All posts in “Porsche”

First Win for New Porsche 911 RSR

LAKEVILLE, Conn. (July 23, 2017) – The race weekend at Lime Rock Park could not have ended better for Porsche: The new Porsche 911 RSR celebrated its historic first victory at the racetrack in Connecticut. On Saturday, Patrick Pilet and Dirk Werner won round seven of the IMSA SportsCar Championship, North America’s premier sports car race series.

 

The race car, which Porsche Motorsport designed from new at Weissach, had already posted three pole positions previously. In the fiercely competitive and gripping race from start to finish, Porsche managed to beat its strong rivals from BMW, Chevrolet and Ford. Since Lime Rock was exclusively for GT vehicles, this meant that the Porsche pilots in the #911 Porsche 911 RSR were also the overall winners. In the second 911 RSR (#912) fielded by the Porsche GT Team, their teammates Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) and Gianmaria Bruni (Italy) clinched second place, making the weekend perfect for Porsche with a double victory.
When the 24-strong field of the GTLM and GTD classes took off on the short 1.474-mile race track in the idyllic rural region of Connecticut, conditions were cloudy and not as hot as Friday’s temperatures. In the two free practices and the qualifying, teams and drivers had had to contend with temperatures exceeding 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Traditionally, Lime Rock is a two-day event. Racing is not permitted on Sundays as a church service is held in a small chapel close to the track. The crew of the Porsche GT Team coped well with the overtime hours in the heat and were rewarded with pole position for the 911 RSR. The squad watched from the pit wall as polesitter Gianmaria Bruni made a catapult start off the line to pull clear of the field.

 

On this short track where overtaking is extremely difficult, Dirk Werner also got away cleanly at the start to make up one position, which had the Porsches running in positions one and two at an early stage. After an unintentional detour off the track, Gianmaria Bruni had to come in for an earlier than scheduled first pit stop to remove grass from the radiator. He managed to hand the 911 RSR over to his teammate Laurens Vanthoor while still in the lead. Dirk Werner pulled into the pits for a service and driver change immediately behind him. Patrick Pilet took the wheel of the #911 vehicle, and promptly rejoined the race in front of his teammate. Hence, shortly before the halfway mark of the two-hour and 40-minute race, he was in the lead, with Laurens Vanthoor behind him in second place. With the Porsche duo fending off all attacks from their pursuers, this order remained to the flag. After 181 laps of Lime Rock Park, the double victory for the new 911 RSR was achieved – the greatest success of the season so far.

 

Steffen Höllwarth, Program Manager IMSA SportsCar Championship: “The maiden victory with a new car is always a particularly emotional moment. And if you can bring home a double victory and even overall victory, then that makes you incredibly proud. I’m proud not only of our team here in the USA, but also of our colleagues in Weissach and our sister team in the WEC. This success belongs to us all. We can now build on this over the rest of the season. In the race, our 911 RSR was faster than the competition when the temperatures were initially high, but found it a little tougher once it cooled down. In terms of our race strategy, we again did very well today. For the most part, our cars had a clear run. On this short racetrack where overtaking is very difficult, that proved to be a key to success.”

 

Patrick Pilet (911 RSR #911): “Incredible. We had to wait so long for this victory but now it’s finally happened. The entire team worked brilliantly this weekend. This circuit suits our 911 RSR well and we immediately found a super setup. It was a tough battle over the whole distance. Our car was consistently fast today, but you always have to stay fully focused. With so many cars out on the track you inevitably swap paint with your rivals. Luckily, everything went well. It was a fantastic weekend. We’re now going to enjoy our success and then attack again at Road America in a fortnight.”

 

Dirk Werner (911 RSR #911): “We’ve worked towards this day for a long time. We had to cope with several setbacks this season, but we never threw in the towel. It’s wonderful that the first win for the new 911 RSR has finally come. And the fact that it’s my first win as a Porsche works driver makes this achievement very special. This racetrack certainly has it all. Because it’s so short, it’s a constant fight for positions and nonstop overtaking maneuvers. The fans definitely enjoyed it. We did too. It’s a great day for Porsche.”

