CORE autosport has two races left, before they are saying goodbye to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in DPi.
Team owner Jon Bennett has chosen to retire from racing for now, and will shut down the DPi part of the team. The team also runs the GTLM programme as works team for Porsche, but they will keep that programme running.
CORE autosport started in the American Le Mans Series in 2011, where they ran a two-car team in the LMPC category, and won the title in their maiden season, followed by more titles in the following years. They made the move into the new United SportsCar Championship, which we know as IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship today, and were stern supports of LMPC until 2017, where they went into GTD with a Porsche.
They returned to Prototypes again in 2018, where they bought an ORECA 07 LMP2 car, with Bennett and he now long-time teammate, Colin Braun shared. The pair fought for the Championship until the very final race, and ended up losing out by just 3 points to the Champions, Whelen Engineering in a Cadillac DPi car.
They could however see the trend for LMP2 prior to the 2019, where there cars were mad uncompetitive with the performance enhancements for DPi, so they got a bargain when the ESM team closed, and had two Nissan DPi cars for sale.
2019 has been a really tough season for the team, where they really haven’t cracked the nut over the full race distance. Other than grabbing Pole Position at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in July, their qualifying has primarily been focused on giving Jon Bennett few extra laps in the car, and putting him in for the start of the race, before switching to Braun at the first opportunity, with him to race until the chequered flag – if they got that far. They managed to do so sometimes, but there has been a lot of technical issues, and other than the sole Pole Position, we haven’t really seen any of the magic from Braun, that we saw last year in the LMP2 car.
The team could in theory keep going, but has chosen to close the programme, when the team owner no longer will be driving in the car. That puts Colin Braun on the drivers market, along with the two Nissan DPi cars – which probably isn’t that sought after, even though they won two races in 2018 with the ESM team. If other teams wants to have a success with the car, they will have to get testing instantly after the end of the season, and put two really good Pro drivers in the car, who can develop and find a good setup for the car, which hasn’t been possible for CORE autosport, despite several test days with Braun alone in the car.
The two remaining races for CORE autosport are WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in September and Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta in October.