CORE autosport entries qualified fifth in their respective American Le Mans Series classes at Circuit of the Americas
AUSTIN, Texas (Sept. 20, 2013) – Both CORE autosport entries qualified fifth in their respective American Le Mans Series classes at Circuit of the Americas today during a wet qualifying session.
Patrick Long was out first for GT qualifying. The Porsche factory driver, laid down a lap time of 2:19.167 (87.952 mph) in the No.06 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, recently rebuilt after a major accident at the Grand Prix of Baltimore. A fifth-place spot on the grid puts CORE right on the heels of the factory BMW and Corvette cars.
Returning to the PC category for the first time since last year’s Petit Le Mans, Tom Kimber-Smith took on qualifying duties for the No. 05 ORECA FLM09. On a wet, but drying track, the Englishman set a quick lap of 2:20.340 (87.217 mph), which initially held for fourth on the grid, but dropped to fifth in the final seconds.
The forecast for Saturday’s two hour and 45 minute race includes a change for more rain. The race is slated to go green at 4:45 PM ET
Patrick Long - Driver: No. 06 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR
“It was more like a dry qualifying session, because we were fishing for every hundredth. Usually in a wet qualifying, there’s lots of water so you’re inconsistent, or you have a drying track and you keep getting faster. This seemed to be a status quo qualifying session, which made it a mental battle between all the cars and drivers.
“It was a consistent race track; it wasn’t drying, but it wasn’t getting more wet—that was the irony. It was a knock-down, drag-out six laps in-a-row looking for every tenth.
“In one frame of mind I’m disappointed to be fifth, in another I’m happy to be the ‘best of the rest’ behind the factory BMWs and Corvettes who are a couple seconds ahead. We’re in striking distance for the race, and we’re faster than we were in practice, so I think we’ll be alright.”
Tom Kimber-Smith - Driver: No. 05 ORECA FLM09 PC
“The track was drying up, which made it difficult to chose a setup. Hopefully tomorrow’s race will have more consistent conditions.
“It feels good to be back in CORE’s PC car. The tires are the main difference from last year and what I’ve had to adjust to. I know the racing in this category is really tough and I’m looking forward to it tomorrow.
“To jump back into the PC car midway through the season is quite a daunting challenge. I’m here to try and help Jon win his first Championship and the team win it’s third-consecutive Championship. It’s a doable, but in PC, it will be a real challenge.”