LAKEVILLE, Conn. (July 6, 2013) – It was a banner day for CORE autosport at Lime Rock Park, as both the GT and PC teams came away with podium finishes. Tom Kimber-Smith and Patrick long captured CORE’s first GT podium in the team’s second appearance in the class, while Colin Braun and Jon Bennett earned their third-straight podium finish in PC.
Starting sixth in the No. 06 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Kimber-Smith battled the heat and the traffic of the 1.474-mile road course, making an impressive move to third shortly after the one-hour mark. His handed the car over to Long soon thereafter.
Re-joining the race in seventh, Long proceeded to climb back through the field and up to third, but needed a yellow to take on a splash of fuel. The team got just what it needed with only 14 minutes remaining in the race. Long pitted for fuel and returned to the course in fourth.
It was the first podium finish for CORE’s GT program in only it’s second race with the Porsche.
Bennett started the No. 05 ORECA FLM09 from the PC pole position, which Braun scored in Friday’s qualifying session. Bennett fell to third initially, but was back up to second after some smart pit work by the team.
The first full-course caution of the race provided the opportunity for Braun to climb into the car. When the race resumed under green, Braun wasted no time setting the fastest PC time of the race, a 48.480 (109.339 mph) , a new record.
He had the speed, but the gap amassed by the class leader proved to be too much, especially with the final full-course caution, which robbed Braun of the final few laps he needed at the end to catch the leader. He finished second by a slim 1.065 seconds.
The runner-up finish marked Bennett and Braun’s third-straight podium finish this season.
CORE autosport next heads north of the border for the Grand Prix of Mosport at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Bowmanville, Ontario July 19 - 21.
Driver: No. 06 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR
"TKS was solid at the start and then we had a perfect strategy and a car that was consistent over a long run, which is what we’d worked on all week. We knew qualifying wasn’t going to be our strong point, but certainly we had a car to run with the Corvettes and BMWs up front and fight for a win today.
"Traffic is always an issue here. It’s crazy. You have to stay out of the tussles. There was a big one at the end, and confidence is one thing, but experience tells you it’s going to back up at the chicane. The driver that made the mistake is inexperienced here and I think experience is a big key to traffic at Lime Rock."
Driver: No. 06 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR
"The car was brilliant to start off with and then trying to keep pace punished the left rear. After that, I was trying to fight as much as I could and stay ahead of the leaders, but unfortunately, two laps from the end of my stint, I got lapped by the lead GT car, which was slightly disappointing.
"For me, it was a massive improvement in my driving since Laguna. It’s a big step for the team. To have a podium in our second GT race is incredible. It’s fantastic.
"I did my stint in stupidly hot conditions. It was touch and go with fuel, but it paid off. I’m delighted with the result and I’m looking forward to Mosport.
"The heat’s a big factor and because you’re constantly working around here—there’s no rest—you just get hotter and hotter. It was probably one of the hardest races I’ve ever done and probably the hottest car I’ve ever driven, but onto Mosport."
Driver: No. 05 ORECA FLM 09 PC
"I don’t know if the yellow was timely or not. We had made up about 10 seconds in five or six laps, so I would have liked to have a shot at it after that restart. We had a couple lap-down cars ahead of us in the PC class that didn’t respect the battle we had going on. It made it hard for me to challenge Bruno [Junqueira].
"I’d like to think if it had stayed green we would have had a chance to catch Bruno. We were on offense all day, from the time I got in the car, so I feel like we were bowed up and ready to get after it, but just never got the chance.
"I drove as hard as I could. Jon did a good job. We had great pit stops and that’s all we could do."
Driver: No. 05 ORECA FLM09 PC
"It was quite busy on the track and quite warm in the car. It was about finding the right combination between risk management so that you are moving forward, but not at the point that you’re making a lot of risks and put the car in jeopardy. I was happy to give Colin the car in good shape.
"We came up a little bit short today. It was very hard, there was lots of traffic, and sometimes you just get what you get.
"I’m very proud to be second today and also very happy about our sister car, the 911 RSR, getting its first podium today. It was a good weekend for CORE."