Long puts Porsche second on GT grid and Braun scores PC pole at Laguna Seca

CORE’s quest to become a repeat PC winner at Laguna Seca got off to strong start thanks to Braun’s pole winning lap in PC.

MONTEREY, Calif. – CORE autosport had a banner day of qualifying for Round Three of the American Le Mans Series as Colin Braun scored the Prototype Challenge pole shortly after Patrick Long earned second place on the GT grid in the debut of the team’s Porsche 911 GT3 RSR program.

#06 CORE autosports Prosche 911 GT3 RSR: Patrick Long, Tom Kimber-Smith
#06 CORE autosports Prosche 911 GT3 RSR: Patrick Long, Tom Kimber-Smith

Photo by: Jeff Davidson

After announcing it’s expansion into GT in January, CORE autosport’s No. 06 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR is racing for the first time in Monterey, Calif., at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca this weekend.

Long, a three-time ALMS champion, rewarded the team’s months of preparation with a front row start on the GT grid for Saturday’s four-hour race.

Long’s quickest lap around the 2.238-mile, 11-turn road course was a 1:22.823 (97.277 mph). He will partner with Englishman Tom Kimber-Smith for the race.

CORE’s quest to become a repeat PC winner at Laguna Seca got off to strong start thanks to Braun’s pole winning lap in PC. The Texan earned his second PC pole of the season in the No. 05 ORECA FLM09 with a lap 1:18.382 (102.789 mph).

Patrick Long (Driver: Porsche No.06): “I’m kind of emotional about it. It’s really awesome. These guys have worked so hard since January and I would have taken a top-five and been happy, so this is amazing. It’s still a long road, but each of these milestones continues to remind this team how good they are and we just have to keep building off of it.

“Never count your chickens until the checkered flag falls. I hit that lap pretty late in the run, so I knew there wasn’t a ton left. I made the decision to bring it in and not chase that random possibility that you could get a quicker lap after your tire reaches its peak.

“Our engineer Gary Davies has stuck to his plans and philosophies and he’s made me a believer overnight. We’ve worked with Porsche and Michelin since we rolled this car out, but ultimately Gary and our team manager Morgan Brady have been steering this ship. It’s really cool to see them come from a clean slate and create something. We’re still going to remain modest because these are early days and it’s going to be a long summer.

“I thought I might have gotten myself in a little deep, running my mouth before this, but my gut instinct was right that these guys could roll out and be a factor from day one. That’s just how Morgan runs this operation. There’s no other option than to operate at excellence and it’s really great to be a part of it.”

Colin Braun (Driver: Oreca PC No.05): "I’m definitely excited for Laguna. That was a good place for us last year, obviously, we won the race. I’m excited because Jon did a heck of a job at Long Beach and our car has been really fast. We’ve had a good race pace and good qualifying speed. I think figuring out the tires is still going to be a big part of it.

"We’ve got a new engineer to work with. Gary Davies is on the RSR program now, so we’ve got Travis Low coming on board to be our engineer. We’re going to have to learn each other quickly, but I’m sure he’ll fit right in.

"It’s still a sprint for us. Last year it was a six-hour race, but this year it’s a four-hour race, which will be a little bit different. It’s still about being fast, having a good pace and driving smart and all the things we always talk about that play into being successful in these races. It’s such a tough, competitive class, you have to always be pushing and fast."

CORE autosport

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Colin Braun , Patrick Long , Tom Kimber-Smith
Teams CORE autosport
Article type Qualifying report
Tags alms, braun, laguna seca, long, monterey, oreca