricky as it can get quite cold, so your tires are stone cold when you first leave the pits. The outlap is always very, very tricky and feels like driving on an ice rink!
 
“Sunrise and sunset are both equally challenging purely from a visibility standpoint. Visor selection is hard, but I always go conservative which means running a clear visor. When the sun reflects low off of the track there are times when you are literally driving blind and drive using only your reference points on the side of the track.
 
“Nicole and I enjoyed a really nice break away from our phones in Palm Beach on a sort of ‘mini-moon’. I’ll treat her to a longer celebration later in the year when the schedule permits, but for now my focus is fully on Daytona!”

– Martin Plowman

 

 

16-CORE-MW-Headshot“The Rolex 24 is certainly the highlight race of the year for me and is the premier endurance race in North America. The only endurance race in my mind that comes close is Le Mans.
 
“I love driving at night under the lights. I find I can really get into my sweet spot as a driver and the stints just fly by. A close second would be the mid-morning stint on Sunday as the end of the race closes in. The trickiest times to drive are certainly the sunset and sunrise where you experience lots of glare. Picking the right visor is tricky especially if you end up driving into the dark!
 
“Spotters are also key to success in this race. They allow the drivers to really focus forward and not worry so much about what’s behind them. They can be crucial to preventing or avoiding on track incidents. Spotters at Daytona are a must in my mind!”

– Mark Wilkins

 

 

 

Rolex 24 at Daytona | Jan. 22 – 25

 

Track Length: 3.56 miles, 12 turns

Race Length: 24 Hours

 

SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

Thursday, January 28

9:25am – 10:25am: Practice #1 (All Classes)

1:20pm – 1:50pm: Practice #2 (All Classes)

4:50pm – 5:05pm: Qualifying (PC Class)

6:30pm – 8:00pm: Practice #3 (All Classes)

Friday, January 29

10:25am – 11:25pm: Practice #4 (All Classes)

Saturday, January 30

12:00pm – 12:45pm: Driver Autograph Session

1:05pm – 2:20pm: Pre-Race / Open Grid

2:40pm: Green Flag

Sunday, January 31

2:40pm: Checkered Flag

 

TV SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

LIVE Qualifying:

Thursday, January 28

4:00pm – 5:30pm: IMSA.tv & IMSA App

LIVE Race U.S.:

Saturday, January 30

2:00pm – 4:00pm: FOX Sports 1

4:00pm – 10:00pm: FOX Sports 2

Overnight (Jan. 30 – 31)

10:00pm – 7:00am: IMSA.tv & IMSA App

Sunday, January 31

7:00am – 10:30am: FOX Sports 1

10:30am – 1:00pm: FOX Sports 2

1:00pm – 2:40pm: FOX Sports 1

 

LIVE Race International:

2:00pm Saturday – 3:00pm Sunday: IMSA.tv & IMSA App

 

LIVE In-Car Cameras & Commentary: IMSA.tv & IMSA App

CORE Logs Laps at Daytona Before Rolex 24

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 10, 2016) – The WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season held its official preview for the 2016 season with the annual Roar Before the 24 at Daytona International Speedway. CORE autosport took part in three days of IMSA-sanctioned testing and ended up with the second-fastest Prototype Challenge time of the event.

Roar Before the 24 is a chance for all IMSA teams to prepare for the Rolex 24 at Daytona, January 28 – 31. CORE has finished first and second in it’s previous two attempts at the Rolex 24, but there is always more to learn and perfect in endurance racing. This includes developing team chemistry with new engineer Jeff Braun and new driver Martin Plowman, who join CORE’s traditional lineup of Jon Bennett, Colin Braun and Mark Wilkinson.

All four drivers got plenty of time behind the wheel of the No. 54 Composite Resources/Flex Box ORECA FLM09. It was Braun who set the team’s fastest lap of the event, a 1:42.423, during the very first session of the test on Friday morning. The time ended up being just 0.305-second shy of the quickest PC time overall.

Roar Before the 24 isn’t about posting the fastest time however, it’s about getting your car setup and crew procedures on point for the grueling 24-hour race at Daytona. CORE autosport has won the legendary race once and is focused on doing it again.

