CORE autosport to contest LMPC class in 2011
CORE autosport confirmed today its entry into the 2011 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n. A title-winning operation in IMSA’s 2010 Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Championship, CORE is moving up the prototype ladder to the LMP Challenge class in the American Le Mans Series. Its new cars are scheduled to arrive at the CORE autosport headquarters within one week.
“This deal has been in the works for awhile and I am pleased to announce that we will be running an LMPC car in 2011,” states team principal and driver Jon Bennett. “The LMPC class is the next logical step for us after capturing the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Championship. Although we made the decision to buy two cars our primary objective is to run a solid one-car program. Then we will evaluate bringing the second car online under the right circumstances.”
The 2011 season will mark the second of the LMPC class, which features ORECA’s FLM09 prototype. LMPC was hotly contested all season with both the team and driver championships not decided until the last race of the year at Road Atlanta. CORE wrapped up the L1 class team title that same weekend, and Charlie Shears won the driver championship in the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites series.
LMPC is the middle rung in a development ladder within IMSA, the sanctioning body of the American Le Mans Series, that is designed to build and advance the next generation of endurance racing drivers and teams.
“This is further proof that the ladder system we are building within the American Le Mans Series and IMSA is working,” said Scott Atherton, President and CEO of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n. “Programs such as this one being confirmed today by CORE autosport validate the decisions we made to form a pipeline of opportunities from our IMSA development series to the American Le Mans Series – in both LMP and GT platforms. We are understandably honored and grateful for the commitment of Jon Bennett and everyone at CORE and wish them the best of luck for the 2011 season.”
“Since our inception, we’ve been carefully planning our progress with the objective of fielding an ALMS entry,” said Morgan Brady, Team Manager. “An LMPC entry provides more visibility for the team and additional opportunities for our drivers, sponsors and partners. We’re looking for drivers who want to be part of a growing, ambitious team in the American Le Mans Series.”
To properly support the LMPC program, CORE has secured the services of Burke Harrison as Race Engineer and Mike Sales as Crew Chief. “Bringing on experienced people like Burke and Mike represents my commitment to making this team a success,” says Bennett.
Added Brady, “I have worked with Burke Harrison in the past and have lot of confidence in his ability to put a solid car on track every weekend. Mike Sales has a long list of experience which is an asset to a new team like ours.”
“After having spent many years in open-wheel and more recently ALMS, I’m looking forward to the challenges of working with a new team like CORE autosport and achieving success in the American Le Mans Series,” Sales said.
The team is scheduled to begin offseason testing by the middle of December. As of this date, CORE has yet to finalize a driver lineup but is expecting to do so as early as possible. Interested drivers should contact Brady at firstname.lastname@example.org.