Heroic pole effort for CORE at Lime Rock

Braun scores second-straight PC pole, Long qualifies sixth in GT

LAKEVILLE, Conn. (July 5, 2013) – The CORE autosport crew put in a heroic performance Friday at Lime Rock Park to put Colin Braun on the PC pole after an accident in practice. Patrick Long qualified sixth in GT for the team’s second appearance in the hotly contested American Le Mans Series GT category.

CORE autosports’ hopes of earning its second-straight ALMS PC pole looked in jeopardy when the No. 05 ORECA FLM09 was struck by a GTC car late in the final practice session of the day. Driver Jon Bennett reported to the crew that the left rear suspension had broken, requiring a tow truck to return the car to the paddock.

With only 40 minutes before PC qualifying, the team went to work to fix the damaged suspension. With four minutes to the green flag, the car was in pit lane with Braun strapped in and ready to qualify. It didn’t take him long to enter the fastest lap of the session, a 48.078 (110.371 mph), and collect his fifth-career ALMS pole.

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

Photo by: Jackie Buys

Taking part in only its second ALMS GT race, the No. 06 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR battled with handling issues in the intense heat, as track temperatures soared to more than 130 degrees. Unfortunately, both practice sessions were shortened by red flags. That and the dense traffic on the 1.474-mile course gave Long, Tom Kimber-Smith and crew little time to make necessary changes.

Long, who won in GT at Lime Rock last year, qualified quickest of all the Porsches with a lap of 51.732 (102.575 mph), putting him sixth on the GT grid.

Colin Braun
Driver: No. 05 ORECA FLM09 PC “Jon got hit by a GTC car at the end of the last practice and the CORE autosport guys only had about 40 minutes to repair the left rear suspension on the car. They did such a good job. It really showed the championship caliber team that CORE autosport is.

“It’s always anxious when the guys are scrambling away under the tent and there’s 20 minutes to go until qualifying. I have so much confidence in these guys though that I knew they’d have it back together and it’d be just as good as it was before the incident.”

Patrick Long
Driver: No. 06 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR “In general, there was very limited running with an abbreviated schedule and the red flags this morning. All things considered, I think we made good use of our time and made a ton of headway on the car. We’re not quite where we want to be, but we’re getting there, so the guys will be working through the night and through warm-up.

“We’re struggling a little bit right now with grip. We pitted with time remaining because I didn’t want to abuse the tires. This race is so tough, because you run so many laps on a set of tires. The speed in qualifying, compared to the speed in a race stint, has the least amount of similarity, because it’s a race of attrition and tire wear, especially with these ambient temperatures. My engineer said he’s never seen track temps this high other than one time in Malaysia.

“We have a lot to be happy about and hold our heads high. If we take the overall result away, and look at where we’ve come as a team, then I’m really happy with how today went.”

CORE autosport

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About this article
Series ALMS
Teams CORE autosport
Article type Qualifying report
Tags alms, colin braun, core autosport, gt, gt3, lime rock, oreca, patrick long, pc, porsche