Ligier JS P320 CORE Autosport IMSA WeatherTech

IMSA WeatherTech: CORE Autosport’s #54 Ligier JS P320 succeeds in Canada

3 July 2022 - Round five of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. The Ligier teams were in the mix from start to finish, from free practice to the race. CORE Autosport clinched its second win of the season with the #54 Ligier JS P320. Andretti Autosport #36 finished second, with the #30 Jr III Racing completing the podium in third.

On Friday 1 July, the #30 Jr III Racing Ligier JS P320 with Ari Balogh and Garett Grist topped free practice 1 with a best lap of 1:12.245s, ahead of three other Ligiers. The following day, the #54 CORE Autosport car (Jon Bennett and Colin Braun) set the pace in free practice two by almost a second, with a time of 1:11.309s. As on the previous day, three other LMP3 cars produced by the French constructor were at the top of the timing screen.

On the same day, the #36 Andretti Autosport Ligier JS P320 (Jarett Andretti and Gabby Chaves) took pole position for the race. But the team was disqualified for using a non-compliant component. The top spot on the grid went to the #74 Riley Motorsports car (Gar Robinson and Scott Andrews) for the second time this season, with Gar Robinson's best time of 1:13.174s.

A duel for the lead between Riley Motosports and Andretti Autosport

Round five was a two-hour, 45-minute race on Sunday, 3 July. The #74 Riley Motorsports Ligier JS P320 ran on point ahead of the #30 Jr III Racing. At the back of the grid, the #33 of Sean Creech Motorsport (Joao Barbosa and Lance Willsey) and the #36 of Andretti Autosport made contact. The incident also involved GT cars, which brought out the yellow flag. The #33 returned to the pits to repair the damage, followed by several other LMP3s: the #30, the #36, the #54 and the #74. The Riley Motorsports car emerged in front of the Andretti Autosport entry before the latter passed it. But the Jarett Andretti / Gabby Chaves duo only led for five laps.

With another hour on the clock, Colin Braun in the #54 CORE Autosport car attempted to overcut the two leading cars, the #74 and #36. As he made his way back to the pits, there was an incident between a DPi car and the Riley Motorsports LMP3, which went into the wall and brought out the yellow flag. CORE Autosport's strategy paid off as Colin Braun exited the pits at the front of the field.

Victory for the CORE Autosport #54

At the restart, the #54 Ligier JS P320 was followed by the #36 Andretti Autosport and the #30 Jr III Racing. There were no further changes to the order. The CORE Autosport LMP3 won by a margin of almost three seconds to add a second win to its 2022 tally. Garett Grist in the #30 car, set the fastest lap of the race in 1:12.523s.

CORE Autosport consolidates its lead in the LMP3 championship with almost 100 points more than second-placed Jr III Racing. “For Colin and I, it's a nice to know we're leading the points, but I think we're careful not to get too excited about that. It's certainly better than the alternative and we're pleased with our performance this season. I think up next we're going to two tracks that are good for both Colin and I. We both love Road America and have a lot of experience at Road Atlanta.”, said Jon Bennett after the race.

The IMSA WeatherTech LMP3s will be back in action from 4-7 August at Road America during the IMSA Sportscar Weekend.

For complete results, CLICK HERE.