All posts in “COTA”

Best 911 RSR Narrowly Misses Podium at COTA

AUSTIN, Texas (May 7, 2017) – After a successful start to the season in the USA, the new Porsche 911 RSR narrowly missed out on securing its third podium result in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Circuit of the Americas in Austin. With the 510 hp racing car, which is a totally new development of Porsche Motorsport in Weissach, Patrick Pilet (France) and Dirk Werner (Germany) secured fourth in the GTLM class after holding the lead at one point. In the second 911 RSR fielded by the Porsche GT Team, Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) and Wolf Henzler (Germany) took the flag in eighth place.
 
Patrick Pilet got off the line well at the 3.4-mile Grand Prix circuit near the capital of Texas. When several cars became entangled during the sprint to the first turn, Pilet managed to avoid the melee and launch a pursuit race from fourth place. First he snatched third and several laps later he overtook another competitor. After almost an hour of racing he was in the lead. This pace, however, could not go on. His teammate Dirk Werner, who took the wheel of the 911 RSR, was first shunted by a GTD car, and was then handed a 60-second penalty for running the red light at pit exit. As a result, all hopes for a possible podium finish were dashed. After two hours and forty minutes, Patrick Pilet finally took the checkered flag in fourth place.
 
The Turn 1 accident put an early end to the race for the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR shortly after the start. Wolf Henzler, who replaced Kévin Estre (France) at Austin so that the Frenchman could contest the WEC round in Spa, rejoined the race in fifth after the first stop for repairs. However, associated damages required longer repairs in the team garage. When Laurens Vanthoor finally returned to the racetrack, he was too far behind to make up any positions.
 
Round five of the IMSA SportsCar Championship will be contested on July 2 at Watkins Glen in upstate New York, following a break after the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

 
 
Steffen Höllwarth, Program Manager IMSA SportsCar Championship: “Everything actually ran according to plan with the 911. Our strategy to strengthen the car in the practices worked perfectly. We managed to take over the lead. In the middle stint, however, we were shunted by a GTD car, which affected the rear aerodynamics. The penalty for not seeing the lights in the pit lane was the final straw. Although we continued to fight our way back up, it was not enough for a podium. Now we have time to analyze the first third of the season. This is what we’ll do and after the summer break we’ll be back in full force.”
 
Patrick Pilet (911 RSR #911): “This race was pretty disappointing. We had the best chances to do well here, but it was our own fault that it didn’t succeed. We make mistakes that shouldn’t happen. I hope things go better for us at the next race in Watkins Glen.”
 
Dirk Werner (911 RSR #911): “We had the chance for a podium result here. It’s a shame that we didn’t managed to use it. At the exit of the pit lane I was alongside a BMW and I didn’t notice – for whatever reason – that the pit lights were red. The resulting penalty cost us the race, what’s more I had already been sent into a spin by a GTD car prior to this. All in all, it wasn’t a great race for us.”
 
Wolf Henzler (911 RSR #912): “I didn’t imagine my first race this season with the 911 RSR would be like this. In the very first corner after the start, a Ford and a Ferrari had a big encounter and that set off a chain reaction. When I sped up right behind a Corvette, it suddenly spun. I couldn’t avoid it and we collided. Our 911 RSR was so badly damaged that the resulting repairs cost us all chances of a good result.”
 
Laurens Vanthoor (911 RSR #912): “By the time I climbed into the car for my stint, the race was as good as over for us. That was not a great weekend for us. We’ll now go testing and hopefully we’ll return stronger after the summer break.”

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

Porsche Finishes 1-2 in Texas Heat

AUSTIN, Texas (Sept. 17, 2016) – At the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Earl Bamber (New Zealand) and Frédéric Makowiecki (France) won the penultimate GTLM race of the IMSA SportsCar Championship with the Porsche 911 RSR fielded by the Porsche North America works team. With five manufacturers, this category is the most hotly contested. Their teammates Patrick Pilet (France) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain) clinched second with the 470hp winning racer from Weissach, which is based on the seventh generation of the iconic 911 sports car. After Long Beach, this is the second win this season for the 911 RSR in the USA.

