All posts in “Jon Bennett”

CORE Displays Quick Pace at Daytona Test

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 7, 2018) – CORE autosport rolled out its new No. 54 ORECA 07 LMP2 for the Roar Before the 24 test at Daytona International Speedway and showed strong pace amongst its Prototype-class rivals. The team turned the second-quickest lap time of the ORECA entries over the three days of testing to prepare for the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

 

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship teams took part in nearly nine hours of testing over three days. Temperatures throughout the test were unseasonably cold, with highs barely in the 50’s and lows below freezing.

 

Full-season drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun had their first opportunity to team up with co-drivers Romain Dumas and Loïc Duval. The pair of Frenchmen will join CORE for the 24-hour WeatherTech season opener and Dumas will return to assist Bennett and Braun at the 12 Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans.

 

The No. 54 drivers were frequently at the sharp end of the timing sheets throughout the Roar Before the 24 event. Braun turned the quickest lap of the weekend for the team, a 1:37.303 (131.706 mph) on Friday afternoon. The time was the second-fastest set by an ORECA overall.

 

The team returns to Daytona International Speedway, January 25 – 28, for the Rolex 24 at Daytona. The race will air live on the FOX family of networks and IMSA.tv for international audiences.

 

“The new race car is fantastic! We had a good test and it’s been great to meet our new teammates Romain and Loïc. I’d say it was a very productive weekend overall. We learned a lot and I think we’re poised to have a strong Rolex 24.

“The ORECA 07 LMP2 is quite different from our previous two race cars, but I think we all sort of adapt to our surroundings. Colin and I both have a lot of Prototype experience and I think that’s made this transition easier.”
– JON BENNETT

 

 

“I’m really enjoying our new car. ORECA’s done a great job and the CORE guys have been fantastic getting it ready for us. We did a lot of work on our driver changes this weekend and I’m very happy with how we’ve sorted those out with Romain and Loïc.

 

“The competition in the Prototype class reminds me of the days of 2006 and 2007 when Daytona Prototypes were very popular and you had a lot of deep fields and stacked driver lineups. It also reminds me of my NASCAR days when you were racing a stout 36-car field every weekend. I like it. The more, the better and the more enjoyable it is, because know you’re competing against the best.”
– COLIN BRAUN

 

 

 

“The test went very well. I was quite surprised by the team and how professional they are. In terms of performance, we did our job. We tested a lot of different setups. We did okay, but we’ll have to wait and see when the other manufacturers start to race. We have to stay focused on our job, because we’ll try to get the best performance out of our ORECA and it will be complicated against the DPi cars, but we’ll do our best.”
– ROMAIN DUMAS

 

 

“It’s always difficult here, in terms of time, because you have to share the car with three other drivers and on top of that I’ve been sick, so I stayed out of the car on Saturday.

 

“Overall, I think we are one of the best ORECA entries, which is what we have to target. That’s our reference point. We are pretty happy with the car behavior. We still have to make some adjustments because it’s quite a big difference from the day when it’s warm to the night when it is cold; you have to find a balance.”
– LOÏC DUVAL

CORE Adds Endurance Champions Dumas and Duval to Daytona Lineup

ROCK HILL, S.C. (Nov. 30, 2017) – For its Prototype class debut, CORE autosport has recruited Romain Dumas and Loïc Duval to its driver lineup for the Rolex 24 at Daytona. The two Frenchmen will join Jon Bennett and Colin Braun for the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season opener.

 

Dumas and Duval are both former FIA World Endurance Champions and overall winners at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

 

A Porsche Factory Driver, Dumas won the 2016 FIA WEC Championship in a Porsche 919 Hybrid with teammates Neel Jani and Marc Lieb. He’s won the 24 Hours of Le Mans three times; in 2010 driving an Audi R15, in 2013 at the wheel of a Porsche 911 RSR and in 2016 with the Porsche 919 Hybrid. Dumas has also collected wins at the 24 Hours of Spa and the 24 Hours of Nüburgring.

 

Duval is an Audi Factory Driver, the 2013 FIA WEC Champion and 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans winner, both titles with Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish in an Audi R18.

