April 10, 2012, Rock Hill, SC: After victory at Sebring in March, CORE Autosport is ready to attack the streets of Long Beach – the site of the team’s first-ever pole position and win – for this Saturday’s two-hour Tequila Patrón American Le Mans Series at Long Beach.
Team owner and founder Jon Bennett will be paired with season long co-driver, motorsports phenom Colin Braun in the No. 05 Composite Resources ORECA FLM09 on the challenging 11 turn, 1.968 mile temporary street circuit.
CORE Autosport, competing in the Le Mans Prototype Challenge (LMPC) class, was a new team in 2011 and had never competed at a street course prior to last year. The victory at Long Beach propelled the team to a successful season – winning the 2011 ALMS LMPC driver and team championships.
The 2012 ALMS season began with the team on a high, and that did not change despite a new driver lineup – scoring first and third positions at the legendary Sebring International Raceway. For that event, the combination of Bennett, Braun, and Eric Lux finished a strong third place.
Since the Sebring win in mid-March, the CORE driver lineup has been very busy keeping their skills up to par. Braun drove in the World Challenge event at Saint Petersburg. Bennett did a lot of time behind the wheel of a kart and opened the new CORE Autosport headquarters, a world-class 30,000 square foot facility located right next to its parent company, Composite Resources. There was also cause for off-track celebration as Braun was married to his longtime girlfriend Melissa on Saturday, April 7.
The 2012 Tequila Patrón American Le Mans Series at Long Beach will take place on Saturday, April 14 at the temporary street course in Long Beach, California. On Friday, April 13, the team will practice for two hours at 7:15 A.M. PT / 10:15 A.M. ET with LMPC qualifying at 5:50 P.M. PT / 8:50 P.M. ET, which can be seen live online at ESPN3. Saturday’s race will be broadcast live at 4:30 P.M. PT / 7:30 P.M. ET on ESPN2 and online at ESPN3. Live timing and scoring can be found on the ALMS website at www.ALMS.com.
“I’ve only raced at Long Beach once in a GRAND-AM car and I really like the track. It’s going to be a very different experience this time because the LMPC car is lighter, has much better brakes and of course has no roof, which opens up your field of vision incredibly.
“We do have some challenges ahead of us as a team, but I think the biggest one is that there are only two hours of practice for the whole event, and it’s first thing in the morning on Friday. The track will be pretty dusty and dirty and it will take an hour to clear out the track and get some rubber laid down, and hopefully the second hour we can really work on the car.
“We really won’t be out there again for any length of time until almost Saturday night, after cars have been out there for nearly two full days, which will change the surface of the track a lot. So it’ll be interesting predicting what the track will do from the morning to the evening, from no cars to a lot of cars out there.
“I realized that at Sebring, my last stint was three and a half hours. If you add up the time I’ll be in the car at Long Beach, it may be only half that.
“The traffic on street courses will also be tough – with more than 30 cars out there of varying speeds, it’s a good thing that I’ll be able to see as much as I can in the #05 car because you’ve got to be smart, safe and fast to get through it all.
“The fans are going to love this event. It will be action-packed from start to finish!”