CORE autosport makes its GT debut with the No. 06 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR this weekend.
The team announced the expansion in January and has undertaken a careful testing program since taking delivery of the car shortly before Sebring.
Patrick Long and Tom Kimber-Smith have a combined five 24 Hours of Le Mans victories between them. Long won the GT class in 2004 and 2007; Kimber-Smith won the GT class in 2006 and the LMP2 class in 2011 and 2012.
Long has been a Porsche Factory Driver since 2004 and is currently the only American on the roster.
Patrick Long (Driver: Porsche No.06): "The way GT has gone, you can hit all your marks during a race and still finish seventh, so it’s too early to try and predict where we’re going to be. It seems like the Porsches have been running pretty well, pace wise, and Laguna has been good to us the past couple of years.
"The goal is to operate as a team and hit all our marks. I think the finishing result is secondary. We'll judge our performance based on what we all know we’re capable of. If we all hit our marks and have a mistake free day, that’s what’s going to determine our success.
“Certainly, coming in with a known quantity like Michelin is a huge help. It means we have no concerns on the tire side. We know we have the speed and reliability that the front-runners have. People underestimate how important those four contact patches are. You could have a perfect car, but if the tires aren’t working, it’s all for nothing."
Tom Kimber-Smith (Driver: Porsche No.06): "My first taste of Laguna was last year with CORE and we dominated the weekend, but only managed to finish third in the race. So it was disappointing, but the track was fantastic. It’s going to be slightly different in the GT car.
I think it’s going to be more challenging, definitely with the heat in the car, for example, is something I’ll need to get used to, but I’m definitely looking forward to going back.
“CORE is a very young team and in their short time in motorsport, they’ve been very dominant. For me, they don’t need to prove themselves by moving up to GT.
This year they’re running a dual program with a car still in the PC class and at the last race at Long Beach, they ran very well with Colin and Jon. The work ethic has been transferred to the GT car, so there’s no better team at the moment to take this project on."