The Alley

CORE’s drive for five

core_mainCORE autosport have had a virtual hammerlock on the Prototype Challenge Class championships since the early days of the single specification Pro-Am class.

The team has already scored four consecutive team championships and team owner Jon Bennett and his talented sidekick Colin Braun enter the final round with a handy lead in this year’s title race.

Launched in 2011 in the American Le Mans Series, Gunnar Jeannette and Ricardo Gonzalez combined to score the first championship for the Rock Hill, SC-based team.

In 2012 Venezuelan ace Alex Popow took the drivers title for CORE. While they scored the team crown in 2013, they missed out on the driver’s title in the final year of the American Le Mans Series. Bennett and Braun bounced back last year to claim in inaugural TUDOR United SportsCar Championship PC title.

At Petit Le Mans they aim to close the year with their fifth consecutive team’s championship.

core_2“It is difficult to ignore the points situation going into the last event of the season,” Bennett (pictured right with Braun) said.

“While the incoming point totals may shape some race decisions from our strategists in pit lane, from the cockpit, Colin and I prefer the same approach we have employed all season: go win the race!

“Certainly, winning two weeks ago at COTA has brought a welcome confidence boost to our team and valuable points leverage for our quest for the TUDOR Championship.”

CORE will enter the weekend with an updated endurance line-up. Atlanta veteran Anthony Lazzaro joins the team for the first time at Petit Le Mans. He will be making his PC class debut at Road Atlanta.

The young star Braun is looking forward to the possibility of ticking one final race win off his “wish list” this weekend.

“Petit Le Mans is a race I want to win really bad,” Braun said.

“Together, Jon and I have won Daytona, we’ve won Sebring, we’ve won Watkins Glen, we’ve won Mosport, Lime Rock, COTA… it seems like we’ve won at just about every race track except for Road Atlanta. I definitely need to get this one checked off the list!”

CORE autosport has previously won Petit Le Mans but not with Bennett or Braun. The team won in 2012 with drivers Alex Popow, Ryan Dalziel and Mark Wilkins.

The CORE combo hold a big 12-point lead over Mike Guasch and Tom Kimber-Smith of PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports. Chris Cumming and Bruno Junqueira have Paul Gentilozzi’s RSR team just an additional two points back.

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