 

Laurens Vanthoor (911 RSR #912): “I’m pleased for Porsche. The first win for the new 911 RSR as well as our second place is a great result. It was a dream come true for me. We started from pole and held the lead over long stints. But then we had to pit early after a minor excursion onto the grass. Personally, I’m somewhat disappointed, but that’s racing. The important thing is the win for Porsche. I’m thrilled that I could contribute to this double victory.”

 

Gianmaria Bruni (911 RSR #912): “I’m delighted for the squad and for Porsche. The maiden victory for the new 911 RSR plus second place – that’s a fantastic result of which we can all be very proud. We’ve worked very hard towards this day. The race from pole position went well for me until shortly before my pit stop when I suddenly lost the rear and ended up on the grass. That put an end to our fight for victory. Congratulations to my team colleagues.”

 

CORE NorthEast Grand Prix

CORE’s Lime Rock Race Ends Early

CORE autosport’s quest for its first podium in its new Porsche 911 GT3 R was dashed at the Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park with an early exit just before the halfway mark.

 

A showcase of GT-only cars and the shortest track on the IMSA schedule (1.474 miles), Lime Rock Park challenges teams with fierce traffic and fast corners. Added to the challenge this weekend was intense heat with temperatures reaching upwards of 90 degrees.

 

Though Colin Braun was the second quickest in GTD qualifying, it was the team’s strategy to use qualifying as an additional practice session and start Jon Bennett in the No. 54 Composite Resources/Flex Box Porsche 911 GT3 R on fresh tires. The change resulted in the No. 54 starting the race at the back on the grid, 17th in the GT Daytona class.

 

Just over 45 minutes into the race, and nearing the completion of his stint, Bennett reported trouble over the radio. The engine lost power and the car coasted through the final corner with enough momentum for Bennett to maneuver onto pit lane. The CORE crew quickly got the car back to the paddock for repairs, but upon inspection it was clear the problem was terminal.

 

CORE has two weeks to regroup before it hits the track again at the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase in Elkhart Lake, WI. The GT classes rejoin with the Prototype classes to take on the four-mile circuit, August 3 – 6.

 

 

“The team did a wonderful job tuning the car and optimizing as much performance as we could get. It was exciting to see Colin nearly get the pole yesterday.

 

“My race start was fairly aggressive. In past races, I did my best to keep the GT field in sight and hand Colin the car in a position to move up the ranks. Today, I intended to do the same and get the car up several spots before handing it to Colin. At the start, I got on the inside of the number 50 car with moderately cold tires. I had a bit too much enthusiasm and ran into some trouble. However, I caught back up with the GTD field and was driving one of the better races I had driven in a long time.

 

“Then, on what ended up being my last lap, unfortunately, I nipped one of the curves in the chicane. As I climbed the hill on the backside of the track, I got a red warning light that something was amiss and I coasted back to the pits. We have one of the hardest working teams, so it’s always disappointing to end the race early.

 

“The GTD field looks a lot different on race day than it does in practice. I would even say during qualifying too. It takes a lot of discipline to have an optimistic outlook racing against factory teams and nearly all-pro lineups. I’m looking forward to the challenge, and we’re all looking forward to Road America. We’ll re-rack and hope for a better result at the next race.

– Jon Bennett

 

 

We were quick in practice. Jon did well in the car and we made some improvements with the setup of the car. The guys did a great job too. It was fun to get to qualify and to be up in the mix. I was so close to getting the pole! It was a fun weekend and a disappointing way to end an event.”

– Colin Braun

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

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

Strong Performance of the New 911 RSR Goes Unrewarded

 

BOWMANVILE, Canada (July 10, 2017) – Signs for the new Porsche 911 RSR’s maiden victory could not have looked more promising: in qualifying for round six of the IMSA SportsCar Championship at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Dirk Werner (Germany) posted the very first pole position with the 510 hp race car, which Porsche Motorsport at Weissach designed from scratch for this season. In the race, his teammate Patrick Pilet (France) turned the fastest lap in the GTLM class on the high-speed circuit close to the metropolis of Toronto. And with one fast and flawless pit stop, the Porsche GT Team managed to catapult the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR past the frontrunner and into the lead in the final phase of the fiercely contested race.

