A fuel-mileage run by Colin Braun has delivered CORE autosport its second consecutive Prototype victory in Sunday’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase at Road America.
Braun took the No. 54 Oreca 07 Gibson to a narrow 2.389-second win over the No. 99 JDC-Miller Motorsports Oreca of Stephen Simpson, with both LMP2-spec cars stretching their mileage in a thrilling conclusion to the ninth round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
The former Prototype Challenge champion inherited the lead of the race following fuel-only stops from leaders Jordan Taylor and Jonathan Bomarito on consecutive laps in the closing five minutes.
Nursing the car around on the final lap, Braun saw his ten-plus-second lead over Simpson dwindle, having been passed by a lapped Corvette C7.R, and hunted down by the No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi.V-R of Felipe Nasr.
Braun managed to hold on for the win, although running out of fuel halfway through the cool-down lap.
It marked back-to-back Prototype wins for Braun and team owner/driver Bennett and the third straight overall win for a LMP2-spec car.
Both Braun and Simpson completed the final 56 minutes of the race on a single tank of fuel, with the CORE car starting from the rear of the Prototype field following a decision to start Bronze-rated Bennett.
Nasr and Eric Curran finished third in the No. 31 Action Express Cadillac DPi after leading the majority of the two-hour and 40-minute race.
Having pitted for fuel new rear tires only with 20 minutes to go, Nasr recovered more than 30 seconds in his storming final stint.
Jordan Taylor finished fourth in the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac after also having to make a late splash-and-dash, with the No. 6 Team Penske Acura ARX-05 of Dane Cameron and Juan Pablo Montoya completing the top-five.
The No. 22 Tequila Patron ESM Nissan Onroak DPi of Pipo Derani was sixth after being on the same fuel strategy as Nasr.
It was another unrepresentative result for Mazda Team Joest, which placed 8th and 11th after contending for the win.
Bomarito, in the No. 55 Mazda RT24-P, briefly led until being forced to come in for fuel with four minutes to go.
The pole-sitting No. 85 JDC-Miller Oreca of Robert Alon led the early stages until getting a drive-through penalty for running over pit equipment in the car’s first stop.
Contact with the No. 93 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 of Lawson Aschenbach later sent Alon into the gravel early in the second hour, resulting in a penalty for Aschenbach.
RESULTS: Continental Tire Road Race Showcase