All posts in “IMSA”

Two Titles in the North American Endurance Cup for New 911 RSR

BRASELTON, Ga. (Oct. 8, 2017) – At legendary Road Atlanta, the maiden race season for the Porsche 911 RSR in the USA and Canada drew to a close with a significant success: Patrick Pilet and Dirk Werner secured the GTLM-class title in the prestigious Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup.

 

The long-distance classics of Daytona, Sebring and Watkins Glen as well as Saturday’s Petit Le Mans in the US state of Georgia count towards the world’s toughest performance and reliability competition in GT racing. With the 911 RSR, developed from scratch by Porsche Motorsport in Weissach for the 2017 season, the Porsche GT Team also won the team classification. Finishing second in the manufacturers’ classification, just one point off taking home the title, Porsche beat strong competition from Chevrolet, BMW and Ferrari. At the four long-distance races of the North American Endurance Cup, teams and drivers had to underline their consistency and reliability over a total of 52 hours.

 

Petit Le Mans on the 2.54-mile Road Atlanta circuit also marked the last round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, North America’s premier sports car race series. In the hotly contested ten-hour race, Patrick Pilet (France) and Dirk Werner (Germany) joined forces with a third driver, overall Le Mans winner Nick Tandy (Great Britain), to bring home sixth place in the GTLM class after 392 laps. This result was enough for the drivers and the Porsche GT Team, who travelled to the race leading the points table, to win the North American Endurance Cup. After spending long stretches on course for a podium spot, their teammates Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) and Gianmaria Bruni (Italy) were ultimately flagged off as fifth in the sister 911 RSR. The third driver in this car was Earl Bamber (New Zealand), another outright Le Mans winner from Porsche’s factory squad.

 

During its maiden race season in the USA and Canada, the new Porsche 911 RSR had already notched up numerous successes. Its first victory came on 22 July at Lime Rock, with four podium placings at Daytona, Long Beach, Elkhart Lake and Laguna Seca as well as pole position at Mosport.

 

Dr Frank-Steffen Walliser, Vice President Motorsport and GT Cars: “We’ve clinched the first title for the new 911 RSR at this race. By winning the North American Endurance Cup for drivers and teams, we’ve shown that we were always at the front at the right time for the major endurance races and, hence, have underlined the reliability of our car over the season. For a maiden season with a completely new car, this was a good performance.”

 

Patrick Pilet (911 RSR #911): “Winning the North American Endurance Cup is a great team effort. I’m thrilled to take this trophy home to Weissach as a thank you to everyone who has worked on the new 911 RSR and has supported us this season so brilliantly. This race was very tough for us. We had to fight hard to defend ourselves against the strong opposition. I’m pleased we managed it.”

 

Dirk Werner (911 RSR #911): “Our main goal at this race was to win the North American Endurance Cup. We did that and I’m delighted for everyone in our team. It was a difficult season, and this final race, with its many incidents and safety car phases, was anything but easy. That makes this success all the more thrilling.”

 

Nick Tandy (911 RSR #911): “It was wonderful for me to be a part of this team again on this legendary circuit and to support Patrick and Dirk in their bid to win the North American Endurance Cup. The fact that it’s also the first title for the new 911 RSR makes it even more valuable.”

 

Laurens Vanthoor (911 RSR #912): “We didn’t have the pace today to seriously fight for victory. We tried everything, we had a great strategy, but it wasn’t enough. I’m pleased that our teammates have won the North American Endurance Cup. That’s a terrific achievement. Now we’re looking ahead to 2018 and we’re all determined to come back even stronger.”

 

Gianmaria Bruni (911 RSR #912): “What a tough fight. We lost time with the pit stop incident, when our 911 RSR caught fire briefly. However, thanks to a perfect pit stop strategy, we were able to make up that lost lap. The many spirited duels were huge fun.”

