CORE autosport aims for the podium at Road America

CORE autosport aims for the podium at Road America

CORE autosport press release

CORE autosport Ready To Attack Road America

Redemption is the target for CORE autosport as they head to the longest track of the 2011 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) season this weekend, Elkhart Lake’s 4.048-mile Road America.

After a disappointing day earlier this month at Mid-Ohio where the Le Mans Prototype Challenge (LMPC) challengers missed a podium finish for the first time in the 2011 season, the CORE autosport team will be chasing a dual podium spot in Saturday’s four-hour-long Time Warner Road Race Showcase featuring the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón

Our CORE autosport team has really gelled in a very short time.

Jon Bennett

Despite the Mid-Ohio result, CORE autosport actually gained points in the LMPC driver and team class championships. Ricardo Gonzalez and Gunnar Jeannette, drivers of the #06 Excel Consultants / Composite Resources ORECA FLM09 remain the driver championship points leaders, while the CORE autosport team, made up of the #06 plus the #05 Bayshore Recycling / Composite Resources machine driven by team founder Jon Bennett and Frankie Montecalvo, are on top of the team points championship.

CORE autosport is very familiar with Road America, thanks to a test session held over the Le Mans break which saw the first-year team gel on many levels, especially with team engineers Burke Harrison (#05) and Tom Brown (#06).

Experience also counts at the challenging venue, and Jeannette is the most recent winner at Road America in the LMPC class, finding his way to victory lane in 2010, driving for Green Earth Team Gunnar with co-driver Elton Julian. #06 co-driver Gonzalez came in second at Road America with then co-driver Luis Diaz.

CORE autosport drivers and team members will not only fighting to win the championship this weekend, but also fighting for cancer survival as they take part in the tourdeRoadAmerica on Friday night, Aug. 19. This special on-track bicycle ride benefitting the Austin Hatcher Foundation, the Lance Armstrong Foundation and the Vince Lombardi Cancer Clinic.

Qualifying for the Time Warner Road Race Showcase featuring the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón will be aired live on on Friday, August 19 at 4:05 p.m. EST, with live race coverage on on Saturday, August 20 at 3:45 p.m. EST. ABC-TV will televise a tape-delayed highlight of the event on Sunday, August 21 at 4:30 p.m. EST.

International viewers can see the event live on MotorsTV, Rogers Sports Net, Fox Sports Middle East and Fox Latin America Networks. Live radio broadcasts are available at

Gunnar Jeannette

“I, and the team as a whole, am looking to rebound from our worst race of the season at Mid-Ohio and there’s no better way to do that than score a victory at Road America. After testing there during the Le Mans break, I’m excited to go back.

“Road America is one of the fastest tracks we go to, but unlike Mosport, which has all very high speed corners, the track has a little bit of everything, so you have to tune the car to work in a variety of situations. The track is tricky but very rewarding to get right because a lap takes awhile. Sometimes it’s hard to keep your concentration because the straight-aways are so long, like Le Mans.

“I won at Road America last year in LMPC and it’s a matter of calling your strategy right. The Michelin tires are very good, so we can push them to double or triple stints and I know that the engineering and strategy guys are going to give me a good car and get us in the best position.

“I’m also very excited for the tour de Road America. Instead of going with a normal road bike, I’m going to use my pit bike, a 1971 Schwinn Stingray Fastback. That should be very interesting.”

#05 CORE Autosport Oreca FLM09: Jon Bennett, Frankie Montecalvo
#05 CORE Autosport Oreca FLM09: Jon Bennett, Frankie Montecalvo

Photo by: Darren Pierson

Jon Bennett

"The whole team is looking forward to running at Road America. One advantage that we have for this event is that we were there back in June and tested well, so we should have a fast setup right off the transporter.

“Our CORE autosport team has really gelled in a very short time. Road America is the longest track of the season and one of the longer races, and that suits our team well. We’re organized and prepared for situations that tend to happen at the longer races. Our drivers have a lot of experience at the track so that always helps for a good result.

“I personally love Road America; it’s a track I’ve been going to for the last four years in different race cars. There’s nothing like the rush of going through the Kink flat with full ground effects at work.

“I also really like the longer races. They suit my style as it’s important to drive the car fast and take on the additional challenge of doing it for a long time. I’ve been doing a lot of physical training lately and it’s that training which comes into play when you’re in the car for such a long period of time.”

Ricardo Gonzalez

“I can't wait to get to Road America. Not only is it my favorite track, but it's also the one where I have the most experience with the LMPC car.

“Last year I finished second and this year we had a great test there with the CORE autosport team, so we should be in pretty good shape right out of the box.

“Obviously the last event was disappointing because of the problems that we had, but even on a bad weekend we managed to extend our championship lead which just goes to show how strong our team is.

“But that's all behind us now and at Road America we'll once again be focusing on winning the race and getting closer to winning the championship."

Frankie Montecalvo

“Road America is a great track, especially for spectators. It’s just beautiful there and one of my favorite tracks we go to. It’s so long and fast with a nice flow, almost European in its style, with lots of long straight-aways and great passing opportunities.

“Testing there in June has given me a lot of confidence for this race as it’s not been a whole year since we visited. For many races, it’s a year between visits and the first couple of laps in practice sometimes is spent re-learning the track, but not for Road America. We have lots of confidence in the team and engineering data.

“Road America in 2010 was my first visit to the track. I tried playing a video game to learn the course, but it didn’t truly represent everything the track is. Everything clicked once I got out there and it felt great.

“Although it was tough for our finishes in Mid-Ohio, in the race itself we were making good progress. Everyone at CORE autosport is going 110% and I have all the confidence in the world in the team going to Road America.”

#06 Core Autosport Oreca FLM09: Gunnar Jeannette, Ricardo Gonzalez
#06 Core Autosport Oreca FLM09: Gunnar Jeannette, Ricardo Gonzalez

Photo by: Adriano Manocchia

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Luis Diaz , Gunnar Jeannette , Ricardo Gonzalez , Elton Julian , Frankie Montecalvo , Jon Bennett , Tom Brown
Teams CORE autosport
Tags bennett, core autosport, gonzalez, jeannette, lmpc, montecalvo, oreca