CORE Autosports takes third sports car victory of season at Grand Prix of Kansas

June 8, 2014 

— A lot has gone right for No. 54 CORE Autosport team of Rock Hill this season.

The team won its third race of the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship with .Colin Braun of Charlotte and Jon Bennett of Rock Hill, behind the wheel of their ORECA race car.

At the Grand Prix of Kansas in which the Prototype Challenge machines raced alongside the IMSA Cooper Tires Prototype Lites powered by Mazda series, Braun quickly leaped from a fifth-place starting spot to the lead just two laps into the 45-minute second segment. Once in the lead, Braun was not seriously challenged on his way to a 4.652-second victory over Renger van der Zande in the No. 8 Starworks Motorsport ORECA.

“It’s always a challenge, you don’t know how the traffic situation is going to go down,” Braun said. “I was trying to save a bit of my tires for the end of the race, in case we might have a late race caution.

The duo opened the year with a Rolex 24 At Daytona victory alongside co-drivers James Gue and Mark Wilkins, and teamed with Gue to make it two in a row in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida.

Bennett – who missed all three of Friday’s practice sessions to attend his son’s graduation ceremony in Rock Hill qualified the No. 54 machine fifth for the first 45-minute segment, a position he maintained throughout the segment.

“It’s been a surreal weekend for me,” Bennett said. “My son graduated high school on Friday night. I knew this was coming for a while, and I absolutely had to be there, so luckily I was able to catch a magic carpet from Charlotte at 7:30 and make it here with about 20 minutes to spare. We did a lot of simulation of Kansas and then got in the car and had a reasonable qualifying effort, so I was really happy about that.

“My race was quite eventful with a lot of spinning cars. We were patient, and ended up with a top-five position. I knew that would be a great launching pad for Colin. In many ways, it was a wire-to-wire race for us. It’s great to be back, that’s for sure.”

Next up for all four TUDOR Championship classes is the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen on Sunday, June 29. The race – which will be televised live on FOX Sports 1 – also is the third round of the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup.

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