 

Earl Bamber (911 RSR #912): “It was great to drive the new 911 RSR at Road Atlanta. Our long runs were good, we only had problems at the restarts. Still, we fought to the flag. It’s a shame that we weren’t able to reward ourselves with a podium result.”

 

IMSA Season Comes to a Close at Petit Le Mans

ROCK HILL, S.C. (Oct. 3, 2017) – It’s time for the season finale of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship this weekend at Road Atlanta.

 

CORE autosport will close out its 2017 season with the 10-hour Motul Petit Le Mans endurance race. Nic Jönsson will once again join Jon Bennett and Colin Braun for driving duties in the No. 54 Flex-Box / Composite Resources Porsche 911 GT3 R.

 

The team comes into the season finale off of its season-best finish of fourth at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. There, CORE led the most GT Daytona laps before having to pit for a splash of fuel.

 

The Motul Petit Le Mans is also the final race in the Patron North American Endurance Cup, which is composed of the IMSA season races that are six hours or more in length.

 

 

Noteworthy

  • CORE won Petit Le Mans in the PC class with Alex Popow, Ryan Dalziel and Mark Wilkins in 2012.
  • CORE has earned four podium finishes in total at Petit Le Mans, all of them in the PC class.
  • This will be CORE’s last race in GTD. The team recently announced its move to the Prototype class for 2018.

 

 

 

“We were all pleased to see the CORE and Porsche colors leading the GTD field for much of the race at Laguna. We all have been pushing through our personal limits to improve our competitiveness in GTD. It was great to see the effort generate results.

 

“I believe we all embrace the basic physics of long races. While it is important to be fast and aggressive at all times, there is a bigger picture in play that involves smart choices, self-control, and a bit of luck. Our ultimate goal is to keep the car off the TV broadcast until the end!

 

“The hardest part of PLM, like the Rolex 24 and Sebring, is understanding the bigger strategy of peaking in the final minutes of the race. You need to resist the urge to attack too soon and be fast and aggressive while keeping the big picture in mind.

 

“I think a fair goal is to always improve upon your last result. If we accomplish this goal at Petit Le Mans, we should all be soaked with champagne late Saturday night.”
– JON BENNETT

 

 

 

“I feel like the momentum we bring from Laguna is a good thing. We don’t really change our approach or how hard we work based on prior results, but a good race is always boosts everyone’s spirits. The guys have been working extremely hard and I feel like it’s going to be a helpful thing going into the last race of the season for sure.

 

“The longer races are an opportunity to execute good strategy and pit stops and smart racing. Those are things that, as a team, we’re good at. Also, in terms of a driver package, I feel like that’s an area where we excel. Jon’s done a great job in the long races and over the past couple years, we’ve had some great guys joining us and it will be no different with Nic at Petit.

 

“The hardest part of Petit is the intensity of the race. It’s a relatively short lap. It’s easy to get behind. It’s not a super long race where you have a ton of time to make it up. It’s a really interesting mix of length of the track, distance of the race and the cadence of the race. It’s unlike Sebring and Daytona. Even though it’s only a few hours shorter than Sebring, it has a totally different flow to the race.

 

“Closing out the season with a win would be great. It’s been an up and down year, not by any fault of our own. I’m hopeful we can have a trouble-free event and show what we’re capable of doing. I know if we can do that, we’ll be right in the mix to contend at the end of the race.”
– COLIN BRAUN

 

 

“Compared to Daytona and Sebring it’s a shorter lap. I think the track is more physical; you don’t have a lot of time to rest. The track is a little more narrow, so you have to have a lot of patience. The darkness lasts an hour to an hour and a half and usually it brings quite a bit of excitement, because it can be hard to see where exactly the other cars are.

 

“CORE had been very successful in the PC class for a number of years and they changed to a completely different formula. That takes some time to adapt, not just for the drivers, but also for the crew. CORE is a very professional team and we had really good pace right away at Daytona and Sebring, unfortunately we didn’t have luck on our side. The crew has become more accustomed to the car and they do phenomenal pit stops.

