All posts in “Road America”

Porsche 911 RSR Second at Road America

 ELKHART LAKE, WISC. (Aug. 7, 2017) – The new Porsche 911 RSR continues on the road to success in the IMSA SportsCar Championship. A fortnight after its maiden victory at Lime Rock, the 510hp racer from Weissach clinched second in the GTLM class in a heart-stopping finale on the legendary Road America racetrack.

After the 2:40-hour race on the 4.048-mile circuit close to Elkhart Lake in the U.S. state of Wisconsin, Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) and Gianmaria Bruni (Italy) were a mere six-tenths of a second off claiming victory. The pair also scored second at Porsche’s double victory at Lime Rock recently.

Their team colleagues and the winners of the Lime Rock race, Patrick Pilet (France) and Dirk Werner (Germany), lost ground after a collision in the final phase and ultimately had to settle for eighth. The Porsche GT Team fields the 911 RSR which was developed from scratch specifically for this season on the basis of the high-performance 911 GT3 RS sports car.

At the wheel of the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR, Gianmaria Bruni initially managed to advance from fourth to third place. In his slipstream, Patrick Pilet even overtook two competitors in the No. 911 racer. The two held onto these positions until the first round of pit stops.

For Porsche, the race remained rather unspectacular – until the last hour. Laurens Vanthoor, Gianmaria Bruni’s teammate, made the most of a short pit stop to snatch the lead. However, when the race went green after a safety car phase, he veered too wide and had to let the Ford past. In a gripping finale, he pulled out all the stops and tried everything to reclaim the lead, but was ultimately pipped at the flag. For Dirk Werner, who took over from Patrick Pilet, the restart was even more dramatic: after falling victim to an accident involving a Corvette, he ended up in the gravel and was robbed of a good result.

Round nine of the IMSA SportsCar Championship will be contested on 27 August at the Virginia International Raceway in Danville in the U.S. state of Virginia.

Dr Michael Steiner, Board Member for Research and Development Porsche AG: “The Porsche GT Team missed out on clinching the second-straight win by a fraction of a second on this fantastic racetrack. But once again, everyone put in a strong team effort. The IMSA SportsCar Championship is a blue ribbon sports car series. Fans witness gripping and fiercely contested races, especially in the GT categories. I found it interesting to follow the tremendous teamwork from the pits during the qualifying session.”
Marco Ujhasi, Director GT Factory Motorsports: “We kept improving over the whole race weekend. During practice we saw that we couldn’t match the pace of the fastest over a lap. So we concentrated on preparing for the race. That paid off. In the race we were up with the play until the end and we were in a position to fight for victory. Unfortunately it wasn’t quite enough. Still, we’re very pleased with the progress we’ve made over the weekend. It’s a shame that our number 911 racer was virtually kicked out of contention in a collision in the first corner after the restart. This cost us a lot of championship points. This car, too, was totally competitive today. We’ll be taking a lot of positive insights with us to the next round in Virginia. Until then, we’ll focus on the things that still need working on.”
Laurens Vanthoor (911 RSR #912): “What a rollercoaster race. We came into the pits earlier than scheduled prior to a caution phase, because we suspected we had a tire problem, and that cost us the lead. We definitely had some luck on our side because there was nothing wrong with the tires. After the restart, I wanted to overtake a slower GTD vehicle but he blocked me and that led to a mistake. It’s annoying to lose the lead and possibly even victory because of this, but such things happen. Nevertheless, finishing second on this tricky circuit is a good result.”
Gianmaria Bruni (911 RSR #912): “That was a really tough race. I got away well at the start, but the Ford managed to overtake me in corner three. The team had worked out a great strategy, which Laurens implemented almost perfectly after the pit stop. Right up until shortly before the finish I thought we might win. But second place is a great result and a good motivation for the remaining races of the season.”
Patrick Pilet (911 RSR #911): “Our 911 RSR ran brilliantly again today, and the team provided great support. Unfortunately it just wasn’t our race. It’s a pity, because we were actually good enough to win at Road America, too, but we just couldn’t do it. Now we’ll try again in Virginia.”
Dirk Werner (911 RSR #911): “In the closing phase of the race we still had every chance open to us. After the final round of pit stops I was running in fifth and I wanted to overtake the Corvette in front of me after the safety car phase. But, while braking, he pulled to the left in the last moment and forced me into the gravel trap. He was given a penalty, but that didn’t do us any good. I’m pleased for our team colleagues in the No. 912 car and I hope that we can make more out of our good possibilities in Virginia.”

