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Apr 16, 2013 - 04:41 PM
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CORE Autosport Aims To Keep Long Beach Win Streak Alive
Posted by: newsla on Apr 16, 2013 - 04:38 PM
American Le Mans Series News
CORE Autosport Aims To Keep Long Beach Win Streak Alive


Two-time American Le Mans Series PC Champions CORE autosport are two for two at the Grand Prix of Long Beach and are aiming for a three-peat this weekend.

 

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In its two seasons of ALMS PC competition, CORE autosport has gone undefeated at the unforgiving 11-turn, 1.968-mile temporary street circuit located on the Southern California coastline. In last year’s race, the team put two cars on the podium, as drivers Ryan Dalziel and Alex Popow claimed victory, while Colin Braun and Jon Bennett finished third.

This year, the pressure to keep the Long Beach winning streak alive falls squarely on the shoulders of the team’s sole PC entry: the No. 05 ORECA FLM09 driven by Bennett and Braun. The duo has a strong record on street circuits; in addition to their third-place finish at Long Beach last year, they finished third on the streets of Baltimore in 2012 as well.

Bennett and Braun are one month removed from a fifth-place finish at the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón season opener, the 12 Hours of Sebring. The team has been hard at work to ensure a return to the podium for the No. 05.

Round Two at Long Beach begins with an early morning practice session on Friday, April 19, before qualifying at 8 p.m. ET, which will be streamed live on ESPN3 and Xbox LIVE. The Tequila Patrón American Le Mans Series at Long Beach goes green at 7:30 p.m. ET, on Saturday, April 20, with live streaming again available on ESPN3 and Xbox LIVE. The race will air on ABC, Sunday, April 21, at 1 p.m. ET.

Jon Bennett

“I love being in Long Beach. It’s a great event—the fans are fantastic and there’s a lot of buzz in the air. Colin and I are looking forward to going back and continuing the CORE tradition of winning the race.

“It’s a quick event. There’s not a lot of track time. The track is very challenging, obviously, with concrete on either side of you. You’re not on a permanent race circuit; you’re racing on streets, so there’s a lot of varying slopes, cambers and joints. At the end of the day, it’s an interesting challenge.

“I started racing around pylons in parking lots in an autocross car where it really pays to be precise. It’s not that different when it comes to racing on a street circuit. I think Colin and I share some similar skills in that area. You have to behave yourself, be clean and don’t look at the walls.”

Colin Braun

“I love street courses. I think they’re a lot of fun. They’re a different animal; you have to be aggressive, but smart. Long Beach is fun because it has some fast corners, but also some tight, technical corners. It’s one of my favorite places to race and I’m really looking forward to it.

“Last year, we really didn’t get any dry weather running before the race. Hopefully, this year, everyone will have more time to run and get their race cars dialed in for the race. Last year was more like throwing darts, so I think if we have more dry track time than last year, that will make for a really good race.

“It’ll be interesting for us running the Continental tires. I think they’ll bring a different tire than what we ran on at Sebring. So we’ll need to figure out what the tire wants and what the race track wants. The opportunity to setup your car right really wasn’t there last year and now this year we have a new tire, so there’ll be a lot of new things to figure out; that will be especially tough at Long Beach, since we don’t get much track time anyway. It’ll make the good teams like CORE shine. Since we have very little track time, it forces everyone on the team to fire on all cylinders the whole weekend and do their part. Everyone has to make smart changes to maximize the track time that we have.”

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