All posts in “GRC”

Another GRC Podium for CORE at Demanding Ottawa Circuit

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

CORE Rolls Into Canada for GRC Doubleheader

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

CORE to Race Both IMSA and GRC in Same Weekend

ROCK HILL, S.C. (May 31, 2017) – CORE autosport has one busy weekend ahead of it, as it will take part in both the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix and the latest round of the Red Bull Global Rallycross Lites Championship in Thompson, Connecticut.

 

Continuing their WeatherTech GT Daytona season, drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun will share the No. 54 Flex-Box / Composite Resources Porsche 911 GT3 R on the streets of Belle Isle on Friday and Saturday, culminating in the 100 minute race on Saturday at 12:40pm ET. Bennett and Braun nearly won the Detroit race last year in the Prototype Challenge category, but ultimately ended up second.

 

Immediately after the checkered flag, Bennett and Braun will rush to the airport to board a plane bound for Thompson, Connecticut, where the latest round of the Global Rallycross Championship will already be underway and CORE’s GRC crew will have the No. 54 and No. 56 GRC Lites cars ready to go. If all goes according to plan, Bennett and Braun will have time to join the Last Chance Qualifier, scheduled for 5pm ET, and hopefully qualify for the final by finishing in the top two.

 

The GRC round at Thompson is a doubleheader, so even if the pair do not arrive in time on Saturday, they’ll have a full day of activities on Sunday.

 

Braun is currently third in the GRC Lites Championship and Bennett fifth.

 

The IMSA race from Detroit will air live on FS2, Saturday, June 3, at 12:30pm ET. The GRC Lites races from Thompson will air on NBC Sports Network, Wednesday, June 7, at 5pm ET.

 

 

 

“CORE autosport is committed to competing for championships in both IMSA WeatherTech GTD and Red Bull GRC Lites. We noticed the possibility of competing in both events. The idea was like an ember, that spread to a flame, which became a mission. Our IMSA WeatherTech race on Belle Island ends at 2:40pm. With the miracle of air travel, Colin, myself, and some crew will fly to a regional airport near Thompson arriving at the circuit with 30 minutes to spare before the Saturday LCQ!

 

“I have always enjoyed the street circuits we visit with IMSA. I like the precision and intensity that racing on a street circuit demands. On the other hand, the Belle Island circuit is extremely bumpy. Conveniently, this meshes well with recent GRC experience I have gained; tires off the ground are no problem.

 

“It’s also great to be in Detroit so we can welcome our friends from Paragon D&E to the track.

 

“I was certainly pleased with our entire team’s performance at the most recent GRC event in Louisville. Our GRC learning curve is beginning to flatten out and I expect more successful events to come. Colin and I have extensive experience understanding and learning new circuits. While not ideal, I expect we will be competitive in the LCQ.”
– Jon Bennett

 

 

 

 

“Jon and I were talking about how disappointing it was going to be to miss Thompson with the GRC cars. We kind of looked at each other and said ‘hey, there’s a possibility, since the Detroit race is on Saturday, that we could do both.’ We looked at the schedules and it looks like we could make the LCQ on Saturday and then all day Sunday. We’re doing pretty well in the GRC points, so we’d hate to give up being a contender over there.

 

“I like Belle Isle. It’s a great street course. It’s got corners that are a bit faster than a street course would usually have. The high-speed stuff is fun, but it also has the technical, low-speed, 90-degree corners. The flow and blend of corners makes it really cool.

 

“It’s going to be tough arriving in Thompson without any track time, but we’ve got a great group of guys on the GRC side. They’ll send us some videos from the practice on Friday to give us an idea on the layout, braking points etc., so when we do show up for the LCQ, we’ll be good to go and hopefully transfer right into the main. One of the great things about GRC is that the track changes so much during the weekend, you’re always figuring it out lap by lap, so hopefully that doesn’t put us at such a big disadvantage.”
– Colin Braun

 

 

Chevrolet SportsCar Classic & GRC New England | June 2 – 4

IMSA Track Length: 3.4 miles, 20 turns

IMSA Race Length: 100 minutes

GRC Track Length: 0.895 miles

GRC Lites Final Race Length: 10 laps

 

SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

Friday, June 2

8:30am – 10:00am: IMSA Practice #1 (All Classes)