 

CORE P7 at Road America

CORE Improves on Best GTD Finish

CORE autosport delivered its best IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship finish of the season so far at Road America. In the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase, drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun finished seventh in the GT Daytona category.

CORE got a boost before the race even started, as three cars who qualified faster, opted to change tires or starting drivers and were moved to the back. This moved the No. 54 Flex-Box/Composite Resources Porsche 911 GT3 R up to 11th on the GTD grid.

Bennett took the opening stint for the two-hour and 40-minute race. Though he lost two spots to quicker cars starting from the back, he was able to keep the Porsche on the lead lap and bring it in for the first pit stop in 13th.

Braun took over after the first stop. Forty minutes later, he was up to 10th, before a slew of full-course cautions. A combination of attrition, strong pit stops and quick pace had Braun up to seventh for the final 16-minute sprint to the finish. He was reeling in the lead pack of GTD cars, but ran out of time and crossed the finish line in seventh.

This betters CORE’s previous best GTD finish of eighth, which it scored on the streets of Detroit in June.

CORE returns to IMSA action August 25 – 27 at VIRginia International Raceway. Prior to that, it returns to the Red Bull Global Rallycross Series for a doubleheader in Atlantic City, August 12 – 13.

 

“I’m very happy about our race today. This is our best finish of the season. I struggled a good bit in my stint, but nevertheless, was able to keep it on the lead lap. We had good pits stops. Colin did a great job in the car. I am really happy to see the progress. I’m happy for the guys and for Colin. It gives us a boost of confidence as we head to our next race at VIRginia International Raceway.”
– JON BENNETT

 

“I got in the car and tried to push as hard as I could. We had to save some fuel in the middle of the race, so it was fun to balance the fuel saving strategy while I was still trying to go fast. Everyone did a really good job.

 

“We had good pace in the middle stint. Then as we neared the end, it was tough because all of the classes got mixed up. You had some guys who were fighting in their own class really hard that were in between guys that we were fighting with. All of those yellows at the end just kind of mixed everyone up and made it hard to race guys in our own pack. It was a lot of fun to be in the mix, but I wish we had been able to line up five GTD cars and get to race head-to-head. I felt like we had a good race car. We probably had a better long-run car than a short-run car, which at the end was important with all of those cautions.
– COLIN BRAUN

Road America Qualifying

CORE Prepares for All Scenarios at Road America

After two straight days of cold and rain at Road America, the sun finally came out for IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship qualifying. CORE autosport qualified 13th for Sunday’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase.

IMSA teams were greeted by thunderstorms at Road America on Thursday, followed by more rain and blustery winds for Friday’s two practice sessions. Saturday’s conditions were the complete opposite, with the track temperature hitting its highest in time for qualifying. Thankfully, the team had a final practice session prior to qualifying to get the No. 54 Flex-Box / Composite Resources Porsche 911 GT3 R dialed in for the dry circuit.

Jon Bennett was behind the wheel for the 15-minute qualifying session. The long 4.048-mile track only allows for a handful of laps, during which Bennett was able to qualify the car 13th on the GT Daytona grid.

It’s unclear whether the IMSA field will start on slick or rain tires tomorrow with a 60 percent chance of rain in the forecast. This may bode well for CORE, who set the fastest GTD practice time in the wet with Colin Braun behind the wheel.

The Continental Tire Road Race Showcase will go green at 2:35pm ET and be broadcast live on FS1, or IMSA.com for viewers outside the U.S.

“I love coming to Road America. It’s a beautiful and fun track to drive. If you’re not on the pole, you always wish you had gone a little faster, but we’ll continue to chew on it. I’ll go back and look at the data and see where I can get more speed for tomorrow.

 

“We’ve had varying weather conditions here this weekend. When the conditions are changing, you have to be smart and drive the car at its limit. It’s not too hard, but conditions certainly affect the overall lap time, even with the same amount of effort.

 

“I’m happy with the result. Of course, there’s always room for improvement, and I’m looking forward to a good race tomorrow. It may not be such a bad thing if it rains tomorrow. As I often say – chaos creates opportunity.”
JON BENNETT

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

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 autosport Road America

CORE Climbs to Road America Podium

Jon Bennett and Colin Braun clawed their way from fifth on the Prototype Challenge grid to finish third at the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase at Road America. The podium finish helped CORE autosport open up a five point lead in the TUDOR United SportsCar PC Championship.

Starting in fifth, Bennett slipped to sixth on the opening lap but battled back with quick lap times and disciplined driving. The team made its first pit stop during the only yellow of the race. A quick stop by the crew helped Bennett beat the No. 52 out of the pits and reclaim fifth.