 

“CORE has done a great job adapting to GTD this year and I think they showed that with a strong result at Laguna a couple weeks ago. Hopefully the momentum from Laguna will carry to Petit and help us finish the season with a podium.”
– NIC JÖNSSON

 

 

Motul Petit Le Mans | October 5 – 7

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VENUE

Track Length: 2.54-miles, 12 turns

Race Length: 10 hours

 

SCHEDULE (All times Pacific)

Thursday, October 5

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

3:15pm – 4:15pm: Practice #2 (All Classes)

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

 

Friday, October 6

11:40am – 12:40pm: Practice 4 (All Classes)

2:30pm – 3:15pm: Driver Autograph Session

4:20pm – 4:35pm: Qualifying (GTD class)

 

Saturday, October 7

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

9:45am – 10:45am: Open Grid

11:05am – 9:05pm: Motul Petit Le Mans

 

TV SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

LIVE Qualifying:

Friday, October 6

4:10pm – 5:50pm: IMSA.com

LIVE Race U.S.:

Saturday, October 7

10:30am – 11:30am: FS1

11:30am – 2:30pm: FS2

5:00pm – 9:30pm: FS2

LIVE Race International:

10:55am – 9:05pm: IMSA.com

 

LIVE In-Car Cameras & Commentary:

IMSA.com

Porsche GT Team Scores Fifth Podium in the USA

MONTEREY, Calif. (Sept. 25, 2017) – At the Laguna Seca Raceway in the dunes of Monterey, California, the new Porsche 911 RSR clinched its fifth podium result in the IMSA SportsCar Championship.

 

At the wheel of the newly developed race car from Weissach, Patrick Pilet (France) and Dirk Werner (Germany) secured third in the GTLM class on Sunday on the 2.238-mile racetrack in California. After a gripping finale, they crossed the finish line only five seconds behind the winners. Their teammates Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) and Gianmaria Bruni (Italy) in the sister 911 RSR took the flag in seventh place.

 

Laurens Vanthoor got the best start of the entire field. In the first lap, he promptly overtook three rivals in his No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR to settle into fifth place behind Patrick Pilet, who had managed to gain two places. The Frenchman then launched a spectacular pursuit for the top spot, first overtaking a BMW, then a Ford. After a good half hour he was running in second place.

 

Laurens Vanthoor was poised to follow his lead, but a prototype’s careless maneuver not only blocked him from overtaking, but also threw him back three positions. With his teammate Gianmaria Bruni having to serve a drive-through penalty in the pits due to a non-compliant pit stop, the fight for top results continued without them.

 

In the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR, however, Dirk Werner was on course for a podium spot. A fuel-saving strategy worked out for him after he took over the cockpit from Patrick Pilet and eventually began to pay off. For long stretches he was running in third, and he even managed to advance to second place. At times he was less than a second off the leader, and in a thrilling final phase defended his position with a spirited duel against his strongest pursuers. However, shortly before the flag he had to let a Ferrari overtake him. Nevertheless, it was enough for the winner of the Lime Rock race and runner-up at the Daytona to bring home another podium result at the penultimate race of the season.

 

Marco Ujhasi, Director GT Factory Motorsports: “This podium at an exciting and highly competitive race is thanks to a good strategy and a 911 RSR that proved consistently fast on this demanding racetrack. The fact that we focused on preparing for the race during our days here rather than on fast lap times in qualifying proved to be the right decision. With this result under our belt we can now head to Atlanta. There, we’ll do everything at the season finale to finish two positions further up the field – and win the coveted North American Endurance Cup for Porsche.”

 

Patrick Pilet (911 RSR #911): “That was really close. In the end it was a pure game of chance with the fuel. We assumed that the leading BMW would have to pit, but he kept going. Dirk saved as much fuel as he could, but he couldn’t keep up with the Ferrari, which was following a different strategy. We did the best we could with what we had today, and, as always, we’ve enjoyed wonderful support from our team.”