Television broadcast details for the Rolex 24 at Daytona are forthcoming, but IMSA.com will provide live timing and in-car cameras throughout the event, plus commentary from IMSA Radio.

 

16-CORE-JB-HeadshotW“Testing at the Roar was a good follow-up to our testing here in November. It gives us an opportunity to work as a team; now with our new engineering team, our new driver Martin Plowman and welcoming back Mark Wilkins. It’s good to have the band back together and be polishing small adjustments to the car. Things look really good for a successful Rolex 24.
 
“It was nice to see the improvements around the Daytona facility, but the track is very similar to what it’s been in the past and what is was like in November.”
– JON BENNETT

 

16-CORE-CB-Headshot“I think we had a really good three-day test. We accomplished a lot and went through our whole plan. Mark, Martin, Jon and myself all got a lot of time in the car. I feel like it was our normal test plan, we worked through our normal procedures and never really focused on being the fastest, just focused on what we’ll need to do to win the race.
 
“We’ve run a lot of laps at Daytona. We’ve been at the Roar for the last couple of years, so we all know what it’s about. The success that we’ve had at Daytona in the past leads us to believe we know what we need to have in the Roar to be fast in the race.”
– COLIN BRAUN

 

16-CORE-MP-Headshot“I think it was a dream start working with CORE. It was a breath of fresh air to come into a team as professional as CORE and be able to focus on my own performance and trying to fit in. What I really like is the chemistry within the whole team is a winning mentality. It’s not work to the mechanics, they’re all here because they’re passionate about racing and passionate about winning and that shows in their performance.
 
“I think last July was the last time I sat in any sort of PC car. It took two or three laps to knock the rust off and then it felt like home. I’m not ever going to be happy with the speed, you always want to be faster, but looking at where we are for race pace, I think we’re all very happy and we just need to make sure we do well in race.”
MARTIN PLOWMAN

 

16-CORE-MW-Headshot“It’s great to be back with CORE; with five championships, there’s no better place to be. It’s a great group of people. They’re very professional and everyone knows their job and has respect for what each of us can bring to the table. You just slot in and get back to it. It takes a bit of time to get reacquainted with the car, but as expected, Jeff Braun had a really good test plan for us. We ran through everything we needed to this weekend and we’re ready to go racing.
 
“Martin is great. We couldn’t ask for a better driver lineup. His resume speaks for itself. Each driver has the right approach and right mentality and knows what to ask for, how to optimize the car and what they need to communicate to Jeff to get the most out of the car. It makes our job fairly easy. We just have to hit our marks, stay out of trouble and make smart decisions on track.”
– MARK WILKINS

 

LaurentCoppeeMembers of the CORE autosport team came into Daytona with heavy hearts this week after the passing of team member, Laurent Coppee, the weekend prior. Coppee was an invaluable asset to the Porsche North America team as a data engineer on the No. 912 car since the team formed in 2014. Our condolences go out to his family during this difficult time.

CORE Completes 2016 Driver Lineup

ROCK HILL, S.C. (Dec. 18, 2015) – Five-time Prototype Challenge Champion CORE autosport has finalized its driver lineup for the 2016 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Jon Bennett and Colin Braun will continue to drive the No. 54 Composite Resources/Flex Box ORECA FLM09 with Mark Wilkins joining the pair for the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup races. Martin Plowman rounds out the team’s roster for the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Bennett and Braun are now on their fifth season together as co-drivers and will be after their third-straight PC Drivers’ Championship. Since first pairing up for the 2012 American Le Mans Series season, the two have amassed 11 class wins together.

Wilkins has served as a support driver for CORE since 2012 and was part of the lineup that won the Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2014. In addition to the Rolex 24, he will re-join Bennett and Braun at the three other rounds of the TPNAEC: Sebring, Watkins Glen and Petit Le Mans.

Plowman is new to CORE autosport, but not new to prototype racing. He’s driven with BAR1 Motorsports in 2014 and 2015, including last year’s Rolex 24. He also has two successful seasons of LMP2 racing under his belt, including a WEC LMP2 Championship in 2013 and a class win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans that same year.

Another change in the CORE lineup includes Jeff Braun as race engineer. Braun brings more than three decades of motorsports engineering to the table and numerous championships. Working with CORE gives Braun the opportunity to work closely with son Colin.

