Former Grand-Am and NASCAR standout Colin Braun will return to his sports car roots in 2012 with CORE autosport, the championship-winning American Le Mans Series LMPC class team.
Braun, 23, will co-drive the No. 05 Composite Resources Oreca FLM09 with Jon Bennett, CORE autosport team founder and owner, and second-place finisher in the 2011 ALMS LMPC driver standings. (Scroll down for a video interview with Braun.)
Despite his age, Braun has more than 17 years behind the wheel of a racing machine, including seven years in sports car racing. He has competed in multiple 24-hour events and is the youngest-ever podium finisher at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (2007).
Braun's talents extend from karts to quarter-midgets to open-wheel racers to sports cars and most recently in NASCAR competition. He did make a few stops along the way in the ALMS, including running the 2011 Sebring event with Robertson Racing (GT class).
“My personal mantra is simple – I want to win races,” Braun said. “After looking at a lot of different options for 2012, I knew that I wanted to drive a prototype in the ALMS. I spoke with a lot of teams and, on a chance, I called Morgan (Brady – CORE autosport team manager) to see if there was some availability for me. Luckily there was.
“CORE autosport won two championships in only its first season in the ALMS and I understood why once I got to know Morgan and Jon. For Jon to do as well as he did in 2011 in only his first year was very impressive and I know that between the two of us we can win a lot of races.”
“Looking at the 2012 ALMS LMPC roster, competition is going to be pretty stout with some returning teams and a fair amount of new teams,” Bennett said. “We needed a professional driver to join me in the No. 05 car who is ready to take the top spot on the podium and repeat our 2011 championships, and Colin is just the partner to do that.”
The team still intends to run its sister No. 06 car, which will be replacing Ricardo Gonzalez for sure and possibly co-driver Gunnar Jeannette as well. Gonzalez will race in the FIA World Endurance Championship with Greaves Motorsport in LMP2.