 

Dirk Werner (911 RSR #911): “It’s great to head home from Laguna Seca with a podium result. The entire team threw themselves completely into this race and improved the car even more. It was a fiercely competitive race, and fans really got their money’s worth. In the closing phase we all tried to conserve fuel and turn our laps without having to make a pit stop. My fuel light came on shortly before the flag, so that strategy worked perfectly. I think this is a great achievement for the team.”

 

Laurens Vanthoor (911 RSR #912): “We had a great car for the weekend and a great tire strategy. Unfortunately we couldn’t turn it into a better result. We had a chance for the podium spot, but we made mistakes. We’ll now look closely at what happened and we’ll be back in the fight at the season finale at Road Atlanta.”

 

Gianmaria Bruni (911 RSR #912): “We had pretty much everything going against us in this race. Our 911 RSR had the speed to run at the front, but bad luck struck and we made mistakes. Now we need to concentrate totally on Petit Le Mans and on winning the North American Endurance Cup for Porsche.”

 

CORE Heads West for Penultimate IMSA Race

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

 

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

 

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

 

NOTEWORTHY

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

Continental Monterey Grand Prix | September 22 – 24

————————————————————

VENUE

Track Length: 2.238-miles, 11 turns

Race Length: 2 hours, 40 minutes

 

SCHEDULE (All times Pacific)

Friday, September 22

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

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

 

Saturday, September 23

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

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

 

Sunday, September 24

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

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

12:45pm – 1:45pm: Open Grid

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

 

TV SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

LIVE Qualifying:

Saturday, September 23

2:20pm – 3:35pm: IMSA.com

LIVE Race U.S.:

Sunday, September 24

5:00pm – 8:00pm: FS1

LIVE Race International:

4:55pm – 7:45pm: IMSA.com

 

LIVE In-Car Cameras & Commentary:

IMSA.com

Porsche GT Team Score Seventh and Eighth in Virginia

ALTON, Va. (Aug. 28, 2017) – After scoring the first victory with the new Porsche 911 RSR at Lime Rock and second place in Elkhart Lake, the Porsche GT Team was not able to fight for top positions on the Virginia International Raceway. At round nine of the IMSA SportsCar Championship, the team’s and drivers’ intensive preparations and good performances went unrewarded.

After 92 laps on the storied 3.27-mile racetrack in Virginia, Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) and Gianmaria Bruni (Italy) reached the flag in seventh place with the 510 hp Porsche 911 RSR (#912). Their team colleagues Patrick Pilet (France) and Dirk Werner (Germany) finished eighth in the second 911 RSR with the starting number 911.

The tenth and penultimate round of the IMSA SportsCar Championship will be contested on 24 September at Laguna Seca in California.

Marco Ujhasi, Director GT Factory Motorsports: “After the qualifying it was obvious that the race would be difficult for us. Because we have a significantly lower top speed than our opponents, we had to come up with a special strategy on this track with its long full-throttle passages. However, for our strategy to work, we needed safety car phases, and there weren’t any today. We tried everything, but all in all it was a very difficult weekend for us. I hope that the IMSA authorities will take a very close look at this race and draw the appropriate conclusions. Then I’m confident that we’ll be back up amongst the frontrunners at the next race in Laguna Seca.”
Laurens Vanthoor (911 RSR #912): “That’s obviously not the result we wanted to fly home with. Our 911 RSR ran well and I had a good feeling in the car. Everyone could see that we didn’t have the pace, especially on the straights. The effect was particularly noticeable on this racetrack.”
Gianmaria Bruni (911 RSR #912): “Aside from the lack of top speed, the race for us ran without any problems. The team worked well over the entire weekend. What came out in the end, however, is frustrating, but it’s no reason to hang our heads. As a team, we have to pull together again and do better at Laguna Seca.”
Patrick Pilet (911 RSR #911): “That was a difficult weekend. Especially for me because I made mistake in Corner 5 and I ended up in the grass. But even without this setback, we were still simply not fast enough.”
Dirk Werner (911 RSR #911): “As expected, the race was difficult. As always, we were well prepared. But our pace was not good enough, especially on this racetrack, where our lack of engine power was particularly noticeable. For the time being we have to accept this, but I hope the situation looks better again for the last two races.”

