ROCK HILL, S.C. — Back-to-back American Le Mans Series PC class champions CORE autosport will take on an additional challenge in 2013 with a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR GTE class assault headlined by Porsche factory star Patrick Long and three-time Le Mans class winner Tom Kimber-Smith.
The new entry will be in addition to the team’s confirmed return to the PC class where team owner/driver Jon Bennett and young star Colin Braun are targeting CORE’s third consecutive championship.
After showcasing its talents with two championship victories in two years in prototype competition, CORE now becomes a Porsche customer team in 2013.
“CORE autosport has obviously achieved great success in the PC class in the ALMS but we’re really looking to expand our horizons and show what the team is capable of,” team owner, Jon Bennett said. “This has been a strategic business design by our company. Our target for 2013 is to build a strong infrastructure capable of supporting a two-car factory effort. We want to prove we are capable of being successful in GT racing and this year will be a great learning experience for us.
“We know the GT class in the ALMS is one of the most fiercely contested events in the world. That will become a great measuring stick for us. We know we are really stepping into the big leagues – not only against other Porsche customer teams but Corvette, BMW and Ferrari.”
CORE autosport will undergo an extensive test program starting after the 12 Hours of Sebring with a race debut soon to follow.
Jens Walther, president of Porsche Motorsport North America, welcomed the new team to the Porsche customer team family.
“We are pleased the Core autosport has chosen the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR to compete in the American Le Mans Series GT class for 2013 – giving us three customers teams entered in the most competitive GT race series in the world,” Walther said.
A Porsche factory driver since 2003, three-time ALMS GT champion and 21-time ALMS GT winner, Long is eagerly awaiting the opportunity to kick start CORE’s GT program.
“It is an exciting year for me. I’m ready for a role of growth in 2013. It is going to be a great challenge because the GTE class has a ton of activity and a lot of manufacturer involvement. It will be about getting up to speed quickly and growing for the future,” Long said.
In addition to CORE’s PC and GTE programs, team owner/driver Jon Bennett will add a debut season in the Porsche IMSA GT3 Cup to his PC championship assault. The Porsche IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama is an eight-race single-make championship that visits seven rounds of the ALMS plus an appearance at the fabled Watkins Glen circuit.