Visit Florida Racing and driver Marc Goossens will return to England this weekend as the team participates in the Goodwood Festival of Speed. The annual event, staged at Lord March’s estate in southeast England, is a celebration of all things automotive and attracts some of the most compelling machinery on earth.
Goossens will take the No. 90 Visit Florida Corvette DP for the traditional run up the hill that is the competition focal point for the event. The visit to Goodwood is the second for Visit Florida Racing, which represented IMSA in its 2013 “run up the hill” with a Daytona Prototype.
The team arrives at Goodwood fresh from a trip to Le Mans, where team owner Troy Flis conducted several meetings ahead of finalizing the team’s 2017 plans, while members of the Visit Florida Racing marketing department were on hand to consider options and plans for a possible presence in the event in 2017. Goossens drove at Le Mans, joining fellow IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship regulars Ben Keating and Jeroen Bleekemolen with Murphy Prototypes in the LM P2 class.
“I look forward to driving at Goodwood again and to represent Visit Florida during this great event,” Goossens said. “This is only my second time to drive up the hill (he drove a Jaguar XK120 previously). This year will be awesome as we are taking the Corvette DP to the UK and we will give some passenger rides to our Visit Florida guests.”
Visit Florida Racing will be seeking its third consecutive victory in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, where Goossens will join Ryan Dalziel in the No. 90 Corvette DP.
CORE autosport Renews With Porsche Motorsports, Makes Global RallyCross Debut
CORE autosport had a double dose of good news last weekend. Porsche Motorsports announced at Le Mans that the Rock Hill, South Carolina-based team would continue to run its race operations in the WeatherTech Championship. CORE autosport fields a pair of Porsche 911 RSRs for Porsche North America in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class, winning the 2015 team and manufacturer titles along with Patrick Pilet taking the driver’s championship.
“Everyone at CORE is thrilled to continue our relationship with Porsche,” said CORE autosport owner Jon Bennett, who also drives for his team in WeatherTech Championship Prototype Challenge (PC) competition. “Our partnership started with a Rolex 24 At Daytona victory [in 2014] and continued with multiple championships. We are prepared to offer more of the same.”
Bennett was not at Le Mans for the announcement. He was wearing his driver’s uniform at Daytona International Speedway, joining co-driver Colin Braun in making CORE autosport’s debut in Red Bull Global RallyCross with a podium finish. The two team cars carried a paint scheme similar to the No. 54 Flex-Box/Composite Resources ORECA FLM09 that races in PC competition.
Braun finished third in Saturday’s 10-lap GRC Lites feature after placing third in both heats. Bennett took ninth after taking third in the last chance qualifier. On Sunday, Braun took second in both heats but was involved in an opening lap incident that resulted in a 10th-place finish.
“We’re looking to broaden our experience a bit, building a little diversity in what we do,” Bennett said. “It may present an opportunity for a second factory team for us, with factory drivers. The GRC Lites cars are a bit of a ‘toe in the water’ for us, to see if our skills match up with what’s required to race there.”
The experience also gave Bennett the first opportunity to race against his long-time co-driver.
“I never raced against Colin before,” Bennett said. “It’s fun for both of us. We do a lot of karting together. It’s always been beneficial for me to be around Colin and learn from him, study his data. Potentially, some of the skills you might learn from driving a car with no downforce and little grip might transfer to the Prototype. It’s a bit of diversifying my driving, as well.”
MINI JCW To Have Patriotic Paint Scheme For Veteran Driver, Crewman
The No. 37 MINI John Cooper Works of Mark Pombo and Ethan Low will be easy to spot at The Glen in the Continental Tire 150 on Saturday, July 2. The LAP Motorsports car will have American flags on either side along with white stars carrying the names of donors to the Veterans of Operation Iraqi/Enduring Freedom (VOIEF.org) to commemorate the race on Fourth of July weekend.
“We look forward to working with VOIEF,” said car owner Luis Perocarpi. “They do a great job assisting vets who come back who are struggling to get back to normal life. We’re raising money to help the vets, and what better way to do it than celebrating the Fourth of July weekend while racing at Watkins Glen International.”
Pombo served 13 months in Iraq for the U.S. Army during Operation Enduring Freedom in 2003. His MINI will be fueled at The Glen by fellow veteran Daniel McTeague.
“Daniel was a mechanic in the military, and he’s been helping us since Sebring,” Pombo said. “Watkins Glen will be his first time on our pit crew. Our goal is to have a full pit stop by the end of the season, done by a pit crew of veterans and a veteran driver.”
Katherine Legge, after a recent test at the repaved Watkins Glen International in the No. 0 Panoz DeltaWing Racing Coupe: “I haven’t felt a bump yet. The repaved track is very smooth, very grippy. Also, there’s not much drop off on the tires, which is a credit to both Continental and Watkins Glen. It’s super impressive. Everything’s immaculate, and in all honesty, I don’t think they could have done anything better. It’s obviously quicker than it was before, and it’s going to make for some fantastic racing.”