After initially settling for another year with its ORECA 07, CORE autosport landed on an opportunity to fight for overall victories in the new-for-2019 DPi class with a Nissan Onroak DPi.
The Ligier JS P217-based prototype that carries Nissan bodywork styling cues and a Nissan engine was at risk of being absent from the paddock in 2019 after Extreme Speed Motorsports lost longtime sponsor Tequila Patron.
CORE nearly captured the championship in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s premier class this past season as Jon Bennett and Colin Braun earned multiple race wins against factory-backed teams and fellow LMP2 challengers.
Similar to the team’s ability to compete for the title in the top class, CORE’s full-season driver pairing of Bennett and Braun will continue into 2019. Romain Dumas will return for the four Michelin Endurance Cup rounds while Loïc Duval will come aboard for the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona.
“I am extremely grateful the pieces have come together for CORE to run a DPi program, even if it’s a little late in the going,” said owner and driver Bennett. “If anybody can come together and have this Nissan ready for Daytona, it’s the incredible group of people at the CORE shop. With Colin, Romain and Loïc rejoining us in 2019, I am super confident that we’ll find success.”
The South Carolina-based team will complete its first test with the Nissan DPi at the Roar Before the Rolex 24 on Jan. 4–6, 2019.