ROCK HILL, S.C. – official team release — CORE Autosport photo —
Five-time IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Prototype Challenge champions CORE Autosport have finalized their driver lineup for the 2016 season.
Jon Bennett and Colin Braun will continue to drive the No. 54 Composite Resources/Flex Box ORECA FLM09 with Mark Wilkins joining the pair for the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup races. Martin Plowman rounds out the team’s roster for the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
“We are all looking forward to executing the perfect race at Daytona this year,” said Bennett. “It is our goal to achieve perfect driving, perfect strategy, perfect pit stops, and perfect teamwork. I remember from last year’s race that we were fortunate to run an almost flawless event. We look forward to repeating that performance.”
“At the Roar (Before the 24 test), for us, it’s about getting everybody some seat time,” said Braun. “We’ve done this race enough that we’ll be focused less on finding the perfect setup and more on doing some driver changes and pit stop stuff. It’s little things that seem to always crop up and cost you time in the end, more so than what spring or roll bar is in the car, those types of things become less important in a 24-hour race.”
Bennett and Braun are now on their fifth season together as co-drivers and will be after their third-straight Prototype Challenge drivers’ championship. Since first pairing up for the 2012 American Le Mans Series season, the two have amassed 11 class wins together.
Wilkins has served as a support driver for CORE since 2012 and was part of the lineup that won the Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2014. In addition to the Rolex 24, he will re-join Bennett and Braun at the three other rounds of the TPNAEC: Sebring, Watkins Glen and Petit Le Mans.
“It’s great to be back for the Rolex for my third year with CORE,” said Wilkins. “To be racing with the best team in the paddock, it’s obviously a real honor that they throw me in the seat to run some laps and go after another Rolex 24 win and get things started off on the right foot for another championship season.”
Plowman is new to CORE Autosport, but not new to prototype racing. He’s driven with BAR1 Motorsports in 2014 and 2015, including last year’s Rolex 24. He also has two successful seasons of LMP2 racing under his belt, including a WEC LMP2 Championship in 2013 and a class win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans that same year.
“Joining CORE autosport for the Daytona 24 hours is a massive opportunity for me,” Plowman said. “They’re one of the best teams in the business, period. Winning at Daytona is extremely important to them, so it’s a huge honor to be trusted with helping them achieve that goal. After racing head to head against them at Daytona last year, I’m excited to join their team to continue their success.”
Another change in the CORE lineup includes Jeff Braun as race engineer. Braun brings more than three decades of motorsports engineering to the table and numerous championships. Working with CORE gives Braun the opportunity to work closely with son Colin.
CREDIT: CORE Autosport