1:00pm – 2:30pm: IMSA Practice #2 (All Classes)

4:44pm – 5:10pm: IMSA Qualifying (GTD Class)

 

Saturday, June 3

8:00am – 8:20am: IMSA Warm Up (All Classes)

10:30am – 11:15am: IMSA Driver Autograph Session

11:45am – 12:30am: IMSA Open Grid / Fan Walk

12:40pm – 2:20pm: Chevrolet SportsCar Classic

 

5:00pm: GRC Lites Last Chance Qualifier

5:55pm: GRC Lites Final

 

Sunday, June 4

12:40pm: GRC Lites Practice/Qualifying

1:40pm: GRC Lites Round One Heats

2:40pm: GRC Lites Round Two Heats

3:40pm: GRC Lites Semi Final

5:05pm: GRC Lites Last Chance Qualifier

6:00pm: GRC Lites Final

6:45pm: GRC Driver Autograph Session

 

IMSA TV SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

LIVE Qualifying:

Friday, June 2

4:45pm – 6:00pm: IMSA.com

LIVE Race U.S.:

Saturday, June 3

12:30pm – 2:30pm: FS2

LIVE Race International:

12:30pm – 2:30pm: IMSA.com

 

LIVE In-Car Cameras & Commentary:

IMSA.com

 

GRC LITES TV SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

Wednesday, June 7

5:00pm: NBC Sports Network

Stand Out GRC Weekend for CORE autosport

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

JON BENNETT
No. 54 CORE autosport GRC Lites

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

COLIN BRAUN
No. 56 CORE autosport GRC Lites

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

CORE Continues GRC Season in Louisville

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

JON BENNETT

No. 54 CORE autosport GRC Lites

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

COLIN BRAUN

No. 56 CORE autosport GRC Lites

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

 

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

CORE Narrowly Misses GRC Podium in Memphis

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

JON BENNETT

No. 54 Composite Resources/ORECA Gear GRC Lites

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

COLIN BRAUN

No. 56 Composite Resources/ORECA Gear GRC Lites

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Jon Bennett
No. 54 ORECA Gear GRC Lites

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

 

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

 

 

Colin Braun
No. 56 ORECA Gear GRC Lites

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

 

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

 

 

 

2017 Red Bull Global Rallycross Lites Schedule

 

Rd. 1 April 29

Memphis International Raceway

Memphis, TN

 

Rd. 2 May 21
Kentucky Exposition Center

Louisville, KY

 

*Rd. 3 June 3

Thompson Speedway

Thompson, CT

 

*Rd. 4 June 4

Thompson Speedway

Thompson, CT

 

Rd. 5 June 17

Canada Aviation And Space Museum

Ottawa, Canada

 

Rd. 6 June 18

Canada Aviation and Space Museum

Ottawa, Canada

 

*Rd. 7 July 9

Lucas Oil Speedway

Indianapolis, IN

 

Rd. 8 August 12

Bader Field

Atlantic City, NJ

 

Rd. 9 August 13

Bader Field

Atlantic City, NJ

 

Rd. 10 September 9

Evergreen Speedway

Seattle, WA

 

Rd. 11 September 10

Evergreen Speedway

Seattle, WA

 

Rd. 12 October 14

TBD

Los Angeles, CA

 

*No CORE attendance due to IMSA schedule conflict

Double Podium in GRC Finale for CORE autosport

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (Oct. 10, 2016) – CORE autosport took home its first double-podium finish in the Red Bull Global Rallycross season finale at the Port of Los Angeles. Colin Braun earned his third, third-place finish of the season and Scott Anderson finished second, his first podium.

 

The GRC double header in L.A. got off to a rocky start for CORE. Anderson did not advance to the final and although Braun won the Last Chance Qualifying (LCQ) and finished third in the final, he was later disqualified for contact.

 

CORE autosport crew and drivers dug deep on Sunday for the final GRC Lites race of the season. Anderson finished second and Braun third in the LCQ, which promoted both to the final.

 

Starting from the third row, both Anderson and Braun made huge gains on the opening start. Anderson was up to third and Braun to fifth. Attrition gradually bumped Anderson to second and Braun to third at the finish, making for CORE’s first double-podium in GRC Lites.

