For the last few years, CORE Autosport has been the behind-the-scenes moving force for Porsche Motorsport North America's GTLM-class factory effort 911 RSRs, meanwhile running a Prototype Challenge car under their own banner with team owner Jon Bennett and Colin Braun driving. For 2017, the PC class will be disappearing, and CORE has been weighing their options on where to go racing next year.
Being that GTD is IMSA's only Pro-Am class option for 2017, it makes the most sense for Jon and Colin to step aboard a tin top car to replace their prototype. And as CORE has that multi-year partnership with Porsche, it wouldn't really be fitting for the team to run any other make in the GTD class. As such, they'll be entering a brand new GT3R in the GTD category against the best GT3-spec cars from Lamborghini, Ferrari, Audi, and others.
Jon Bennett had this to say about the transition -
“The move to GTD evolved pretty naturally. We knew we wanted to compete at a pro-am level. The competition in GTD is incredible and we’ve had a relationship with Porsche for four years now, so the 911 GT3 R stood out as a smart choice. As a Porsche owner myself, I’m really excited about the opportunity to team up with Colin Braun and race one.”
CORE began their history with Porsche in 2013 as a customer program with a 911 GT3 RSR in the late days of the American Le Mans Series, and Bennett's experience running the GT3 Cup Challenge also in 2013. The team's PC efforts have not seen the luck and success of their prior championship-winning seasons (5 time teams champions and 4 time drivers champions), and as such they will withdraw from the remainder of the IMSA season to focus on preparing their 2017 GTD effort. The Porsche will make its public debut at Daytona during IMSA's official pre-season test.