Bennett held his position on the restart and began his climb from there. The team caught a break and moved all the way to second when the No. 38 and No. 16 pitted while the No. 85 was stopped off track.

Later, Bennett was overtaken by the No. 52 and handed the car over to co-driver Colin Braun in a solid third-place position.

Braun returned to track in fifth at the race’s halfway point and began his quest for the podium. He fought his way up to third after passing the No. 16 and the No. 52. Braun briefly held second place, when the No. 38 pitted, but returned to third when he made his final pit stop of the race.

For the remainder of the race, Braun battled to close the gap on the top two PC contenders, but was unable to catch any more cars before the end of the two-hour and 40-minute race.

With two rounds remaining CORE leads the PC Team Championship by five points over PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports. Bennett and Braun hold the same lead in the Drivers’ Championship.

Up next for the No. 54 Composite Resources/Flex Box ORECA FLM09 is Round Nine at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, Sept. 17 – 19.

15-CORE-JB-Headshot

 

“We had a fantastically tuned car today. The car was flawless. I got some fortunate breaks in traffic and some situations with our competitors that allowed me to move up slowly over time. I’d say the biggest advantage we had was a superb pit stop that moved me up at least one spot. I just did my job in the cockpit, had great pit stops and a great handling car, and handed it off to Colin. Colin did a great job catching the leaders, but it just wasn’t enough time to make it a battle.  Today was a great notch again toward another championship, and I look forward to COTA and Petit Le Mans.
– Jon Bennett

 

 

15-CORE-CB-HeadshotWe had good pace today. Jon did a great job in that first stint. It was fun and we had a really good racecar. Our engineer Tom Brown did a great job with our package. We chopped the delta to the leaders down a little bit, but we just didn’t have enough time to catch them. It’s good for our championship to get back on the podium, and there are a lot of positives to take out of the weekend.

 

“Both of the passes I made today for position on Tom [Kimber Smith] and [Matt] McMurry were bombing around the outside of them. They were certainly fun, and it was cool to roll her on the outside of guys and make a move.
– Colin Braun

CORE Starts Fifth at Road America

Jon Bennett qualified the No. 54 Composite Resources/Flex Box ORECA FLM09 fifth on the Prototype Challenge grid for the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase at Road America, Round Nine of the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.

Bennett hung out in the top three for the opening laps of the session, but gradually lost two positions. Bennett’s best lap came late in the session when he laid down a flyer of 2:01.727 (119.717 mph). His time was just 0.423 seconds shy of fourth.

Steady rain dampened the first two practice sessions on Friday and presented a challenge when dialing-in the car’s setup. Fortunately, the rain lifted by Saturday morning and gave Bennett and co-driver Colin Braun some dry track time.

Bennett will start the race on Sunday and later hand off driving duties to Braun. At 4.048 miles, Road America is the longest circuit the team will see this year. It is also the first of the final three races in the 2015 championship. With a three-point lead, CORE is focused on strong finishes in order to score its fifth-straight PC championship.

The Continental Tire Road Race Showcase green flag drops at 2:05 p.m. local time for the two-hour and 40-minute race. Live timing and in-car cameras can be found at www.imsa.com. The race is broadcast live on FOX Sports 1 from 3 to 6 p.m. ET.

“It wasn’t exactly the run I was hoping for or that the team was hoping for. The car was really solid, so I’m not exactly sure why we were a bit off the pace during qualifying. In general, we have a solid car for the weekend. We’ll look at the data tonight and be ready for tomorrow.

 

“Like most races, there’s a lot between the start and finish of the race. While we need to be fast and aggressive, there’s a certain amount of discipline that we also need to finish these races. I think we’ve proven this in the past, and we should have a good finish tomorrow.”
– Jon Bennett

CORE on a Podium Quest at Road America

ROCK HILL, S.C. (Aug. 4, 2015) – CORE autosport is on a mission to return to the podium at Road America and strengthen its championship lead in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship’s PC class.

 

Unlike the most recent round at Lime Rock Park, where the PC class was only paired with the GTD category, all four classes will race on the four-mile Road America circuit, which features three long straighaways and a combination of fast and slow corners. The track was not kind to the team last year, as contact in Turn 12 heavily damaged the car, but Colin Braun was able to get it back to the pits for the crew to make repairs. The No. 54 Composite Resources/Flex Box ORECA FLM09 made it back on track, but finished eighth.

 

Road America is the first of the final three races that remain in the championship and CORE is focused on strong finishes in each to claim its fifth-straight PC Title.

