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CORE Breaks Through for First Overall Win at CTMP

Colin Braun, Jon Bennett take CORE autosport to overall victory in late-race thriller at CTMP…

Photo: CORE autosport

A starring late-race drive by Colin Braun has delivered CORE autosport its first overall Prototype victory in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition in Sunday’s Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

Braun took the No. 54 Oreca 07 Gibson to a 3.431-second victory over the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R of Jordan Taylor, who led the closing stages of the two-hour and 40-minute race but lost out on a series of late yellows.

The former Prototype Challenge champion got around Taylor for the lead with 12 minutes to go, just seconds prior to the sixth Full Course Caution of the race when Harry Tincknell beached his No. 55 Team Joest Mazda RT24-P in the gravel at Moss Corner.

Braun’s advantage was extended on the final restart with seven minutes to go, showcasing the strength of the LMP2 package, which topped the time charts in every timed session it took part in this weekend.

While having grabbed pole on Saturday, team owner/driver Jon Bennett started from the rear of the 12-car Prototype field after electing to change starting drivers for the second consecutive race.

It marked Braun and Bennett’s maiden overall victory, two years after the duo’s last WeatherTech Championship class win, which came in the PC class, also at CTMP.

Taylor and Renger van der Zande finished second, ahead of the No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi of Felipe Nasr and Eric Curran and the No. 5 Filipe Albuquerque and Christian Fittipaldi-driven entry in fourth.

The No. 7 Team Penske Acura ARX-05 of Ricky Taylor completed the top-five after fading late in the race.

Its sister No. 6 car, which inherited the pole, had its race come undone after a right-rear puncture in the second hour from debris, which led to a stop-and-hold penalty for Dane Cameron due to running the pit lane exit light, after leading early on.

The Acura DPi lost further ground when a wheel came loose after its final scheduled stop and driver change to Juan Pablo Montoya with 25 minutes to go, which required repairs to the left-front.

Oliver Jarvis brought the No. 77 Mazda DPi home in sixth after the No. 55 car was forced to retire following Tincknell’s off-course excursion.

Last weekend’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen-winning No. 99 JDC-Miller Motorsports Oreca, meanwhile, was classified in seventh after not playing a factor in Sunday’s race.

It was another race to forget for Tequila Patron ESM, which retired its lone Nissan Onroak DPi in the opening hour, again with engine failure.

RESULTS: Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

71 Comments

71 Comments

  1. TailsLeMans722

    July 8, 2018 at 4:52 pm

    Wasn’t CORE’s first overall victory at the 2015 Petit Le Mans with the factory Porsche 911 GTLM?

    • Max

      July 8, 2018 at 5:07 pm

      Quite true.

      • TailsLeMans722

        July 8, 2018 at 5:16 pm

        Actually, I just remembered. CORE also won the PC only races at IOWA speedway back in 2014 as well.

        So really, this is only CORE’s fourth or fifth overall win if we include the Porsche GTLM program.

        • John Dagys

          July 8, 2018 at 5:23 pm

          I don’t see how you can count a combined 45-minute PC/IPC race as an “overall” victory. It was not like the PC car had any other cars to beat.

    • John Dagys

      July 8, 2018 at 5:23 pm

      It was a CORE-run car but was under the Porsche North America team name.

  2. Barker

    July 8, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    I could get use to all the daring passes required for these Global Spec P2 wins.

    • daedalus

      July 8, 2018 at 5:18 pm

      agreed, one of the hardest places to pass on the outside at the fastest corner, props to taylor for giving racing room.

    • Andy Flinn

      July 8, 2018 at 11:32 pm

      Barker, so now we’re going to complain about HOW LMP2s are WINNING these races?

      Winning should be hard.

      • Matt

        July 9, 2018 at 9:28 pm

        He’s stating he enjoyed it…

        • Andy Flinn

          July 10, 2018 at 12:54 am

          OK

  3. Monoq

    July 8, 2018 at 5:13 pm

    Was the beached #55 a driving error or got Tincknell pushed/turned into the gravel?

    • It's incompetence

      July 9, 2018 at 9:31 pm

      Driver error. His error was he signed on for another year at Mazda.

  4. Matt

    July 8, 2018 at 5:18 pm

    Wot a race!

  5. Nick1

    July 8, 2018 at 5:29 pm

    Still need separate classes for P2 and DPI? I think not.

    • someone

      July 8, 2018 at 5:57 pm

      So we just leave the P2 cars completely noncompetitive for half a season, then say all is well when they get a handful of tracks that the standard suspension components are comparable to the DPi setup. DPi’s are going to take another massive leap come the off season if they don’t do something about the spending on suspension peaces. We will be right back at square one.

