2017 Year in Review: Colin Braun
FINISH: 9th in GRC Lites points
2017 RESULTS: 8 starts 2 podiums, 6 heat wins, 405 points
2016 RESULTS: 6 starts, 3 podiums, 154 points
THE GOOD: He was never scheduled to compete in all 12 races, but Braun sure gave the GRC Lites full-timers a hard time in the rounds where he competed. Taking heat wins in six of the seven races where he ran in the heats (more on that in a minute), Braun also added his first career podium in the second New England round and did so again under two weeks later in Ottawa.
His most impressive driver might have come in the first New England race, though: after running an IMSA race in Detroit earlier in the day, Braun and teammate Jon Bennett flew across the country and helicoptered into Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park just before the Lites final. On only a single sighting lap, Braun managed a fourth place finish from the back of the grid before taking a runner-up finish the next day.
THE BAD: A consistent podium threat, Braun only counted two bad results among the eight rounds he entered. The first came in Ottawa, where he only managed eighth place on Sunday despite a runner-up finish the previous day. That result came in spite of a second-round heat victory and second place in his semifinal, ensuring a decent position on the grid for the final.
The first Atlantic City round, however, was less forgiving. At a track where he had earned a podium the previous year, Braun found himself the odd man out in Saturday’s main event after engine issues.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: “It was a lot of fun getting the chance to race two different places in one day. GRC was really accommodating to help make the whole thing work for us, which was great. We love coming here and racing, it’s a lot of fun, and we didn’t want to miss (New England). We’ve had some really good finishes, and it’s been consistent. We’ve been knocking off fourth place finishes. I need to find a little extra to contend for the wins, but we keep preaching the mantra that if we continue to fight, we’ll be right in it.”
2018 PROGNOSIS: It’s a shame that Braun hasn’t had the chance to run a full season yet, or even give a Supercar a try. He was among the fastest Lites drivers this year.
Photo credit: Louis Yio