CORE autosport team is still trying to wrap its heads around the Mid-Ohio circuit as the team looks for its first win at the track this weekend. The longtime IMSA entrant has only a second-place finish in 2012 and is still coming to grips with its No. 54 Ligier JS P320 as well. A test at the track last month has given the team more confidence, although driver Colin Braun said ever-changeable weather at Lexington, Ohio road course makes comparisons tricky.
“Mid-Ohio is such a finicky racetrack when it comes to weather. You never know what you’re going to have on the race weekend,” noted Braun. “I feel like we’re prepared for any weather situation. We had a couple beautiful days of testing with warmish weather. I think if we found ourselves in a similar situation to that it would bode well for us,” Braun said.
“For us at CORE, Mid-Ohio has been a place where we get snowed out of testing. It was nice to be there with really nice weather, get some laps and really understand the racetrack. In years past, the test would get snowed out, but come race weekend, the practice sessions were in the rain and then the track would dry out for the race. We really haven’t gotten our brains wrapped around that place and I felt like this test gave us a chance to understand what this track needs.”
As well as trying to understand the track, the team is also working to get acquainted with its new Ligier LMP3 chassis.
“We completed a successful test at Mid-Ohio and came away with valuable experience for the upcoming race. In fact, we are still learning the nuances of our new Ligier and the testing was quite helpful,” owner/driver Jon Bennett said. “Colin and I are always up for the challenge of racing in the rain. Finding grip at Mid-Ohio can be challenging. All things equal, I would like to leverage our experience from testing on a dry track.”
Early indications seem positive for CORE — they led the first practice session on Friday. A nearly identical time of 1m17.243s on Saturday morning was only good enough for fourth, however, as other teams in the class found speed.