The strong performance of the drivers and the team, however, was not rewarded. Patrick Pilet was within striking distance on second place and still had excellent chances to clinch the first victory with the 911 RSR, when he lost power due to a mechanical problem just nine minutes before the finish and was forced to park his car in the pits. The race for the sister 911 RSR (#912) was lost in the first hour of racing on Sunday: just a few laps after Gianmaria Bruno (Italy) took over the vehicle from Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium), the Italian made an unscheduled pit stop to pick up a new right rear tire. The time that was lost on this racetrack, where overtaking is virtually impossible, could not be regained against the strong opposition.

For Patrick Pilet and Dirk Werner, everything was initially running to plan. Heading into the race from pole position, they had to relinquish their lead in the first lap. Putting in a strong drive, they remained within striking distance of the lead. At the beginning of the final race hour, the strategists in the Porsche pits opted for full attack: via radio, they instructed Patrick Pilet to try everything in his power to close the short gap to the frontrunner over the remaining three laps until the next pit stop – with the idea of catapulting him into the lead with a fast pit stop. It worked: lap after lap, the Frenchman gained ground until he followed the leader into the pits and rejoined the race in first place with a five-second lead.

When rain set in, at first light before becoming heavier, he had to give up his position at the front, and was initially back in third place. However, with a spirited push, he recaptured second place with just a few laps left to the finish – and was poised to strike for the front again. The hopes of claiming the maiden victory with the new 911 RSR, however, remained unfulfilled.

 

Marco Ujhasi, Overall Project Manager GT Works Motorsport: “We took up the race from pole. The start was somewhat unusual. There are few things we need to have clarified: why the BMW accelerated before the race had really started. In any case, it was an exciting race in which we put pressure on the frontrunners over large distances. Our 911 RSR was consistently fast and we turned the fastest race lap. Our strategy was good. When it became very difficult to overtake on the racetrack, we concentrated on getting our number 911 car into the lead with an extremely fast pi stop. That worked well and we were five seconds ahead. Unfortunately Lady Luck wasn’t on our side today. At the end of the day, we delivered a very strong performance, and we can build on this. Still, it hurts when you put in such a spirited fight and go home without a podium.”

Patrick Pilet (911 RSR #911): “The entire team did excellent today, particularly with the superfast pit stop. It wasn’t easy when it started raining in the final phase, because we were running a different tire compound compared to our opposition. The 911 RSR performed well over the distance. We were the fastest today. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough to achieve our first victory. We’ll try again at Lime Rock.”

Dirk Werner (911 RSR #911): “The race took off with a huge surprise: normally the pole-sitter decides when the race starts, but two rivals decided against that and accelerated in front of me. I was then running in third during my stint. Our 911 RSR was actually a winning car today; it was as good in the race as it was in practice and qualifying. The pit stops were super. We’re taking a lot of positive things with us, even if the result after what happened in the race is disappointing, of course. But in two weeks we have another chance at Lime Rock.”

Laurens Vanthoor (911 RSR #912): “Right from the beginning this wasn’t a good race for us. We lost one position at the start. Our pace was good enough to match the frontrunners, but it’s very difficult to overtake on this racetrack. We used a different strategy today, but before we could implement it fully, tire damage threw us back.”

Gianmaria Bruni (911 RSR #912): “It’s a shame how things turned out day. We had a good and very well balanced car. At the first pit stop we decided on a different strategy that felt very promising for us. But then I got a puncture and I had to limp back to the pits over most of the circuit virtually on three tires. That relegated us to the back of the field – on a track that allows practically no chance to overtake. But we don’t give up, we’ll keep fighting.”

