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

Kurtz McMurry CORE Autosport

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 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.

Ryan Hunter-Reay hired as replacement for Conor Daly at Ed Carpenter Racing

Ryan Hunter-Reay Carpenter
Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Ryan Hunter-Reay was named to replace Conor Daly in Ed Carpenter Racing’s No. 20 Dallara-Chevrolet, starting in the NTT IndyCar Series event next week at Road America.

Hunter-Reay is the 2012 series champion and 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner. He finished 11th for Dreyer & Reinbold last month in the 107th Indy 500, his first start since the 2021 season finale. He drove full time for Andretti Autosport from 2010-21.

“We need to improve our competitiveness and I wanted to add a fresh perspective from a driver like Ryan who has a massive amount of experience and success as well as a reputation as a team leader. I am excited to welcome Ryan to the team,” team owner Ed Carpenter said in a team release. “We have worked together in the past as teammates and he tested for ECR at Barber Motorsports Park in October 2021, where he made an immediate impact as we were able to qualify one of our cars on the pole following that test. I am confident that his experience and technical abilities will be an asset to ECR as we move forward toward our goals as a team.”

Hunter-Reay has 18 IndyCar victories, most recently in 2018. He also is a winner in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, having been a part of winning entries in the 2020 Twelve Hours of Sebring and 2018 Petit Le Mans. Last year, he was an endurance driver for Cadillac Racing while being on standby for Chip Ganassi Racing.

He replaces Daly, whose departure was announced a day earlier in what the driver and team said was a mutual decision.

“I was surprised when I got the call from Ed,” Hunter-Reay said in a team release. “He described how frustrated he was that his team has not been able to realize its potential despite their efforts, investments, as well as technical and personnel changes over the past few years and asked for my help. Ed and I are very close friends and have been for a long time. I’ve worked with the team in the past and they are a very talented group with high expectations and a committed partner in BITNILE.COM.

“This will certainly be a challenge for me as well. It’s a tough situation jumping in a car in the middle of the season without any testing in what I believe to be the most competitive series in the world. Certainly, part of my motivation in saying ‘yes’ to Ed is the great challenge ahead. The last time I turned right driving an NTT IndyCar Series car was in October of 2021 with this team at Barber. However, I remain very confident in both my driving and technical abilities and believe by working with the talented people at ECR and Team Chevy, while representing BITNILE.COM, we will make progress. I am going to do everything I can do to help the team achieve its long-term objectives.”

Said Milton “Todd” Ault, the chairman of sponsor “It is great for to be aligned with an Indy 500 Winner and an NTT IndyCar Series champion. I have followed Ryan’s career for years and I am confident he will challenge the entire ECR team to perform at higher levels. I wish everyone luck at Road America.”