All posts in “Porsche 911 GT3 R”

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

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

Lime Rock Park on Deck for CORE autosport

ROCK HILL, S.C. (July 19, 2017) – CORE autosport’s hectic summer schedule continues this weekend with the Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut.

 

Lime Rock Park is the shortest track on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship calendar at only 1.474-miles in length. It is also the first of two GT-only events, with just the GT Le Mans and GT Daytona classes taking part in the two hour and 40-minute race.

 

Driver and team owner Jon Bennett spent his teenage years in this area of Connecticut, going to high school in nearby Newtown and attending races and a driver’s school at Lime Rock.

 

 

Noteworthy

  • Bennett and Braun won at Lime Rock Park in 2012 in the Prototype Challenge category.
  • Braun earned the PC pole at Lime Rock last year (2016) and in 2013.
  • Braun holds the PC qualifying lap (48.078) and race lap (48.480) records at Lime Rock.

 

 

“I enjoy going to Lime Rock. I spent a lot of time there in my youth. I’m really hoping that we get to return to our next event with a car that is easier to tune and more on pace with the balance of our competitors.

 

“I went to driver’s school at Lime Rock when I was 15 in 1980. I spent a lot of time there watching the Camel GT series on what was usually Memorial Day. It’s always fun to go back. As a driver and team owner, Lime Rock offers its own set of challenges. It’s a very short track with a high concentration of cars and traffic. I’m really hoping that we’re able to return to competition with a sharper tool. I’m looking forward to a well-executed race and hopefully we’ll get a finish that matches our performance.”
– Jon Bennett

 

 

“I’m sure Lime Rock is going to be a tight race. Hopefully we have more pace compared to the rest of the group so that we can actually get out and fight a bit more with those guys. All the normal stuff will be important – staying out of trouble, having good pit stops, and executing great stints. It was fun to race Lime Rock in a PC car because we were on the quicker side of the group. It will be interesting to see the other side of the card and to be watching in the mirror for the GTLM cars.”
– Colin Braun

 

 

Northeast Grand Prix | July 21 – 22

————————————————————

VENUE

Track Length: 1.474-miles, 7 turns

Race Length: 2 hours, 40 minutes

 

SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

Friday, July 21

12:05pm – 1:05pm: Practice #1 (All Classes)

2:25pm – 3:25pm: Practice #2 (All Classes)

5:15pm – 5:30pm: Qualifying (GTD Class)

 

Saturday, July 22

9:35am – 10:00am: Warm Up (All Classes)

12:30pm – 1:15pm: Driver Autograph Session

2:00pm – 2:45pm: Pre-Race / Open Grid

3:05pm – 5:45pm: Northeast Grand Prix

 

TV SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

LIVE Qualifying:

Friday, July 21

5:05pm – 5:55pm: IMSA.com

LIVE Race U.S.:

Saturday, July 22

3:00pm – 6:00pm: FS2

LIVE Race International:

2:55pm – 5:45pm: IMSA.com

 

LIVE In-Car Cameras & Commentary:

IMSA.com

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

CORE Cracks Top-10, Finishes Eighth in Detroit

DETROIT, Mich. (June 3, 2017) – CORE autosport earned its best finish of the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship thus far, finishing eighth on the streets of Detroit’s Belle Isle. The No. 54 Flexbox / Composite Resources Porsche 911 GT3 R driven by Jon Bennett and Colin Braun was also the highest finishing Porsche in the race.

 

Starting from 14th on the GT Daytona grid, Bennett kept the car out of trouble and within striking distance of his GTD competitors during his stint.

 

Thirty minutes into the 100-minute race, the first and only full-course caution was issued for an accident in Turn One. This presented the perfect opportunity to pit and hand the car over to Braun.

 

A flawless pit stop under yellow had Braun back out in 13th and ready for the restart. Competitors serving penalties for pit stop violations immediately bumped Braun up to 11th. He was then able to get around the No. 73 Porsche 911 GT3 R for 10th with 30 minutes left in the race.

 

Two more GTD cars dropped out of contention, promoting the No. 54 to eighth.

 

With three laps to go, Braun went on the attack, running side-by-side with the seventh-place No. 15 Lexus RCF GTS. He came up just short, however, and crossed the line in eighth, the best finish so far for CORE in 2017 IMSA competition and the team’s best finish to-date with the Porsche 911 GT3 R.

 

Immediately after the checkered flag, Bennett and Braun quickly changed into street clothes, grabbed their bags and headed for the airport with the goal of making it to Thompson Speedway in Connecticut in time for the Red Bull Global Rallycross Lites final.

 

The duo’s next IMSA event will be in Watkins Glen, New York. The Six Hours of the Glen, at Watkins Glen International Raceway, will take place June 29 – July 2.

 

“Street courses are unique and so are the starts, but I’m really happy with our performance at this event. We all really gelled together as a group. The team did a great job. The car was well engineered. I’m really starting to understand how to get this car dialed in and what it wants. I’m encouraged by our forward progress in this event and I think that helps set the tone for the team as we move into the second half of the season.

 

“The yellow flag came at the perfect time for everybody, so I’m not sure we got a big advantage, but it certainly fit well within our strategy. I think that with our strategy and chemistry this weekend, it wouldn’t have mattered when the caution came.