      • Jack

        July 8, 2018 at 6:44 pm

        The biggest problem was the off season development, it was unexpected to have such a major effect at Daytona, serving and Long Beach made sense tho. It’s difficult to bop a suspension advantage but we can now see Imsa is getting close.

      • Alexx

        July 8, 2018 at 7:15 pm

        All the cars have homologated suspension btw. P2’s and Dpi both have homologated shocks as well and in both cases they are open to set them up as desired. You’re ill informed if you think otherwise.

        • Doogle

          July 8, 2018 at 8:13 pm

          Hi Alexx, what do you define as homologated? Do you mean that the DPi’s have the same suspension as thief lmp2 counterparts? I don’t think that is the case. Based off racing outlet I believe there is suspension specific to the DPi.

        • Someone

          July 8, 2018 at 8:37 pm

          Dpi manufactures are allowed to develop the suspension components on their cars. You’re ill informed if you think otherwise.

          • Alexx

            July 8, 2018 at 9:43 pm

            You’re wrong! The DPi is only allowed different manufacturer specific bodywork, electronics and whatever shocks they choose, but they can only have whatever shock they choose to be part of their homologation.The suspension is homologated by the ACO for every chassis manufacture. Fact

          • Someone

            July 9, 2018 at 12:06 pm

            So when exactly did dampeners become not a part of the suspension???…. Oh yeah they are. You seen to have very little understanding about why having massively Superior adjustability in rebound and compression is an issue on bumpy tracks.

  6. Tim

    July 8, 2018 at 6:51 pm

    Another great race. Any WTR complaints afterwards? Cadillac 2nd 3rd 4th

    • Andy Flinn

      July 8, 2018 at 11:25 pm

      Tim, so far this year CORE Autosport has also finished second (Watkins Glen), third (Daytona), and fourth (Sebring) with its Euro-spec Oreca LMP2.

      However, up until today’s win for CORE Autosport, none of that seemed to matter much to the people carping about how supposedly uncompetitive the LMP2s – especially those with Pro-Am lineups – are against the DPis.

  7. ooo

    July 8, 2018 at 6:57 pm

    love seeing the P2s win. i have a feeling this is the last though

  8. Steven

    July 8, 2018 at 7:11 pm

    Cadillac teams cry and complain, then goes 2-3-4. Let me guess, they are gonna continue to complain until they get their half second/lap on the competition again?

    Amazing to see Colin Braun put every DPi factory driver to school today.

    • Andres

      July 8, 2018 at 8:45 pm

      Maybe you do not know SHIT about the existence of BOP, every manufacturer said they are more than 100HP down the P2 spec cars, so maybe thats why they won the last 2 races, dont you think?? maybe if you knew just a little that this is a SPEC car that only can be competitive against a factory developed car if that car is COMPLETELY BOPed out of contention you could post something a little more reasonable instead of posting just stupid stuff

      • Steven

        July 9, 2018 at 5:39 pm

        Yet lap times are faster this year than last year across the board between the DPi and LMP2? Amazing ain’t it?

    • Alexx

      July 8, 2018 at 9:53 pm

      The Cadillacs finished 2,3,4 because of other teams fk ups. Watch the race. Colin was able to drive right by every DPi on the straightaway like they were tied to a stump. That’s what a 75+hp advantage will do. And this nonsense of folks thinking DPis are allowed to change suspension is beyond me as it simply isn’t true. The suspensions on ALL cars is homologated by their chassis manufacture.

    • Andy Flinn

      July 8, 2018 at 11:48 pm

      First, Steven complains that LMP2s – especially the ones like CORE Autosport with Pro-Am lineups – can’t compete with DPis. Then he ignores CORE Autosports’ second (Watkins Glen), third (Daytona), and fourth (Sebring) place finishes so far this year in IMSA. Finally, Steven gloats after Colin Braun demonstrates to critics that a Pro-Am Euro-spec LMP2 can, in fact, compete with DPis and their all-Pro drivers for wins in IMSA.

      Now I can say I’ve heard it all, Steven.

      • Steven

        July 9, 2018 at 5:59 am

        Like you are one to talk? You literally complain about LMP2 because the WEC doesn’t force teams to use a different car.

        Daytona and Sebring were position by attrition by finishes. But you always ramble about the same thing and don’t understand that LMP2 is not the top LMP class. It’s a cost capped class to keep costs down, but since IMSA has them combined with an open budget class and insists they remain equal, there has to be some give.

