By: Kobe Lambeth
As the 2016 Rolex 24 at Daytona nears, CORE Autosport driver, Colin Braun, is ready for the season to begin.
“Our goal is the same as always; we’ve got to win the championship and continue to get better. We know everyone’s been chasing us the last five years, so we have to keep on outworking everybody.”
It appears that Braun is ready for the season to begin as soon as possible with him returning as a co-driver to the team owner, Jon Bennett. Braun’s dad, Jeff, will be an engineer for the Number 54 CORE Autosport LMPC machine. It will be great to see father and son work together for a full season of IMSA competition. Colin had nothing but kind words to say about working with his dad full-time.
“It’s great! We get along really well. Obviously, we’ve known each other since I first opened my eyes. It’s great having him on board. He brings a lot of engineering expertise, but also a lot of experience in team building and chemistry, so he can pull all of our resources together very well.”
Jeff Braun also helped Colin find his way into the wonderful world of motorsports.
Colin explained, “He was a racecar engineer and I was always interested in what he was doing. We got a quarter midget when I was five years old and was hooked from that point forward. He never forced me into it—I just really enjoyed it. I’m fortunate to be able to make a living doing what I love to do.”
As the entire CORE Autosport team prepares for the upcoming season, there are lots of question marks surrounding the future of the Prototype Challenge class. Will the Oreca chassis evolve? Will we see a spec LMP2 chassis? Could IMSA look into the LMP3 category? Colin Braun had his take on the uncertain future of LMPC machinery.
“It’s hard for me to speak to that. I’ve driven the Ginetta quite a bit with a Nissan in it when I did a program for the 25 Hours of Thunderhill. Certainly, that car isn’t quite in the league of being a PC replacement car. It would need a lot of updates and changes, which would drive the price of that car quite high. I don’t get to make those calls. If we’re racing Toro lawnmowers, then that’s what I’m racing!”
Ginetta has a very interesting new entry level prototype in development, which is powered by a Chevrolet motor. Could this possibly replace LMPC in 2018? Is there a chance that CORE Autosport moves up to Daytona Prototype International (DPi) next year with the uncertain future of the Prototype Challenge class? Colin Braun gave a simple answer.
“I have no idea what the plan is going forward from the series side or the CORE side. I’m not sure how the classes will shake out, I’m just here to race and win.”
I love Braun’s desire to drive anything to have the chance to win races. Some of you might remember that Colin used to be a NASCAR driver. Although it has been awhile since he has raced in stock cars, he is open to opportunities to run some road course races.
“Yes, I’d love to do a NASCAR road course race. I feel like those are really fun, interesting, exciting races. I had some success on the road course races and was always fast, I just couldn’t seem to get a good finish. I came close to winning the Mexico City Xfinity race in my first year. I would love to, but the schedule hasn’t worked out too well with what we’ve got going on in IMSA. If it ever worked out and I could get a top-line gig, I’d be all over it.”
Calling all NASCAR teams, if you need a “road course ringer,” Colin Braun is the right guy for the job! He is an excellent race car driver who will give you a great opportunity to go to victory lane!
*Special thanks to Erin Cechal for making this interview possible. I wish Colin Braun and the entire CORE Autosport team a successful season in the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship.*