CORE Autosport adds George Kurtz, Matt McMurry to lineup for endurance rounds

Kurtz McMurry CORE Autosport
CoreAutosport.com
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George Kurtz will join Jon Bennett and Colin Braun in the No. 54 CORE Autosport Ligier in 2021 in endurance rounds for the WeatherTech Sportscar Championship, with Matt McMurry added as a fourth driver for the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona. The No. 54 will be sponsored by Composite Resources and CrowdStrike.

Braun was set to race for Era Motorsports last year in their LMP2 program in the 12 Hours of Sebring, Six Hours of The Glen and the Petit Le Mans, but the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic upended those plans. He raced for that team in the TireRack.com Grand Prix and Road Atlanta and for Performance Tech Motorsports in the Petit Le Mans instead. Braun finished second in class for both events.

Braun raced for three different teams in 2020 in three races and was part of the winning DragonSpeed entry in the season-opening 24 Hours of Daytona.

Bennett ran the full season with CORE last year with top-five finishes in his first two starts, including a fourth in the 24 Hours of Daytona.

Kurtz and Braun have driven together on multiple occasions, including last year’s 8 Hours of Indianapolis where they finished fifth overall and first in the Pro-Am class with CrowdStrike as a sponsor.

“I’ve known Colin for a long time and followed his success with CORE,” Kurtz said in a press release. “This relationship is an extension of a successful run with Colin in sports cars, including our recent class win at the SRO Indy 8 Hour race and a successful Spa 24 Hour debut. I know CORE operates with a high level of professionalism, which is important to me if the car is carrying the CrowdStrike logo.

“I’ve been racing GT cars most recently, but I’m thrilled to get back to prototypes, where my racing career began. CORE is synonymous with winning and professionalism.”

 

McMurry moves over from the GTD class where he raced for Meyer Shank Racing in 2020. In 10 starts, McMurry was part of the class winning team twice at Road Atlanta in September and at Laguna Seca in November.

“I’m so excited to be joining CORE for the Rolex 24,” McMurry said. “They’re one of the biggest names in American sports car racing, so it’s an honor to get to join them. I look forward to working with Colin, Jon, and George and fighting for a win with them!”

McMurry was the 2019 LMP2 class champion on the strength of six victories.

All four drivers will have their first chance to drive the No. 54 at the Roar Before the 24, January 22 – 24. The 2021 IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship kicks off the following week with the Rolex 24 at Daytona, January 28 – 31.

Supercross 2023: Results and points after Houston

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Eli Tomac led all 23 laps of the Monster Energy Supercross race at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas and the results show he now has three wins in the season and is one shy of tying Ricky Carmichael’s 48 for third on the all-time list. With this win, he takes a seven point lead in the standings with 12 rounds remaining.

For Tomac at Houston, it was literally a tale of two races. Both his heat and the main started the same with Tomac grabbing the holeshot, but he was passed quickly by Chase Sexton in the heat. Tomac faded quickly after getting passed and was trailing by almost eight seconds at the checkered flag, which caused him to retreat to the hauler and reassess his lines. Without making any adjustments to the bike, Tomac entered the Main with a new attitude, and simply rode better.

Supercross Results Houston
Chase Sexton played it safe in the sand, but he was aggressive in every other turn. – Feld Motor Sports

Sexton had so great a lead in his heat that one could not even use the cliche that he left Tomac in his dust. By the time the rider with the No. 1 plate crossed the same real estate as the No. 23, the dust was well settled. Sexton had a modest start on the initial gate drop and ended Lap 1 in fourth. He worked his way past Aaron Plessinger on Lap 3 and got around Jason Anderson three laps later. Sexton was able to catch Tomac and pressure him, but he picked a safe, i.e. slow line through the sand section and could never get alongside his rival.

RESULTS: Click here for 450 Results; Click here for full 250 East Main Results

After starting the season with back-to-back seventh-place finishes, Anderson now has a pair of podiums. He won his heat and was easily one of the top three riders in the field, ultimately finishing behind the riders who finished 1-2 in the other preliminary. Anderson was subdued on the podium – happy he was there, but disappointed he has not yet found a way around the riders he is chasing in the points.

In the early stages of the race, Plessinger appeared to have a bike capable of winning. He pressured Tomac on the first two laps and was setting up the pass just as a red flag waved for an injury to Dylan Ferrandis that brought out a red flag. He lost second to Anderson on the restart and eventually slipped to fourth to score his first top-five of the season.

Click here for 450 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier

Cooper Webb rounded out the top five. Along with Sexton, he is now one of just two riders with a sweep of that mark in 2023, but with Tomac’s three wins, he is beginning to slip in the points. Webb sits third in the standings, 12 points behind the leader.

Ken Roczen entered the race as the third rider with a sweep of the top five and progressively better results in the first three races of 2023. Had the pattern held, he would have finished at least second, but he struggled for most of the night, finishing fifth in his heat and eighth in the Main. There may have been extenuating circumstances, however. Ferrandis’ injury was suffered when he landed on the back of Roczen’s bike and potentially damaged the No. 94 Suzuki.

Click here for 450 Main results | Rider Points | Manufacturer Points | Lap Chart


The 250 East division made their 2023 debut in Houston, but the name atop the board was familiar. Hunter Lawrence joined his brother Jett Lawrence as the early points’ leader in their respective divisions, but it didn’t come without a little anxiety.

Riding behind Supercross newbie Tom Vialle on the second lap, Lawrence was forced to take evasive action when the leader pitched his bike sideways to scrub speed over a jump. Lawrence veered left and landed off course, but he cleared the Tuff Blox and kept his bike straight. Lawrence made the pass for the lead on Lap 18 and never relinquished it.

Click here for 250 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier

In his first attempt on a 250, Max Anstie ascended to the podium. – Feld Motor Sports

England’s Max Anstie made the move from 450s to 250s this year after scoring a best result of 11th on the big bike at Anaheim 2 last year. It didn’t take anytime at all to find the front for Anstie, who finished second in both his heat and main.

It has been a while since Jordon Smith stood on the podium: February 23, 2019 to be exact when he finished that well in Detroit. A series of injuries kept him off the bike for much of 2020 and 2021, but he’s proving to be a factor when he’s healthy.

Click here for 250 Main results | 250 East Rider Points | Combined Rider Points | Lap Chart

There was a lot of hype surrounding the debut of Haiden Deegan in the 250 class and he proved it was merited. He finished fourth in his heat and main. He was as far down as ninth at one point in the feature before slowly picking off riders on his way to the front.

Jeremy Martin finished fifth and now has a streak of three consecutive top-fives to his credit stretching back to last year. Unfortunately, his pair of strong runs in 2022 were interrupted by injury.

Making impressive debuts in the 250 division, Vialle recovered from a fall to finish seventh, Chance Hymas finished eighth, and Talon Hawkins just missed the top 10 with an 11th.

2023 Results

Race 3: Chase Sexton, Levi Kitchen win
Race 2: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence win
Round 1: Tomac, Lawrence win

2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings

Week 3: Ken Roczen takes the top spot
Week 2: Roczen moves up; Chase Sexton falls
Week 1: Eli Tomac tops 450s; Jett Lawrence 250s