All eyes will be on the No. 54 Composite Resources / Flex-Box ORECA 07 after drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun took victories at both Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and Road America. This has put CORE third in the IMSA Championship standings, three points out of first place.
WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca should suit the ORECA well with its high speed corners and low grip levels.The short length and narrow track surface will make traffic a challenge, however.
Weather is expected to be dry but cool with highs barely breaking 70 degrees.
- Jon Bennett and Colin Braun got their first win together at WeatherTech Raceway in the Prototype Challenge class in 2012.
- Bennett and Braun’s best 2017 finish came at WeatherTech Raceway, fourth in GTD.
- Bennett leads the Jim Trueman Award points by 26 points.
Driver: No. 54 ORECA 07 LMP2
“I think CORE has been so successful in its Prototype debut because we’ve adopted what we’ve always done; keep working hard, try to improve and look for the little things that can be done more efficiently. Both Jon and I have been pushing hard, my dad and Tyler Neff have been working hard on the engineering side and I think just because everyone is focused on improving, we’re never settling for where we’re at; whether that’s winning races or finishing last, we keep working just as hard. That’s a big contributor to our success.
“I think we have a really strong ORECA chassis that has also been a big help. The ORECA will do well at Laguna. Last year, the only LMP2 win within the Prototype class came at Laguna. I think that bodes well for us.
“It’s going to be a tough race with all the traffic. That’s going to play a major role, probably more so than ultimate pace. We’ve been off for a couple race while the GTLM and GTD teams have been going at it and it looks like they’ve got some inter-class rivalries going on, so hopefully we can steer clear of that and do our own thing. It’s going to be great getting back to racing; it feels like it’s been a long time!”
Driver: No. 54 ORECA 07 LMP2
“We started this season with a blank sheet approach, with continuous improvement as our only expectation. Competing in a new category against teams with deep endurance racing experience, we had to focus on the basics. Understanding our strengths and weaknesses, we strive to maximize our results and work within our capabilities. A little luck hasn’t hurt either.
“Three wins in a row is a clear possibility. In years past, the LMP2 formula has performed well against faster Daytona Prototype cars at Laguna Seca. We will arrive with a clear focus, a methodical approach, and ready to compete.
“Laguna Seca has a low grip surface with many high speed, sweeping corners. This is the perfect scenario for our ORECA 07 / Gibson package. This track may diminish the low end torque advantage of some of our competitors and equalize the various chassis-engine combinations. I expect a great race at WRLS.
“Traffic is always a factor at some level. Unlike a track like Lime Rock, traffic can be worked to an advantage if you are clever, plan ahead, and strive to create flow and diminish interruptions that hurt momentum. Traffic will reward the thinking driver. I like our odds here.”
Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix | September 7 – 9
- Track Length: 2.238 miles, 11 turns
- Race Length: 2 hours, 40 minutes
Schedule (All times Eastern)
Friday, September 7
- 1:55pm – 2:55pm: Practice #1 (All Classes)
- 6:15pm – 7:15pm: Practice #2 (All Classes)
Saturday, September 8
- 11:30am – 12:30pm: Practice #3 (All Classes)
- 4:35pm – 4:50pm: Prototype Qualifying
Sunday, September 9
- 12:20pm – 12:40pm: Warm Up (All Classes)
- 2:15pm – 3:00pm: Driver Autograph Session
- 3:45pm – 4:45pm: Open Grid
- 5:05pm – 7:45pm: Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix