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.
“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.”
“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
Rd. 2 May 21
Kentucky Exposition Center
*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
Rd. 6 June 18
Canada Aviation and Space Museum
*Rd. 7 July 9 Lucas Oil Speedway Indianapolis, IN
Rd. 8 August 12
Atlantic City, NJ
Rd. 9 August 13
Atlantic City, NJ
Rd. 10 September 9
Rd. 11 September 10
Rd. 12 October 14
Los Angeles, CA
*No CORE attendance due to IMSA schedule conflict