American Le Mans Series CORE autosport nabs VIR pole position by inches

Discussion in 'National Series' started by Administrator, Sep 15, 2012.

  1. Administrator

    Administrator Administrator Staff Member

    ALTON, VA, Friday, September 14, 2012: Faster than a blink of an eye.* The difference of two inches over more than three miles. That was the margin of success for CORE autosport’s pole winner Colin Braun in today’s American Le Mans Series (ALMS) qualifying session at Virginia International Raceway (VIR).

    Braun piloted the #05 Composite Resources ORECA FLM09 around the 17-turn, 3.27-mile circuit a mere .001 seconds and .002 mph over second place starter Kyle Marcelli, scoring the pole position in the highly contested Prototype Challenge (PC) class for Saturday’s four-hour VIR 240.

    It wasn’t until the end of the session that he drove a lap of 1:14.006 with an average speed of 116.548 mph, scoring the first PC-class starting spot (seventh overall after the faster P1 and P2 machines).

    This is the second pole position for Braun and the #05 in 2012 (the other was at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in July) and his second pole position at VIR in sports cars ”“ his first was in 2007 in GRAND-AM Series competition.* As this is the inaugural event at VIR for the ALMS, Braun also set a qualifying track record.

    Tom Kimber-Smith, behind the wheel of the #06 Soloson Import sister car, was ranked in third place in the PC class (ninth overall) with a best lap time of 1:41.269 at 116.245 mph.

    Since the team’s arrival at VIR, CORE autosport has been at the top of all timing charts, with the #05 and #06 cars coming off the transporters running very quickly against the ever-competitive PC class.* Braun and his #05 co-driver, team owner and founder Jon Bennett, were the quickest in practice on Thursday and Friday morning.* #06 drivers Kimber-Smith and lead driver Alex Popow were second in both Friday practice sessions.

    The VIR 240 is crucial to the 2012 ALMS PC driver championship.* Popow leads the standings over Bennett/ Braun by 32 points coming into this event, the penultimate round of the 10-race 2012 ALMS season. *

    The Rock Hill, SC-based team clinched its second consecutive ALMS PC team championship in August at Road America.

    Prior to tomorrow’s race, CORE autosport will be holding a live auction in the ALMS paddock area benefiting the Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer, with many exclusive team items for bid.* Acting as the auctioneer will be pole-winner Braun, and he will be joined by other team drivers and crew members.* The auction starts at 12:15 p.m. (ET), just after the ALMS autograph session.

    Upon the 2:30 p.m. (ET) start of the VIR 240 on Saturday, September 15th, Bennett will pilot the #05 and Popow will drive the #06 before turning their steeds over to Braun and Kimber-Smith, respectively.

    Live coverage of the race can be found on, with a two-hour event summary broadcasting on ESPN2 television at 5 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, September 16th.

    Twitter: @coreautosport

    Jon Bennett

    “What a great result for Colin.* He’s been nothing but the class of the field in all of the practice sessions and he deserved the pole position.

    “It puts the #05 in a great position for the race tomorrow and I have to give Colin thanks for giving me a good seat for the beginning of the race.

    “VIR is such a beautiful place and a great track.* I’m looking forward to the race tomorrow and I think that the car is strong enough for a solid result.”
    Colin Braun

    “Wow.* Well, I’m not sure where we got that .001 second to win the pole position.* Maybe I was a little faster in Turn 10, which takes a lot of guts?* Maybe Marcelli hit a bug and I didn’t?

    “This pole position is proof that the PC class is such a good and competitive class that we can start first by 1/1000th of a second, but between the first five cars we were only separated by 4/10 of a second.* The rules are set that the fans will get a great show and the drivers will have a battle on our hands.* Tomorrow’s race will be great fun.

    “VIR is a track that’s very fast and flowing, especially for the PC cars, but it is a bit narrow, especially when you’re in traffic.* It’s also easy to get dust and dirt on the track when you dip a wheel, but I have to give credit to all the PC drivers in our session ”“ the track was in great shape.

    “I have to get into a different mindset with the Michelin tires that are on the PC cars.* I’m so used to having to get my quick lap right away in the first or second lap, and with these tires my quickest lap came at lap six, towards the end of the session.

    “I’ve got to take my hat off to engineer Gary Davis, Eric Van Bibber, Jay Ribas and all the #05 crew for giving me and Jon a great car right off the truck that only got faster and gave me that little bit extra that we needed.”

    Alex Popow

    “First, I’ve got to congratulate Colin on an awesome run.* He was fast in every session and did a great job.
    “The #06 car has gotten a lot better since yesterday and everyone at CORE autosport has worked very hard to make this car very fast.

    “The goal for tomorrow’s race is to run smart to win that driver championship.

    "I’ve worked out the math and if I can finish in third place or better, I’ll clinch it, but of course I still want Tom and I to win the race.* That’s what I do every time I get behind the wheel of a race car.

    “The start will be very important for me.* If I can get out in front as soon as the green flag waves, it should work out.

    "Winning after a four hour race is going to involve a lot of strategy, but I have faith in the guys ”“ we won the only other four hour race this season at Road America, and I think we can do it here as well.”

    Tom Kimber-Smith

    “VIR is a great track and the car was very strong.

    "Of course I would’ve liked to have gotten the pole position and I think that we had the car to do it.* I’ve got to hand it to Colin for doing a great job out there.
    “Alex is a very fast driver and even though he’s starting third, I’m sure he’ll get out front and go for the win.

    "The competition in the PC class is so good that winning the driver championship won’t be easy, but I think that the #06 team can pull it out.”

    CORE autosport

    American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón VIR 240


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