 

Not only do Dumas and Duval bring exceptional endurance racing experience to CORE, but both drivers have prior experience in the ORECA 07 Gibson, taking part in various rounds of the 2017 FIA WEC.

 

Duval made his debut at Daytona in 2017 (driving an ORECA 07 Gibson), while Dumas has made five appearances and finished as high as third in class (2002 and 2008). Neither has tasted victory at Daytona, which is something CORE can boast, having climbed the top step in its first attempt in 2014.

 

CORE is confident this powerhouse driver lineup paired with its IMSA experience will help it achieve success again at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, January 27 – 28.

 

 

“I am excited to share our new ORECA 07 with an amazing group of all-star teammates. Both Romain Dumas and Loïc Duval are simply two of the most talented race drivers in the world. Both Romain and Loïc have unmatched experience in 24 hour endurance competitions. In the trophy case, both Romain and Loïc have proof of the day they stood upon the podium as overall champion at Le Mans. I know Colin [Braun] and I share our new teammates’ passion for adding the Rolex 24 overall win to our collection of victories.

 

“Our team principle, Morgan Brady, was instrumental in searching the world for the best endurance drivers. We have developed many great relationships since CORE’s beginnings in 2010. These relationships and Morgan’s talent for understanding personalities and strong team chemistry brought us to this incredible opportunity for us all.”
– JON BENNETT

 

 

“I’m really happy to go back to Daytona. For a long a time I’ve been looking to come back, but Dakar is always at the same time. This year, as soon as I get the opportunity with CORE, I decided not to do Dakar.

 

“Loïc and I were teammates at Audi in 2012 and as soon as I heard it was a possibility for him to be part of the team, I was very enthusiastic. We live very close to each other—eight miles away—so we have a good relationship. It was clear when I spoke with him that we are there to achieve the best result and we are old enough to understand that we are here for the team and that’s very important for Daytona.

 

“I drove this car [ORECA 07 Gibson], this year at Le Mans with Alpine and at Spa. I know it’s a very cool car. I think its pace will be pretty good. I know we have a lot of competition ahead of us. First, we have to do our own race, without looking at everyone else, then the race will come to us if we are doing a good job.”
– ROMAIN DUMAS

 

 

 

Loïc Duval

“Going to Daytona for a racing driver means a lot. It was good to be there. The most impressive thing for me was the banking. When you’re in those corners and you’ve never done an oval or anything like that, it’s impressive to see the angle you can take.

 

“The main thing I know about CORE is they are the GT factory team for Porsche and to be honest that is about it. I spoke a little but with Romain and he explained to me about how professional the team is. It wasn’t a surprise though, because when you are a factory team for Porsche it means a lot already. I knew that the team was first class.

 

“I’ve been doing some testing back in Europe and I was racing in Bahrain in WEC in the ORECA. It’s definitely good training for me because I will not race any car from now to Daytona, so I’m quite sharp in the LMP2 ORECA, which for me also makes a lot of sense to be fully fit for Daytona.”
– LOÏC DUVAL

Petit Le Mans Qualifying

CORE on Eve of Final IMSA Race of 2017

CORE autosport will make its final IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship start of 2017 tomorrow, October 7, at the Motul Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. The No. 54 Flex-Box / Composite Resources Porsche 911 GT3 R qualified 17th on the GT Daytona grid for Saturday’s 10-hour race.

 

Petit Le Mans represents not only the final race of the 2017 IMSA season for CORE, but also the team’s final race with the Porsche 911 GT3 R. CORE announced last month that it will switch to the Prototype class in 2018 with an ORECA.

 

Jon Bennett qualified the Porsche 17th on the grid with a lap of 1:23.379. He will take the green flag in tomorrow’s race and share the car with Colin Braun and Nic Jönsson.

 

Live TV coverage of the Motul Petit Le Mans begins at 10:30am ET on FS1 with continuing coverage on FS2 at 11:30am and 5:30pm.

