All posts in “Prototype Challenge”

CORE Eager to Conquer Road America

ROCK HILL, S.C. (Aug. 3, 2016) – CORE autosport is in the home stretch of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. This weekend’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase at Road America starts the countdown for the last three races of the season.

 

CORE drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun are on a three-race tear, going from Lime Rock Park, to Washington D.C. for Red Bull Global Rallycross, and now to Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin; three vastly different racing venues in a three-week span. Road America is the longest track on the IMSA schedule and one where Bennett and Braun are seeking their first win at as a pair.

 

To be fast at Road America, the No. 54 Flex-Box/Composite Resources ORECA FLM09 will need to be setup for the wide variety of corners the long four-mile circuit has to offer.

 

 

Notes:

  • Jon Bennett finished ninth in the latest GRC event at RFK Stadium.
  • Bennett and Braun finished third at Road America last year.
  • In 2012, CORE scored a 1-2 finish at Road America with Alex Popow, Tom Kimber-Smith and Bennett in the winning car and Bennett and Colin Braun sharing the second-place car.
  • Braun is now leading TOTAL Pole Award winner, with six poles.
  • At 4 miles in length, Road America is the longest track on the schedule.
  • CORE is third in the PC Team Championship.
  • Bennett and Braun are fourth in the PC Driver Championship.

 

 

 

16-CORE-JB-HeadshotW“As we move from driving a rally car at a stadium in Washington D.C., to a high-downforce prototype at the longest track of our IMSA season, it’s going to take an adjustment.

 

“A few years ago, I ran a Porsche GT3 Cup and the Prototype Challenge car in the same weekend and while not impossible, it was difficult; switching gears between something with a lot of downforce and carbon brakes, to something that drove a little more conventional. I don’t see much of a change over between the GRC car and the PC car, but thankfully they’re not on the same weekend!

 

“Like several other tracks throughout the IMSA season, Colin and I both look forward to going to Road America. We have the luxury of having done some testing there already. Historically, we’ve been very competitive there. It’s a beautiful part of the country. It’s a wonderful race track and I’m really looking forward to going to Road America.”
– Jon Bennett

 

16-CORE-CB-Headshot“Road America is a challenging place from a setup standpoint, because there’s so many different kinds of corners. It’s definitely a place where you need to have a car that drives well. You can’t just muscle it around. Coming off of Lime Rock, our shortest track and most cars per square foot, we’re going to the longest track. It’s very big and fast and flowing and easy to get through traffic.

 

“Jon and I haven’t won at Road America together. We’ve finished on the podium a couple times. We haven’t won there and I really want to do that.”
– Colin Braun

 

 

Continental Tire Road Race Showcase | August 5 – 7

VENUE

Track Length: 4 miles, 14 turns

Race Length: 2 hours and 40 minutes

 

SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

Friday, August 5

1:40pm – 2:40pm: Practice #1 (All Classes)

5:45pm – 6:45pm: Practice #2 (All Classes)

Saturday, August 6

10:25am – 11:25am: Practice #3 (All Classes)

4:40pm – 4:55pm: Qualifying (PC Class)

Sunday, August 7

10:40am – 11:00am: Warm Up (All Classes)

1:00pm – 1:45pm: Driver Autograph Session

2:45pm – 3:45pm: Open Grid

4:05pm – 6:45pm: Continental Tire Road Race Showase

 

TV SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

LIVE Qualifying:

Saturday, August 6

3:45pm – 5:20pm: IMSA.com

LIVE Race U.S.:

Sunday, August 7

4:00pm – 7:00pm: FS1

LIVE Race International:

Sunday, August 7

4:00pm – 6:45pm: IMSA.com

 

LIVE In-Car Cameras & Commentary:

IMSA.tv

CORE Rides Latest Win to Lime Rock Park

ROCK HILL, S.C. (July 19, 2016) – After securing its second Prototype Challenge win of the year at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, CORE autosport is feeling strong as it heads to the shortest track on the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship calendar: Lime Rock Park.

The Connecticut circuit is home ground for driver and team owner Jon Bennett, who grew up watching races at Lime Rock Park and attended his first Skip Barber Driving School there.

Last year’s race at Lime Rock Park featured only two classes: PC and GTD. This year, the GTLM class will join in, making for plenty of traffic and non-stop action. It will be imperative to stay on pace and make zero mistakes, as it can be easy to go a lap down, but extremely difficult to get the lap back.

