Colin Braun captured his fourth PC pole of the season and Patrick Long qualified the team’s Porsche 911 GT3 RSR in seventh.
ELKHART LAKE, Wisc. – CORE autosport will begin its quest for a second straight American Le Mans Series Road America win from the Prototype Challenge presented by Continental Tire pole position Sunday, as Colin Braun captured his fourth PC pole of the season. In the stacked GT category, Patrick Long qualified the team’s Porsche 911 GT3 RSR in seventh.
While they came dangerously close, no other PC driver was able to top it. When the checkered flag waved, Braun had his fifth career ALMS pole in hand by 0.082 seconds. He will share the No. 05 ORECA FLM09 with Jon Bennett in Sunday’s Orion Energy Systems 245.
Driving the No. 06 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Long ran in the top-three of the GT field early in the qualifying session, but was shuffled back to eighth by the checkered flag with a fast lap of 2:05.355 (116.252 mph). Long’s co-driver, Tom Kimber-Smith, will start the car from seventh, however, after the disqualification of the third-place qualifier.
Colin Braun (Driver: No. 05 ORECA FLM09 PC): “I think the race track changed from yesterday, but our engineer Travis Low did a good job compensating for what we guessed was going to happen. Normally, I like a bigger gap in qualifying, but we’re on the pole and have a good race car for tomorrow.
“There were two races this morning that happened before we got on the race track. Typically, when we do these qualifying sessions in ALMS, it’s at the end of Practice 2, so there’s not much guess work in what the race track is going to do.
“It’s going to be tough to know what the track is going to do after six hours of racing today. We’re not too sure what’s going to happen, so it’s nice that we have Pat [Long] racing in the GRAND-AM race, so he’ll have an idea what the race track did from the beginning to the end of that race. We might adjust our cars a little bit based off of that. We’ll try it in the morning warm-up and see if we like it.”
Patrick Long (Driver: No. 06 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR): “The GT field is incredibly tight. To split the BMWs and be ahead of the Risi car, we have to keep in perspective that it is a job well done. It’s incredible to see how far this field has progressed in 12 months if we look at the lap times. We don’t know what to expect for the race, but we’ll keep the overall agenda at the forefront, which is to continue to grow as a group, collect data and work on that whole process of strategy, pit stops and drivers hitting their marks.
“I imagine the change in track conditions for the race won’t be positive, but it won’t be a big negative either. It’s a different tire constructor, which doesn’t always bode well for us. I think the bigger variable is weather. There was cloud cover for qualifying and if its sunny and hot for the race, that could certainly change the balance of the car. I think we have a car we can race and hunt for a podium and that’s a positive and that’s what we’re going to work for during the race.”