 

“Ending our rookie year with a double podium finish is a great accomplishment,” Team Manger Brian Colangelo said. “This group put in a lot of work in a short amount of time and climbed a steep learning curve. As a team, we have achieved all we set out to do in our first season and I am proud of all the team members who made this success possible.”

 

All together, in a limited rookie season of seven races with two cars, CORE collected four podiums. Anderson’s runner-up finish represents the team’s best GRC Lites result of 2016.

 

 

16-CORE-CB-HeadshotGRC“The dirt section at this track got a blue groove on top of it really quick. It was so smoothed over it looked like asphalt. It was very slippery.

 

“I realized during the final that we had a differential problem and only had drive to three wheels. As soon as I left the line, I could tell. We’re pretty pleased to bring home a podium finish on only three wheels. The double podium for the team is great. What a way to finish the season!

 

“This is definitely a different style of racing than I’m used to. We had a tough day, finding ourselves in the LCQ, but the CORE autosport guys are superheroes and we battled back to finished third on track, so I’m very happy about that. I had a blast this year and it’s a lot of fun racing with these guys.”
– Colin Braun

 

 

16-core-grc-mailchimp-anderson“In Saturday’s LCQ I got squeezed in Turn One on the first lap. I fell behind and couldn’t make it back up to a transfer spot.

 

“In Sunday’s LCQ I made it to fourth at the start, put in some fast laps when I had a clear track ahead and made it up to second when I took the joker. My spotter made a perfect call with the joker and that really put us up there.

 

“The start of the final on Sunday was all about avoiding carnage. I tried to stay aggressive at the start, but made sure not to put myself in a bad situation and it paid off. I was riding in second place most the race, knowing [Conner] Martell was going to joker. I just tried to keep as big a gap as I could and when he jokered we came out side-by-side, raced through a couple corners and I was able to come out of it with second place.”
Scott Anderson

CORE Aims for Victory in GRC Season Finale

ROCK HILL, S.C. (Oct. 4, 2016) – After securing two podium finishes in its debut Red Bull Global Rallycross season, CORE autosport is aiming to finish the season with a win at the Port of Los Angeles. Colin Braun returns to the team driver lineup alongside Scott Anderson.

 

The GRC finale will be a doubleheader with races on Saturday and Sunday. The Oceanside 0.699-mile, 9-turn course is the shortest on the series calendar. Its Joker Lap does not avoid any portion of the dirt, which is something drivers haven’t seen since Daytona in June.

 

Most recently scoring a third-place finish at Atlantic City, Braun returns to CORE’s driver lineup aboard the No. 54 CORE autosport/ORECA/Sonic Tools GRC Lites. Anderson will partake in his second-ever GRC event this weekend, once again at the wheel of the No. 56 CORE autosport/ORECA/Sonic Tools GRC Lites. Both drivers recently tested at the DirtFish rally school facility with rally veteran Patrik Sandell.

 

Having scored two third-place finishes in its rookie GRC season, CORE has its sights set on ending the season with its first victory. It will have two chances to do so with a 6:30pm ET race on Saturday and a 5:55pm ET race on Sunday. Both races will be shown on Red Bull TV with a slight delay: Saturday at 7:30pm ET and Sunday at 6:30pm ET.

 

16-CORE-CB-HeadshotGRC“We had a really good test at DirtFish. It was helpful to have someone like Patrik Sandell give us advice. It’s one thing to understand the fundamentals of dirt, but it’s another thing to understand how to go fast on the dirt. Much like road course racing, what you’d learn in a driving school applies in a way, but when you’re looking for the last few tenths, there are some techniques that are important to know.

 

“I’m looking forward to getting back in the car. We had Jon in the car in Seattle and I went up there to try and help as much as I could. It was good for me to just be involved, even though I didn’t drive, so I could still be in the loop.

 

“We’ve been on the podium a couple times and shown our speed and ability to adapt to something new after building a team from scratch. It’d be great to get a win, but to win, first you have to finish these races. I might be one of the only guys there that doesn’t care about the championship. I have nothing to lose, so I’ll be going for everything I can get.”
Colin Braun

 

16-core-grc-mailchimp-anderson“I learned a lot about the dirt in my first race at Seattle. I think we were losing huge chunks of time there and making a couple small technique changes will make a huge difference. Also, getting a good launch is key. I wasn’t getting good launches and it was killing me in the races.