 

Notes

  • Jon Bennett went to high school in nearby Newtown, Connecticut.
  • Bennett and Colin Braun won at Lime Rock in 2012. It was their second career-win together.
  • The 2012 win was a one-two finish for CORE. Alex Popw and Tom Kimber-Smith finished second.
  • At 1.474 miles in length, Lime Rock Park is the shortest circuit on the schedule.
  • CORE is third in the PC Team Championship.
  • Bennett and Braun are fourth in the PC Driver Championship.

 

 

16-CORE-JB-HeadshotW“I lived nearby in Newtown, Connecticut, during my high school years and Lime Rock was the closest road racing circuit. I spent many weekends on the hill watching IMSA’s Camel GT and fire-breathing Porsche 935’s. At 16, I’d saved enough money from an after school job to attend a one-day Skip Barber school in a Crossle Formula Ford.
 
“Lime Rock is one of the most grueling races of the season. The short track length and traffic combine to create a busy and mentally taxing time in the car. I can also remember Lime Rock as being a race with some heat to contend with. Personally, I enjoy the strategy of working through traffic by being careful and clever, but add in some heat, stress, traffic and non-stop turns, and Lime Rock can turn into one of the most grueling races of the season.
 
“It’s difficult to predict the number of cautions we’ll see. There no science to it, but when the yellows begin to occur, each one seems to create the next one.”
– Jon Bennett

 

16-CORE-CB-Headshot“Lime Rock is going to be very challenging this year with the addition of the GTLM cars, particularly because they are so quick compared to the PC cars. I can certainly envision the kind of beating and banging people associate with Lime Rock.
 
“From a physical and mental side of things, Lime Rock is one of the toughest places we go to. The laps are really fast and short. You only really have the front straightaway for a chance to rest. Mentally, working through the traffic and trying to predict what’s going to happen and who’s going where really takes a toll. Lime Rock is generally pretty hot also. Luckily for us, we have an open top car, so it’s a little bit better, but it can still be incredibly muggy. It’s a great test of overall mental and physical strength.
 
“Strategy-wise, it’s tricky, because it’s really easy to get a lap down. On the flip-side, with all the traffic, you’d expect a bunch of yellows where you might have the chance to make your lap back up. Track position is so important because of how hard it is to pass. Even within our own class, there’s so much GT traffic, it makes it really challenging to make passes on cars in your own class.”
– Colin Braun

 

 

 

Northeast Grand Prix | July 22 – 23

Track Length: 1.474 miles, 7 turns

Race Length: 2 hours and 40 minutes

 

SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

Friday, July 22

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

2:05pm – 3:05pm: Practice #2 (All Classes)

5:20pm – 5:35pm: Qualifying (PC Class)

Saturday, July 23

9:05am – 9:25am: Warm Up (All Classes)

11:30am – 12:15pm: Autograph Session

1:40pm – 2:35pm: Open Grid

3:05pm – 5:45pm: Northeast Grand Prix

 

TV SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

LIVE Qualifying:

Friday, July 22

4:25pm – 5:35pm: IMSA.com

LIVE Race U.S.:

Saturday, July 23

3:00pm – 6:00pm: FOX

LIVE Race International:

Saturday, July 23

3:00am – 6:00pm: IMSA.com

 

LIVE In-Car Cameras & Commentary:

IMSA.tv

CORE Set for Fireworks at Watkins Glen

ROCK HILL, S.C. (June 28, 2016) – It’s time for the meat of the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season as CORE autosport prepares to tackle four races in six weeks. Kicking things off is Watkins Glen International, which hosts Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, the third segment of the Tequila Patròn North American Endurance Cup.

 

The question on everyone’s minds heading into Watkins Glen is how the repaving of the circuit in the off-season will affect the track’s handling and lap times. CORE attempted to get a head start on that question with some testing in May and returned with rave reviews from drivers Jon Benett, Colin Braun and Mark Wilkins.

 

Wilkins will once again join Bennett and Braun in the driver seat for this six-hour event. Wilkins last raced with CORE at the 12 Hours of Sebring, in March, which ended in a victory.

 

Notes

  • CORE finished fourth in last year’s event at Watkins Glen and won the race in 2014.
  • Braun earned the PC pole for the 2014 race. Qualifying was rained out in 2015.
  • Wilkins won overall in a Daytona Prototype at Watkins Glen in 2008.
  • CORE is currently fourth in the PC team standings. Bennett and Braun are fifth in the driver standings.
  • CORE is third in the TPNAEC team championship.

 

 

16-CORE-JB-HeadshotW“Watkins Glen is one of North America’s iconic road courses. I can’t think of a road course with more history. My favorite section is Turn 10. This corner has a bit of camber and the prototype’s downforce is in full effect here. It feels like being fired out of a cannon.

