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Continental Tire IMSA Reflections: Colin Braun

This week’s Continental Tire IMSA Reflection: Colin Braun

Photo: Mike Levitt/IMSA

Throughout the year, Continental Tire will focus on celebrating the fans, media, drivers, and teams and their contributions to sports car racing, including a weekly trip down memory lane in Sportscar365’s Continental Tire IMSA Reflections series.

This week’s IMSA Reflection comes from CORE autosport driver Colin Braun, who reflects on setting the all-time speed record on the Daytona International Speedway oval (222.971 miles per hour) back in 2013 in a Michael Shank Racing Daytona Prototype on Continental Tires.

Describe how you felt when you set the all-time speed record at Daytona?

“That record run was really fun. For me, it was a little bit strange because we broke the record on one run and everybody was pumped, and then they said we were going to go again to go even faster!

“I was like no, we did it, that was scary enough, but it was fun to break it by a big chunk in a car that really probably isn’t built for doing what we did.

“Hats off to the Shank guys for all their work, and it was a fun experience for sure.”

How did it feel in the car when you were going that fast?

“It was hard to tell how fast I was going because the gauge on the dash maxed out at 199 mile per hour, so it just said 199 and that’s it.

“I knew I was going fast, but I didn’t know if we were going 200 or 250 miles per hour. I had no judge of speed there. It definitely was really, really fast.

“They put a lot of air pressure in the Continental tires to get less rolling resistance which made it more directional and pretty darty, which was different from what a normal DP car drove like.

“Definitely my NASCAR experience came in a little bit with the speed and being comfortable running up by the wall and doing the different things we were doing. It was fun.

“I thought it would be a simple thing to go out there and knock it out, but it turned out to be a bit harder than I thought it was going to be.”

How was it working with all the different partners like Continental, Ford, and MSR to make that happen?

“It was neat because I had actually driven for Mike [Shank] in the Rolex 24 back when I was doing my NASCAR stuff so I had a little bit of experience with those guys, but not a lot.

“I had been with Ford for awhile and with Continental on and off in different series for awhile as well, so it was neat to see these different people that I knew come together.

“Mike obviously runs a good team and has a confidence-inspiring way about him, so between him and John Maddox on the engine side, we had a great group of people.

“We just had to keep working through the program to try to keep turning the boost up, take downforce off, and go faster and faster.”

What goals remain on your bucket list?

“For me, I’d like to win the Rolex 24 overall, and another big goal for me is to try and win Petit [Le Mans].

“Jon [Bennett] and I had a lot of success in the PC class. We won Daytona, Sebring, nearly every IMSA track that we’ve gone to except, for some reason, Road Atlanta.

“We’ve just had really bad luck. So that’s one for me I’d like to check off the list.”

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