Colin Braun has said he is 'gutted for everybody' after a nightmare end to the Rolex 24 when the CORE autosport driver collided with a slower car while leading the PC class with just 20 minutes remaining.

The CORE autosport team had been at the front for the majority of the 24 hour race but were cruelly denied their second consecutive victory in Daytona when Braun, making a routine pass, was thumped from behind and sent off the track.

Braun was able to recover and re-join the race but was unaware that his rear suspension had been damaged. As he entered the Bus Stop corner his suspension snapped and his car slide straight into a wall.

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The broken piece of suspension punctured the oil tank, sparking a massive fire. Fortunately the driver was able to exit but CORE's race was over.

However, such was the strength of CORE's performance in the first 23 hours, they were still able to claim third place in the PC class, despite not seeing the chequered flag.

"I'm gutted for everybody. We were in a position to win the race and had that guy used better judgment, I think we would've won the race," Braun said. "It's one thing when you make a bold move and get on the bad side of it, but it's another thing when I make a routine move that I've made a hundred times in a race and that happens."

In addition, for leading at the six, 12 and 18 hour marks, CORE autosport and its drivers won the first round of the North American Endurance Cup, a title which they claimed in 2014. As a result, co-driver Jon Bennett was able to see the upside to the race in Daytona.

"With the events of today, it's easy to focus on the last 20 minutes of the race," Bennett said. "But quite honestly, the first 23 hours and 40 minutes were pretty amazing.

"After a great performance last year, we led this race essentially from the drop of the green flag right until the very end. Unfortunately, stuff like this happens when you're in the business of risk management. We take chances once or twice a lap, sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't. It's just a fact of racing."