CORE autosport Pre-Mazda Raceway Report

CORE autosport Pre-Mazda Raceway Report

Press Room

CORE autosport Pre-Mazda Raceway Report



Wednesday, June 29, 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.

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.

Jon Bennett

Driver: No. 54 ORECA FLM09
“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.”

Colin Braun
Driver: No. 54 ORECA FLM09
“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!”

Mark Wilkins
Driver: No. 54 ORECA FLM09
“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.”

Read full article on Press Room IMSA

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