CORE autosport extends championship lead after tough day at Mid-Ohio
LEXINGTON, OH, Saturday, August 6, 2011: A day beginning with the CORE autosport team on the Mans Prototype Challenge (LMPC) class pole position resulted in a Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge American Le Mans Series (ALMS) race filled with spins, caution periods and driving rain, causing the event to end under red-flag conditions. Despite many challenges, the new-for-2011 team extended its lead in the LMPC driver and team championships.
Teammates Ricardo Gonzalez and Gunnar Jeannette, in the #06 Excel Consultants / Composite Resources ORECA FLM09 finished fourth in the LMPC class, 12th overall, while the sister #05 Bayshore Recycling / Composite Resources car, driven by Frankie Montecalvo and team founder Jon Bennett finished fifth in LMPC, 17th overall.
The day began with sunshine and Gonzalez in the #06 in pole position laying down fast laps, but less than 30 minutes into the two hour and 45 minute event he was punted by the #63 car – causing a long delay. Jeannette took over the #06 an hour into the event, and 15 minutes after that the #06 spun off track. Now back in seventh spot, Jeannette was able to make it up to fourth place when storms appeared at the two-hour mark. The team switched to wet-weather MICHELIN tires, but due to multiple incidents on the track, caution periods were prominent and then, due to extreme rains, the cars were brought into pit lane and parked.
Bennett drove first stint in the #05, maintaining the car’s fifth place starting position until handing the car off to Montecalvo. The young driver advanced his position to third, until coming in for wet-weather tires after rains began. Four minutes later Montecalvo suffered an off-track excursion and ended in the gravel trap at the “keyhole.” It took many laps to pull out the #05, and at that point Montecalvo did what he could so salvage a decent finish.
Next for CORE autosport is the four-hour-long Time Warner Road Race Showcase featuring the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón on Saturday, August 20 at Road America, Elkhart Lake, WI.