IMSA WeatherTech: Second win for CORE Autosport
August 6 - 8, 2021 - After Sebring in March, the #54 CORE Autosport Ligier JS P320 scores its second win of the season in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Road America. The #38 Performance Tech Motorsports car, which took pole position the day before, finished second. The #74 Riley Motorsports completed the podium.
In the sixth and penultimate round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the #36 Andretti Autosport Ligier JS P320 driven by Jarett Andretti and Oliver Askew was the fastest LMP3 car in the two free practice sessions on Friday, August 6 and Saturday, August 7. It set the fastest lap in 2:20.504s in session one (under pouring rain), and in 2:00.579s in session two.
Later on Saturday, the #38 Performance Tech Motorsports Ligier JS P320 driven by Dan Goldburg and Rasmus Lindh clinched its third pole position of the season. With Dan Goldburg at the wheel, the #38 was the fastest of the category in 2:19.106s and was more than 300 hundredths faster than its nearest rival, the #74 Riley Motorsports car driven by Gar Robinson and Felipe Fraga.
The race started on Sunday 8 August at 2:40pm local time. After a tumultuous start, the #38 Performance Tech Motorsports Ligier JS P320 lost the lead to the #74 Riley Motorsports car. But the latter didn't enjoy the lead of the LMP3 field for long. The #36 Andretti Autosport swooped down on its rival and took the first place.
After 20 laps, the #36 Ligier JS P320 lost the lead to the #54 CORE Autosport car driven by Jon Bennett and Colin Braun. Thanks to a pit stop made just before the second yellow flag of the race, the #54 led the LMP3 class until the chequered flag. Five months after its victory at the 12 Hours of Sebring, the team once again climbed on top of the podium.
“I was really excited about getting into P1”, , said Colin Braun “You never know how things will shake out when you come out of the pits under yellow. It was chaos because we decided to pit and the yellow came out, but we were pitting already. Once I got in and we cycled through the yellow, (race engineer) Tyler [Neff] said we were leading the race. I was happy, but it was straight to work. I pushed hard at times to build that gap and then was pretty cautious in traffic and tried to manage the gap the rest of the time and be smart about it.”
The #38 Performance Tech Motorsports Ligier JS P320 finished second ahead of the #74 Riley Motorsports car. It was followed in fourth place by its sister car the #91 driven by Jim Cox and Dylan Murry, which set the fastest lap of the race in 2:01.963s.
Making its first appearance in the IMSA WeatherTech challenge, the #30 JR III Racing Ligier JS P320 driven by Terry Olson and Mike Skeen was less fortunate than its competitors. A contact with the #38 Performance Tech Motorsports broke one of its rear axles. Less than 20 minutes after the start of the race, the team was forced to retire.
The Motul Petit Le Mans, the grand finale of the championship, will take place from November 11 to 13 at the Michelin Raceway Road Altanta in Georgia. With 1800 points, the #74 Ligier JS P320 is still leading the provisional standings. But nothing is decided yet: only 50 points separate it from the #54 CORE Autosport.
For the full race results, CLICK HERE.
Photo credit: Gavin Baker