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TUDOR UNITED SPORTSCAR CHAMPIONSHIP: ROLEX 24 AT DAYTONA


January 25, 2015


Jonathan Bennett

Colin Braun

James Gue

Mark Wilkins


DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA

NATE SIEBENS:  We're being joined by our Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup Round 1 winners from CORE autosport No.54 team.  We'll start with Jon Bennett.  Jon, congratulations on the Patrón Endurance Cup lead.  Looked like you guys had it pretty well in hand for most of the race, but we saw what happened there at the end.  Your thoughts?
JON BENNETT:  Yeah, it's obviously easy to focus on the last 20 minutes of our race, but we had a great 23 hours and 40 minutes of our race quite honestly.  I'm glad Colin is okay, and it's a shame for our team, so much hard work and preparation, and they built a really super strong car for us, and I think the four of us drive it exceptionally well.
You know, racing is full of unknowns.  I mean, that's part of the adventure that we signed up for yesterday afternoon, and it looked like it was going to have a fairytale ending for us, but it wasn't to be.  Cars get fixed, but people cannot, so the most important thing is that Colin is okay.
You know, obviously with the points for this series, I mean, we collected a few.  We didn't lead wire to wire, we sort of led wire to insulation.  It just, I guess, underscores the strength of our team, and we'll be back in Sebring, and we look forward to contesting the rest of the rounds of the Patrón endurance series as well as the Tudor United SportsCar Challenge Championship.  Yeah, rough day at the track.
NATE SIEBENS:  Colin, just if you could describe kind of the events of the last 20 minutes of the race, what happened?
COLIN BRAUN:¬† Yeah, I don't think they really showed it on TV, but we were just trying to maintain our gap to Tom.¬† I think we both had a couple of pit stops or one pit stop left just to put some gas in real quick, so just trying to maintain the gap, and there was a slower DP car that was ahead of me, pretty off the pace through the kink, and I moved around the inside of him through the kink to pass him, and it sets me up to be on the outside through Turn 5.¬† I'm not sure if he missed his braking mark or what, but I turned into the corner and next thing I knew he pretty much squared me up into the right‑rear tire, and that eventually I think broke our suspension.¬† Got spun out, got in the grass, got back going and thought we could limp it back to the pits and then I think the suspension collapsed on the exit of the bus stop and obviously hit the wall pretty hard.¬† Just gutted for all the guys.¬† They did such a good job.¬† Jon and Mark and James all drove really well, and we played the strategy really well, and just made good decisions.¬† It would be one thing if that was a bold move, a bonsai move, but I mean that's a move that I probably made 150 times throughout the night and never had any issues with it.
I'd love it, as everybody says that gets crashed out by a different kind of car, if they looked at some of the driving standard things and stuff like that, but it is what it is.  Just wrong place at the wrong time.
NATE SIEBENS:  James, obviously second year here with the team in these endurance events.  Just your thoughts on at least starting off the season with a strong Patrón Endurance Cup result, obviously not a win.
JAMES GUE:¬† Obviously first off very thankful to be back with the CORE guys.¬† Obviously we had a fantastic year last year, and again, I think Jon put it best, best not to focus on the last 20 minutes of the race.¬† Everything‑‑ we had our plan, and everything was going smoothly, and it's obviously not quite the outcome that we wanted, but certainly to come out of here with good solid points towards the NAEC as well as Jon and Colin's effort for the full championship, again, all in all, it's not a bad day when you're on the podium at the Daytona 4‑hour race.
NATE SIEBENS:  Mark, your thoughts?
MARK WILKINS:  Yeah, as James said, very thankful to be a part of this program with CORE autosport.  These guys are the best in the business.  It's a real honor to be a part of that program.  You know, we put it together last year.  We worked very well together.  We're all focused on the right things, and we just wanted to execute the same type of plan we did last year that brought us a lot of success, and I think it was really going to plan.
As Jon said, we focus on the good part, which is the 98 percent of the race, and it's great points.  It's great to finish on the podium at Daytona, and it's always great to be in the prototype challenge class.
NATE SIEBENS:  Gentlemen, thanks for joining us, and best of luck at Sebring.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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