CORE podiums on Prototype debut

CORE podiums on Prototype debut

IMSA

CORE podiums on Prototype debut

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CORE autosport might not have won on its IMSA Prototype debut, but with a third-place result and the distinction of being the first non-factory DPi team to cross the finish line, owner/driver Jon Bennett and team manager Morgan Brady can be proud of their fine performance.

Bennett, team veteran Colin Braun and the Le Mans-winning French duo of Romain Dumas and Loic Duval were the class of the privateers in their No.54 ORECA 07-Gibson, coming home one lap behind the Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R tandem after 24 hours of unpredictable racing.

After debating whether to move up to Prototype after years of leading the pro-am PC category, Bennett says he’s pleased with making the big step up – for himself as a gentleman driver and for the CORE organization.

“You could look at it like a kid, and everyone wants to have the fastest car,” he told RACER. “The category is clearly not for kids; it’s only for professionals. Do you really want to jump in after spending a lot of years starting and running businesses or do you want to jump into the ring with a bunch of full-blooded professionals.

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“You eventually get to a point where the calendar is not necessarily your friend and it’s time to go; it’s time for us to go and we went. That’s how we’re here.”

For Dumas, who has represented Audi and Porsche as a factory driver in their former LMP1 programs, CORE proved to be a comfortable setting that felt like a smaller version of those factory efforts.

“Straight away when I drove here the first laps with them, I was very surprised,” he said. “They are small, but they have what they need. They have amazing engineering with Jeff Braun, amazing mechanics – many I race against when they were in LMP1 with different teams – and I felt good with them. At the end, this was the right opportunity with Jon and CORE and we did very well.”

RACER.com’s coverage of the Rolex 24 At Daytona is presented by Forgeline Motorsports, manufacturers of custom made-to-order lightweight forged aluminum street and racing performance wheels.

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