CORE autosport Heads To Baltimore For New Track Experience, To Defend Points Lead
ROCK HILL, SC, Monday, August 29, 2011: American Le Mans Series LMPC class championship leaders CORE autosport head into new territory as the series visits the streets of Baltimore for the first time this week.
The temporary 12-turn two-mile street circuit winding its way around scenic Baltimore Harbor will play to the team’s strengths. CORE autosport took victory at the ALMS race earlier this year in Long Beach with drivers Ricardo Gonzalez and Gunnar Jeannette in the #06 Excel Consultants / Composite Resources ORECA FLM09. Like Long Beach, Baltimore will run on a similar-length street circuit for the same time – two hours.
The CORE autosport team met with mixed results at Road America less than two weeks ago and the team is determined to extend its lead in the 2011 ALMS LMPC driver and team class championships. #06 drivers Gonzalez and Jeannette remain the driver championship points leaders, while the CORE autosport team, made up of the #06 plus the #05 Bayshore Recycling / Composite Resources machine driven by team founder Jon Bennett and Frankie Montecalvo, are on top of the team points championship.
Race fans at the Baltimore event will get a special insight into the CORE autosport ALMS LMPC team at the team transporter on Friday, September 2 at 11:45 a.m. EST, when team manager Morgan Brady and driver Gunnar Jeannette will host a special “tech talk.” The fans will get a close look at the #06 Excel Consultants / Composite Resources ORECA FLM09, learn about what it takes to compete in the challenging LMPC class, and be able to ask questions of Brady and Jeannette.
Qualifying for the Baltimore Grand Prix featuring the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón will be aired live on ESPN3.com on Friday, September 2 at 2:40 p.m. EST, with live race coverage on ESPN3.com on Saturday, September 3 at 4:15 p.m. EST. ABC-TV will televise a tape-delayed highlight of the event on Sunday, September 4 at 4 p.m. EST.
International viewers can see the event live on MotorsTV, Rogers Sports Net, Fox Sports Middle East and Fox Latin America Networks. Live radio broadcasts are available at www.americanlemans.com.
“I’m definitely looking forward to getting to Baltimore for a number of reasons. The circuit itself will be alive and change during each and every session because there will be so many cars of all different types on the course over the weekend. You’ll have to constantly adjust your driving style and car setup depending on what the track’s doing.
“So many variables will play into this course. Track surface is key – manhole covers, bumps, transitions from concrete to asphalt – all of that will only come to light behind the wheel of a race car and not a map. There are even two sections where it looks like we’re crossing railroad tracks, which should be very interesting.
“All of the drivers going to Baltimore are in the same spot. Track walks will be a great help, but it won’t be until you get out there for the first practice session before you really know what you have. Especially in ALMS competition, where there are multiple classes and the cars generate so much downforce that what looks one way to the naked eye can be completely different in a sports car.
“I do like this type of racing and have had some success on temporary street courses (winning in 2010 and 2011 at Long Beach in the LMPC class), so I hope that some of my experiences and knowledge can assist the team to run up front right off the transporter.”
“I'm very excited to go to Baltimore and get our season back on track, we've had a couple of bad races and now that we've gotten the bad luck out of the way it's time to win some races.
“Obviously this track is new to everybody and we are not quite sure what to expect, but we have a great street course setup and the last time we raced on the streets at Long Beach we won from the pole so we should be pretty quick right out of the box here.
“We are still leading the championship and we know that we'll be very strong for the last three races of the year, so now we just need to stay out of trouble, get points and get it all wrapped up.
“So far it’s been a very interesting season. We've had our ups and downs, but overall what's the most important thing is that the team keeps getting better and better every weekend and we've overcome problems easily and efficiently.
“The pit work that the guys did at Road America fixing the damage in our car was spectacular. Even though we are a new team we perform as the most experienced teams out there.”
"Road America was another challenging race for the CORE autosport team. We were at or near the top of the timesheets for most of the weekend, but the race itself was tough, with lots of contact with other cars, walls and more. We did get one car on the podium, and we’re still leading the driver and team championships, which is great.
“Baltimore is going to be a challenge because small mistakes can be rewarded with big damage. I’ve not had a lot of experience on temporary street courses, but I really like them. My driving style is precise and calculated, and driving between the walls rewards that type of style.
“I’m really excited for the event – these big city festivals have a lot of energy, which is going to be great. I’ve lived in Delaware and I’m familiar with the area the race is going to be held, and it’s going to be a treat to run so fast around such a beautiful section of town.”
“This will be my first time to Baltimore and I’m excited about the event and to see the city. From the maps I’ve seen, it certainly looks like it’s going to be a very cool venue, like Long Beach.
“I’ve driven Long Beach and Trois-Rivières, but street course racing is something I’m still getting used to. There’s no room for error on these courses because there’s no runoff space. Everything comes at you very fast.
“The track layout at Baltimore looks like it’s going to be a bit tricky and difficult to pass – it’ll be kind of a point and shoot driving style. As soon as a hole opens up, you’ll have to get through it.
“Because no one has ever run the course before, everyone will have to learn the track and car setups. It’s creating an even playing field, but it can be harder because there’s no video to learn the track. There’s a track walk on Thursday that I think will be more helpful than just about any other track walk that we’ll have all season.
“The CORE autosport team as a whole has been doing nothing but improving. We’re all clicking better and learning more each race. I know that there’s more out there and there’s more potential in this team – the sky is the limit.”