 

CORE Takes Positive Momentum to VIR

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

NOTEWORTHY

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

Michelin GT Challenge at VIR | August 25 – 27

————————————————————

VENUE

Track Length: 3.27-miles, 17 turns

Race Length: 2 hours, 40 minutes

 

SCHEDULE (All times Central)

Friday, August 25

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

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

 

Saturday, August 26

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

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

2:00pm – 2:45pm: Pre-Race / Open Grid

3:05pm – 5:45pm: Northeast Grand Prix

 

Sunday, August 27

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

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

12:15pm – 1:15pm: Open Grid

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

 

TV SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

LIVE Qualifying:

Saturday, August 26

12:10pm – 1:00pm: IMSA.com

LIVE Race U.S.:

Sunday, August 27

1:30pm – 4:30pm: FS1

LIVE Race International:

1:25pm – 4:15pm: IMSA.com

 

LIVE In-Car Cameras & Commentary:

IMSA.com

CORE Faces Daunting Road America

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Noteworthy

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

Continental Tire Road Race Showcase | August 4 – 6

VENUE

Track Length: 4.048-miles, 14 turns

Race Length: 2 hours, 40 minutes

 

SCHEDULE (All times Central)

Friday, August 4

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

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

 

Saturday, August 5

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

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

2:00pm – 2:45pm: Pre-Race / Open Grid

3:05pm – 5:45pm: Northeast Grand Prix

 

Sunday, August 6

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

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

12:15pm – 1:15pm: Open Grid

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

 

TV SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

LIVE Qualifying:

Saturday, August 5

1:25pm – 3:05pm: IMSA.com

LIVE Race U.S.:

Sunday, August 6

2:30pm – 5:30pm: FS1

LIVE Race International:

2:25pm – 5:15pm: IMSA.com

 

LIVE In-Car Cameras & Commentary:

IMSA.com

CORE on Front Row for Northeast Grand Prix

LAKEVILLE, Conn. (July 21, 2017) – CORE autosport earned its best WeatherTech SportsCar Championship qualifying position of the year at Lime Rock Park. Colin Braun entered a lap just shy of the pole, but will start second in tomorrow’s Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park.

In his first-ever qualifying attempt with the No. 54 Flexbox / Composite Resources Porsche 911 GT3 R, Braun was only 0.191-second off the GT Daytona pole time. His best lap around the 1.474, 7-turn road course, a 52.699, put him second on the grid, the best of the Porsche GTD entries and 0.137-second faster than Porsche factory driver Patrick Long.

The last time Braun served as the qualifying driver for CORE was at Lime Rock Park one year ago.

Braun will pair with Jon Bennett for Saturday’s two-hour and 40-minute race that features just the GT Daytona and GT Le Mans classes. The Northeast Grand Prix will go green tomorrow at 3pm ET on FS2.

 

“We decided to try a different strategy today to see how things shook out. Traffic is an issue here because the track is so short. We don’t have great pit lane position, so I was at the back of the pack for the qualifying session. There were some slower guys in front of me that I tried to build gaps to. I felt like I had a pretty good shot at it, but on my last lap there was a lot of dirt on the track in many of the corners. That made it tough to go through some of these fast corners knowing that there was a pile of dirt waiting.

“All in all, we’re happy to be P2 and on the front row. I haven’t qualified in a long time and didn’t have a chance to do a new tire run because we were so focused on our race package. I’m a little bit surprised, to be honest, to be that close to pole.