 

“The repaving of Watkins Glen was executed with perfection. When we tested here in May I found the surface to be super-smooth with incredible grip. I predict track records will be easily broken this weekend.

 

“I think racing shares many values with the spirit of our country. The bravery to take risks, the belief that we can always improve and perform better, and the determination to win despite any setbacks. I think our early patriots shared many personality traits with race teams and drivers, so the IMSA weekend at Watkins Glen is a fitting Independence Day celebration.”
– Jon Bennett

 

 

16-CORE-CB-Headshot“Watkins Glen, newly repaved, is a lot of fun and I can’t wait to get back in the PC car with Jon and Mark. The new pavement has a lot of grip. Even though we tested there for a couple of days, the surface is still a bit of an unknown, because that was right after they repaved it. I’m sure its ever-changing. It won’t be similar to our setup notes from last year for sure! It’ll be fun to figure out and see how it develops over the weekend.

 

“I think in the longer races, there’s more opportunity for mistakes to happen and CORE is good at minimizing mistakes. That’s a key element to our success in the long endurance races like Watkins Glen.

 

“There’s nothing more American than Watkins Glen and the history that place has. With the work we do at CORE with the Wounded Warrior Project and the tourniquets that Composite Resources makes, there’s lots of things that tie together to make for a cool, patriotic Independence Day weekend!”
– Colin Braun

 

 

16-CORE-MW-Headshot“Watkins Glen has always been a top track in my mind. I’ve always enjoyed racing there. I’ve had some tough luck there, but I won a big race there in the Daytona Prototype days. My opinion of the track elevated significantly at the test in May. The changes made to the track, the repaving, the choice of material they used, is spectacular. It’s quicker, it’s smooth and it’s super grippy. I’m holding out my final judgment until we race on it, but I was really impressed.

 

“I think the process and procedures that CORE have in place are what prevent us from making mistakes and help us stay out of trouble. I think the amount of experience that everybody has and how long we’ve been racing together makes for a strong cohesiveness. All of that comes together into a well-oiled machine and we just need to go out and execute. We all know what our jobs are and what we bring to the team. In the end, if we can put that all together, then we’re in a position to do well.”
– Mark Wilkins

 

Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen | July 1 – 3

VENUE

Track Length: 3.4 miles, 11 turns

Race Length: Six Hours

 

SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

Friday, July 1

11:25am – 12:25pm: Practice #1 (All Classes)

3:20pm – 4:20pm: Practice #2 (All Classes)

Saturday, July 2

10:15am – 11:15am: Practice #3 (All Classes)

1:00pm – 1:45pm: Driver Autograph Session

4:30pm – 4:45pm: Qualifying (PC Class)

Sunday, July 3

8:00am – 8:20am: Warm Up (All Classes)

9:00am – 9:40am: Open Grid

10:10am – 4:10pm: Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen

 

TV SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

LIVE Qualifying:

Friday, July 2

3:40pm – 5:10pm: IMSA.com

LIVE Race U.S.:

Saturday, July 3

10:00am – 4:30pm: FOX Sports 1

LIVE Race International:

Saturday, July 3

10:00am – 4:30pm: IMSA.com

 

LIVE In-Car Cameras & Commentary:

IMSA.tv

CORE Battles to the End for P2 Finish in Detroit

DETROIT, Mich. (June 4, 2016) – CORE autosport earned its second-straight WeatherTech SportsCar Championship podium on the streets of Detroit, finishing second in the Chevrolet Sports Car Challenge.

Jon Bennett was due to start fifth, but a missing car on the grid promoted the No. 54 Flex-Box/Composite Resources ORECA FLM09 to fourth before the green flag. When it did, Bennett was cool and composed, holding his ground through the tight, concrete-lined street course. He briefly made his way up to third, but was back to fourth when it came time to pit.

CORE was one of the first Prototype Challenge teams to pit and it was a lightning quick stop. Colin Braun took over the driver’s seat and returned to the track just before a full-course caution. After the remaining PC teams pitted and the pass around procedures were complete, Braun was sitting in second place.

On the restart, Braun got around the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports and took over the PC lead.

A series of short full-course yellow periods followed. On each restart, Braun was able to pull out a comfortable gap, that was then erased a few laps later with the next full-course caution. When green flag racing returned for the final 25 minutes of the race, the gap to the new second-place car—the No. 8 Starworks Motorsports entry—began to close.

Driver Renger Van Der Zande had Braun in his sights, but as the two began to work their way through slower GTD traffic, it appeared Braun had the edge. With two laps to go, Braun attempted a pass through the Turn Seven, Eight and Nine complex. He got too far offline and spun. He was able to return to the circuit quickly, but it allowed Van Der Zande to get by and take the win. Braun crossed the finish line in second.