 

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

Best Placed 911 RSR Finishes Sixth at The Glen

It was not a race for the faint-hearted. Right up until shortly before the end of Sunday’s six-hour race in Watkins Glen, the battle for victory in the GTLM class was still raging. The new No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR was well-positioned in third place, just seconds behind the leader. However, the result of race five of this season’s IMSA SportsCar Championship was then turned on its head. Rather than being able to mount a final attack on the leaders, Gianmaria Bruni was forced to return to the pits due to a puncture. The Italian appeared to be punctuating his debut as a Porsche works driver with a podium, but he and teammate Laurens Vanthoor (Belgian) ultimately had to settle for sixth place.

 

In the second 911 RSR fielded by the Porsche GT Team, the No. 911 car, Partick Pilet (France) and Dirk Werner (Germany) finished seventh. The fact that seven of the eight cars led the race on at least one occasion bears testimony to just how fiercely contested the GTLM class was once again in Watkins Glen.

 

The No. 911 car was well placed for much of the race at the iconic 3.4-mile Watkins Glen International circuit in upstate New York. After the first hour of racing, Patrick Pilet, who started from fifth, had climbed into third place in temperatures as high as 86F. A few laps later, he was running second.

 

He handed the 911 RSR over to his teammate Dirk Werner in second place. The German was still second at the halfway point of what proved to be an exciting and dramatic sports car classic, in which numerous yellow phases repeatedly caused the field to bunch together. But then it happened: he spun off the track in the chicane and damaged his rear-right tire. Werner did manage to regain control of the 911 RSR in the run-off zone, which was a generous size at this section of the track, and was able to return to the pit lane. He did, however, lose a lap, and with it any hope of a top result.

 

Laurens Vanthoor took responsibility for the start in the second 911 RSR, before making way for Gianmaria Bruni during the first pit stop after 34 laps. The new Porsche works driver completed his first race laps in the 911 RSR and was able to climb into fourth place. Laurens Vanthoor then enjoyed even more success: the Belgian took the lead for the first time after four hours.

 

The scheduled pit stop just a few laps later did initially drop the No. 912 car back into fourth place, but Gianmaria Bruni soon got the car back on course for a podium, moving into third place in his second stint. With just two laps remaining, the leading GLTM trio was separated by a matter of seconds. However, before he was able to try his luck and mount an attack, a damaged tire dashed the Italian’s hopes.

 

Marco Ujhasi, Director GT Factory Motorsports: “The 911 RSR was set up very well for the race. We had banked on the temperature being hot, and that worked out superbly. We were very competitive today. However, we then made a mistake as a team and were also unlucky with tire damage. You cannot do much about that, but the combination of factors was simply too much to win such a difficult race against such strong opposition. The pace was there. That was not the issue today. We will build on that and push hard again next week in Canada.”

 

Patrick Pilet (911 RSR #911): “That was not our weekend. We were running second when a mistake cost us the race. We were unable to make up the lap we lost. Maybe we might have had a chance of doing so if it had rained harder at the end. Despite this, we will look ahead, as the pace was good. We will drive in Canada in a week’s time. That circuit is very well suited to the 911 RSR. We saw that during testing.”

 

Dirk Werner (911 RSR #911): “I spun in the chicane, after which the rear-left tire was damaged. It is a shame that the race had to end like that for us. It was very unfortunate. The 911 RSR was running very well and the team worked hard to support us, as it always does. Everyone deserved a better result than that.”

 

Laurens Vanthoor (911 RSR #912): “We should really have been challenging for the win at the end. The 911 RSR had the necessary pace. However, everything suddenly went against us. We will now try to do better in Canada.”

 

Gianmaria Bruni (911 RSR #912): “I am both disappointed and happy at the same time. Disappointed because we had a lot of bad luck and did not get the result we deserved, despite a good performance. I am happy because we showed today what great potential we have as a team. It is a shame that two punctures and a drive-through penalty cost us what would almost certainly have been a podium. I overtook a GTD car, when I was suddenly shown the yellow flag. However, I was already past. I dropped straight back in behind it, but the stewards took a hard line. That was my first race for Porsche, and my first race after an eight-month break. I cannot tell you how much I have missed this feeling.”

Best-Placed 911 RSR Finishes Sixth at Watkins Glen

It was not a race for the faint-hearted. Right up until shortly before the end of Sunday’s six-hour race in Watkins Glen, the battle for victory in the GTLM class was still raging. The new No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR was well-positioned in third place, just seconds behind the leader. However, the result of race five of this season’s IMSA SportsCar Championship was then turned on its head. Rather than being able to mount a final attack on the leaders, Gianmaria Bruni was forced to return to the pits due to a puncture. The Italian appeared to be punctuating his debut as a Porsche works driver with a podium, but he and teammate Laurens Vanthoor (Belgian) ultimately had to settle for sixth place.

 

In the second 911 RSR fielded by the Porsche GT Team, the No. 911 car, Partick Pilet (France) and Dirk Werner (Germany) finished seventh. The fact that seven of the eight cars led the race on at least one occasion bears testimony to just how fiercely contested the GTLM class was once again in Watkins Glen.
 
The No. 911 car was well placed for much of the race at the iconic 3.4-mile Watkins Glen International circuit in upstate New York. After the first hour of racing, Patrick Pilet, who started from fifth, had climbed into third place in temperatures as high as 86F. A few laps later, he was running second.
 
He handed the 911 RSR over to his teammate Dirk Werner in second place. The German was still second at the halfway point of what proved to be an exciting and dramatic sports car classic, in which numerous yellow phases repeatedly caused the field to bunch together. But then it happened: he spun off the track in the chicane and damaged his rear-right tire. Werner did manage to regain control of the 911 RSR in the run-off zone, which was a generous size at this section of the track, and was able to return to the pit lane. He did, however, lose a lap, and with it any hope of a top result.
 
Laurens Vanthoor took responsibility for the start in the second 911 RSR, before making way for Gianmaria Bruni during the first pit stop after 34 laps. The new Porsche works driver completed his first race laps in the 911 RSR and was able to climb into fourth place. Laurens Vanthoor then enjoyed even more success: the Belgian took the lead for the first time after four hours.
 
The scheduled pit stop just a few laps later did initially drop the No. 912 car back into fourth place, but Gianmaria Bruni soon got the car back on course for a podium, moving into third place in his second stint. With just two laps remaining, the leading GLTM trio was separated by a matter of seconds. However, before he was able to try his luck and mount an attack, a damaged tire dashed the Italian’s hopes.

 

Marco Ujhasi, Director GT Factory Motorsports: “The 911 RSR was set up very well for the race. We had banked on the temperature being hot, and that worked out superbly. We were very competitive today. However, we then made a mistake as a team and were also unlucky with tire damage. You cannot do much about that, but the combination of factors was simply too much to win such a difficult race against such strong opposition. The pace was there. That was not the issue today. We will build on that and push hard again next week in Canada.”

 

Patrick Pilet (911 RSR #911): “That was not our weekend. We were running second when a mistake cost us the race. We were unable to make up the lap we lost. Maybe we might have had a chance of doing so if it had rained harder at the end. Despite this, we will look ahead, as the pace was good. We will drive in Canada in a week’s time. That circuit is very well suited to the 911 RSR. We saw that during testing.”

 

Dirk Werner (911 RSR #911): “I spun in the chicane, after which the rear-left tire was damaged. It is a shame that the race had to end like that for us. It was very unfortunate. The 911 RSR was running very well and the team worked hard to support us, as it always does. Everyone deserved a better result than that.”

 

Laurens Vanthoor (911 RSR #912): “We should really have been challenging for the win at the end. The 911 RSR had the necessary pace. However, everything suddenly went against us. We will now try to do better in Canada.”

 

Gianmaria Bruni (911 RSR #912): “I am both disappointed and happy at the same time. Disappointed because we had a lot of bad luck and did not get the result we deserved, despite a good performance. I am happy because we showed today what great potential we have as a team. It is a shame that two punctures and a drive-through penalty cost us what would almost certainly have been a podium. I overtook a GTD car, when I was suddenly shown the yellow flag. However, I was already past. I dropped straight back in behind it, but the stewards took a hard line. That was my first race for Porsche, and my first race after an eight-month break. I cannot tell you how much I have missed this feeling.”

 

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