CORE autosport’s bid for a third consecutive Prototype Challenge championship took a massive blow Saturday evening when its third-place finishing entry Jon Bennett and Tom Kimber-Smith flunked post-race tech.
The No. 05 Oreca FLM09 was deemed to have had an illegal engine component, resulting in a loss of third place points and prize money for the team and its drivers.
According to team manager Morgan Brady, the component had passed tech successfully for the previous two ALMS seasons. When asked if the team will appeal IMSA’s decision, Brady told Sportscar365 they are evaluating options.
While CORE retains a third place finish in class, the loss of points has given PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports’ Mike Guasch an eight-point lead over CORE’s Colin Braun, who drove in the team’s GT-class Porsche at COTA. Braun is scheduled to again miss the next PC race.
Bennett, meanwhile, is 20 points behind Guash in the title race, tied with Performance Tech’s Tristan Nunez for third.
The Bobby Oergel-led PR1/Mathiasen squad provisionally holds an eight-point lead over CORE in the teams’ championship heading into the penultimate round at VIR next month.