 

“Our test at Dirt Fish was a huge learning experience. We had Patrik Sandell there helping us out, and as a team I think we made huge strides as far as having a direction. I’m not sure how well it will apply to LA or different tracks, but I think we have a much better idea of what the car likes in order to be driven fast.

 

“My goal for this weekend is to be racing for podiums. I think I’m capable of it now. The big thing will be getting the launches figured out. If I can do that, we should be able to race up front.”
Scott Anderson

CORE Continues to Reach GRC Milestones in Seattle

SEATTLE, Wash. (Sept. 19, 2016) – Driver Jon Bennett achieved a personal best finish of seventh at Red Bull Global Rallycross Seattle. Newcomer Scott Anderson started the weekend strong with a third-place finish in his first heat race, but was unable to make the final.

 

Under gorgeous conditions on Friday, Anderson qualified his No. 56 GRC Lites entry ninth and converted that into a third-place finish in the first heat race. Bennett qualified the No. 54 in 11th, but an opening lap accident in the first heat race resulted in a DNF.

 

Saturday brought not only a reversal of weather conditions, but a reversal of fortunes for the CORE autosport drivers. The skies turned gray and rain wet down the circuit at Evergreen Speedway. Contact in the second heat slowed Anderson to a fourth-place finish. Bennett also finish fourth in his second heat, so both CORE drivers faced the Last Change Qualifier (LCQ).

 

Starting from the pole in the LCQ, Anderson got nudged into the wall in Turn One, which broke the car’s suspension and ended his race. Bennett ended up third in the LCQ and successfully transferred to the final.

 

Bennett deftly avoided an opening lap incident in the mud and was able to cross the finish line in seventh; his best GRC finish to-date.

 

“It is great to have Scott on team and we are impressed with his adaptation to GRC,” CORE autosport GRC Program Manger Brian Colangelo said. “Jon was able to help Scott come up to speed quickly during our test before the Seattle event.

 

“We are off testing again immediately after Seattle with no time to spare. The crew has done its usual fantastic job of turning the cars around quickly after an extremely eventful Seattle race in preparation for the test. We are looking forward to the Los Angeles finale and hope to finish strong there with the momentum we are building and what we are learning with our testing.”

 

The GRC season finale is approaching quickly. A doubleheader in Los Angeles, California, takes place October 8 – 9.

 

 

16-CORE-JB-HeadshotGRC“In Seattle we had a GRC circuit built into a permanent short-track oval. The venue was nice and the track was really well laid out. I enjoyed having Scott Anderson for a teammate for the first time and watching him get acclimated and learn the flow of a GRC event.

 

“In the first heat race, I had a killer start. I went from P6 to P2 heading into the first turn. Using my road racing background I was able to brake deeper into the corner than the leader. I crept into his blind spot, we collided and our wheels locked, which got my car a bit on top of his car. The CORE guys had the car fixed in a few hours.

 

“I enjoyed the wet conditions on Saturday. I think my background and the rain racing I’ve done is an advantage over the younger drivers in this series who are still learning how a car’s personality changes in the wet.

 

“I finished third in the LCQ and went on to finish seventh in the final. I was hoping for a podium, but for the moment that is my personal best. It’s nice to see the progression and I think my first podium isn’t far off.”
– Jon Bennett

 

 

16-core-grc-mailchimp-anderson“GRC is a whole different animal from what I’m used to, more often than not I’m finding I need to forget what I’ve learned in open-wheel racing and start from scratch when it comes to adjusting to new techniques. I love the racing though, it’s extremely intense with so many variables being thrown at you. I think I’m addicted.

 

“The hardest thing to adjust to is knowing the limits of what you can pull off with AWD in dirt. You can recover from some big slides and demand a lot more out of the car than I would have thought, I still think there’s a ton of potential I haven’t found yet.

 

“In my second heat I had some contact that knocked the steering out of alignment, so it wouldn’t turn left well.  We still came away fourth but needed a third to transfer straight to the final.

 

“In the LCQ I was on the inside of three cars going into Turn One and got turned into, which sent me into the inside wall. It broke the suspension and our day ended there.
– Scott Anderson