CORE autosport has completed its driver lineup for the 2017 Rolex 24 at Daytona. Patrick Long and Nic Jonsson will join Jon Bennett and Colin Braun in the No. 54 Porsche 911 GT3 R for the team’s first attempt at the 24-hour spectacle in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s GT Daytona category.
Long is no stranger to CORE autosport, having partnered with both Braun and Tom Kimber-Smith in a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR for CORE’s 2013 GT effort in the American Le Mans Series.
Porsche’s only American factory driver brings with him 14 years of Porsche experience, including a victory and three podiums at the Rolex 24.
“I feel we have a special past together and rejoining them for their first race in the GT3R has a special connection to the first time we rolled out as a team in the 911 RSR at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in 2013,” Long said.
“There is some heavy competition in this year’s GTD class, but I have huge respect and confidence in the program Jon Bennett and Morgan Brady have put together and I know there will be no punches pulled leading up to the start of this year’s Rolex 24.”
For all Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup races (Daytona, Sebring, Watkins Glen, Petit Le Mans), Jonsson will serve as CORE’s third driver.
Jonsson has nearly two decades of professional sports car racing under his belt. His resume includes the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, Rolex Sports Car Series, American Le Mans Series and World Endurance Championship.
The Swede has finished on the podium at the 24 Hours of Le Mans three times and earned class victories at Sebring and Petit Le Mans.
“I’m very thankful to both team manager Morgan Brady and Team Owner Jon Bennett for having the faith in me to offer this opportunity,” Jonsson said.
“CORE has shown ever since they came in to IMSA that they are one of the absolute top teams, winning races and championships in the very competitive Prototype Challenge category.
“To join an already very successful organization with one of the most iconic motorsports brands in Porsche and with such strong teammates in Jon, Colin and Pat makes me very excited.”
Long and Jonsson will get their first seat time in the No. 54 Porsche 911 GT3 R at the Roar Before the 24 on Jan. 6-8. It will be the final test before the 2017 race season kicks off in earnest with the Rolex 24 on Jan. 26-29.