In temperatures reaching 95 degrees, Pilet got the best start on the 3.4-mile circuit in the hills near the Texas capital. At the wheel of the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR, the defending IMSA GT champion snatched one position in the first lap and slotted into second place behind the leading Ferrari. Making the most of his slipstream, Frédéric Makowiecki (No. 912) also swept past the rival. These three then proceeded to pull clear of their pursuers, putting both 911 race cars on course for podium results shortly after the start.

At the first pit stop, Tandy took over driving duties from Pilet, with whom he had won the Long Beach race earlier this season. On the 27th lap, he moved into the lead of the GTLM field. In the second 911 RSR, Bamber maintained third place. In lap 35, the Ferrari again took the lead, but the 911 RSR kept the frontrunner under heavy pressure. With 25 minutes left in the two-hour and 40-minute race, the Ferrari had to make an unscheduled pit stop, thus handing the lead at the hottest race of the year to Porsche. In the final phase, Bamber overtook his leading teammate and secured the first win of the season for he and Makowiecki in the most important sports car championship on the North American continent.
 
Dr Frank-Steffen Walliser, Head of Porsche Motorsport: “That was an incredibly exciting race: a heated battle in which the tires played a major role. We profited somewhat from Ferrari’s bad luck, but we then drove a clean race to the flag. All in all it was a great performance from the drivers and teams under difficult conditions. I’m very pleased.”
 
Patrick Pilet (911 RSR No. 911): “A fantastic success for Porsche. I got away well off the line and passed the Ford. After that the race ran problem-free. Our car has proven hugely consistent over the entire season. We were able to successfully utilize the strength of the 911 RSR under these extreme conditions.”
 
Nick Tandy (911 RSR No. 911): “This race was perfect for Porsche. With the exception of the Ferrari we could control the whole field. I’m also delighted for our teammates in the 912. They really deserve this win. For us it was great to be back on the podium.”
 
Earl Bamber (911 RSR No. 912): “This victory belongs to the entire team. We saw today that the 911 RSR was the most consistent car over the distance under such extreme conditions. First and second place – a great success for Porsche.”
 
Frédéric Makowiecki (911 RSR No. 912): “We didn’t necessarily have the fastest car today, but we could maintain a decent pace over the entire race distance. We’ve been working towards this win over the whole season. Finally everything came together. This is precisely the motivation we need heading to the season finale at Road Atlanta.”
 

The eleventh and final round of the IMSA SportsCar Championship will be contested on October 1st on the storied Road Atlanta

Championship Race Heats Up With Two Rounds Remaining

ROCK HILL, S.C. (Sept. 16, 2015) – With only two rounds remaining in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, CORE autosport is locked in a tight points battle for the Prototype Challenge Championship. This week, Circuit of the Americas, in Austin, Texas, is the latest opportunity for the team to grow its five-point lead in the standings.

 

It’s been over a month since the team’s previous race at Road America, where Jon Bennett and Colin Braun finished third. Now it’s time to head south and take on the scorching Texas temperatures in search of podium finish number six of the season.

 

Last year at COTA, Bennett and Braun clinched the PC driver championship a round early by finishing second. A similar feat isn’t in the cards this year, as the top three PC teams and drivers are separated by a mere eight points with two rounds to go and 36 points available for a win.

 

The Lone Star Le Mans will air live on FOX Sports 1, Saturday, Sept. 19, at 12:30pm ET. Follow live timing, radio and in-car cameras at IMSA.com (http://www.imsa.com) or on the IMSA App (http://bit.ly/1PZ9ULi) .

 

 

15-CORE-JB-Headshot“Circuit of the Americas is an amazing Formula 1 inspired track in a very interesting town, Austin Texas. It requires attention to detail and discipline to go fast. The Esses and the multiple hairpin corners reward precision and brake zone risk taking.

