CORE autosport, based in Rock Hill, South Carolina, boasts six IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Team Titles – five in the Prototype Challenge (PC) class and one in the GTLM class as the official “factory” team for Porsche. The Jonathan Bennett-owned team runs three Porsche 911-based racecars in the WeatherTech Championship: the No. 54 Porsche 911 GT3 R for Bennett and longtime co-driver Colin Braun (Harrisburg, North Carolina) in the WeatherTech GT Daytona (GTD) class and the pair of Porsche 911 RSRs, Nos. 911 and 912, in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class.
Like many of his competitors in the GTD field, Bennett comes to racing not from a lifetime of driving but one of business. The likeable Carolinian has an engineering degree, a businessman’s mind and a race driver’s spirit. All combined he built one of North America’s foremost companies in the composite industry – Composite Resources – with a list of Fortune 500 and government contracts. One of his key products is a Combat Application Tourniquet® (C-A-T®). The C-A-T is a small and lightweight one-handed tourniquet that completely closes off arterial blood flow in an extremity. Since 2004, the C-A-T has been issued to over one million military personnel and has been responsible for saving many lives.
When Bennett founded CORE in 2010 it was with the idea to mix business and pleasure. Bennett amassed five consecutive PC titles. He shared each with NASCAR veteran Braun. The pair made the move to the GTD class this season. The current program is searching for its first class victory to add to nearly 40-career podium finishes in prototype racing.
In 2013, looking for a new challenge, Bennett and Team Manager Morgan Brady presented CORE to Porsche to run the German manufacturer’s upcoming factory program. Selected to run the two-car “works” effort in North America starting in 2014, the new team and new car, a Porsche 911 RSR, raced to victory its first event, the punishing Rolex 24 of Daytona. They went on to capture two IMSA Manufacturer Championships (2014, 2015) for Porsche and a Team Championship in 2015.
Today, Bennett spreads his time between his business – housed in the same Rock Hill compound as CORE and the Porsche GT Team – and behind the wheel of both the GTD class 911 GT3 R and a Ford-powered GRC Lites car in the Red Bull Global Rallycross. No easy task but owning and driving the cars each hold their special place to Bennett.
Jon Bennett, Driver/Owner, No. 54 CORE autosport Porsche 911 GT3 R., Principal, Porsche GT Team.
“My first interest in sports car racing started with a childhood neighbor of mine when I was seven or eight years old. My interest in Porsches developed like any young male; I found myself with lots of Porsche posters and knowing more about the models and specifications of Porsches than I knew about algebra or geometry. I’ve always been a fan of Porsches. I knew that if my future included owning one, I needed to refocus on my education. I needed to get a degree and have a good career.”
“My ownership experience is like that of a proud parent. I watch something that ultimately germinated with from an idea of mine, but my employees and their talents and the support of Porsche have grown it into something amazing. It’s fun to watch and have success and it’s heartbreaking when things don’t go well. I enjoy them differently. My first passion is driving. To continue season after season, participating in the highest level of road racing in North America is fantastic. There are times when I wish I could enjoy the ownership aspect a little more, but I’m very fortunate to have Morgan Brady at the helm of that program.”