 

The Continental Tire Road Race Showcase will air live on FOX Sports 1, Sunday, Aug. 9 at 3pm ET. Follow live timing, radio and in-car cameras at IMSA.com (http://www.imsa.com) or on the IMSA App (http://bit.ly/1PZ9ULi) .

 

 

 

15-CORE-JB-Headshot“Road America is great because it’s a classic road course with lots of elevation changes. It’s a long lap through some really beautiful countryside. It’s a very enjoyable track to drive and we always enjoy spending time in Elkhart Lake.

 

“Typically we have a package that works really well for Road America. The challenging part is managing brake temperatures, because there are some long straights between brake zones. I’d say after a session or two, we’ll be pretty well dialed in.

 

“It’s natural to kind of measure where you are in the points versus the number of races left. It’s a little premature to start thinking about the points now, because things can change so quickly with a single race. The focus is coming to the races well prepared and in a position to win and understand what it takes to be flexible with the adversities to come.”
Jon Bennett

 

 

 

15-CORE-CB-Headshot“I’m looking forward to Road America. It’s a really neat track, because it blends so much of the different tracks that we go to together in one place. You’ve got really fast corners, but you also have hard-braking, really technical corners, so it’s a bit like Mosport in a way. On the flip side though, it’s also a little bit like the street courses.

 

“It’s a real challenge for the drivers and even more so a challenge for the engineers to try and set up the car. When we go to Mosport, we focus on high-speed, when we go to street courses, we focus on making grip and low-speed traction. At Road America, it’s a little bit of all of that blended together. Our engineer Tom Brown will have to be on it to give us a good car.

 

“We’ve always been fast there, unfortunately, Jon and I have never won a race there, but I feel like we’ve been in a position to win the past couple of years. I think we’ll be in good shape.”
Colin Braun

 

 

Noteworthy

  • CORE has not been on the podium at Road America since 2012 when its two PC cars finished 1-2.
  • At four miles, Road America is the longest track on the TUDOR schedule.
  • Braun will participate in the “Tour de Road America,” a charity bike ride of Road America, on Friday evening.
  • Braun’s parents met each other in Milwaukee. He has several family members local to Wisconsin and spent many summers in the area.

 

 

Point Standings

PC Team Championship

  1. CORE autosport #54   222
  2. PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports #52 219
  3. Starworks Motorsport #8 209

 

PC Driver Championship

  1. J.Bennett/C.Braun   222
  2. M.Guasch/T.Kimber-Smith 219
  3. Goikhberg/Cumming/Junqueira   206

 

 

 

Event Facts

Road Race Showcase | Aug 7 – 9

 

VENUE

Track Length: 4 miles, 14 turns

Race Length: 2 Hours, 40 Minutes

 

SCHEDULE (All times Central)

Friday, August 7

12:00pm – 1:00pm: Practice #1 (All Classes)

4:15pm – 5:15pm: Practice #2 (All Classes)

 

Saturday, August 8

9:15am – 10:15am: Practice #3 (All Classes)

4:25pm – 4:40pm: Qualifying (PC Class)

 

Sunday, August 9

9:00am – 9:20am: Warm Up (All Classes)

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

12:30pm – 1:30pm: Open Grid

2:05pm – 4:45pm: Continental Tire Road Race Showcase

 

 

 

TV SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

LIVE Qualifying (Worldwide)

Saturday, August 8

4:35am – 6:10pm: IMSA.com

 

LIVE Race (U.S.)

Sunday, August 9

3:00pm – 6:00pm: FOX Sports 1

 

LIVE Race (Outside U.S.)

Sunday, August 9

3:00pm – 6:00pm: IMSA.com

 

LIVE In-Car Cameras & Commentary:

IMSA.com  & IMSA App

CORE Escapes Road America with Point Lead

ELKHART LAKE, Wis (Aug. 10, 2014) – The Continental Tire Road Race Showcase was perhaps the hardest race yet for CORE autosport in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. Both Jon Bennett and Colin Braun fell victim to contact on course, which took them out of a podium position at Road America.

Starting from sixth on the Prototype Challenge grid, Bennett held the spot through the first full-course caution and when the team elected not to pit, the No. 54 ORECA FLM09 picked up two positions, re-starting in fifth.

Shortly after the restart, Bennett was spun around in Turn Six by the GTLM class leader. There was no damage and he was able to get the car back under way quickly, losing only one position in the process.

Bennett brought the car into pit lane during the next full-course caution and handed the car over to Braun. The quick work of the CORE pit crew gained the No. 54 three positions on pit lane. Braun dropped a spot on the restart but immediately re-took the position. One lap later, he was up to second.

