CORE autosport owner Jon Bennett has confirmed his squad will continue campaigning an Oreca 07 in 2019 as IMSA splits its prototype division into two separate classes in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
The #54 entry, in the hands of Bennett and Colin Braun, were runners-up in IMSA’s Prototype division this year after wins at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park and also Road America and three other podium finishes.
Said Bennett: “In 2018, CORE autosport debuted in the top Prototype class with a new Gibson powered Oreca 07 LMP2. We were cautiously optimistic, recalling our successful history with the Oreca FLM09 in Prototype Challenge, but we started our season with an empty engineering notebook and some stout factory-supported DPi competition.
“By mid season, CORE autosport was competing toe-to-toe with our quickest competitors. After the midpoint of the season, podiums were common and we began winning as a team. Meticulous preparation and an Oreca racecar built for endurance propelled us to the top of the standings and within a whisker of winning the 2018 WeatherTech championship.
“Turning the page to 2019, the CORE autosport squad will fixate our efforts on winning the new LMP2 Championship and scrap with some familiar rivals. It will be excellent racing.”
A press release revealed that “a move to the DPi category was explored, but ultimately a season in LMP2 with CORE’s current car was considered in the best interest of the team.”
CORE’s COO Morgan Brady added: “After achieving overall wins this season we looked at every opportunity to stay in IMSA’s top class. We were unable to find a path to a DPi program that would operate at the level we wanted.
“We will continue to look at options for a future DPi program, but we look forward to the strong competition in the new LMP2 class.”
#54 CORE autosport ORECA LMP2, P - Jon Bennett, Colin Braun
Photo by: Peter Burke / LAT Images
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