CORE autosport will return to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship next year with team owner Jon Bennett coming out of retirement to pair up with longtime co-driver Colin Braun in the new-for-2021 LMP3 class.
The duo will share the wheel of a Ligier JS P320 Nissan in the series, which kicks off with January’s Rolex 24 at Daytona.
The news comes amid the final four races of the CORE-run factory Porsche GT Le Mans program, which comes to an end in next month’s season-ending Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
“I am thrilled,” Bennett said. “Thrilled for the dedicated members CORE autosport who can now plan for an exciting 2021 season. Thrilled to rejoin the amazing Colin Braun at the controls of an IMSA LMP3 prototype. Thrilled to rejoin the IMSA racing family — as a driver.
“As Steve McQueen said, ‘Racing is life. Anything before or after is just waiting.’ The wait is over.”
Having raced together since 2012, Braun and Bennett have accumulated five team championships and three driver championships in the Prototype Challenge category, along with finishing runner-up in the Prototype championship in 2018 with two overall wins.
“I am so excited to be back with CORE and Jon,” Braun said. “CORE has been a family for me and I cannot wait to get back to work with this group.
“Personally, for Jon I am really excited for him to get back behind the wheel and enjoy the excitement and thrill of driving a fast prototype car on the limit in these races, there is nothing like it.
“I know he will be grinning ear to ear. I think LMP3 is shaping up to be very competitive and both Jon and I are ready to get going soon.”
CORE’s Chief Operating Officer Morgan Brady added: “I think we all knew that Jon wouldn’t stay out of a race car for long.
“IMSA adding LMP3 to the WeatherTech series presented the perfect opportunity.
“The category gives us a place to do what we’ve proven to be successful at; Jon and Colin sharing a high-downforce prototype in a in a pro-am category, at the highest professional level. I can’t wait to see CORE back on the IMSA grid in January.”
CORE is the third team to officially commit to the category next year, alongside Riley Motorsports and United Autosports, which has so far confirmed a two-car Rolex 24 at Daytona entry.
Additional teams, including Performance Tech Motorsports and Muehlner Motorsports, have also signaled plans to compete in the class.