Colin Braun claims his first ever ALMS series pole
BOWMANVILLE, ONTARIO, CANADA, Saturday, July 21, 2012: After winning all of the races in 2012 thus far, CORE autosport continued its dominant form in Canada today with Colin Braun scoring his first-ever American Le Mans Series (ALMS) pole position for tomorrow’s 2012 Mobil 1 Presents the Grand Prix of Mosport. Additionally, it is the first time the Rock Hill, SC-based team will start in the Prototype Challenge (PC) class first (sixth overall) and second (seventh overall).
It was the first-ever pole position for the #05 Composite Resources crew, a team that has won the last two ALMS rounds at Laguna Seca and Lime Rock. Braun piloted the #05 ORECA FLM09 to a new track record at the 2.459-mile, 10-turn road course at a time of 1:10.698 (125.214 mph) in a red flag-shortened qualifying session. This time smashed the previous track record for PC-class cars, set by Canada native Kyle Marcelli in 2011 of 1:11.331 (124.103 mph).
The sister #06 Soloson Import machine will line up second after a valiant effort by driver Ryan Dalziel. Dalziel, who is paired with lead driver Alex Popow, also broke the 2011 record with a time of 1:10.935 (124.796 mph) and originally was slated to start third, but the second-place #8 machine of Marcelli had his time disallowed by the ALMS and the spot was taken by the #06.
Two one-hour practice sessions were held in the morning and afternoon, with the #06 car scoring second in the morning session and the #05 atop the charts in the afternoon, just prior to qualifying. The #05 car’s setup was so ideal for track conditions that the #06 team quickly converted to their setup for qualifying, paying off for both teams with the one-two start.
CORE autosport has scored PC-class victories in all four races of the 2012 ALMS season, and the team expects the fifth round tomorrow at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park to be just as successful. As a result of the team’s efforts, CORE autosport leads the 2012 PC team championship. Popow is currently leading the 2012 ALMS PC-class driver championship over Bennet and Braun by a mere three points heading into tomorrow’s event.
"It’s great to finally get a pole position for the #05 car. I definitely want to thank the guys, led by Eric Van Bibber and Jay Ribas, engineer Gary Davies and team manager Morgan Brady for giving us a great car and the tools that Colin and I needed to win this pole and of course the last two races.
“Colin has tried to get the pole position at every race since he joined us this year and just missed it a few times. It’s great to see him capture the spot he – and I – have wanted.
“I’m going to be starting the race tomorrow and my job is to drive it like I stole it, which is a tough thing to do at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. It’s an asphalt rollercoaster, fast and scary. But I’ll be respectful to the track and traffic, try to keep a low profile and get as far up the grid as possible before I hand it over to Colin.
“CORE autosport has had an unusual amount of success this year and it’s all been about staying focused, unloading the car and doing our jobs. If we do it right, the results tend to take care of themselves. Tomorrow I think we’ll do it right.”
“All the guys at CORE autosport did a great job with this car. I had a good lap there but I think I could’ve gone even faster had that red flag not come out. But it’s great to get my first career ALMS pole position and set a new track record, especially against guys that consider Canadian Tire Motorsport Park their home track.
“I’ve got to hand it to Gary and the guys for giving me a fast car and letting me really go at it during qualifying and do my thing. And Jon has continued to do an incredible job as my co-driver and setting up the car for a great pace.
“As a team, we just keep executing. Our whole goal is to win the championship and the easiest way to do that is win races. At this point after Jon and I have won two in a row it could’ve been a situation where the guys could let up off the gas a little, but that’s now how this team works. They’re always working hard and making us faster, which is why I love being a part of this team.”
“Since we arrived and started running on Friday, the whole team and our engineer Ed (Nathman) has been working hard to get a good setup for Ryan and I to run fast.
“The guys who put together the car – Adam Wareing, Neal Everhart and the crew – did a great job.
"Of course we’d also like to thank the #05 guys for sharing their setup for qualifying, which certainly helped us a lot.
“But tomorrow the race is different. I’ll be the starting driver in the #06 and I can handle the race, working as hard as I can to put my car in front and keep it there. Then it will be Ryan’s time to bring it home against some very serious competition – especially Colin!
“It’s going to be a fight from the first lap and we’ll just have to see what happens tomorrow.”
“We are starting in second, which is pretty good. We practiced well today but had some difficulty in the afternoon and I really have to hand it to the #06 guys for reworking the car just 20 minutes before qualifying.
“I tried to run qualifying as fast as I could but with a new setup I didn’t want to make any mistakes.
"I really think we’ve got a good race car for tomorrow and I think that Alex and I will do a good job.
“This is my first race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and what I think is going to be the toughest thing based on practice is traffic. Alex is pretty aggressive and certainly a strong driver so I expect that he’ll get the car over to me in front and I’ll work on keeping it there for him.”