This quartet will suit up for the Roar Before the 24, an official IMSA test, January 8 – 10. It is a dress rehearsal for the 2016 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season opener: the Rolex 24 at Daytona, January 28 – 31.

 

 

 

15-CORE-JB-Headshot“Colin has been an important part of our PC success over the past four seasons.  Colin is an incredible talent inside the cockpit and a fantastic teammate outside the car.  I couldn’t be happier to share our 2016 season with him.
 
“Like Colin, Jeff is an incredible engineering talent.  Additionally, Jeff will provide our team with a unified and coordinated approach to building a winning team.  He is a great communicator and we are extremely fortunate to have Jeff with us this season.
 
“Martin Plowman comes to us with a long resume of success in international endurance sports car racing.  His aggressive, yet calculated approach, will match the philosophy that has become the foundation of our team’s past successes.
 
“We are all looking forward to executing the perfect race at Daytona this year.  It is our goal to achieve perfect driving, perfect strategy, perfect pit stops, and perfect teamwork.  I remember from last year’s race that we were fortunate to run an almost flawless event.  We look forward to repeating that performance.”

– JON BENNETT

 

 

 

 

15-CORE-CB-Headshot“I’m looking forward to having Mark back. He’s a smart driver and has been with the team for quite a number of years and races. He’s a guy we can always rely on.
 
“Martin will be a great addition to the group. He’s had success in PC cars as well as P2 cars. I’ve known Martin for a long time. I used to race go-karts against him in Europe. He’s a really good person. I think we’re all going to get along well and I’m ready to get going at the Roar.
 
“Some people don’t understand how you could work with your dad [Jeff Braun] but we get along fantastic. He raised me, so he knows what I’m thinking and I know what he’s thinking. I feel like that’s going to be a big positive for us next year. With all the experience he has, he might even bring skills in other areas that are even stronger than his engineering.
 
“At the Roar, for us, it’s about getting everybody some seat time. We’ve done this race enough that we’ll be focused less on finding the perfect setup and more on doing some driver changes and pit stop stuff. It’s little things that seem to always crop up and cost you time in the end, more so than what spring or roll bar is in the car, those types of things become less important in a 24-hour race.”

– COLIN BRAUN

 

 

 

15-CORE-MW-Headshot“It’s great to be back for the Rolex for my third year with CORE. To be racing with the best team in the paddock, it’s obviously a real honor that they throw me in the seat to run some laps and go after another Rolex 24 win and get things started off on the right foot for another championship season.
 
“Martin Plowman is pretty talented in anything he drives. His resume speaks for itself. He’s a top-notch guy. We’ll be expecting him to slot right in and be up to speed and ready to go. I think it’ll be fun to get to know him. Jon’s been doing a fantastic job and Colin too, so it’s a great overall group of people to accomplish a tough goal and I can’t think of a better group.”

– MARK WILKINS

 

 

15-CORE-MP-Headshot“Joining CORE autosport for the Daytona 24 hours is a massive opportunity for me. They’re one of the best teams in the business, period. Winning at Daytona is extremely important to them, so it’s a huge honor to be trusted with helping them achieve that goal. After racing head to head against them at Daytona last year, I’m excited to join their team to continue their success!”

– MARTIN PLOWMAN

CORE Seeks Fifth Consecutive Championship

ROCK HILL, S.C. (Sept. 29, 2015) – The 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship comes to a close this weekend with the 10-hour Petit Le Mans endurance race at Road Atlanta. There, CORE autosport will attempt to collect its fifth-straight Prototype Challenge Championship.

 

CORE arrives at the season finale riding high on its recent win at Circuit of the Americas, which helped the team and drivers open their point lead to 12 over PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports. With eight PC cars entered in the Petit Le Mans, the point spread from first to eighth is exactly 12 points. CORE must finish seventh or higher to lock in the 2015 championship.

 

To help secure the team’s fifth-straight title, CORE has brought in veteran sportscar driver and Atlanta native Anthony Lazzaro to team with Jon Bennett and Colin Braun. Lazzaro has raced every category of race car and at Petit Le Mans since the event made its debut in 1998.

