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Bennett (CORE): “We Have a Sharp Focus on What’s Coming for 2017”

CORE evaluating manufacturing, race options in new-for-2017 P class…

Photo: IMSA

Photo: IMSA

While fresh off claiming its fourth consecutive Prototype Challenge championship, and set for a drive for five in 2015, CORE autosport is already looking towards the future, which could include a presence, on multiple fronts, in the Prototype class.

“We have a sharp focus on what’s coming for 2017,” team owner Jon Bennett told Sportscar365. “We’re watching the rules come together and are trying to grab rumors as they come out and smash them together until they’re facts.

“We’re looking forward to a prototype that has international compatibility. I think we’d jump at that.”

Bennett’s Rock Hill, S.C.-based organization enjoyed a banner 2014 season, not only in PC, but also in the first year of operating Porsche North America’s factory GTLM program.

The CORE-run Porsche squad earned wins at Daytona and Sebring, while taking the German automaker to the manufacturers’ championship and also the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup.

With a healthy and successful GT operation, the next area of growth within the team and Bennett’s company, Composite Resources, could be in the top Prototype class, particularly with new P2-style regulations set to arrive in 2017.

“We do own a carbon fiber component manufacturing company,” Bennett said. “We are capable of producing anything from a splitter to a tub at Composite Resources.

“If there was a foreign manufacturer that wanted domestic manufacturing or spare part manufacturing, I think there’s an opportunity for us to help with that.”

Having formed the company in 1992, it has grown into a leading full-service engineering and manufacturing company, with projects in many industries, including the motorsports world.

Composite Resources is the exclusive provider of spoilers and decklids for all cars in NASCAR, which was also entirely designed and manufactured by the company, located adjacent to CORE’s 30,000 sq. ft. race shop.

While Bennett has ruled out designing a prototype in-house, he said they have the capability and resources to build a complete car from the ground-up.

“We’re a little bit more of a known quantity today than we were five years ago in this paddock,” he said. “At this point, people know who we are and most people know what our capabilities are. We’re certainly open for business.”

Such a possible project could go hand-in-hand with the team’s ambitions of stepping up to the Prototype class in 2017, and also competing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

“It’s a very, very important race,” Bennett said of Le Mans. “I think my biggest target is having a healthy CORE autosport and to continue making smart decisions in this business. If Le Mans looks like one of those smart decisions, we’ll do it.”

For now, the team’s prototype focus remains on PC, which is locked in for the next two years, before Bennett and the Morgan Brady-led organization take the next step forward.

“We’re certainly happy to hear from the series that our class has enough life to get us to that important 2017 juncture,” Bennett said.

“We unified with GRAND-AM in 2014 and we’ll hopefully re-unify with the rest of the world in 2017. I think that’s something to look forward to.

“I’m confident that’s the direction the series is going and I think it will be a new, strong ballgame when that happens.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John


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