IMSA Spotlight: Colin Braun
Driver: No. 54 CORE autosport Porsche 911 GT3 R
How do you feel the team was performing at the Rolex 24 prior to the contact that took you out of the race?
“Considering this was our first step into the ultra-competitive GTD class with our new Porsche GT3 R car, and to look back upon the race and realize we were a front running contender for a good chunk of the race and to be able to lead some laps in the middle of the night was fantastic.
“We are just starting our journey in this class and have a lot to improve on and learn so to be that competitive on day one just motivates us to keep working hard, as we always do at CORE!”
With so much buildup leading into the Daytona weekend, how frustrating is it not to be in contention at the end of Hour 24?
“Having our race cut short by a competitor’s mistake was a pretty disappointing way to end our race. Racing certainly is a cruel sport at times but we are more motivated than ever to rebound at Sebring and put Daytona behind us.
“It is part of racing and I am very appreciative of all the hard work by the boys back in the shop to get our car repaired and ready to go – it was a big hit!”
How are you adapting to the switch back to GT racing with CORE?
“For me going back to driving a GT car is a fairly straight forward transition. I have raced so many different kinds of cars through out my career that I don’t care what I am driving!
“It is neat to have driven P2 cars, DP cars, GTLM cars, GTD cars, PC cars, IMSA Lites cars, LMP3 cars, Continental Challenge Cars, etc., in my sports car racing career, not to mention the NASCAR chapter!
“I think for our team, it has also been a fairly easy transition since CORE runs the GTLM factory program for Porsche; we aren’t brand new to working and operating GT cars!
“The person I most respect in this transition is my co-driver Jon Bennett. He has barely driven anything with a roof over his head in his career. It is a pretty big transition for him but he is doing a great job making the switch.”
What are the team’s plans for testing leading up to Sebring?
“We are planning to attend the IMSA official test in February at Sebring.
“With the limited testing rules in place by IMSA we are pretty tied on testing options so we are going to make the most of the official tests that don’t count against our days and be as prepared as possible for Sebring.”
How do you think the Porsche will stack up with the rest of stiff GTD competition at Sebring?
“[It’s] certainly going to be tough! GTD is stacked this year and with so many new makes to IMSA it is hard to say where the BOP will stack up.
“Certainly one thing about Porsche as well as CORE autosport is that we always find a way to rise to the top, so I am confident we will be contenders all season.
“Sebring puts different demands on the cars to be fast, so it will be interesting to see how they stack up on a more conventional ‘road course’.”