        I’ve been saying let the DPi’s have more speed but give the LMP2’s their actual tires. A LMP2 with Dunlops would have been another 1.5 seconds faster.

        • Ray William Johnson

          July 9, 2018 at 9:23 am

          Yeah, this Andy dude seems to also repeat or misinterpret what others say all the time.

          • Andy Flinn

            July 9, 2018 at 11:01 am

            Ray, this is not a private account.

            People can see what you write down here and make comments.

        • Andy Flinn

          July 9, 2018 at 10:54 am

          Steven, CORE finished on the LEAD LAP in third and fourth at BOTH Daytona and Sebring.

          How is that “position by attririon”?

          Do you just make this stuff up?

          I didn’t say anything about the WEC forcing LMP2 teams to use other cars. I pointed out the Oreca dominates WEC LMP2, unlike IMSA and ELMS, for which you apparently have no response, which is understandable.

          Mr. Church and Mr. Stallings have already indicated that the LMP2s already have plenty of speed on the Conti tires. That’s not a problem.

          • Ray William Johnson

            July 9, 2018 at 3:41 pm

            I’m aware that this is a public site, but if you can dish be prepared to take.

          • Steven

            July 9, 2018 at 5:03 pm

            6 of the DPi’s failed to finish the Rolex 24, and they all were much faster than Core. Acura also had first race teething problems and finished 15 laps down. Core had a clean race while others struggled and got a podium. All the DPi’s were faster than the LMP2’s at Daytona. So, Core got a podium because of “position by attrition.”

            At Sebring. 6 Dpi’s all had problems which resulted in them being 10+ laps behind the winner. Again, all 6 of those cars were much faster than Core and the rest of the LMP2’s. Core got a 4th place finish because they ran a clean race and got there by “position by attrition.”

            LMP2’s were a full second/lap slower at Sebring and .5 seconds/lap slower at Daytona.

            So no, I did not make that stuff up. You can go on IMSA’s site and read all the results there.

          • Steven

            July 9, 2018 at 5:11 pm

            Don’t forget that Core had both Loic Duval and Romain Dumas also who are absolutely no slouches and even they could never come close to the lap times of DPi’s in those two races so the disparity was relevant at Daytona and Sebring.

            In response to the Oreca dominating WEC and not IMSA and ELMS. Pretty sure Oreca just won back-to-back races in IMSA and the Acura is a Oreca LMP2 with a boomerang on the front, which won at Mid-Ohio and has been the best DPi vehicle since Long Beach.

            In ELMS, Oreca teams finished 1-7 in the first race and 1-6 in the second race. So it seems Oreca has the best car of the three manufacturers in LMP2.

    • Jake

      July 9, 2018 at 2:03 am

      You are clueless. So its whining from anyone else, but when the DPi cars are down 4-6mph on top speed and bop’d down to mid pack pace, then its an “ass whooping” by the P2 teams? Get the hell out of here if you really believe that.

      • Steven

        July 9, 2018 at 5:52 am

        So it was ok when the DP/DPi’s held a .5 second/lap advantage at every racetrack?

        What you all don’t understand is that the LMP2 can’t be touched or altered. Since DPi can upgrade their cars every year, something has to be balanced then if IMSA wants to keep a single prototype category.

        These were the first 2 tracks on IMSA’s schedule that actually equalized the field.

        • Andy Flinn

          July 9, 2018 at 11:14 am

          What you don’t understand, Steven, is that most of the IMSA LMP2s have Pro-Am driver lineups that compete against the DPi all-Pro lineups.

          Although, again, Colin Braun proved what one Pro driver can do – even with an Am co-driver.

          Just imagine how competitive all the IMSA LMP2s would be against the DPis if they, too, had not one but TWO Pros to “school” (your word) the DPi drivers.

          Unlike WEC LMP2, there is no IMSA requirement that the LMP2 teams use Am drivers.

  9. David Chaste

    July 8, 2018 at 7:37 pm

    So what if the cadillacs complain. They have the best car. Better suspension, better aero, better electronics, top drivers. Not to mention everybody else is here because of the money GM has invested into Grand Am and now Weathertech. They have the least horsepower. The cadillacs might have less horsepower than the gtlm cars.

    I might be biased but some of it very true.

    Give the Cadillacs 650 horsepower like the P2 cars and see what happens.

    • Steven

      July 8, 2018 at 7:53 pm

      LMP2 is not the top class in the prototype category. Its a cost-capped class for privateer entrants. Blame IMSA for combining the classes from the get go and saying the BoP will keep the two classes together.

      the DPi’s were cut of horsepower because of they constant improvements of the internal areas of the car that LMP2 is not allowed to change. So you have a cost-capped class vs. an open budget one.