The podium finish is CORE’s second-straight; the team finished third at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in May.

CORE now has a month off, before returning to the race track, July 1 – 3, at Watkins Glen International.

 

16-CORE-JB-HeadshotW“During my stint I was pushing really hard and watching the race develop. I was running laps close to my qualifying times. It was all pretty clean and uneventful stint. Then, the strategy started to unveil itself.

 

“We had a super fast pit stop and driver exchange. The crew did an excellent job during the pit stop and Colin was just magic during his first stint. We just about won the race! My hat’s off to the team and a super driver for Colin. It’s definitely a positive step in the championship and now we look forward to Watkins Glen.”
Jon Bennett

 

 

16-CORE-CB-Headshot“I had to push pretty hard, early, because I felt like we had a good car on the restarts. Once I passed Tom [Kimber-Smith], I was trying to keep some of the prototype cars behind me and Renger [Van Der Zande] and I had built a little bit of a gap.

 

“We’d get a yellow and I’d pull a little bit of a gap, over and over. Each time we had a restart, I could get going for a lap or two, but I don’t think we had the long-run pace today. Unfortunately, the end was the longest green flag run we had.

 

“Things started to get tight, but then we hit traffic and I was able to keep a car between us through traffic. I went around the outside of a BMW in the triple-left, where I’d been passing cars all weekend. I didn’t expect to half spin out. He moved a little to the right and I moved a little to the right to give him some room and I got off in the marbles and that was that. It doesn’t take much to make it work versus not work and I had been able to make it work up until that moment. I’m disappointed, but that’s racing and part of being on the limit.”
Colin Braun

CORE autosport Lines up Fifth on Detroit Grid

DETROIT, Mich. (June 3, 2016) – Jon Bennett will start the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic from fifth on the Prototype Challenge grid for the latest round of the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Bennett will share the car with Colin Braun for Saturday’s 100-minute race on Detroit’s Belle Isle.

A 15-minute qualifying session wrapped up a busy day for CORE autosport in Detroit that also included two 90-minute practice sessions. Come late afternoon, it was time for Bennett to give the 2.3-mile, 14-turn temporary street circuit his best lap in the No. 54 Flex-Box/Composite Resources ORECA FLM09.

An initial flyer put Bennett up to third on the timing screens, but the pace of the field picked up dramatically as the session wore on. When the checkered flag appeared, Bennett was fifth with a lap of 1:28.903 (95.1 mph).

Bennett will start the No. 54 in Saturday’s race and hand the car over to Braun for the second half and finish.

The Chevrolet Sports Car Classic will air live on FOX Sports 1 at 12:30pm ET on Saturday, June 4. Live timing, radio and in-car cameras are available on IMSA.com.

16-CORE-JB-HeadshotW“This track is impressively bumpy, but that’s not a surprise to us, because we experienced it last year. It is definitely an obstacle you need to overcome here. You want to finish the race and be very precise and fast, but this track surface will take your breath away!
 
“Detroit doesn’t change as much as some street circuits do. I think it might be because these streets aren’t used as much by the public during the year. The grip is slightly improving after each session. The IndyCars are putting down a lot of rubber, so that’s changing the personality of the track a little bit.
 
“We have a quite a competitive field this year in PC. Making it through the race unscathed is a goal, but you have to be very fast also, and that can present a challenge at a street circuit. Both Colin and I are up to the challenge of going fast and taking care of the equipment.”
– Jon Bennett

CORE Ready to Attack Streets of Detroit

ROCK HILL, S.C. (June 1, 2016) – After nearly a month-long break, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is back in action and CORE autosport is ready to take on its second street course of the season: Detroit Belle Isle.

 

This 14-turn, 2.38-mile temporary street circuit is uniquely situated on a 982-acres island in the Detroit River. It is connected to the mainland by the MacArthur bridge.

 

Street circuits are always a new challenge for drivers and engineers, not just because of the concrete walls that line the circuit, but because the track surface changes from turn to turn and from session to session. IMSA shares the track with IndyCar and Stadium Super Trucks this weekend, which will put down a variety of rubber compounds.

 

Like Long Beach, Detroit will be a quick 100-minute race. It will feature only the Prototype, Prototype Challenge and GT Daytona classes. The GT Le Mans class does not participate.

