CORE's No. 05 Team Reunites for 2013 Championship
ROCK HILL, SC - CORE autosport founder Jon Bennett will again join forces with young American racing star Colin Braun, ready to tackle some unfinished business behind the wheel of the #05 Composite Resources ORECA FLM09 for the upcoming 2013 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) season.
In 2012, Bennett and Braun finished second in the ALMS Prototype Challenge (PC) driver’s championship behind the wheel of the #05 machine and the duo – along with race engineer Gary Davies - will not be content with anything but first place for what is to be the last-ever ALMS season.
Rejoining the team effort is driver Mark Wilkins, who will be co-driving with the duo for the two longest races of the year – the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring and the 10-hour or 1000-mile Petit Le Mans.
Bennett had a strong run in 2011, the first year for the Rock Hill, SC-based team, but it wasn’t until motorsports phenom Braun joined the team in 2012 when the #05 team realized its potential. For the 10 races in the 2012 season, the pair finished on the podium seven times, scoring three wins – the first one ever for the #05 at Laguna Seca, followed by two more at Lime Rock and Virginia International Raceway (VIR). Braun also scored two pole positions (Mosport and VIR).
These strong results aided CORE autosport to claim its second consecutive team championship and landed Bennett and Braun in the second spot in the ALMS PC driver standings.
Davies, race engineer for CORE autosport and a strategist for the #05 team, was the linchpin for the lineup’s success. Davies was also a newcomer to the team at the beginning of 2012, having spent years in European open-wheel racing. He immediately clicked with the drivers and team and found speed and stability in the ORECA FLM09 platform, which he will continue to refine in 2013.
Wilkins rejoins the team after debuting in the sister #06 CORE autosport machine at the 2012 Petit Le Mans. He has years of sports car and endurance racing experience, and has competed against Braun as the two worked their way up the racing ladder.
Drivers for the #06 CORE autosport entry, which won five races in the 2012 season and the ALMS PC class driver’s championship, are currently being evaluated.
The 2013 ALMS season commences at the 61st running of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida, on Saturday, March 16, at Sebring International Raceway.
“I’m very excited to be running for the PC championship next year with Colin as my co-driver and Gary as the #05 engineer. We made great strides in 2012 with some wins, podium finishes and pole positions, and there’s no question that the stability of the driving, engineering and crew lineup will allow us to be in solid contention for the driver’s championship.
“Having such great people in the organization only makes us all better. We’re constantly pushing each other and are not content with anything less than a pole position and a win at every race. CORE autosport thrives on the pressure of competition and we have all vowed to work harder and not stop for any reason.
“Adding Mark Wilkins to our team for the long races also increases our chances at victory. He did a great job at Petit Le Mans last season, but it was the wrong car! We’re lucky to have him in the #05.
“In the two years I’ve driven the #05 car in PC competition, I’ve been second in the driver’s championship. Third time will certainly be the charm!”
"When I joined CORE autosport at the beginning of 2012, I did so because I knew that it was a team that was capable of winning. What I didn’t know then was how capable.
"I’ve been so impressed by each member of the organization that Jon and Morgan [Brady, team manager] has put together, the preparation of the cars, the shop – every aspect is at the highest professional level.
“Jon and I put together some great runs in 2012, with three wins and seven podium finishes, but we know there’s more potential in the car and the team. We saw that the sister #06 car finished on the podium at every race, and there’s no reason why we cannot do the same, and adding in my friend Mark for the long distance races will increase our competitiveness that much more.
“2013 can’t come fast enough – I can’t wait for Sebring!”