Braselton, Ga. - Two days after Morgan Brady met Jonathan Bennett at a gym in Charlotte, N.C., he found himself touring the immaculate Composite Resources facility, a company Bennett has owned and operated since 1992. During his visit, Brady noticed four key elements: cleanliness, organization, presentation and efficiency.
From that moment on Brady knew he could form a successful race team with Bennett, thus the creation of CORE autosport, a name derived from the first two letters of Composite and Resources.
Bennett had been running Composite Resources for 18 years, but did not notice the similar efforts between motorsports and his manufacturing facility until he formed the racing team with Brady.
"I didn't realize it at the time, but there's a lot of synergy between Composite Resources and CORE autosport," Bennett said. "There's a lot of creative finances within motorsports and with us it's a straight up lemonade stand."
Many teams beg and borrow for machine shop time, but CORE takes advantage of Bennett's manufacturing facilities at Composite Resources.
Brady joined CORE with resources of his own, from experience with US RaceTronics, Pacific Coast Motorsports and USF1. Combined, the two built a solid foundation for the team's debut season in the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda series for 2010.
With the philosophy of taking "human-size bites," CORE autosport ran three cars in the Lites series en route to a 2010 IMSA Lites Championship. The team also ran two cars in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón PC category and won titles in both 2011 and 2012.
"There's two sides to the ladder system of IMSA," Bennett said. "For the driver side you have the fast, downforce Lites cars with strong brakes, so when you move up to the next class it's something you've seen before. And from the team side, IMSA understands the differences in setting up a car with and without downforce."
The team grabbed another rung of the IMSA ladder for the 2013 season and entered a car into the Porsche GT3 Challenge program. Bennett drove the No. 54 Porsche 911 in its debut at the 61st Anniversary Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida.
Core Side Shot Sebring
The incremental move from Lites to the Challenge car allowed CORE to learn and build before jumping into endurance races with more personnel, equipment and pit stops.
From day one Bennett knew IMSA would be another step toward progress for his team. IMSA Chief Operating Officer Scot Elkins spoke with him about his aspirations and Bennett felt extremely welcomed by the series.
"Because of the ladder system IMSA has created, you're not learning a brand new car and a brand new way of racing," Bennett said. "You're learning a little about the new car and a lot about pit stops and being organized. It's a great system and it's definitely helped us a lot."
With three team titles, the process-driven rather than results-focused philosophy has worked for CORE. The squad found success again in Long Beach, Calif., with its third-straight American Le Mans Series Prototype Challenge victory at the Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 20.
"Our number one philosophy is prepare to win," Brady said. "A win doesn't start on race weekend. It starts days, weeks, months in advance. IMSA has allowed us to come in at that entry level, build a foundation and grow that foundation into something larger over the subsequent years."
CORE will be back on the track at the American Le Mans Monterey Presented by Tequila Patrón May 9-11 in Monterey, Calif.