Braun Completes Perfect CTMP Weekend

Colin Braun laps CTMP during IMSA race
A spectacular drive by Colin Braun at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park gave CORE autosport its first Prototype win in the WeatherTech Championship. | Photo: Jake Galstad / IMSA

The speed of CORE autosport’s ORECA 07 at the hands of Colin Braun during the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix weekend’s practice and qualifying outings was present in the two-hour, 40-minute race as well, aiding the Texan driver in capturing the team’s first overall IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship victory.

Braun placed the No. 54 ORECA on the pole for the second consecutive weekend but the team matched their pre-Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen decision of switching starting drivers. With Braun’s full-season co-driver Jon Bennett installed in the LMP2 car for the start of the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park event, CORE accepted a start from the back of the Prototype field.

Following a clean start, Bennett turned the reigns of the French-built prototype over to Braun who put his head down and marched toward the front. On his way to passing Jordan Taylor for the lead entering the final 10 minutes of the race, Braun set a 1:07.560 lap — the second fastest of the day.

Braun celebrates CTMP win with Bennett
Colin Braun and Jon Bennett celebrate their win from last at CTMP. | Photo: Richard Dole / IMSA

Braun’s move around the outside of the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R was executed seconds before the sixth and final full-course caution brought the action to a halt and set up a sprint to the checkered flag.

All three Cadillac DPis in the field gave chase to Braun when green-flag running returned but the CORE driver quickly built a gap over the final laps, ultimately crossing the start-finish line 3.431 seconds ahead of Taylor on the 116th and final lap.

On their way to winning from last in Prototype, Bennett spent half an hour in the LMP2 machine while Braun drove for two hours, nine minutes and one second.

Action Express Racing’s Nos. 31 and 5 Cadillacs finished 4.666 and 6.657 seconds in arrears of the victorious CORE entry, respectively, ahead of the No. 7 Acura ARX-05 — the top-finishing Team Penske machine.

After Harry Tincknell stranded the No. 55 Mazda RT24-P while running in the top five to bring out the aforementioned final caution, Oliver Jarvis and Tristan Nunez of the sister No. 77 Mazda DPi became the best-finishing Mazda Team Joest pilots in sixth. Tincknell and co-driver Jonathan Bomarito are scored 11th out of 12 on the final results.

JDC-Miller Motorsports’ pair of ORECAs came home in seventh and eighth, led by the No. 99 car of Misha Goikhberg and Stephen Simpson that won last time out at Watkins Glen International.

Stephen Simpson races around CTMP during 2018 IMSA race
One week after winning at Watkins Glen, JDC-Miller Motorsports’ “Red Dragon” was eighth in Canada. | Photo: Jake Galstad / IMSA

The Ligier JS P217 of AFS/PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports finished ninth as the final member of the leading group of prototypes before the GT Le Mans winner on the overall results.

Dane Cameron started from the pole in Penske’s No. 6 Acura DPi after CORE’s driver change but the car rounded out the top 10 after an early tire puncture, a penalty for running the red light at pit exit and losing a wheel when Juan Pablo Montoya was in the car for the final stint.

The lone Tequila Patron ESM entry at CTMP finished 12th in the Prototype division after the No. 22 Nissan Onroak DPi’s engine failed early on — the exact issue that forced the team to reduce its two-car program to one for the Canadian event.

After July 21’s GT-only round at Lime Rock Park, all three WeatherTech Championship classes will race together again at Road America for the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase on Aug. 5.

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