Braun delivers Kansas victory for CORE autosport

Colin Braun races to victory at Kansas Speedway on June 7, 2014.

CORE autosport has taken wins in the two longest races of the inaugural TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season, and now has a win in its shortest race, as well.

Colin Braun made a banner start in the second 45-minute segment in the Grand Prix of Kansas combined Prototype Challenge/Cooper Tires Prototype Lites race, up from fifth to first within the first two laps, and never looked back to deliver the win in the team’s No. 54 Oreca FLM09.

Co-driver Jon Bennett finished fifth in the first segment. Meanwhile Braun, who paced all three pre-qualifying practice sessions, was able to control the race on Kansas Speedway’s 2.37-mile “roval” to win by a margin of 4.652 seconds.

The CORE win at the pair of 45-minute segments comes after prior wins at the Rolex 24 at Daytona and Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.

This win saw Braun pace the field despite a 12-minute yellow flag mid-race, caused when flames shot from the rear of Hayden Duerson’s No. 39 Performance Tech Motorsports Prototype Lites car in the infield after a malfunction. Duerson made it out of his car unscathed.

Behind CORE, Starworks Motorsport made major strides from segment one to segment two; Renger van der Zande took the Martini-liveried No. 8 entry to second after Mirco Schultis finished seventh in the first segment.

Rounding out the podium was 8Star Motorsports, with race one segment winner Sean Rayhall handing the No. 25 off to Luis Diaz. The pair was second behind the van der Zande/Schultis entry last race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Gunnar Jeannette was fourth in the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports entry with Alex Tagliani fifth in the No. 08 RSR Racing entry. Jeannette took over from Frankie Montecalvo, Tagliani from Chris Cumming.

In the Prototype Lites category, Mikhail Goikhberg took his third win in four races this year in the No. 10 JDC Motorsports Élan DP-02. Goikhberg passed Craig Duerson for the lead on Lap 28.

Round 3 winner Tony Bullock came home third. Of note, 16-year-old Matt McMurry ended Round 4 in ninth after finishing 13th in Round 3 earlier Saturday.

Both series resume next at Watkins Glen International June 27-29, and both will be integrated into their normal schedule after this abnormal weekend. The PC class will be part of the TUDOR Championship’s first all-class, one race event since Sebring; Prototype Lites race a pair of events on their own.