 

Notes

  • CORE autosport welcomes CrowdStrike (http://www.crowdstrike.com/) as a new partner. CrowdStrike is a leader in next-generation endpoint protection, threat intelligence and response services, attending to global leaders in business, finance, health care and energy.
  • Bennett and Braun finished fourth in last year’s Detroit Belle Isle GP.
  • CORE is currently fourth in the PC Team Championship. Bennett and Braun are fourth in the PC Driver Championship.

 

 

16-CORE-JB-HeadshotW“In my early years, a major crash could affect my limited racing budget to the point that I may not race for six months or more. Early budget limitation shaped my driving personality to be quite tactical and precise with my approach. This precise approach to driving pays off on street circuits where precision is paramount and I hope it pays off for us this weekend with our new sponsor CrowdStrike!”
 
“Sharing the track with multiple race series creates interesting engineering challenges. The rubber left on track is always changing and can blur the engineering inputs required to optimize the handling performance of the race car. In the end, the driver must often find a way to work with an imperfectly balanced car.
 
“While the Detroit layout is fast and flowing in parts, the surface is extremely rough. It takes a few laps to calibrate your senses to the harshness of the track, especially the back straight. In comparison to Long Beach, the fast corners and rough surface at Detroit requires a bit more risk taking to be at the top of the time sheets.”
– Jon Bennett

 

 

16-CORE-CB-Headshot“I love street courses. I think Jon and I both really enjoy them, so I’m really glad CrowdStrike makes its debut with us here.  We like the importance of being really accurate, precise and controlled, but at the same time going as fast as you can. It’s a really fun balance for race car drivers to deal with.

 

“We always know what to expect going to Long Beach. With Detroit, it’s changed over the last couple of years. They repaved the back straightaway last year, which was supposed to be smoother, but I actually thought it was bumpier. It’ll be interesting to see what it looks like this year, compared to last year. It’s not a known quantity like Long Beach is.

 

“It hasn’t been the start to the season that we’ve deserved. From all accounts, we’ve done a really good job. We had an engine issue at Daytona while leading that wasn’t our fault. We went to Sebring and won the race, but then we went to Long Beach and Jon got spun out, but we had been the fastest car all week to that point. At Laguna, we had a freak re-fueling issue before the start of the race that forced us to start from the pitlane and essentially a lap down, but we rallied back to finish on the podium. We’ve had some uncharacteristically bad luck, but everyone’s been doing a good job and we’ve been really fast. When you look at it, probably 95 percent of the things that have gone wrong have been out of our control, so we keep our heads down and keep working.”
– Colin Braun

 

 

Chevrolet Sports Car Classic | June 3 – 4

————————————————————

VENUE

Track Length: 2.3 miles, 14 turns

Race Length: 100 minutes

 

SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

Friday, June 3

8:05am – 9:35am: Practice #1 (All Classes)

12:55pm – 2:25pm: Practice #2 (All Classes)

5:25pm – 5:40pm: Qualifying (PC Class)

 

Saturday, June 4

8:00am – 8:30am: Warm Up (All Classes)

10:15am – 11:00am: Driver Autograph Session

11:50am – 12:20pm: Open Grid / Fan Walk

12:40pm – 2:20pm: Chevrolet Sports Car Classic

 

TV SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

LIVE Qualifying:

Friday, June 3

5:05pm – 6:05pm: IMSA.com

LIVE Race U.S.:

Saturday, June 4

12:30pm – 2:30pm: FOX Sports 1

LIVE Race International:

Saturday, June 4

12:30pm – 2:30pm: IMSA.com

 

LIVE In-Car Cameras & Commentary:

IMSA.tv

Spectacular Comeback for CORE in Monterey

MONTEREY, Calif. (May 1, 2016) – After starting from pit lane, CORE autosport made an impressive comeback at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun made up a one-lap deficit with pit strategy and strong pace to finish third in the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix powered by Mazda.

Sunday’s WeatherTech SportsCar Championship event at Mazda Raceway was separated into two, two-hour races. The Prototype and GTLM cars raced in the morning, while the Prototype Challenge and GTD cars took to the track together in the afternoon.

Though Bennett qualified the No. 54 Flex-Box/Composite Resources ORECA FLM09 fifth on the grid, a fueling issue during the warm up forced the team to bring the car back to the paddock. The CORE autosport crew was quick to fix the issue, but there was only 10 minutes between the warm up and recon lap, thus the team did not make it to the grid in time. IMSA rules state that if a car is late to the grid, it must start the race from pit lane and then serve a drive-through penalty.

As the green flag waved, Bennett waited patiently in the No. 54 at the end of pit lane while both the PC and GTD cars went by with a large gap in between. After being released from pit lane and then serving the drive-through penalty, Bennett was back out on track in front of the race leaders and had no choice but to go a lap down.