With an hour and 15 minutes remaining, Braun dropped a spot to third and shortly there after was hit from behind entering Turn 12, known as Canada Corner, which is a 90-degree turn at the end of Road America’s back straightaway.

Braun ricocheted off the wall, tearing off the car’s nose, before jumping the curbing and landing in the gravel trap. The race went full-course yellow but it took the safety team several laps to retrieve Braun from the gravel. He limped the car back to the paddock where the crew immediately began repair work, which included replacing the right front and rear suspension, front nose and rear deck lid.

The No. 54 returned to the circuit eight laps down with less than 40 minutes remaining in the race. Braun brought the car home in eighth, salvaging valuable championship points after a brutal race. The team leaves Road America with a 19-point lead in the PC championship, unofficially.

The team now looks ahead to VIRginia International Raceway where it has scored podium finishes in each of its previous trips, including a win in 2012. The Oak Tree Grand Prix takes place Aug. 23 – 24 and will be broadcast on Sunday, Aug. 24 on FOX Sports 1 at 4pm ET.

14-CORE-Web-Bennett-headshot“We had a busy start to the weekend with lots of changes to the racecar to make it behave well. By the time the race went green, the car was behaving very well – hats off to the team for that. Like any race, we had a hectic start jostling for position. I basically was trying to keep my nose clean and stay competitive. I’m not sure if we got a little help from a GT car, but I ended up spinning about midway through my stint. I recovered pretty well. By the time Colin got in the car we were in a position to have a good weekend. Unfortunately, Colin was a victim of a mistake by another driver. He ended up crashing with lots of damage. I’m very, very proud of the team for essentially rebuilding the car in about 20 to 25 minutes, which was important for Colin in order to get his points for the race. It wasn’t the race we’d hoped for, but we’re certainly OK and are off to VIR.

 

“The season is far from over, and we need to stick to our formula. It almost worked well for us this weekend. You just can’t predict what other drivers will do or other situations that are outside your control. We have plenty to learn from the weekend, and now we’re off to the next race.”
– JON BENNETT

 

14-CORE-web-Braun-Headshot“The team was doing a really good job leading up to the accident. We had a reasonable pace. When we changed drivers, we had a great pit stop and passed a few guys, which put us ahead a bit. I thought we were sitting pretty for the rest of the race, but I guess it wasn’t meant to be. Shortly after I got in the car, I went down into Canada Corner and was on the inside passing a GT car. I think Ostella in the No. 38 missed his brake marker and just ran plum into the back of us, which spun us out. From there, it was just about making the repairs so that we could return to track to get in time and earn championship points. It was a bummer to get cleaned out like that, but I guess that’s how it goes.”

 

“We’ve just got to put this behind us and look forward to the rest of the season.”
COLIN BRAUN

CORE Sixth on PC Grid at Road America

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (Aug. 9, 2014) – Colin Braun qualified the No. 54 CORE autosport ORECA FLM09 sixth on the Prototype Challenge grid for Sunday’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase at Road America, part of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.

At 4.048 miles, Road America is the longest circuit CORE autosport will visit this season. The historic road course is fast and flowing with a mix of high- and low-speed corners. It presents an interesting setup challenge for the team, one that it began work on Friday in the first official practice session.

The team continued to evaluate the setup through two more practice sessions on Saturday. At the close of the final practice session, the team determined one more change needed to be made before qualifying, but it would require a quick trip back to the paddock. The change took slightly longer than anticipated and as a result Braun took to the circuit several minutes after the start of the 15-minute qualifying session.

Undeterred, Braun immediately attacked the track and was up to fifth on his first flying lap. He continued to shave time in his five qualifying laps, but was bumped to sixth in the closing minutes. His final qualifying time was a 2:00.273 (121.164 mph).

Teammate Jon Bennett will start the car from sixth for Sunday’s two hour and 45 minute race.

The Continental Tire Road Race Showcase goes green at 1:15 pm local time. Live timing and in-car cameras can be found at www.imsa.com. The race will be broadcast on FOX Sports 1 at 6:30 pm ET.

14-CORE-web-Braun-Headshot
“We struggled a little with a mechanical issue throughout both practices this morning. We found the issue and had to thrash to get things changed out before we qualified. We missed the first five minutes of the session, but the guys did an amazing job getting things changed in time. All in all, it wasn’t a bad day considering where we started and the struggles we had. It’s rebounding from those kinds of struggles that these guys are really good at. I’m excited for tomorrow.

 

“Tonight we’ll take a look at our information to figure out what our strategy and set-up are going to be, and we’ll be ready for tomorrow.”

– COLIN BRAUN