CORE autosport team owner Jon Bennett will pilot a Daytona Prototype international car for his final time during October’s Petit Le Mans season finale at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.
After Nissan’s participation in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s top class was in jeopardy when Tequila Patron ESM folded at the end of last season, Bennett’s decision means both CORE and the Japanese manufacturer will not line up on the DPi grid in 2020 and beyond, a team spokesperson informed Sportscar365.
CORE and its owner Bennett will maintain an active participation in the WeatherTech Championship paddock, however, as the group operating Porsche’s factory-backed effort in GT Le Mans. The Porsche GT Team will campaign a pair of new Porsche 911 RSRs next year.
Bennett thanked the IMSA paddock at large in a piece on the team’s website, the first paragraph of which included a hint at possible one-off drives in the future.
“The time has simply come for me,” he wrote. “I have lived the dream of so many who are passionate about motor sport and it’s time to reflect and enjoy racing, once again, from outside the race car.”
After coming within a few points of the Prototype championship with an ORECA 07 in 2018, CORE’s most prominent success this season came at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park when Colin Braun put the No. 54 Ligier Nissan DPi on the pole, though the qualifying effort didn’t translate into a strong race result.
With the DPi category joining LMP2 on the sidelines for this weekend’s GT-only event at Virginia International Raceway, Bennett and Braun will pair in the Nissan DPi twice more, at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca and Road Atlanta, to conclude the program.