 

“My focus never wandered to GRC while I was in the car, but now I’m looking forward to the trip!”
– Jon Bennett

 

“Jon did a good job early in his stint to stay with the pack. We got a pretty timely yellow and the guys did a nice pit stop. We gained a little bit and then lost a little bit on the restart. I got stuck behind some Prototype Challenge and Prototype cars.

 

“We had good pace and I caught back up to the pack. I was able to get around Joerg (Bergmeister) and then I ran bumper to bumper with the Lexus teammates. I think we were a bit quicker, but this place is really tight and that makes it hard to pass. The Lexus is a pretty big car and when you’re racing hard you can make your big car pretty wide. We just didn’t have a large enough edge to pass those guys.

 

“It’s tough at the end, when you get all the P cars coming by and the PC cars coming by. Those guys are having their own race, but it’s disruptive to the flow of traffic for us in the GTD cars. As much as I looked ahead trying to plan a pass when I was in PC, that’s how much I’m looking behind to come up with a plan on when to let those guys by. There’s a lot mental work going on even if it looks like you’re just driving around.”
– Colin Braun

 

CORE Starts Wild Double Race Weekend from 14th at Detroit

DETROIT, Mich. (June 2, 2017) – CORE autosport is on the eve of an attempt to take part in both the IMSA Chevrolet SportsCar Classic and Red Bull Global Rallycross New England events on the same day. That day will begin in earnest when Bennett takes the green flag on the streets of Detroit’s Belle Isle from 14th on the GT Daytona grid.

 

The Belle Isle circuit is made up of roads within a park on an island in the Detroit River. Notoriously bumpy, Bennett and co-driver Colin Braun were pleased to find the temporary circuit much smoother when they took to the track for morning practice.

 

After another round of practice in the afternoon, it was time to qualify. Bennett was at the wheel of the No. 54 Flexbox / Composite Resources Porsche 911 GT3 R for the 15-minute qualifying session. He steadily improved with each lap and even picked up 0.5-second on his final try. This put him 14th on the GTD grid for Saturday’s 100-minute race.

 

Bennett will start the race and hand the Porsche over to co-driver Braun during the pit stop.

 

Once the checkered flag waves, Bennett and Braun will rush to the airport to take a plane to Thompson, Connecticut, where the GRC New England event will already be underway. If all goes according to plan, the two drivers will make it to Thompson Speedway in time to take part in the GRC Lites final. Regardless of when they arrive, they’ll be able to take part in a full day of GRC action on Sunday.

 

The Chevrolet SportsCar Classic from Detroit will air live on FS2, starting at 12:30pm ET, Saturday.

 

 

“Coming into Detroit, we heard a rumor that the track had been improved. Sure enough, they did a spectacular job smoothing out the roughness of this track. I think Colin and I both liked the layout before, but now with a smoother track surface, it’s certainly a joy to come here and race.

 

“In terms of qualifying, of course, I would like to be faster. The transition from the prototype to the Porsche requires a great deal of respect and patience. I’m quite happy with my progression so far. Colin and Jeff Braun have helped me a great deal getting up to speed. Little-by-little, session-by-session, we’re getting faster and I’m looking forward to the race tomorrow.”
– Jon Bennett

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

CORE Hangs on for 13th at COTA

AUSTIN, Texas (May 6, 2017) – CORE autosport faced stiff WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition and rising temperatures at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. Never the less, drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun persisted and were able to finish four positions ahead of their qualifying spot in Austin, Texas.

 

Bennett qualified the Porsche 17th on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Daytona grid and took on starting duties. His position was improved even prior to the start of the race when two competitors opted to change their tires and move to the back of the field.

 

On the start, Bennett adeptly dodged several spinning cars in the first corner and came out unscathed. As track temperatures rose to 120 degrees, the hottest in IMSA competition so far this year, Bennett managed the tires through his stint in the No. 54 Flex-Box / Composite Resources Porsche 911 GT3 R.

 

After an hour in the car, it was time to hand the wheel over to Braun. On the way into pit lane, Bennett was caught exceeding the pit lane speed limit. As a result, the team was issued a drive-through penalty.

 

Thanks to smart pit strategy, Braun was able to make up the ground lost by the penalty and began some intense battles among his GTD rivals. Though fading brakes hindered his forward progress, Braun managed to advance two more spots to 13th, even with a late-race caution and restart.

 

The next IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship round will take place on the streets of Detroit, June 2 – 3. Prior to that, Bennett and Braun will compete in the second round of the Red Bull Global Rallycross series, May 20 – 21, in Louisville, Kentucky.

 

 

“Brick-by-brick we are making progress. We were able to finish on the lead lap this race, which is an indication of forward progress. I’m still a little behind pace-wise and we are still working to learn the various systems of the car – ABS, traction control, etc. Each of these systems has to be catered to, so we’re learning more and more about the car.

“I think we are all encouraged going forward and heading to Detroit. It’s a track that both Colin and I like and it’s a bit challenging. There’s a bit of opportunity and chaos that will ensue at Detroit and our learning season continues.”

– JON BENNETT

 

 

 

“The car had a really good pace this race. Jon did a good job in his opening stint. Unfortunately, he got a pit road speeding penalty coming in. We were fortunate enough to get our lap back with our pit sequence that the guys on the box called.

“Even though we had that set back, the whole team stayed focused forward and I gave it my all to pick up some spots and get these CORE guys a finish they could be proud of.  All-in-all, we finished on the lead lap and we continue to improve our performance each race. We’re moving forward and had great stops on pit road.”
– COLIN BRAUN