PC point leaders aim to extend point lead in Kansas split race
CORE autosport returns to the track for Round Four of the TUDOR United SportsCar Prototype Challenge Championship, June 6 - 7, at Kansas Speedway. The weekend brings a new track and new format for PC class.
Neither CORE nor any other PC team has tackled the 2.37-mile combination road course/oval at Kansas Speedway before. They will combine with the IMSA Lites series for a race that will be broken into two segments. The silver-rated driver (Jon Bennett) will qualify the car and drive for the race's first segment. The gold-ranked driver (Colin Braun) will drive the second segment to take place five hours later. The running order at the conclusion of the first segment will carry over to the second segment and the finish position for the second segment determines how points will be awarded to both drivers and the team. Neither segment will have scheduled pit stops.
Driver: No. 54 ORECA FLM09
“The first thing to do for a new track, is to look it up on iRacing and hope it’s there. If you can’t find a good simulation of the track, you try to compare it to something you’ve been to before. Besides a good simulator or a test day, you just have to go with your gut. For me, probably after five or six laps you’ve calculated your brake points and gear changes. After the fifth lap, it’s polishing.
“There are many groundbreaking aspects to our race in Kansas. For starters, it will be interesting to see how the IMSA Lites and the LMPC cars race together. I have had a chance to drive both machines and I always felt the performance of the IMSA Lites cars were on par with the larger PC prototype. I will enjoy the opportunity to qualify the car and the chance to compete in a short sprint race with my peers. Once my work is done, it will be Colin’s turn to go head-to-head with the best driver’s in our category.
“I am confident we will have another strong result in Kansas. My proudest moment of the weekend will be watching my son Austin graduate from high school Friday night in Rock Hill, SC. Then, qualifying the LMPC car three hours later in Kansas will be a race in itself for me.”
Driver: No. 54 ORECA FLM09
“Racing the PC car at Kansas should be a good time. I love going to new tracks and learning their layout and nuances. As a driver, it's always fun to be challenged like that. Kansas isn't totally new to me. I've raced the oval in my NASCAR Trucks and Nationwide days, but this will be the first time I've been on the road course. I'm expecting it to be a bit like Daytona, the only other 'roval' style track we race.
“I think this being a new track puts all the teams on a level playing field, but at the same time the guys at CORE are always very well prepared and that is critical at new tracks - doing your research and having a Plan A and a Plan B. It's that kind of well-executed game plan that has served CORE well over the last three years.
“I think with the format that was announced, it’s a cool opportunity certainly for the silver-ranked drivers to be able to qualify the cars. I personally love to qualify, but I think it’s neat that we’re giving the silver guys an opportunity to do it. The first part sets the grid for the second part, which becomes the ‘main event’ essentially, so it’s one race split in two.”