CORE: GT session ends early; Kimber-Smith barely misses PC Pole

A lot of action at the VIRginia International Raceway for both CORE autosport team cars during the GT and the Prototype qualifying sessions.

ALTON, Va. (Oct. 4, 2013) – CORE autosport will start Saturday’s Oak Tree Grand Prix from second in the Prototype Challenge class and seventh in the GT class after qualifying at VIRginia International Raceway today.

#06 CORE Autosport Porche 911 GT3 RSR: Patrick Long, Colin Braun
#06 CORE Autosport Porche 911 GT3 RSR: Patrick Long, Colin Braun

Photo by: Art Fleischmann

Porsche factory driver Patrick Long had qualifying duties for the No. 06 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. Long was holding in seventh with a lap of 1:46.673 (110.356 mph) when the session was red flagged with four minutes remaining.

The red flag was issued for a car in the tires at Turn 11. Oil on the track caused the accident and the task of cleaning up the fluid forced officials to end the session early, before Long could attempt another flyer. Co-driver Colin Braun will start the No. 06 in tomorrow’s two hour and 45 minute race.

The cleanup also delayed the start of the PC qualifying session while track workers laid down large amounts of oil dry. The PC field was forced to enter their qualifying laps with the dusty substance on the race line through the first half of the circuit.

The dust did not thwart Tom Kimber-Smith’s speed, however. Qualifying the No. 05 ORECA FLM09, the Englishman was in a head-to-head battle with PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports’ Dane Cameron. With five minutes remaining, Kimber-Smith took the provisional pole with a 1:42.105 (115.293 mph). But moments latter, he was nipped by Cameron for the pole by just 0.251 seconds.

Co-driver Jon Bennett will start the Oak Tree Grand Prix from second on the PC grid. He will start alongside the man he is chasing in the PC Drivers’ Championship: Michael Guasch.

The Oak Tree Grand Prix at VIR goes green at 2:15 p.m. ET tomorrow, Oct. 5.

Patrick Long - Driver: No. 06 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR
“The oil on the track didn’t really affect our qualifying. The car felt good. The car has changed more over the last two days than it has anywhere else we’ve raced at this season, but everything has been a progressive change and an improvement.

“I’m not happy with the grid position of the car, but I’m happy with the car we’ll have for the race tomorrow. We’ll have to bury the ego today and hope that in the race we’ll be able to work our way through the field. My opinion is this will be a tire wear and tire management race. I think we have an edge in that game.”

#05 CORE Autosport Oreca FLM09: Jonathan Bennett, Colin Braun
#05 CORE Autosport Oreca FLM09: Jonathan Bennett, Colin Braun

Photo by: Jackie Buys

Tom Kimber-Smith - Driver: No. 05 ORECA FLM09 PC
“Visually the track was different, because the oil dry made it all white, but I don’t think it affected the performance of the car. Subconsciously, you know that it’s there and you think it will be slippery, but after a couple laps the race line was pretty clean. The only compromise was trying to place the car on the back straight.

“The team did a great job. Jon’s been really quick this week, quickest of all the silver drivers and our team manager Morgan Brady has been doing a great job engineering as a “super sub.” We have a bit of work to do still, but I think we have a fast race car. If we do our jobs it forces the competition to work harder and potentially make mistakes.”

CORE autosport

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About this article
Series ALMS
Teams PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports , CORE autosport
Article type Qualifying report
Tags alms, bennett, kimber-smith, long, oreca, porsche, vir