CORE autosport will continue running the No. 54 ORECA 07 LMP2 in the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. After a promising season saw Colin Braun and CORE owner/driver Jon Bennett finish four points shy of the 2018 Prototype championship, the team now focuses on the LMP2 title with the series revising its class structure.
“In 2018, CORE autosport debuted in the top Prototype class with a new Gibson powered ORECA 07 LMP2,” Bennett said.
“We were cautiously optimistic, recalling our successful history with the ORECA FLM09 in Prototype Challenge, but we started our season with an empty engineering notebook and some stout factory-supported DPi competition.
“By mid season, CORE autosport was competing toe-to-toe with our quickest competitors. After the midpoint of the season, podiums were common and we began winning as a team. Meticulous preparation and an ORECA racecar built for endurance propelled us to the top of the standings and within a whisker of winning the 2018 WeatherTech Championship.
“Turning the page to 2019, the CORE autosport squad will fixate our efforts on winning the new LMP2 Championship and scrap with some familiar rivals. It will be excellent racing.”
With IMSA’s August announcement that it would separate the Prototype class into two categories, CORE explored a move to the DPi category before making the decision that a season with the current car, which Braun and Bennett drove to two wins (Road America and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park), five podiums and two poles, was in the team’s best interest.
“After achieving overall wins this season we looked at every opportunity to stay in IMSA’s top class,” CORE COO Morgan Brady said. “We were unable to find a path to a DPi program that would operate at the level we wanted. We will continue to look at options for a future DPi program, but we look forward to the strong competition in the new LMP2 class.”