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CORE to field IMSA LMP3 entry for Bennett, Braun

CORE autosport will continue to have a presence in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship next year as it will field an LMP3 entry for Jon Bennett and Colin Braun.

#54 CORE autosport ORECA LMP2, P - Jon Bennett, Colin Braun, podium

#54 CORE autosport ORECA LMP2, P - Jon Bennett, Colin Braun, podium

Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

CORE enjoyed a two-year spell raced in IMSA's prototype ranks in 2018-19, as the team campaigned an Oreca 07 in '18 and then took over the Nissan DPi project from the defunct Extreme Speed Motorsports squad for a single season.

Bennett announced his retirement from driving at the end of that season as CORE withdrew from DPi, but the team remained involved in the series as it operates Porsche's two-car factory team in the GT Le Mans division.

With the Porsche project coming to an end after this year, CORE has now announced that it will field a Ligier JS P320 in the new-for-2021 LMP3 division for Bennett and Braun.

“I am thrilled,” Bennett said. “Thrilled for the dedicated members CORE autosport who can now plan for an exciting 2021 season. Thrilled to rejoin the amazing Colin Braun at the controls of an IMSA LMP3 prototype. Thrilled to rejoin the IMSA racing family — as a driver."

While Bennett has been on the sidelines in 2020, Braun has kept his hand in by driving for DragonSpeed LMP2 team in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, where he took class victory alongside Ben Hanley, Henrik Hedman and Harrison Newey, and for the Era Motorsports team in the six-hour Road Atlanta race earlier this month.

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Braun commented: “I am so excited to be back with CORE and Jon. CORE has been a family for me and I cannot wait to get back to work with this group.

"Personally, for Jon I am really excited for him to get back behind the wheel and enjoy the excitement and thrill of driving a fast Prototype car on the limit in these races, there is nothing like it. I know he will be grinning ear to ear. I think LMP3 is shaping up to be very competitive and both Jon and I are ready to get going soon.”

The 2021 LMP3 schedule will comprise seven races, starting with the Rolex 24 as a standalone, non-points scoring round, followed by six regular races.

Other teams set to race in the new category include Riley Motorsports, Performance Tech and United Autosports, which intends to run a pair of Ligiers at Daytona.

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