Core autosport press release
CORE autosport scorches to pole position for first-ever Baltimore Grand Prix
BALTIMORE, Friday, September 2, 2011:It was a combination of experience, a well-prepared race car and a self-admitted “pi#&ed-off” driver that gave championship leader CORE autosport pole position for the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix featuring the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) presented by Tequila Patrón on Saturday. This is the third pole position for the team out of seven rounds of ALMS competition.
The shortened 15-minute qualifying session was marred by a red flag period due to an on-track incident and with only six minutes left, a fired-up Gunnar Jeannette, driver of the #06 Excel Consultants / Composite Resources ORECA FLM09ALMS in the tight Le Mans Prototype Challenge (LMPC) laid down one fast lap after another. His best lap was in the final minute of the session, with a time of 1:29.407, a mere seven one-hundredths faster than the second place car, driven by Kyle Marcelli.
Jeannette and co-driver Ricardo Gonzalez will lead the LMPC class to the green flag and look to repeat their winning performance from Long Beach earlier in the year. The pair currently leads the 2011 LMPC driver’s championship.
CORE autosport driver Frankie Montecalvo, driving the sister #05 Bayshore Recycling / Composite Resources machine, will start in fourth position (12th overall). Montecalvo, a relative street-racing rookie, is paired with CORE autosport founder Jon Bennett. The team is looking for a solid finish to continue their quest for the 2011 LMPC team championship.
The day was filled with schedule changes due to last-minute track construction, on the temporary 12-turn, 2.1-mile street circuit. The delays caused practice time to be shortened from two hours to one hour and 15 minutes, and the qualifying session was combined with the faster LMP1 class in a short 15 minute session, versus the former LMPC-only scheduled session of 20 minutes.
CORE autosport’s learning curve was getting steeper by the minute, but the team was able to quickly adapt to the changes, starting off with a baseline setup from their Long Beach effort. Baltimore’s Inner Harbor circuit is a challenging course, with bumpy streets, tight corners and surface transitions from concrete to asphalt and will prove to be demanding on CORE autosport’s drivers and cars.