“The Porsches qualified really well here. We had good balance right off the truck. But, it’s always a bit of a game here. You never know who’s doing what, so we’ll see the last 10 laps the true pace of all these cars.”
– Colin Braun

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 Ready to Flex Its Endurance Muscles

ROCK HILL, S.C. (June 28, 2017) – It’s been a month since CORE autosport last took part in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun are itching to get back into the No. 54 Porsche 911 GT3 R. They’ll be re-joined by Nic Jönsson at Watkins Glen International for the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.

 

After three IMSA rounds lasting two hours and 40 minutes or less, this weekend’s race will go six hours from green to checker. Watkins Glen is part of the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup. It is the third of four races that compose this championship within a championship, Daytona, Sebring and Petit Le Mans being the other races.

 

CORE took part in a test at Watkins Glen in May to prepare for this weekend’s six-hour race. The team won the race in 2014 in the Prototype Challenge category, but this will be its first race at the historic road course in the Porsche 911 GT3 R.

 

Noteworthy

  • CORE autosport won at Watkins Glen in 2014 with Bennett, Braun and Mark Wilkins.
  • The 2014 PC win was from pole position, scored by Braun.
  • CORE finished fourth at WGI in 2015 and sixth in 2016.
  • Jönsson’s last race at WGI was 2012 in the Continental Tire Series.
  • Jönsson won the 2005 WGI race in a Daytona Prototype with Krohn Racing.
  • WGI marks the halfway point of the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.

 

“The long race at Watkins Glen provides a great opportunity for our first podium of the season. CORE autosport excels at the longer endurance races. These long races allow our team to leverage our skills in car preparation, race strategy, and quick pit stops.

 

“Turn 10 is my favorite portion at Watkins Glen. It’s slightly banked and super fast. It reminds me of a quick flick turn on a bobsled run.

 

“Our recent test at The Glen was helpful to learn how our new Porsche will perform during the race event. We discovered a few tuning concepts that should give us an advantage during the race. Testing always helps confidence by providing an opportunity to experiment and uncover techniques to find speed. With Colin’s support and Jeff Braun’s engineering, I was able to continuously reduce lap times throughout the test. We were all encouraged with our results at the conclusion of the test.

 

“Colin and I are happiest when inside a race car. While alternating between IMSA and GRC has been fun, we are looking forward to this active period of the IMSA season.”
– JON BENNETT

 

“I’m looking forward to a longer race. We seem to do well in longer races with more pit stops and more opportunity to execute good strategy. That’s what we excel at as a group.

 

“We had a really good test at Watkins Glen a month ago. One of the biggest things that came out of it was a breakthrough moment for Jon. He gained a lot of confidence from being able to drive the car flat-out in the privacy of our test session.

 

“For me, it’s been a busy schedule between IMSA, GRC and my coaching commitments. I love that part of the job. The opportunity to be busy and always driving race cars is what I love to do. No matter what the series is or what race track we’re at, I’m pushing to the limit. It’s becoming similar for Jon too, incorporating the GRC schedule into the mix. It’s going to be a lot of fun clicking off a bunch of back-to-back IMSA weekends and getting some momentum going on the Porsche side of things.”
 – COLIN BRAUN

 

“Watkins Glen has everything you could ask for. I like the whole track and the whole environment. It’s an old-school track with elevation changes, high-speed sweeping corners and hard braking zones. It’s on my list of top-five tracks in the world. If I had to pick a favorite section, it’s probably The Boot section from the Bus Stop until you come back to the straight.

 

“I haven’t been to Watkins Glen since they repaved it (2015). I’ve spoken with Jon and Colin and other drivers over the last couple of years about it. Like any other track, it gains a lot of grip, which is no big surprise. I can imagine the physical aspect of it has changed as well. Anytime you pick up more grip, it becomes more physical. I think you won’t have as much tire degradation. It’s going to be a very close, tight, competitive race just because people will probably double or even triple-stint tires. I don’t think the traction-control or ABS will be much of a factor because of the grip level. It’s going to be very high-pace, possibly the fastest Six Hours of The Glen ever.”
 – NIC JÖNSSON