 

“COTA is a wide open circuit with plenty of run off areas which help improve the driver safety of the circuit. For testing, this encourages experimentation and risk taking. For racing, I prefer a circuit that has tighter layout that rewards precise driving.

 

“COTA can be a hot race for us, even in September. The heat reduces grip and adds strain for the drivers.   It’s all about preparation; the extreme conditions can bring an advantage to a team who is prepared.

 

“As the last races click off, we are all focused on finishing strong. We don’t discuss the championship much, but I think it’s in the back of the mind for all of us.”
– Jon Bennett

 

 

15-CORE-CB-Headshot“I enjoy going to COTA. It’s a new style of racetrack, with a wider layout, but still quite a few tight hairpins. That makes for an interesting race. The track is so wide and open, but also has so many tight corners that it makes people optimistic when it comes to passing. That can result in some interesting things happening. Then, mix in all the classes together and the various speeds of our cars and it makes for a race where you have to be really heads up. There are times when someone goes to pass you and think there’s not a chance in the world the move is going to work. The next thing you know, they fly straight through the apex of a hairpin and it’s a calamity.

 

“COTA has always been one of those tracks where we tend not to see very many cautions come out. It’s a challenging place for everyone, from strategy and racing standpoint. We can’t rely on the fact that we’ll get a caution to bunch the field up. It becomes one of those races where every bit of time you lose throughout the race, you have to make up. You don’t get a chance to reset if you have some bad laps.

 

“I feel like for us Prototype Challenge guys, who sit out in the pouring rain when it’s wet, we get a break when it’s super hot, like at COTA. The guys in the GT cars, that were nice and dry when it was raining, now we get to laugh at them when it’s 100 degrees outside. I don’t think the hot temperatures make a difference for us, setup wise though. We’re used to running in that kind of heat at COTA and have a lot of data to go off of. We were in contention to win the race last year, so we know that we have a good place to start setup wise.”
– Colin Braun

 

 

Noteworthy

  • The Prototype Challenge entry list for COTA is the largest of the season at nine cars.
  • Colin Braun was born in Ovalo, Texas. His 27th birthday is September 22nd.
  • Last year’s Lone Star Le Mans reached temperatures in the 90’s with humidity to match.
  • The Prototype Challenge class did not participate in the most recent round of TUSC at VIR.

 

 

Point Standings
PC Team Championship

  1. CORE autosport #54   253
  2. PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports #52 248
  3. RSR Racing #11 242

PC Driver Championship

  1. J.Bennett/C.Braun   253
  2. M.Guasch/T.Kimber-Smith 248
  3. Cumming/Junqueira   242

 

 

 

Event Facts

Lone Star Le Mans | Sept. 17 – 19

Track Length: 3.4 miles, 20 turns

Race Length: 2 Hours, 40 Minutes

 

 

SCHEDULE (All times Central)

Thursday, September 17

10:25am – 11:25am: Practice #1 (All Classes)

4:35pm – 5:35pm: Practice #2 (All Classes)

 

Friday, September 18

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

4:35pm – 4:50pm: Qualifying (PC Class)

 

Saturday, September 19

8:00 – 8:20am: Warm Up (All Classes)

9:15am – 10:00am: Driver Autograph Session

10:25am – 11:15am: Open Grid

11:35am – 2:15pm: Lone Star Le Mans

 

 

 

TV SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

LIVE Qualifying (Worldwide)

Friday, September 18

4:45pm – 6:15pm: IMSA.com

 

LIVE Race (U.S.)

Saturday, September 19

12:30pm – 3:30pm: FOX Sports 1

 

LIVE Race (Outside U.S.)

