Five-time Prototype Challenge class champions CORE autosport will move to the Prototype Class in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship next year with an Oreca 07 Gibson and drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun.
The team makes the switch to the top class after six seasons in the PC category and the current season in the GT Daytona class.
“Our start at CORE was with prototypes in 2010,” driver and team owner Bennett said. “It feels good to get back to our roots and progressing as a team.
“We’ve spent the past season watching with interest how the competition and budgets would shake out in the re-vamped Prototype category. We are encouraged to see the growth and competitiveness in this premier class and look forward to our debut at the 2018 Rolex 24 at Daytona.”
CORE already has a successful history with ORECA, running the Oreca FLM09 chassis in all six years of its PC program, and also providing shop space for the French constructor’s North American operations.
“We are of course really happy to have CORE autosport joining the ORECA family in LMP2,” OREA Group President Hugues de Chaunac said.
“Actually, it feels like the team is coming back home because of the long-term relationship we have since the involvement in Prototype Challenge.
“Jon Bennett, Morgan Brady and the whole CORE autosport team have done such a great job in IMSA that we are looking forward to working together with the Oreca 07.”
Both Pro-Pro and Pro-Am driver lineups are allowed in the Prototype class, which races at all the 2018 IMSA venues except for the GT-only events at Lime Rock Park and VIRginia International Raceway.
CORE will finish the 2017 season in GTD with the No. 54 Porsche 911 GT3 R, including this weekend’s Monterey Grand Prix and the Petit Le Mans season finale in October.
The team expects to take delivery of its Oreca by the end of the year.
“We’ve enjoyed our experience in GTD with Porsche and expect the Prototype class to be no less competitive,” CORE COO Morgan Brady said.
“The potential to win races like Daytona and Sebring, overall, is something we’re all looking forward to. No doubt this transition will be a lot of work, but everyone at CORE has proven time and again that they are up to the challenge.”