      Also, its the the France family that invested into Grand-AM. They basically subsidized the series and teams because of the money made from Nascar.

      • David Chaste

        July 8, 2018 at 9:41 pm

        From a manufacturer stand point GM has invested the most ever since pontiac days. Then the 5 corvette dPi’s (becore gainsco totalled theirs). And now GM has 6 cars in the series. They also advertise plenty especially at the races imsa has with indycar. So the hosting cities do not have to pay as much to host the races.

      • Andy Flinn

        July 10, 2018 at 1:50 am

        Steven, do you understand at all that Daytona and Sebring are ENDURANCE races?

        To finish first, first you must finish?

        When a team and a car completes every single lap at Daytona (808) and Sebring (344), it cannot be explained simply through “position by attrition.”

        Also, it’s amusing how you respond with Oreca victories in IMSA when I point out the continued Oreca domination of WEC LMP2.

        First, the IMSA Acura/Oreca DPi is not the same car as a Euro-spec Oreca/spec Gibson.

        Second, the guy who tells us the Oreca and other Euro-spec LMP2s can’t compete with DPis in IMSA is now bragging about these same Orecas winning the last two IMSA races and “schooling” DPi Pro drivers.

        Finally, unlike in WEC LMP2, where the Orecas dominate by winning ALL of the races, Oreca does not dominate IMSA because even if you count the Acura DPi (which is still a different car), Oreca still has not won even a majority of IMSA races (Daytona, Sebring, Long Beach, and Detroit).

  10. Dave

    July 8, 2018 at 7:44 pm

    I wish IMSA would allow you to purchase the race on-line. The Fox coverage sucks. I have to listen to human interest faeturettes WHILE the race is going on. No to mention the commercial breaks are scheduled and occur without regard for the action in the race at the time. This would all be fine during Daytona, but not a 2:40 race. At least I’ll get the real replay Wednesday or Thursday.

    • Andy Flinn

      July 8, 2018 at 11:53 pm

      Hang on Dave.

      IMSA is ditching FOX at the end if the season.

    • N8

      July 9, 2018 at 9:57 am

      My VPN was like $30 for the entire year. Get on that and say goodbye to network broadcasts forever.

    • Matt

      July 9, 2018 at 9:34 pm

      The Fox coverage was not bad at all. You guys literally whine about everything. Listening to Tommy Kendall, Calvin Fish, Justin Bell’s banter is 1000x better than the annoying yelling into the mic that Hindaugh does nowadays.

      • Andy Flinn

        July 10, 2018 at 2:04 am

        Matt, I love the FOX crew and have enjoyed there coverage since the days of Grand-Am, SPEED, and Speedvision.

        Rupert tried to cram too much on his sports network, and the coverage suffered.

        IMSA made the right decision for 2019.

        The change is needed.

        • Matt

          July 11, 2018 at 2:04 am

          I’m fine with them ditching Fox as the broadcaster as long as they retain the guys commentating in the booth.

  11. jeff

    July 8, 2018 at 8:02 pm

    Guess WTR will pull out and run over to PWC to run a Caddy there, oh wait NO Caddies in PWC.

    • Max

      July 8, 2018 at 8:21 pm

      Or run a Lamborghini GT3 like they hoped to do in IMSA. I don’t think they want to pull out, but if it came to it they have plenty of options. They’d honestly do well in the WEC or ELMS as well.

    • Andy Flinn

      July 8, 2018 at 11:57 pm

      Jeff, the PWC doesn’t have Euro-spec LMPs with spec engines, either.

  12. speedy

    July 8, 2018 at 8:30 pm

    Imsa needs too do what PWC has done. And these people who think Cadillac is complaining, love LMP2’s so much can have it.

    • PWC is terrible

      July 8, 2018 at 8:37 pm

      What’s that, get themselves removed from live TV coverage, lose teams or add 74 categories so everyone gets a trophy? Sorry but PWC had nothing on IMSA and almost zero coverage, pretty much equal to the quality of the driving standards there as well.

    • Matt

      July 9, 2018 at 9:42 pm

      Do what PWC has done?? Lol yeah, bring in Greg Gill to destroy the series, have the most inconsistent officiating on earth, penalize teams and drivers over idiotic new rules that the series creates at each round, and take the series out of the eyes of the public by dropping its Indycar support weekends while maintaining no live TV coverage?