 

Petit Le Mans also marks the final round of the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup, a special prize for teams who perform the best in races six hours in length or more. CORE, Bennett and Braun are currently second by three points in the TPNAEC.

 

Petit Le Mans will air live on FOX Sports 2, Saturday, Oct. 3. See below for TV schedule. Follow live timing, radio and in-car cameras at IMSA.com.

 

 

15-CORE-JB-Headshot“The brainchild of Dr. Don Panoz, the Petit Le Mans is the newest of the classic endurance races. While Petit will never eclipse the 24 hours of Le Mans or Daytona, Petit has a spotlight all its own as the closing act of IMSA’s TUDOR Series and the Patron Endurance Cup. Performing well in this event is paramount to a winning season.

 

“At Petit Le Mans, our team will add Anthony Lazzaro to the lineup. While Anthony will be new to the CORE team, his extensive success in piloting a prototype will be an asset to our effort.

 

“It is difficult to ignore the points situation going into the last event of the season. While the incoming point totals may shape some race decisions from our strategists in pit lane, from the cockpit, Colin and I prefer the same approach we have employed all season: go win the race! Certainly, winning two weeks ago at COTA has brought a welcome confidence boost to our team and valuable points leverage for our quest for the TUDOR Championship.”
– Jon Bennett

 

 

15-CORE-CB-Headshot“Petit Le Mans is a race I want to win really bad. Together, Jon and I have won Daytona, we’ve won Sebring, we’ve won Watkins Glen, we’ve won Mosport, Lime Rock, COTA… it seems like we’ve won at just about every race track except for Road Atlanta. I definitely need to get this one checked off the list!

 

“For me, having somebody come into our group like Anthony, with the experience he has—not only at Petit, but in high-downforce race cars—is great. He’s a driver that’s been in this sport for so long and driven for many different teams. I think he’ll fit into our CORE dynamic perfectly. We’ve had a test with him and we all clicked and it felt like he’d been there for years.

 

“For us, the unique challenge of Road Atlanta is that, although it is an endurance race, it seems to be a strange mix of endurance race and sprint race. It’s one of those where it seems like so many things are happening and there are lots of opportunities to make a mistake. With the way the track flows and the amount of traffic there is, you really have to be heads up at all times. It’s easy to get behind there because the laps are pretty short. It’s easy to get out of sequence on a pit stop and get a lap down. You have to cross your T’s and dot your I’s to stay out of trouble and on the lead lap.”
– Colin Braun

 

 

15-CORE-AL-Headshot“I did the very first Petit, back in 1998 in a Ferrari 333. I’ve finished second, four times. I’ve never won, but I’ve come very close. Two years ago I was with ESM in a P2 car and we lost by 1.3 seconds after leading a lot of that race. Jon, Colin and I are definitely on a mission this week.

 

“I’ve watched CORE since its inception. I’ve watched Jon drive an IMSA Lites car for a number of years. I’ve known Colin since he was a little kid and we drove together at Sebring in 2011 and I’ve known Colin’s father forever. For me, it’s a very comfortable environment as far as driving and engineering and so forth. It’s an honor to be involved with the team and certainly with our driver lineup it should be a lot of fun!

 

“Petit Le Mans has built itself into one of the premier races in the world. I think it actually started with the very first race. Road Atlanta is my home track. I’ve been going there since the 70’s and racing there since the 80’s. When I saw the crowd come for that very first race, I knew it was special. It’s only gotten better throughout the years. Don Panoz has created something spectacular. It’s a world-renowned endurance race. I want to win it so bad! It’s in my backyard!”
– Anthony Lazzaro

 

Noteworthy

  • Jon Bennett and Colin Braun have not won Petit Le Mans before. In 2014 they finished second.
  • CORE autosport won Petit Le Mans in 2012 with drivers Alex Popow, Ryan Dalziel and Mark Wilkins.
  • Anthony Lazzaro has not won Petit Le Mans, but finished second as recently as 2013 driving a P2 car.
  • This is Lazzaro’s debut in the PC category.