CORE quickly adjusted its pit strategy and was ready to bring Bennett in as soon as he reached minimum drive time. Not long after the pit stop and change to Braun, the race’s first and only full-course caution was issued. The team brought Braun right back onto pit lane for a splash of fuel and put him out ahead of the PC field, who all needed to do a full-service stop with driver change. The No. 54 was now back on the lead lap.

Braun was also the beneficiary of a wave-by, which enabled him to pass the safety car and position himself at the back of the GTD field. Now all he had to do was climb through the GTD traffic and up the PC order while saving fuel so he could make it to the finish without another pit stop.

It was a tall order, but Braun was up to the task. He set the fastest lap of the race, a 1:20.380 (100.3 mph), while passing car after car. He finally cracked the top-three just as the white flag came out. Without more time on the clock, Braun crossed the line in third. It is the team’s second-straight podium at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

CORE autosport has a month off before it hits the track again. June 3 – 4 it heads to the streets of Detroit, Michigan, for the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic presented by Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers. The race will air live on FS1 at 12:30pm ET.

 

 

16-CORE-JB-HeadshotW“It was really an incredible effort. We had a fueling issue with the car after warm up. Unfortunately that caused us to miss the recon lap. The penalty for that is to start from pit lane plus a drive-thru penalty. We had a lot to make up today. I tip my hat to the entire team and Colin. It was a real team effort and amazing result.

 

“It was a different sort of race for us starting from well behind. We had a very good engineering strategy to get us in a place to strike. We tried to force our competitors into a little fuel issue, but it didn’t quite work out for us. It was a close one, and I look forward to getting back on track at Detroit.”

 – JON BENNETT

 

16-CORE-CB-Headshot“I knew we were going to have to play catch up all day after the warm up issue, so I wasn’t surprised by our strategy. It was a challenge to save fuel while also needing to pass so many cars, make up the gaps and get through the GTD field without doing anything crazy. It was fun racing though.

 

“If you look back on our last two weeks; we got wrecked at Long Beach and those guys worked their tails off to get the car fixed between events when we didn’t have the chance to come back home. The guys also came through big time today and several of them were sick, but they kept working and never gave up. That’s the strength of CORE, we never give up and we stay at it.”

– COLIN BRAUN

CORE P5 on Monterey Grand Prix Grid

MONTEREY, Calif. (April 30, 2016) – Returning to the site of his first professional racing win, Jon Bennett qualified No. 54 Flex-Box/Composite Resources ORECA FLM09 fifth on the Prototype Challenge grid for Sunday’s Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix powered by Mazda.

Though clouds and cold reigned at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on Friday, it was a chamber of commerce day for the final practice and qualifying session on Saturday.

Bennett took up qualifying duties in the No. 54 and steadily quickened his pace throughout the session. His last lap was his best: a 1:22.842 (97.255mph).

Bennett teams with co-driver Colin Braun to take on the 11-turn, 2.238 Mazda Raceway and its legendary Corkscrew turn. Prior to qualifying, the duo have been at the top of the time sheets in three practice sessions; topping Practice 2 and ending up second in Practices 1 and 3.

Sunday’s two-hour race starts at 6:45pm ET. The weekend features a split race format with the PC and GTD classes racing together and the GTLM class racing with the Prototype class earlier in the day. Coverage of the PC/GTD race is live on FS2 starting at 6:30pm ET.

16-CORE-JB-HeadshotW“I got a bit disorganized in the start of the session and had a small spin on cold tires. I never quite found my rhythm in qualifying, but in the end, it doesn’t really matter that much.
 
“We have proven our pace in the first three practice sessions. We just need to go back to where we were in those sessions, and we’ll be very competitive in the race tomorrow.”
– Jon Bennett

CORE Targets Return to Podium in Monterey

ROCK HILL, S.C. (April 26, 2016) – The West Coast leg of the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship continues this weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California. CORE autosport is ready to shake off a tough Long Beach event and return to the Prototype Challenge podium.

The CORE team has been hustling to get the No. 54 Flex-Box/Composite Resources ORECA FLM09 ready for Monterey after a hard hit on the streets of Long Beach significantly damaged the car’s rear suspension. Luckily, the team already had plans to work out of a west coast race shop between races and was able to make the repairs in time.

The Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix Powered by Mazda is actually two races; the four IMSA classes have been split so that Prototype Challenge and GT Daytona cars have their own two-hour race, as do the Prototype and GT Le Mans classes. This means drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun have the opportunity to win an IMSA race overall.

