CORE autosport will head into next weekend’s American Le Mans Series race at the Circuit of The Americas with a revised driver lineup, as Colin Braun and Tom Kimber-Smith have swapped rides.
Confirmation of the switch came Friday, with Braun now teaming with Patrick Long in the freshly rebuilt No. 06 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, and team principal Jon Bennet being joined by Kimber-Smith in the No. 05 Oreca FLM09 Prototype Challenge entry.
The change has significant championship implications, as Braun currently leads the PC title race, eight points ahead of PR1/Mathiasen’s Mike Guasch. CORE’s Bennett, meanwhile, is 12 points out of the lead after scoring zero points at Sebring because of not meeting the minimum drive time requirements.
“This is an excellent opportunity for me,” Braun said in a statement. “I’m really proud of what I’ve accomplished in PC, but racing in an all-pro GT category that has a reputation for being so competitive will certainly help show what I’m capable of as a driver.
“It’s been awesome to see CORE performing so well in its first GT season and I’m looking forward to being a part of it. This is really the toughest form of GT racing in the world and I am ready for the challenge.”
While it will mark Braun’s first start in Porsche machinery, Kimber-Smith is no stranger to CORE’s PC program, having driven for the team in four ALMS races last year, which included a victory at Road America.
“All of my experiences driving a CORE autosport PC car involve standing on the podium, so I’m happy to get behind the wheel again,” Kimber-Smith said. “My goal now is to make sure CORE autosport wins its third-straight PC team championship. The competition in the PC class is certainly intense at the moment and I am really looking forward to doing battle in Austin.”
After nearly 500 man hours, CORE’s newly re-tubbed Porsche 911 GT3 RSR left its Rock Hill, S.C. headquarters today en route to COTA for next weekend’s ALMS race. Testing begins on Tuesday.
The new driver pairings will also be used for next month’s round at VIR, with the lineup for the ALMS-ending Petit Le Mans to be confirmed at a later date.