 

 

Point Standings
PC Team Championship

  1. CORE autosport #54   289
  2. PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports #52 277
  3. RSR Racing #11 275

 

PC Driver Championship

  1. J.Bennett/C.Braun   289
  2. M.Guasch/T.Kimber-Smith 277
  3. Cumming/Junqueira   275

 

Tequila Patrón NAEC

  1. PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports #52   36
  2. CORE autosport #54   33
  3. Starworks Motorsport #8   26

 

 

 

 

Petit Le Mans | October 1 – 3

Track Length: 2.54 miles, 12 turns

Race Length: 10 Hours

 

 

SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

Thursday, October 1

11:10am – 12:10pm: Practice #1 (All Classes)

3:25pm – 4:25pm: Practice #2 (All Classes)

7:30pm – 9:00pm: Practice #3 (All Classes)

 

Friday, October 2

10:05am – 11:05am: Practice #4 (All Classes)

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

4:25pm – 4:40pm: Qualifying (PC Class)

 

Saturday, October 3

9:00am – 9:25am: Warm Up (All Classes)

9:50am – 10:50am: Open Grid

11:15am – 9:15pm: Petit Le Mans

 

 

 

TV SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

 

LIVE Qualifying (Worldwide)

Friday, October 2

3:30pm – 5:15pm: IMSA.com

 

LIVE Race (U.S.)

Saturday, September 19

11:00am – 12:00pm: FOX Sports 2

12:00pm – 2:30pm: IMSA.com

2:30pm – 7:00pm: FOX Sports 2

7:00pm – 8:30pm: IMSA.com

8:30pm – 9:30pm: FOX Sports 2

 

LIVE Race (Outside U.S.)

Saturday, September 19

11:00am – 9:30pm: IMSA.com

 

Race Highlights (U.S.)

Sunday, October 4

1:30pm – 4:30pm: FOX Sports 1

 

LIVE In-Car Cameras & Commentary:

IMSA.com (http://www.imsa.com) & IMSA App (http://www.imsa.com/all-new-mobile-app)

CORE Starts Rolex 24 from PC Front Row

DAYTONA, Fla. (Jan. 22, 2015) – CORE autosport will defend its Rolex 24 at Daytona crown from the front row of the Prototype Challenge grid. Colin Braun narrowly missed pole position, qualifying second.

CORE’s ‘drive for five’ PC Championships begins this weekend at Daytona International Speedway where the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship is kicking off. Last year, CORE’s victory at Daytona was the start of a remarkable season that culminated in CORE’s fourth PC Team Championship, the PC Driver Championship for Jon Bennett and Colin Braun and the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup titles for both team and drivers.

Braun is the defending polesitter for the PC class at Daytona. It looked as though he was en route to two in-a-row today, until Johnny Mowlem and the No. 16 BAR1 Motorsports car began to exchange provision pole times with Braun. On his final flyer, Mowlem claimed the top spot, putting the No. 54 CORE autosport/Flex Box ORECA FLM09 second on the PC grid with a lap of 1:42.498 (125.037 mph). Braun’s 2014 Daytona qualifying lap record of 1:41.777 still stands.

New IMSA regulations require the qualifying driver start the car in the race, so Braun will take the green flag in Saturday’s grueling Rolex 24 at Daytona. He will share the car with the same roster of drivers that won last year’s race: Jon Bennett, James Gué and Mark Wilkins. The green flag waves at 2:10p.m. ET on Saturday, Jan. 24.

The Rolex 24 will be broadcast live on FOX from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET on Jan. 24. From 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., FOX Sports 2 will take over and then hand off coverage to FOX Sports 1 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. The overnight shift, 10 p.m. – 7 a.m. will be streamed on IMSA.com, with FOX Sports 1 taking viewers from 7 a.m. to the checkered flag.

Live scoring and in-car cameras are available throughout the race at IMSA.com.

15-CORE-CB-Headshot“Qualifying wasn’t too bad, and we were P1 most of the session. I think I just waited too long to get us a gap and we ended up doing one less lap than everyone else. These Continental Tires seem to get better and better as you run. Of course, it would have been nice to be on the pole, but I think we have a really good racecar. That’s certainly what we’ve been focusing more on than just raw speed, so we’re pretty happy.