Saturday, September 19

12:30pm – 3:30pm: IMSA.com

 

LIVE In-Car Cameras & Commentary:

IMSA.com & IMSA App

 

 

 

CORE Prepares for TUDOR home stretch

Only two races remain in the TUDOR United Sports Car Championship and CORE autosport has its gaze firmly set on capturing Prototype Challenge Championship number four.

Next up is the Lone Star Le Mans at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. This is only the second time CORE has been to the new state-of-the-art facility which the TUDOR series will share with the FIA World Endurance Championship this week.

With 36 points on the table for a win, CORE continues to rely on its strong work ethic and unmatched preparation to take on the ultra-competitive PC category and maintain its championship lead through to the season’s end at Petit Le Mans.

 

NOTEWORTHY

  • Colin Braun made his ALMS GT debut at COTA last year in CORE’s No. 06 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.
  • Jon Bennett paired with Tom Kimber-Smith in last year’s PC race at COTA.
  • The 2013 COTA event is where it was announced that CORE would be Porsche’s official partner for a two-car factory entry in 2014.
  • CORE autosport leads the PC Team Championship by 14 points.
  • Bennett and Braun lead the PC Drivers’ Championship by 40 points.
  • Colin Braun was born in Ovalo, Texas, approximately 3.5 hours north of Austin.

 

14-CORE-Web-Bennett-headshot“We’re not thinking too much about the Championship. We are looking forward to the races at COTA and Road Atlanta.  We have had a great season so far, so we are having fun, and we are focused on enjoying a successful event in Austin. We have had many wins and strong performances this season.  I am sure we will see another win or two yet.

“COTA was definitely a hot one last year, but Colin and I stay in physical training mode all year to be ready for events of any length and environment. We really have not had a ‘hot’ race this year, but I think warm weather will play to our strengths.

“This track definitely has some unique personalities that I enjoy.  It’s is a great place to safely push the race car to its limits.  Of course Austin is a fun place to be and when we get there I have two words for you: Salt Lick [BBQ].”

 

 

 

14-CORE-web-Braun-Headshot“I don’t think we’re feeling the pressure over championship points. We’re focused on continuing to do what we’ve done for the last three years, which is try to win races. We’re out to win the next two races and let the points fall where they may. That’s been our mindset this whole year.

“COTA is going to be interesting for me because I’ve never driven the Prototype Challenge car there. I drove the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR there last year and also a GRAND-AM Daytona Prototype, so it’ll be interesting to figure out how COTA needs to be driven in the PC car. It’s a unique race track. It’s a little choppy for my taste, but it’s a cool place and it’s neat to be on a Formula 1 track.

“It’s been a few races since we’ve won and we’re all working really hard to get back there. We’ve been fast and we’ve been in the position to win but it hasn’t happened the last couple of races, so I think when you look over the course of the season, we’ve won half the races so far, so from a mathematical stand point, we’re due to win a race soon!”

 

 

 

Race Facts

Lone Star Le Mans | Sept. 18 – 20, 2014

VENUE
Track Length: 3.4 miles, 20 turns
Race Length: 2 hours, 45 minutes

SCHEDULE (All times Central)
Thursday, September 18
5:30pm – 6:30pm: Practice #1 (All Classes)

Friday, September 19
9:00am – 10:00am: Practice #2
3:20pm – 4:20pm: Practice #3 (All Classes)
5:15pm – 5:30pm: Qualifying (PC)

Sunday, September 20
8:40am – 9:00am: Warm Up (All Classes)
9:30am – 10:15am: Autograph Session
10:30am – 11:35am: Pre-Race / Open Grid
11:35am – 2:20pm: Lone Star Le Mans
TV SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)
LIVE Race U.S.:
Saturday, September 20
12:30 pm : FOX Sports 2
LIVE Race Europe, Asia, Africa:
Saturday, September 20
12:30 pm: IMSA.com
U.S. Race Replay:
Sunday, September 21
FOX, Check local listings
RADIO
MRN Radio will broadcast the Lone Star Le Mans in its entirety on IMSA.com and MRN.com.