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BRAUN: COTA Debrief

Colin Braun files a Sportscar365 column after his CORE Porsche debut…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

By now you probably all saw that we made pretty big change at CORE that puts me behind the wheel of the No. 06 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR instead of the Prototype Challenge car I’ve been wheeling since 2012.

Honestly, I was pretty excited when they first started talking about me driving the Porsche. It was bittersweet as the leader of the PC points championship, but I’m happy to get a chance to show what I can do in the GT cars.

I’ve been prototype racing for the last couple of years and this is a good opportunity to show people my versatility.

I knew I was stepping into a great program with potential to win. The CORE autosport guys have been working really hard on the new Porsche program and showing they have the pace to beat teams that have been GT racing a lot longer.

It was a proud moment for everyone on the team to hear that Porsche chose CORE to run the factory GT program in North America next year. That’s a huge accomplishment for a young team, but well deserved.

I have some GT racing in my past. People forget that my first sports car race was in a Porsche for Team Sixteen at the 24 Hours of Daytona in 2005 and that that I finished on the GT2 podium at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2007 driving a Ferrari. Those experiences really opened the door to my career in sports cars.

At this point, I think I’ve shown the performance of the team and myself in the PC class. We’ve been very dominant in qualifying and in race pace with our race results.

Going to GT is a good opportunity to make the switch and experience something new and grow as a driver. I’m in a pro-pro class now and everyone knows that the ALMS GT class is one of the most competitive fields in the world. I’m honored to be a part of it.

I really enjoyed racing at COTA last weekend. I’ll admit after the GRAND-AM weekend when Jon Bennett and I drove a DP car there, I wasn’t over excited about coming back, but after driving the Porsche there I really enjoyed it.

Austin is four hours away from where I grew up in Texas. I had been to Austin as a little kid racing quarter midgets growing up. I never went to Austin to hang out though because I moved away from Texas when I was 18 to do the NASCAR stuff in Charlotte.

COTA is a unique racetrack. There are so many different parts to it. There’s a couple fast corners, but then you have a lot of slow technical sections that remind me of a street course. There’s three second gear hairpins and three or four other first- and second-gear corners. A lot of it reminds me of a street course. There are a couple high-speed corners, but it’s mostly a pretty slow race track for us. It’s a unique mix of a street course and maybe a Mosport with some of the quick corners.

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Colin Braun (@colinbraun) is a sports car racing standout and former NASCAR Nationwide and Truck Series driver, currently racing with CORE autosport in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship

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