 

“The car has been getting better and better all week. At some level, I’m quite happy with the qualifying results. Personally, I need a little more pace. The car is engineered well, and it’s handling well. Colin and Nic both have excellent pace.

 

“Tomorrow is a long race and I think we’re poised for success. The key will be to stay somewhat invisible and out of trouble until the sun goes down. Then it becomes a 90-minute sprint race until the end. We’ll have Colin and Nic in the car at that time, and we’ll have an excellent chance at our best result of the year.”

– JON BENNETT

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

CORE Heads West for Penultimate IMSA Race

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

 

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

 

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

 

NOTEWORTHY

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

Continental Monterey Grand Prix | September 22 – 24

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VENUE

Track Length: 2.238-miles, 11 turns

Race Length: 2 hours, 40 minutes

 

SCHEDULE (All times Pacific)

Friday, September 22

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

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

 

Saturday, September 23

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

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

 

Sunday, September 24

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

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

12:45pm – 1:45pm: Open Grid

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

 

TV SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

LIVE Qualifying:

Saturday, September 23

2:20pm – 3:35pm: IMSA.com

LIVE Race U.S.:

Sunday, September 24

5:00pm – 8:00pm: FS1

LIVE Race International:

4:55pm – 7:45pm: IMSA.com

 

LIVE In-Car Cameras & Commentary:

IMSA.com

CORE Earns Another Top-10 IMSA GTD Finish

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

CORE Qualifying VIR

CORE Ready for GT Face Off at ‘Home’ Track

Just a three-hour drive from the team’s Rock Hill, South Carolina shop, CORE autosport is taking on the 3.27-mile, 17-turn VIRginia International Raceway in the latest round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

In the highly competitive GT Daytona class, Jon Bennett was given qualifying duties for the No. 54 Flex-Box / Composite Resources Porsche 911 GT3 R. Bennett was 13th quick early in the 15-minute session, but the competition stepped up the pace, knocking him back to 15th.

Bennett opted to pit with time left on the clock and save his tires for the race. He locked in 15th on the GTD grid with a fast lap of 1:46.106 (110.945mph).

Bennett will take the opening stint for tomorrow’s Michelin GT Challenge at VIR. He’ll hand the car over to Colin Braun to close out the two-hour and 40-minute race featuring only the GT Le Mans and GT Daytona cars. The event will be broadcast live on FS1, at 1:30pm ET.

 

 

“Our engineering team of Jeff Braun and Colin Mason along with my co-driver Colin Braun did a great job as always. Our Porsche GT3 R seems to be really well suited to this circuit. Colin had fast practice times, and relative to my peers, I’ve been quicker than I have been at other tracks.

 

“I did a fairly good qualifying lap, four laps into the session. I realized that I probably wouldn’t eclipse that, so we decided to stop a little early to save our equipment. I still have a little work to do to get up to the pace of the others in the class. In terms of personal effort, I did well and we’ll see how the race unfolds. That said, I really like the way things are unfolding so far this weekend.”
– JON BENNETT

 

CORE Takes Positive Momentum to VIR

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

NOTEWORTHY

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

Michelin GT Challenge at VIR | August 25 – 27

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VENUE

Track Length: 3.27-miles, 17 turns

Race Length: 2 hours, 40 minutes

 

SCHEDULE (All times Central)

Friday, August 25

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

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

 

Saturday, August 26

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

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

2:00pm – 2:45pm: Pre-Race / Open Grid

3:05pm – 5:45pm: Northeast Grand Prix

 

Sunday, August 27

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

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

12:15pm – 1:15pm: Open Grid

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

 

TV SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

LIVE Qualifying:

Saturday, August 26

12:10pm – 1:00pm: IMSA.com

LIVE Race U.S.:

Sunday, August 27

1:30pm – 4:30pm: FS1

LIVE Race International:

1:25pm – 4:15pm: IMSA.com

 

LIVE In-Car Cameras & Commentary:

IMSA.com

CORE Full of Comebacks in GRC Atlantic City

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

CORE Returns to GRC Action in Atlantic City

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

– JON BENNETT

 

 

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

– COLIN BRAUN