  13. Overtake24

    July 8, 2018 at 9:46 pm

    How did the Turner BMW spin out earlier in the race? I have a feeling it was the 911 Porsche that collected it on the last turn. It would’ve been nice to see how the Mazda spun out in the gravel trap too. That’s the problem with the TV coverage sometimes. Sometimes when big things happen we miss it live. Then theirs a 50/50 chance we see it from a replay. I was surprised FS had footage of Castroneves crashing during practice( no footage of 38 crashing though). When it comes to replays though FS is better then IMSAtv at least. You miss out of a lot when watching IMSAtv.

    • Overtake24

      July 8, 2018 at 10:11 pm

      Ok the Turner BMW was hit and suffered suspension damage by the 58 Porsche. The 58 car received a penalty for this. But again would’ve liked to see a replay to know how bad the contact was. Because the 911 hit the 24 car in the same area. The 24 cars race was over from the contact and the 911 didn’t get a penalty. Not that it necessary deserved one though.

  14. David Chaste

    July 8, 2018 at 9:50 pm

    I wonder if Penske was knocking for Pipo last year and he turned them down. He might be rethinking his decision if that really happened. Pipo would be dynamite in one of the Acuras.

    The constant failures despite engine changes means the Nissans probably got engine updates and it’s not turning out reliably as hoped.

  15. Pay Driver

    July 8, 2018 at 10:35 pm

    Concerned about the future of the Nissan program. I believe that was originally only a two-year contract, and the reliability has somehow gotten worse.

    • David Chaste

      July 8, 2018 at 11:10 pm

      2 year exclusive deal with ESM. Maybe Nissan is shifting resources to a different team, or a works team….or pulling the plug.

      Or esm isnt paying their bills.

    • Steven

      July 9, 2018 at 5:27 pm

      I don’t believe Nissan actually puts much into the program. It’s pretty much Ed Brown’s baby. Don’t be too surprised if the Nissan DPi and even the Mazda DPi programs come to an end within 1-2 years.

      • Andy Flinn

        July 10, 2018 at 9:28 am

        Steven, critics have been saying that about Mazda for at least a dozen years.

        One of the reasons Joest partnered with Mazda is because a Joest Racing LMP1 was simply not feasible.

        Did you read the recent story where Bob Stallings, Gainsco, JDC Miller are in early talks to develop an Oreca-based Hyundai?

  16. DanO

    July 9, 2018 at 3:21 am

    All that money DPi teams have spunked on LMP2 marketing exercise, just to be beaten by Pro-am teams in a cost-capped cars. Brilliant.

    • Matt

      July 9, 2018 at 9:48 pm

      Out of Penske and GM, they don’t really spend that much.

  17. Toni

    July 9, 2018 at 6:18 am

    Any clue why they let Colin Braun do the qualifications anyway? I think they basically always let Jon Bennet do the start such that he serves his driving time duty and that the other guy(s) take it from there?

    • Tom

      July 9, 2018 at 8:55 am

      Because they follow the ruleset. Change of driver from qualifying to race start = moved to the rear of the prototype field as a penalty. They accept the penalty if they choose to make the switch.

      • Jake

        July 9, 2018 at 12:50 pm

        His point is essentially why even have Collin qualify the car everytime and take the forced start at the back for changing drivers. Why not let Bennett qualify and actually gain some more experience with the car. He only gets 30-45 min of seat time per race as it is.

        • Dave

          July 9, 2018 at 9:57 pm

          I heard Colin explain that they do it as a reward for the crew who gets t.he car set up. That the pole is a validation of their hatd work. I can appreciate that, but then when you know you will end up at the back of the pack it’s a bit of a hollow victory. You would have to say that at least at CTMP it worked for them.

  18. N8

    July 9, 2018 at 9:59 am

    How did Nissan become this year’s Mazda? There’s nothing new or exotic about that VR engine and I don’t ever recall reliability issues with it during the entire GT-R GT3 program.

  19. CarbonRocks

    July 9, 2018 at 12:12 pm

    Reading these comments, I wonder why many of you still bother to watch the races. Much to complain about.

    Everyone seems to know what the class is and should be doing different, or how every team (depending on bias) is taking advantage of loopholes, outside of the intentions of the rules/class, or undeserving.

    IMHO, the class is a marketing platform where super cool 4 wheel billboards race around a closed course for 2 and a half hours. IMSA changes the rules on a regular basis to leverage the results such that teams, sponsors, and fans maintain interest. Accept it or look elsewhere for your entertainment.

    • Avery

      July 9, 2018 at 3:45 pm

      Take your own advice.

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