 

NOTES

  • Bennett and Braun won their first PC race at Mazda Raceway in 2012. They finished runner-up in 2013 and 2015.
  • Braun was the 2013 PC polesitter at Mazda Raceway.
  • Bennett will go wing-walking in Washington state on April 27. The daredevil experience was a Christmas gift from his staff at Composite Resources and CORE.
  • CORE is currently fifth in the PC Team Championship. Bennett and Braun are seventh in the PC Driver Championship.
  • Bennett’s birthday is May 4.

 

16-CORE-JB-HeadshotW“Racing can be tough at times. In both of our DNFs, we were the recipients of some bad racing luck. Our team has incredible confidence and we know that our potential is greater that our latest results. Each race is a fresh start and an opportunity to excel. We are all looking forward to celebrating a strong result at Laguna Seca.
 
“I love the fast flowing nature of Laguna Seca. It’s always great to climb the hill at Turn Six and drop down the Corkscrew. Colin and I shared our first win together and my first professional win at this track in 2012. I look forward to our déjà vu moment this weekend.
 
“Personally, I enjoy the events in which all four classes are on track together. The constant passing and position exchange among the classes is exciting and a challenge. Certainly, qualifying for the pole and racing for the overall win does spotlight our class and I look forward to the clear view ahead.
 
“Last Christmas, my employees came together to give me a gift I wouldn’t forget; given my interest in going fast and flying, I will be traveling to Washington state for a wing walking experience. I’ll take off in a vintage open cockpit biplane and then climb my way on top of the upper wing. Once I’ve strapped myself to a small brace, the pilot begins a series of aerobatic maneuvers. It should be a good view from up there! If I survive the experience, our team manager Morgan Brady will be the next CORE wing walker. This should be a good warm up for a race event at Laguna!”
– Jon Bennett

 

 

 

16-CORE-CB-Headshot“It hasn’t been the storybook start to the season that we’ve had in years’ past, but that’s how racing goes. I think the greatest thing about the team that Morgan and Jon have built is that we really haven’t done anything different in the last five or six years; we just haven’t had a lot of racing luck on our side this year. A lot of things that have happened have been out of our control. The good thing about that is we don’t beat ourselves up thinking ‘what could we have done differently.’ We’ll continue on as we have, knowing that if luck is on our side we have a fast race car and first-rate crew. We know we’re capable of winning races as we saw at Sebring. I know we’ll get the monkey off our back sooner or later and I hope that turns into a nice streak of race wins.
 
“I guess IMSA has its reasons for separating the classes in Monterey, but I prefer having all of them together. We’re a multi-class series. We’re about having a lot of cars on the racetrack at different speeds and managing traffic. Sportscar racing is slowly becoming more understood by the public, so the simpler we can keep the series, the better. Even at Long Beach, I think it would have been exciting to have all the classes on the track at once.
 
“Jon going wing walking… wouldn’t that have been better to do in the off-season? Joking aside, it’ll be good for him. He’s always up for a crazy challenge. I know Morgan will take good care of him and I hope they have a lot of fun.”
– Colin Braun

 

 

 

 

 

Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix Powered by Mazda | April 29 – May 1

VENUE

Track Length: 2.238 miles, 11 turns

Race Length: 2 Hours

 

SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

Friday, April 29

1:50pm – 2:50pm: Practice #1 (PC/GTD)

7:45pm – 8:45pm: Practice #2 (PC/GTD)

Saturday, April 30

12:00pm – 12:45pm: Practice #3 (PC/GTD)

5:15pm – 6:00pm: Driver Autograph Session

8:20pm – 8:35pm: Qualifying (PC)

Sunday, May 1

4:50pm – 5:05pm: Warm Up (PC/GTD)

5:30pm – 6:20pm: Open Grid (PC/GTD)

6:45pm – 8:45pm: Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix Powered by Mazda

 

TV SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

LIVE Qualifying:

Saturday, April 30

7:30pm – 9:00pm: IMSA.com

LIVE Race U.S.:

Sunday, May 1

6:30pm – 9:00pm: FOX Sports 2

Taped Race U.S.:

Monday, May 2

12:30am – 2:30pm: FOX Sports 1

 

LIVE Race International:

Saturday, April 16

6:30pm – 9:00pm: IMSA.com

 

LIVE In-Car Cameras & Commentary:

IMSA.tv

CORE Heads West for Long Beach Street Fight

ROCK HILL, S.C. (April 12, 2016) – Four weeks after winning the 12 Hours of Sebring, CORE autosport is en route to the streets of Long Beach, California, where it is undefeated in the Prototype Challenge class.

