Gunnar Jeannette – Young Leader

August 17, 2011

Gunnar Jeannette – Young Leader

August 17, 2011

Being the lead driver for the new CORE autosport two-car team is both a challenge and an opportunity for 29-year-old Gunnar Jeannette, the 2010 American Le Mans Series runner-up in the Le Mans Prototype Challenge class.

Since being invited to join the team by owner Jon Bennett and team manager Morgan Brady in January, Jeannette has taken on the role of the senior driver for the new Charlotte-based Le Mans Prototype Challenge class team.

Being the lead driver at an ALMS team carries a lot of responsibility, including helping the team and its newer drivers grow.

“When I was coming up, I was very lucky to be the young guy on the Panoz team with drivers like David Brabham, Jan Magnussen, Bill Auberlen and Bryan Herta (see pic below – circa 2002),” said Jeannette.

“I learned so much just being around them. I tried to be like a sponge. They are the models for what I am trying to do now.

“I feel a bit more responsibility within the team than if I were just driving.

“It adds a little more pressure trying to help everyone move in the right direction and do set-ups that make the car fast and easier to drive at the same time. The fun is that this is one of the best teams around and we have the chance to grow together.”

Part of his responsibility is to help team owner Jon Bennett and young Frankie Montecalvo continue their progress.

“In just five races, Jon and Frankie have gotten much stronger in their ability to describe what the car is doing and communicating that to their engineer, Burke Harrison,” said Jeannette.

“Now they are working on being able to describe what changes they want. Sometimes, I am a bit of a translator but instead of blurting out the answer I am trying to ask the questions to draw it out of them.”

Midway through the 2011 season, Jeannette and his co-driver Ricardo Gonzalez have wins at Long Beach and Mosport.

“Ricardo is fast and has a lot of racing experience and he is gaining experience in the LMPC cars,” said Jeannette.

“We really like the same set-ups, so that helps a lot, too.”

The team celebrated its first 1-2 finish at Mosport and currently lead the driver’s and team championships.

Is an ALMS championship in the cards for the first year team? Part of the answer may depend on how well Gunnar Jeannette – the driver and team leader delivers on both fronts.

Latest Photos

Latest Video

Kellymoss provides drivers a path to the IMSA WeatherTech Championship

Friday August 25, 2023