Employing the same strategy as it did at Watkins Glen and Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, CORE opted to swap starting drivers for the race, putting Jon Bennett at the wheel in lieu of Colin Braun who qualified third. This change meant the No. 54 Composite Resources / Flex-Box ORECA 07 LM P2 started from the back of the Prototype field.
Bennett was once again flawless in his opening stint. Staying clear of on-track skirmishes and hitting the lap time target given to him by race engineers on the timing stand. He completed his required 30 minutes before bringing the car onto pitlane and handing it over to Braun.
This first pit stop was timed perfectly; a full-course yellow was issued just as the car completed its stop. When the rest of the Prototype field pitted under yellow, Braun cycled to second.
An ill-timed yellow looked like it might ruin the team’s pit strategy mid-way through the race, but with 30 minutes to go, the Prototype field was split into two different groups: those who needed to make one more stop and those who could fuel-save to the end. The No. 54 fell into the latter category.
With 10 minutes left on the clock, the race came down to three cars: the No. 55 Mazda, CORE autosport and the No. 99 ORECA.
Braun was in drastic fuel-save mode when the No. 55 Mazda came onto pit lane. Only two laps stood between Braun and the checkered flag, but he couldn’t give away too much because second and third-place were still charging. In dramatic fashion, Braun took the checkered flag running on fumes and was out of fuel a few turns later on the cool down lap.
CORE autosport once-again proved a privateer one-car team with a pro-am lineup could compete on the same field as full-scale factory efforts.
CORE’s next opportunity to continue the win streak is at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California, September 7 – 9.
Driver: No. 54 ORECA 07 LMP2
“This was a great result for the CORE autosport team. I’m super proud. Jon did a great job in his starting stint. We had excellent pit stops and some amazing strategy calls. When I jumped in the car we had a great call that got me to second. I faded a bit toward the end on old tires so we decided to switch our strategy to a fuel-saving one. The team was giving me fuel numbers to hit as best as I could while keeping pace. We had to find a way to win. We showed at Mosport we had a lot of speed and I think here we showed the ability to save fuel and be smart in a different way. It was a total team effort.”
Driver: No. 54 ORECA 07 LMP2
“Colin was magic in the car. This time fast while being able to save fuel. I had an excellent run on the Continental Tires that have been good to us all weekend. At some point you need to separate yourself from the pack and we made a strategy call mid-race to play the fuel save game. It was interesting to watch it play out on the pit stand with our race engineer Jeff Braun and data engineer Tyler Neff calling out the fuel numbers lap by lap.
“It was an incredible team effort; back-to-back wins in this competitive environment and with these teams are a monumental achievement. It’s been three very well executed races for us. I’m proud to race against the best in the business.”