A celebrated event in North American motorsports, CORE autosport has raced and won at the Grand Prix of Long Beach three times (2011 – 2013). The PC category took a two-year hiatus from the popular street race in 2014 – 2015 after the merger of ALMS and GRAND-AM. The addition of the PC class brings the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship grid to 25 entries this weekend.

For Long Beach, CORE downshifts from the two longest races of the season (Daytona and Sebring) to the shortest race of the season at one hour and 40 minutes. A short race time and sharing the track with IndyCar means limited practice time (two hours and 25 minutes) before Friday evening qualifying.

Thankfully, the weather forecast shows sunny skies throughout the event, but any yellow flags will cost teams valuable track time.

 

Noteworthy

  • CORE won Long Beach in 2011 with Gunnar Jeannette and Ricardo Gonzalez, in 2012 with Ryan Dalziel and Alex Popow and in 2013 with Colin Braun and Jon Bennett.
  • CORE’s 2013 win was on a one-stop strategy when the race was still two hours in length.
  • Braun officially led eight laps overall in the 2013 race.
  • Despite winning Sebring, a DNF at Daytona has CORE third in the PC team standings and sixth in the driver standings.
  • CORE recently announced plans to field two cars in the 2016 Red Bull Global RallyCross season. http://coreautosport.com/core-autosport-expands-into-red-bull-global-rallycross/

 

16-CORE-JB-HeadshotW“I’m thrilled to be back at Long Beach with Colin Braun and CORE autosport. This has always been a favorite event of mine and I can’t wait to get back on the Long Beach streets.

 

“I’m not sure why, but I love street circuits and Long Beach is a great one. It’s fun for the spectators and there is always a festival atmosphere. Plus, there is the secret satisfaction of driving a purpose built race car at the limit on public streets.

 

“During our down time in Long Beach, I always look forward to attending the celebration at Circle Porsche on Wednesday evening. I also look forward to seeing the progress of the new, exciting Porsche Experience Center, near LAX, which is nearing completion.

 

“The upgrades to the PC car, especially the traction control, should help us exit the slow tight corners like the hairpin. I don’t expect we will need to re-learn the technique, just get the wheel straight and ‘let her rip!’

 

“Long Beach is our shortest race of the year. Mistakes do not erase easily with time like they may at Daytona or Sebring. It’s time to bring your focus and aggression A-game.”
– Jon Bennett

 

 

16-CORE-CB-Headshot“I’m looking forward to going back to Long Beach! It’s a great race and it’s always good to see all the people that come out. The last couple of years, I’ve kept an eye on it via TV, wishing we were there, so I’m really happy to be back in the PC cars.

 

“It’s an interesting track for our cars. Most of the corners are pretty tight, so the PC cars don’t get to use all the downforce they make, but there’s also a couple quick corners that our cars make pretty good downforce on and it’s pretty fun.

 

“When we raced in 2013, I led the race overall for a bit, so the PC cars are certainly quick. The GTLM cars make a lot of good mechanical traction and grip though. It’s always been a pretty tight field there across the classes. I think with the traction control system on the PC cars, that’ll help us a lot in the low speed corners. That could potentially open the gap a bit to the GTLM cars.

 

“A track like Long Beach is really hard to pass on, so track position is really important. However, with the drive-time rules for our class, it makes for a pretty narrow window to make the drive-time requirements and have enough fuel for a one-stop strategy. You’d have to catch all the right yellows. There’s a lot of factors that will play into making it a one-stop versus a two-stop race.”
– Colin Braun

 

 

BUBBA burger® Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach | April 15 – 16

VENUE

Track Length: 1.698 miles, 11 turns

Race Length: 1 hour, 40 minutes

 

SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

Friday, April 15

10:40am – 12:40pm: Practice #1 (All Classes)

8:00pm – 8:25pm: Practice #2 (All Classes)

8:55pm – 9:10pm: Qualifying (PC Class)

Saturday, April 16

4:00pm – 4:45pm: Driver Autograph Session (Team Transporters)

7:05pm – 8:45pm: BUBBA burger® Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach

 

TV SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

LIVE Qualifying:

Friday, April 15

8:00pm – 9:30pm: IMSA.com

 

Race U.S.:

Saturday, April 16

7:00pm – 9:00pm: FOX Sports 2

11:00pm – 1:00am: FOX Sports 1

Sunday, April 17

12:30pm – 2:30pm: FOX Sports 1

 

LIVE Race International:

Saturday, April 16

7:00pm – 9:00pm: IMSA.com

 

LIVE In-Car Cameras & Commentary:

IMSA.tv