American Le Mans Series CORE autosport starting second at Road America

Discussion in 'National Series' started by Administrator, Aug 18, 2012.

  1. Administrator

    Administrator Administrator Staff Member

    ELKHART LAKE, WI, Friday, August 17, 2012: After an intense qualifying session for tomorrow’s American Le Mans Series (ALMS) Road America Road Race Showcase, Tom Kimber-Smith, wheeling the #06 Soloson Import ORECA FLM09, landed a second-place Prototype Challenge (PC) class starting spot (seventh overall).

    Kimber-Smith’s lap of 1:57.790 at an average speed of 123.718 mph around the historic 14-turn, 4.048-mile Road America circuit was set at the very last lap of the 15-minute qualifying session and only .6 of a second off of the pole position.* This is Kimber-Smith’s first time at Road America and the third time in 2012 that he’s been paired with lead driver Alex Popow in the #06 machine.

    Popow, the current ALMS PC driver championship points leader, has multiple challenges ahead for Saturday, as he’s not only chasing titles in the ALMS, but also in the GRAND-AM Rolex Series Daytona Prototype category.* To maintain his standings in both series, Popow is doing double-duty this weekend at Road America as well as at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve near Montreal, Canada.

    On Saturday, Popow will start the GRAND-AM event in Montreal, and as soon as he completes his first stint, he’ll turn the car over to his co-driver, take a helicopter to an airplane and get to Road America as close to the 2:30 p.m. (CT) start time of the four-hour race as possible.* Kimber-Smith will take first shift in the #06 machine to allow for travel disparities, but in case of a real issue with Popow, team owner / founder Jon Bennett has been entered to drive the #06 car as well as his regular #05 Composite Resources machine.

    Unfortunately, the #05 car of Bennett and co-driver Colin Braun suffered mechanical failure in the final practice session, which took place just prior to qualifying.* Unable qualify for the race, the #05 was placed in seventh spot in the PC class and 34th overall ”“ literally at the back of the pack.* When the race begins, it will be up to the drivers to dig through slower GT and GTC traffic to compete for top ranking at the event.

    Earlier in the day the #05 machine set the fastest practice lap with Braun at the wheel, and the car, which snapped its accessory belt five minutes prior to the end of practice, will be fully repaired for the morning warmup session and the race.

    The four-hour Road America Road Race Showcase takes place at 3:30 p.m. (ET) on Saturday, August 18th.* Live coverage of the race can be found on, while a tape-delayed television race broadcast will be aired on Sunday, August 19th at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN2.* Live timing and scoring can be located at

    A live in-car camera in the #05 machine will allow all CORE autosport fans to ride “shotgun” with Bennett and Braun for tomorrow’s event and can be found online at

    Jon Bennett
    “Overall we had a great day today at Road America.

    “In the practice sessions, Colin was very quick and I was coming up to speed myself. *

    "Unfortunately we had a bit of a belt failure issue, and we’re starting at the back of the pack.

    “I think that it should be good fun to work through traffic tomorrow and I think that the more that Colin and I work together the better we’re getting.* He does such a great job.

    “It’s kind of interesting that I’m entered in both cars tomorrow.* I hope that Alex arrives and will be able to drive, but I’m ready if he doesn’t.”

    Colin Braun
    “Tomorrow’s race will be tough and the PC class is really tight time- and driver-talent wise.* So it’s always an accomplishment to keep ahead of the pack.
    “We were very fortunate to have a good pace going this morning.* Overall the race car is very good and the guys have been working very hard to make sure our car comes back from today’s issue very strong.

    “I have no doubt the #05 will be great for tomorrow and I cannot wait for the green flag.”

    Alex Popow
    “Tomorrow will not be an easy day, but then again it’s not going to be easy to win two championships, but that’s what I’m trying to do.
    “I come to win and it would be great to win two races in two series in two countries on the same day.* I’ll do the best I can in Montreal and then get to Road America as quickly as possible.

    “I think that Tom has done a great job in qualifying and always works well with the team.* I was also able to drive the #06 car today in both practice sessions and I am comfortable with the car and the team as always.”

    Tom Kimber-Smith
    “Qualifying was pretty good.* We still didn’t get that pole position but we’ve got a spot to start the race tomorrow.
    “The car got better and better every lap and I think with more time I could’ve gotten even faster.* I think that’s a good sign for the race tomorrow.* It’s a four-hour race where anything can happen and I think between Alex and I we are both pretty quick and as a pairing will put on a good show.

    “I’m enjoying Road America, which is very similar to a European circuit.* It’s very interesting to drive, with good elevation changes and it’s very fast.* If Alex and I can stay out of trouble I think we can keep his lead in the championship over Colin and Jon, who are in second place.

    “For CORE autosport, if we can have a one-two, that’d be a good result, especially if the #06 car finishes ahead of the #05!”

    CORE autosport

    Road America Road Race Showcase


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