As Colin Braun preps for the debut Grand-Am event at Circuit of the Americas, he gives his thoughts on the defense of CORE autosport's ALMS PC championship.
Rock Hill, S.C. – With a new, merged sports car series debuting next year, Colin Braun’s sophomore season with CORE autosport is also his final chance to add an American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón championship to his resume.
The Texan is also faced with the challenge of collecting CORE’s third-straight ALMS championship. Braun breaks down how he thinks CORE can make it three in-a-row while he prepares to team with Jon Bennett in the No. 77 Ford Dallara for this weekend’s Rolex Sports Car Series round at Circuit of the Americas in Texas.
Q: How is PC racing different from other racing that you’ve done? “I’ve raced Daytona prototypes, GRAND-AM GT, NASCAR, open-wheel, and it’s definitely different, but it comes down to the fundamentals; you’ve got to have a good team, a good co-driver, fast cars and good pit stops. The fundamentals are the same as any other series I’ve raced in.
“There’s differences in the way the car drives and the way that you have to set the race car up for both myself and for Jon. Luckily, our driving styles are pretty similar, so we never have to try and work it toward what Jon wants or what I want. We pretty much want the same thing. It’s really helpful and makes life a lot easier. It comes down to having a good team more than anything.”
Q: What is the key to get CORE another championship? “It’s going to be tough. To get three championships in a row is a tall order for sure. I think if anyone can do it, CORE autosport certainly has the knowledge and experience.
“I think we need to keep doing what we’ve been doing and stay true to the fundamentals of what CORE was built around and make sure we’re there at the end of these races and never count ourselves out and always work to keep getting quicker.
“It’s easy, I suppose, when you’ve had as much success as CORE has had, to rest on your laurels, but that’s what’s cool about CORE—we keep working to be better and push each other. My engineer, Gary Davies, has been working really hard this offseason on some things he thinks might help us and we always keep pushing forward.”
Q: You’ll be at Circuit of the Americas for the first time ever this weekend. What’s your strategy for getting up to speed at a new track? “I use a combination of things before getting to the track: I use in-car videos, which can easily be found on YouTube and then I also use a video game setup I have at my house. Just knowing which way the corners flow and how they visually look before getting to the track is a huge help.
“Then, once we get to the track, both Jon and I will go and drive around it in a golf kart and really analyze the circuit. It’s typically pretty easy to see the lines, but with this track being so new there might not be to many rubber lines down. Learning a new track is always something I have enjoyed doing.”
Q: You grew up in Ovalo, Texas. Are you looking forward to racing in your home state? “I am very much looking forward to going back to Texas to race. When I was in NASCAR, racing in Dallas/Ft. Worth was always a lot of fun and brought back a lot of great memories of Texas, where I grew up. Racing again in COTA will do the same. Coming home to race is always great, although with how large Texas is, I won't be staying at my house!”