Braun Smashes Lap Record On The Way to Prototype Pole in Canada

by Jean-Paul Hackett
IMSA 2018 - Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix #54 CORE autosport ORECA LMP2, P: Jon Bennett, Colin Braun Motul pole award

It’s been a solid week for Colin Braun and the #54 CORE autosport ORECA LMP2 team in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Last Saturday, the Texan took his first Motul Pole Award of the season in qualifying for the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, then went on to finish second in the race with co-drivers Jon Bennett and Romain Dumas.

On Friday, Braun ended the day on top of the speed charts in practice for Sunday’s Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

Braun obliterated Ricky Taylor’s year-old track record en route to his second consecutive pole on Saturday afternoon under sunny skies. Early in the 15-minute qualifying session, Braun threw down a lap of 1m:6.315s (133.490 mph), beating Taylor’s record of 1m:08.459s by more than two seconds to earn the 17th pole of his IMSA career (eight WeatherTech Championship, three GRAND-AM and six American Le Mans Series).

“It’s a testament to these CORE autosport guys,” Braun said. “The ORECA is really fast, and we were fast at The Glen. This car is just a blast to drive. I love it around here. It’s probably my favourite racetrack. It’s definitely a place I enjoy coming.”

Qualifying second is a two-time defending winner of the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix, Dane Cameron in the #6 Acura Team Penske ARX-05 DPi car he shares with Juan Pablo Montoya. Cameron, who won the last two years with co-driver Eric Curran in the #31 Whelen Engineering entry from Action Express Racing, posted a best lap on Saturday of 1m:05.540s (133.038 mph).

Cameron and Montoya go into the race riding a streak of three consecutive WeatherTech Championship podium results, including a third-place run last weekend in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen. Robert Alon qualified the #85 JDC-Miller Motorsports ORECA LMP2 “Banana Boat” third at 1m:06.841s (132.439 mph). Alon’s co-driver is Simon Trummer.

Renger van der Zande placed the #10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R he shares with Jordan Taylor fourth on the grid with a lap of 1m:07.093s (131.942 mph). Jonathan Bomarito made it three different DPi manufacturers in the top five and four different cars in the top five with a fifth-place qualifying result of 1m:07.109s (131.910 mph) in the #55 Mazda Team Joest Mazda RT24-P. Bomarito’s co-driver is Harry Tincknell.

The top-seven qualifiers all were within a second of Braun’s pole-winning time. All 12 Prototypes that posted times went quicker than the previous track record.

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