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.

Sergio Perez still has coronavirus; will miss second consecutive F1 race

F1 Sergio Perez out
Laurent Charniaux/Pool via Getty Images
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SILVERSTONE, England — Sergio Perez will be out for a second F1 race at Silverstone this week after again testing positive for the coronavirus.

The Mexican driver had hoped to return to Formula One after spending seven days in quarantine, but his Racing Point team said this morning he had tested positive.

“He is physically well and recovering,” the team said. “The whole team wishes Sergio and his family well and we look forward to his return.”

That means German veteran Nico Hulkenberg again fills in for Sunday’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix after having also replaced Sergio Perez when he was out for the F1 British Grand Prix at the same venue last week. Hulkenberg did not start that race because of an engine problem.

There are two consecutive weekends of racing at Silverstone as Formula One tries to pack in races following the pandemic-delayed start to the season.

Perez became the first Formula One driver to test positive for coronavirus, and it had been unclear whether he would be available to drive after the period of quarantine was extended to 10 days.

Racing Point also was in the news Friday after being hit with a 15-point penalty in the Formula One constructors’ championship and fined 400,000 euros ($470,000) Friday for using brake ducts based on those from last year’s Mercedes cars.

The stewards ruled that Mercedes was the “principal designer” of the parts, and that Racing Point made only minor changes to computer design data it received from Mercedes.

Rival team Renault filed protests about the legality of the brake ducts, which were added to the “listed parts” under F1 rules for 2020. That means teams must design their own. Racing Point argued it was merely using information about the Mercedes parts to inform its own design.

Racing Point uses customer engines from Mercedes and has admitted basing its 2020 car design on photographs of last year’s Mercedes car. The similarities led to the Racing Point being nicknamed the “pink Mercedes” when it was first seen in testing ahead of the season.

Racing Point can appeal the ruling. The points deduction drops the team from fifth to sixth in the standings, below Renault. The ruling doesn’t affect the points totals for Racing Point’s drivers.