CORE's GRC Lites car tears up the dir. Photo: CORE autosport

Red Bull GRC: CORE autosport planning Thompson, Detroit double

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CORE autosport competes in both Red Bull Global Rallycross in the GRC Lites division and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in the GT Daytona class.

In theory, with GRC at Thompson, Ct. this weekend and with IMSA on the streets of Detroit, it’d be difficult to foresee CORE running in both simultaneously.

But that will be the plan for this weekend.

CORE’s pair of Jon Bennett and Colin Braun will finish their IMSA commitments in the No. 54 CORE autosport Porsche 911 GT3 R on Saturday afternoon, then hightail it from a plane out of Detroit to Connecticut where they plan to compete in GRC Lites competition.

Porsche at Circuit of The Americas. Photo: CORE autosport

Braun is third and Bennett fifth in GRC Lites points heading into the weekend, while it’s been a tough start in IMSA since they switched the GT Daytona class. They sit only 21st in the class standings with a best finish of 14th place in four races.

Bennett explained the game plan: “CORE autosport is committed to competing for championships in both IMSA WeatherTech GTD and Red Bull GRC Lites. We noticed the possibility of competing in both events. The idea was like an ember, that spread to a flame, which became a mission. Our IMSA WeatherTech race on Belle Island ends at 2:40pm. With the miracle of air travel, Colin, myself, and some crew will fly to a regional airport near Thompson arriving at the circuit with 30 minutes to spare before the Saturday LCQ!”

Braun added, “Jon and I were talking about how disappointing it was going to be to miss Thompson with the GRC cars. We kind of looked at each other and said ‘hey, there’s a possibility, since the Detroit race is on Saturday, that we could do both.’ We looked at the schedules and it looks like we could make the LCQ on Saturday and then all day Sunday. We’re doing pretty well in the GRC points, so we’d hate to give up being a contender over there.”

Red Bull Global Rallycross coverage from Thompson for Supercars airs at 5 p.m. ET on both Saturday, June 3 and Sunday, June 4 on NBC. GRC Lites coverage airs on Wednesday, June 7, at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

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Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”