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May 07, 2013 - 06:23 PM
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CORE Autosport Kicks Off Two-Class Attack In Monterey
Posted by: newsla on May 07, 2013 - 06:19 PM
American Le Mans Series News
CORE Autosport Kicks Off Two-Class Attack In Monterey

CORE Porsche debut for Monterey
Patrick Long • Tom Kimber-Smith • Porsche 911 RSR

CORE autosport makes its GT debut with the No. 06 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR this weekend.

The team announced the expansion in January and has undertaken a careful testing program since taking delivery of the car shortly before Sebring.


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CORE autosport plans to enter the No. 06 in the remaining 2013 ALMS rounds.

• Patrick Long has been a Porsche Factory Driver since 2004 and is currently the only American on the roster.
• Long and Tom Kimber-Smith have a combined five 24 Hours of Le Mans victories between them. Long won the GT class in 2004 and 2007; Kimber-Smith won the GT class in 2006 and the LMP2 class in 2011 and 2012.
• Long has won four times in eight starts at Laguna Seca (2005, 2009 - 2011).
• Kimber-Smith finished third in CORE's No. 06 ORECA FLM09 last year at Laguna Seca.
• GT Qualifying Lap Record:1:22.060
• GT Race Lap Record: 1:22.698

Patrick Long
Driver: Porsche No.06
"The way GT has gone, you can hit all your marks during a race and still finish seventh, so it’s too early to try and predict where we’re going to be. It seems like the Porsches have been running pretty well, pace wise, and Laguna has been good to us the past couple of years.

"The goal is to operate as a team and hit all our marks. I think the finishing result is secondary. We'll judge our performance based on what we all know we’re capable of. If we all hit our marks and have a mistake free day, that’s what’s going to determine our success.

“Certainly, coming in with a known quantity like Michelin is a huge help. It means we have no concerns on the tire side. We know we have the speed and reliability that the front-runners have. People underestimate how important those four contact patches are. You could have a perfect car, but if the tires aren’t working, it’s all for nothing."

Tom Kimber-Smith
Driver: Porsche No.06
"My first taste of Laguna was last year with CORE and we dominated the weekend, but only managed to finish third in the race. So it was disappointing, but the track was fantastic. It’s going to be slightly different in the GT car. I think it’s going to be more challenging, definitely with the heat in the car, for example, is something I’ll need to get used to, but I’m definitely looking forward to going back.

“CORE is a very young team and in their short time in motorsport, they’ve been very dominant. For me, they don’t need to prove themselves by moving up to GT. This year they’re running a dual program with a car still in the PC class and at the last race at Long Beach, they ran very well with Colin and Jon. The work ethic has been transferred to the GT car, so there’s no better team at the moment to take this project on."

Defending champions return
Jon Bennett • Colin Braun • Oreca FLM09
The No. 05 is fresh off a victory at the Grand Prix of Long Beach where Colin Braun and Jon Bennett ran a nail-biting fuel conservation race to the finish.

The two-time defending ALMS PC Champions are currently second in the team standings and are on a mission to defend their 2012 Laguna Seca win.

They arrive in Monterey, Calif., 12 months after team owner Jon Bennett stood on the top step of the podium for the first time

Last year’s win at Laguna Seca was the first for the Bennett and Braun pairing and the first ALMS race win for each.
Braun sealed the deal on his and Bennett’s first ALMS win last year with a pass for the lead on Bruno Junquiera with two laps remaining.
The No. 05 crew welcomes a new engineer, Travis Low, as Gary Davies moves to the No. 06 car.

Bennett finished fourth at Laguna Seca in 2011 driving with Frankie Montecalvo and Andy Wallace, two spots behind CORE's No. 06 PC car.
Bennett is also entered in the Porsche IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama in the No. 54 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
PC Qualifying Record: 1:17.800
PC Race Lap Record: 1:19.298

Jon Bennett
Driver: Oreca PC No.05
"Laguna is always a great race—it’s a beautiful venue and a beautiful part of our country. It’s one of the marquee tracks in the world. It’s going to be fun to go back and defend our win there.

"One of the things that comes into play as the races get longer is the more opportunity for unexpected things to happen. I think that plays to our team’s strength in preparation and adaptability, because there’s a lot more that could happen in a four-hour race than a two hour race. I think the team plays a bigger role in the longer races because of the need to deal with unexpected events, whether that be replacing a nose or a flat tire.

"I have a little bit of impatience with the GT3 Cup car. It’s something new and different for me compared to the PC car and I desperately want to be up front and competitive, but at the same time, I’m on a bit of a learning curve and racing against guys that are very, very familiar with the car. Overall, it improves me as a driver, because the goal is to do something different to keep me sharp."

Colin Braun
Driver: Oreca PC No.05
"I’m definitely excited for Laguna. That was a good place for us last year, obviously, we won the race. I’m excited because Jon did a heck of a job at Long Beach and our car has been really fast. We’ve had a good race pace and good qualifying speed. I think figuring out the tires is still going to be a big part of it.

"We’ve got a new engineer to work with. Gary Davies is on the RSR program now, so we’ve got Travis Low coming on board to be our engineer. We’re going to have to learn each other quickly, but I’m sure he’ll fit right in.

"It’s still a sprint for us. Last year it was a six-hour race, but this year it’s a four-hour race, which will be a little bit different. It’s still about being fast, having a good pace and driving smart and all the things we always talk about that play into being successful in these races. It’s such a tough, competitive class, you have to always be pushing and fast."

PaddockTalk Perspective

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