SEBRING, FL, Tuesday, April 10, 2012: After victory at Sebring in March, CORE autosport is ready to attack the streets of Long Beach – the site of the team’s first-ever pole position and win – for this Saturday’s two-hour Tequila Patrón American Le Mans Series at Long Beach.
Two pairs of drivers will take on the shortest race of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) season on the challenging 11-turn, 1.968-mile temporary street circuit. Team owner and founderJon Bennett will be paired with season-long co-driver, motorsports phenom Colin Braun in the #05 Composite Resources ORECA FLM09, while Sebring-winning driver Alex Popow is co-driving with Long Beach veteran Ryan Dalziel in the sister #06 Soloson Import machine.
CORE autosport, competing in the Le Mans Prototype Challenge (LMPC) class, was a new team in 2011 and had never competed at a street course prior to last year. The victory at Long Beach propelled the team to a successful season – winning the 2011 ALMS LMPC driver and team championships.
The 2012 ALMS season began with the team on a high, and that did not change despite a new driver lineup - scoring first and third positions at the legendary Sebring International Raceway. For that event, winner Popow co-drove with IZOD IndyCar Series star E.J. Viso and sports car regular Burt Frisselle, while the combination of Bennett, Braun and Eric Lux finished a strong third place.
For Long Beach only two drivers are needed per car, and Viso, who is unavailable due to his IndyCar schedule at the event, was replaced by Dalziel, a teammate of Popow’s in GRAND-AM and a former winner at Long Beach. Dalziel’s first event in his storied U.S. racing career was at the venue in 2002.
Since the Sebring win in mid-March, the CORE driver lineup has been very busy keeping their skills up to par. Braun drove in the World Challenge event at St. Petersburg, while Popow also drove at St. Petersburg, but in a Ferrari Challenge event, where he scored a pole and victory. Both Popow and Dalziel competed in GRAND-AM events at Barber Motorsports Park. Bennett did a lot of time behind the wheel of a kart, and opened the new CORE autosport headquarters, a world-class 30,000 sq. ft. facility located right next to its parent company, Composite Resources.