CORE autosport earned its third-straight American Le Mans Series Prototype Challenge Team Championship this weekend, navigating challenging weather conditions for a podium finish at Petit Le Mans.
CORE faced a demanding day at Road Atlanta courtesy of rapidly changing weather conditions. Rain clouds moved over the 2.54-mile, 12-turn circuit just as the 34-car field prepared to leave the starting grid. Rain would come and go throughout the first half of the 1,000-mile race, forcing CORE to pit both the No. 05 ORECA FLM09 and No. 06 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR numerous times for tire changes.
CORE autosport celebrated both of its cars finishing on their American Le Mans Series class podiums at VIRginia International Raceway for the Oak Tree Grand Prix. Both the No. 06 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR and the No. 05 ORECA FLM09 finished second in their classes in the penultimate round of the 2013 season.
Jon Bennett started the No. 05 ORECA FLM09 from second and though he initially lost ground in the opening laps, he fought back to third place before handing the car over to Tom Kimber-Smith, who held onto the spot through the next pit stop. Quick work by the CORE autosport crew helped Kimber-Smith gain a position in the pits and re-enter the course in second place.
Following the unprecedented accident at the start of the Grand Prix of Baltimore, which rendered the No. 06 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR beyond repair, the sports car world has been watching CORE autosport to see what its next move would be.
For the past week, the team has been hard at work building a new Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (type 997) from the ground up. Porsche Motorsport’s swift response and delivery of the new tub enabled the CORE autosport crew to execute a carefully organized plan of attack. After nearly 500 man-hours, the car was loaded onto the team transporter bound for Circuit of the Americas today.
CORE autosport earned a top-five finishes at Road America in a race that started in the rain and ended with a gamble on fuel strategy. Patrick Long and Tom Kimber-Smith finished fifth in the No. 06 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.
Kimber-Smith had his hands full with the No. 06 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR at the start, this being his first rain race in a Porsche. The Englishman had hoped to follow the rest of the GT field’s lead on the rain line, but got separated from the group and was forced to learn everything on his own.