CORE autosport has confirmed that it will continue to run LMP2 machinery in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship next year.
The team that finished second in this year’s Prototype standings will stick with its No. 54 Oreca 07 Gibson in which Colin Braun and Jon Bennett took two victories and five podiums.
Sportscar365 understands that the team inquired about the eligibility of running a Nissan DPi, the only presently available DPi car, in recent weeks, before deciding to continue with its existing program.
The 2019 season will mark the first year of IMSA’s DPi and LMP2 cars competing in separate categories.
“After achieving overall wins this season we looked at every opportunity to stay in IMSA’s top class,” said team COO Morgan Brady.
“We were unable to find a path to a DPi program that would operate at the level we wanted. We will continue to look at options for a future DPi program, but we look forward to the strong competition in the new LMP2 class.”
CORE has yet to announce its driver lineup for 2019.
This season, Bennett and Braun fell three points short of winning the Prototype title despite running with a Pro-Am crew.
Their championship bid took off with wins at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and Road America, sandwiched between second-place finishes at Watkins Glen and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
“We were cautiously optimistic [in 2018] recalling our successful history with the ORECA FLM09 in Prototype Challenge, but we started our season with an empty engineering notebook and some stout factory-supported DPi competition,” said Bennett.
“By mid-season, CORE autosport was competing toe-to-toe with our quickest competitors. After the midpoint of the season, podiums were common and we began winning as a team.
“Turning the page to 2019, the CORE autosport squad will fixate our efforts on winning the new LMP2 Championship and scrap with some familiar rivals. It will be excellent racing.”