“The key to the race on Saturday is to stay out of trouble, make good decisions in traffic and make sure we’re there at the end. So much can happen in the first 20 hours of the race. If we can stay in it and stay close, we’ll be fine.”
-Colin Braun

CORE autosport Tops Daytona Testing

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 11, 2015) – CORE autosport kicked off its 2015 season at the Roar Before the 24, the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship’s official test session for the Rolex 24 at Daytona. After three days of testing, CORE’s No. 54 Composite Resources/Flex-Box ORECA FLM09 came out on top of the Prototype Challenge times.

With eight total sessions spread from Friday through Sunday, drivers Jon Bennett, Colin Braun, James Gue and Mark Wilkins had plenty of time to put the No. 54 through its paces, feel out different track conditions and practice pit stop procedures. This included a night session on Saturday and a wet session on Sunday morning. Having checked off all it’s test items, the team opted to skip Sunday’s final session to get a head start on its trip back to Rock Hill, S.C.

Beautiful conditions on Saturday morning brought about the fastest times of the weekend. It was in Practice 3 that Braun set the fastest PC time of the event, a 1:41.769 (125.932 mph). Braun’s PC pole time for the 2014 Rolex 24 at Daytona was a 1:41.777 (125.922 mph).

CORE’s roster of drivers and crew remains largely unchanged and it is with this group that it won the 2014 Rolex 24 race. The time to defend that victory is now less than two weeks away. The Rolex 24 at Daytona goes green, Saturday, Jan. 24 at 2:10pm ET and will be broadcast live on FOX until 4pm, when coverage will switch to FOX Sports 2.

 

15-CORE-headshot-CB-helmet“Yeah, I think everything was good to go off the truck. We had a list of things we wanted to work through and try and continue to build on from last year. We were just checking things off the list. It’s nice when you show up at a test and it’s the same group of personnel. I think that’s a real big help for us. Nobody had to get used to anything, they just got right to work.
 
“I think we had enough clear track time that we were able to accomplish what we wanted, but also get a taste of what it’s like in traffic. I think we definitely had less cars on the entry list and that made it a bit easier to get clear laps than in years past.
 
“We have a reasonable grip on the new rules now. We had a mid-day rule change on the first day of testing. That keeps you on your toes, but we’re adaptable and ready to figure it out and that’s what makes us a strong group.
 
“We feel really prepared and ready to go. Obviously there’s not a whole lot of time between now and the 24-hour race like there has been in year’s past, so the boys have a lot of work to do to get the car ready to go, but we’ve got good people in place and they know what to do. There’s not enough time to work on a whole lot, so I’m really glad we put in a lot of time preparing over the off season. We knew the short break was coming and we’re ready to go!”

CORE Celebrates Spectacular 2014 Season

ROCK HILL, S.C. (Oct. 28, 2014) – CORE autosport’s trophy case grew exponentially in 2014, it’s fourth-straight Prototype Challenge Championship season. This tremendous accomplishment came with a host of other awards and recognitions during the inaugural TUDOR UnitedSports Car Championship season.

Winning both the team and driver championships in the PC class came as a result of eight podium finishes with four race wins. This included the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona, in the team’s first-ever 24-hour race. The team backed it up with wins at the 12 Hours of Sebring, Kansas and Watkins Glen.

Victories at the celebrated endurance races—Daytona, Sebring and Watkins Glen—plus a runner-up finish at Petit Le Mans was more than enough to help CORE sweep the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Championship prizes for team and drivers.

Along the way, Colin Braun scored three pole positions (Daytona, Watkins Glen, Indianapolis), more than any other driver in PC. This earned him the TOTAL Pole Award at the season-ending Night of Champions banquet.

Team owner/driver Jon Bennett also picked up a special acknowledgment. As the top-finishing Pro-Am in the PC category, Bennett was the recipient of the Jim Trueman Award.

Such strong performances from drivers and crew enabled the No. 54 Composite Resources ORECA FLM09 to complete more laps in the 2014 season than any other PC car, thus earning The Continental Tire Driving Confidence Award.

The CORE shop is already diligently preparing to defend its titles in the 2015 and attempt a “Drive for Five,” with Bennett and Braun once again teaming up in the no. 54 machine. The team will return to action first with the annual Roar Before the 24 test at Daytona International Speedway, January 9 – 11, followed by the Rolex 24 at Daytona, Jan. 24 – 25.