In His Own Words: Morgan Brady
CORE autosport’s defense of its Prototype Challenge title in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón is off to a strong start – the strongest possible. Team manager Morgan Brady talks through the first two races of 2012 - a pair of victories and a total of four podium positions for CORE’s ORECA FLM09. The team will try to make it three straight next week in the American Le Mans Monterey presented by Patrón.
Question: With four podiums in two races, is this as good a start as you could imagine?
Morgan Brady: Absolutely. I think as a team you have to go to every race planning and preparing to win, which is what we’ve done so far and it’s worked. However, there are several things when you enter a race that are not in your control. So far we’ve done a good job managing those variables, and the results show it.
Q: How do you explain the hot start?
MB: Everyone at CORE autosport worked really hard over the offseason, and everything from process to policies were reviewed and adjusted. It was a lot of work and it shows.
We’ve also managed to put together excellent driver lineups in both cars (No. 05 and No. 06), and we’ve been able to have really good pit stops and good strategy from our engineers. Overall, we’ve managed to take our success and lessons learned from 2011 and apply them to the 2012 ALMS season.
Q: Many people may be surprised that the 06 car is the one that's 2-for-2 this year. Are you surprised as well?
MB: Not at all. I think that Alex (Popow, No. 06 car lead driver) has a great racing résumé and he’s managed to adapt to the car really well, especially because his first time driving a PC car – at Sebring – was the first test sessions the week of the race. For him to go out and win it was a great accomplishment.
I think it also goes to show that CORE autosport is an open team that does not favor a particular car or driver. We do not have team orders, and the No. 05 with team owner Jon Bennett and Colin Braun has just as much of a chance to win a race as the No. 06 car. Both cars and teams are identical, and we share information between them.
Q: Does the strategy for a six-hour race at Mazda Raceway differ greatly from that of Sebring? Why or why not?
MB: Six hours is tricky because it’s a middle-length race. What makes those races hard is that you can’t recover from a mistake. If there’s a problem with strategy, in the pits, or something mechanical, there’s no time to bounce back.
In terms of strategy, there really is no difference between a lot of the races. Although these are called ‘endurance’ events, it’s really an all-out sprint from start to finish, no matter if the race is two hours, six hours or 12 hours. For success, you just better have everything as right as possible, and that’s the plan.
The American Le Mans Monterey presented by Patrón is set for 1:30 p.m. PT on Saturday, May 12, from the 2.238-mile Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. ESPN2 airs the race at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 13. Live coverage is available starting at 4:15 p.m. ET on ESPN3.
The Series’ website offers additional content such as live in-car cameras, and timing and scoring for all users around the world. Viewers outside the U.S. can watch the Monterey round and all ALMS races live on ALMS.com.