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Magnus Racing Applauds IMSA and COTA for Spaceballs Reference

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (September 17, 2014)- With only two rounds remaining in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, Magnus Racing will head to this weekend’s Lone Star Le Mans with one thing in mind, the movie Spaceballs.
“It is awesome that they named this weekend’s race after the main character of Spaceballs,” stated team owner and co-driver John Potter. “It’s clear that the organizers at Circuit of The Americas are big Mel Brooks fans, but they probably didn’t want to name it after Blazing Saddles because it was too obvious.”
Lone Starr, the main character of the 1987 Mel Brooks classic, is a very fitting tribute to this weekend’s event. Not only was he played by Bill Pullman, who is relevant in any context, but the character spent the majority of his time dealing with a whiny princess, sort of like the IMSA paddock.
Beyond Spaceballs, the team looks forward to a promising weekend ahead. Having recently conducted a two-day test where they were able to work on such elements as a new exhaust, active suspension, and even turbo kit, the team feels as prepared as ever.
Having narrowly missed victory during last year’s event, drivers John Potter and Andy Lally are looking for a return to victory lane in the No. 44 Flex-Box Porsche 911 GT America.
“We had a productive test and feel very good about these final two rounds,” continued Potter. “Everyone on the team has put a lot of effort into getting everything out of the car, and with the recent BoP changes we’re optimistic. Circuit of The Americas is a fantastic facility and last year we came so close that we really want redemption this year.”
For co-driver Andy Lally, a similar sentiment is shared.
“We found a few things last week and that should suit us well going forward,” stated Lally. “There have been a ton of BoP changes across the board, so it should be interesting to see how everything shakes out on Saturday. I’m excited and definitely feel this could be one of our best chances.”
Sharing the weekend with the prestigious World Endurance Championship (WEC), practice for this weekend’s Lone Star Le Mans will begin tomorrow afternoon, with live race coverage this Saturday, September 20, at 12:30 PM ET on FOX Sports 2.


Magnus Racing Takes Sixth in VIR Return

ALTON, Virginia (August 25, 2014)- Taking part in the first-ever GT only race for the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, Magnus Racing used a combination of strategy and patience to take sixth place during Sunday’s Oak Tree Grand Prix at VIR, the ninth round of the GT Daytona (GTD) category.
“It was a good change of fortune for us given our last few races,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and co-driver John Potter. “We’re happiest when we can walk away with trophies, but we’re definitely closer to where want to be and in great shape for the final two rounds.”
After several strong showings in practice, the No. 44 Flex-Box Porsche 911 GT America would qualify seventh for Sunday’s round, with the team’s race-long pace looking strong for the event.
Unfortunately, the day turned for the team before the race even began, as John Potter’s opening stint was marred by an electrical issue that forced him to start from the back of the field. Regardless, the Salt Lake City resident did his usual steady drive of coming up from the back, demonstrating both pace and patience as he moved up several spots during the opening hour, threatening for the top-10 as the laps continued. Adding to the challenge, the team owner was under pressure to save fuel throughout his stint while maintaining lap times in order to ensure he had enough fuel to make his minimum drive-time of one hour.
As the one-hour mark came and the team began to run short on fuel, a timely yellow would allow Potter to close in on the field in front of him before the first round of stops. Unfortunately, under yellow flag conditions the field is not allowed to pit until the series declares the pits open for each category, which meant the No. 44 would likely not be able to make it with the fuel that remained. As a result, the team pit for an “emergency” stop in a closed pit, which is allowed so long as it’s just for a few seconds of fuel. Following a successful emergency stop, and then followed by the “real” stop for a driver change, as well as tires and fuel fill two laps later, Andy Lally now found himself looking strong to hunt down the field in front of him.
Unfortunately, a bit of confusion between the series and the team would lead to a stop-and-go penalty for Lally as the field went to green, meaning he would resume racing several seconds down.
Doing his best to catch the field in front of him, attrition and outright speed would advance Andy to eighth as the race went on.
The final key moment of the race would come with one-hour and ten minutes remaining, when yet another caution would come out and place a crucial decision on each team’s strategist. With the field bunched under yellow, the caution period presented a perfect time for all teams to make their final pit stops, however in doing so the teams would be running very tight on fuel to make it to the end of the race. On one hand, if the team stopped there would be a chance they may have to make another stop versus the teams who stayed out and pitted later. On the other hand, if the team played their fuel mileage well, they would manage to advance over anyone who chose to pit later.
Opting to make the stop, Lally came out of the pits aware of the situation, and would spend much of the final hour saving fuel. As the race wore on and several cars would stop in front of him, the team’s calculations showed that they would likely be in a good position to make it to the end, and based on the pace of the field in front of them, many cars in front likely would not.
As a result, the team looked strong to advance several spots in the closing laps, however it was all for not as a late race caution would ensure everyone could go the distance. Once the racing resumed, Lally would hold station to finish sixth. This would serve as yet another top-10 on the season, and hopefully change the momentum heading into the final two rounds.
“Everyone put everything they had into this race,” stated Andy Lally. “We would have liked to have finished higher, but with some of the early problems we had it was a good result, and sets us up well for the final two races.”
Concluding a busy summer season for the whole of the series, the events will continue in four weeks’ time at the Lone Star LeMans, a dual event with the World Endurance Championship taking place at the prestigious Circuit of the Americas. Practice will begin on Thursday, September 18, with race coverage on FOX Sports 1 on Saturday, September 20.


Magnus Racing Return to VIR in Search of Redemption


SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (August 22, 2014)- When Magnus Racing last competed at Virginia International Raceway as part of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series in 2011, the fledgling team came in to VIR with something to prove. Up to that point in their history, the team had only one podium to its name, having earned third at Homestead-Miami Speedway just a few months earlier. With the long straights and tricky corners of VIR keeping the field pretty even, a series of rain showers in 2011 would put a premium on strategy and driving as the track dried. With the laps counting down, Magnus Racing found themselves within grasp of the checkered flag in a solid second place until the skies opened up and the car would end up spinning in to the barriers in the wet conditions. The team would drop down the order in to a 15th place finish.
“Our memories of the last visit to VIR are tough ones,” stated team owner and co-driver John Potter. “We had a lot to prove in 2011, and we were poised to have one of our biggest breakthrough events. In an instant it went away, and is very reflective of how those first two seasons went as a whole. We had all the potential in the world, but things kept happening to keep us out of contention.”
Since that race, times have changed. Between taking their first victory the following year at The Rolex 24 at Daytona, taking the inaugural Brickyard Grand Prix and North American Endurance Championship, or even the most recent Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, the team became the only Porsche entrant in the Rolex Series to take victory from 2012 on, and is the only Porsche team in the GTD class to have won in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship
“This team is just incredible to work with,” stated co-driver Andy Lally. “I’ve been fortunate to work with a number of great teams over the years, and the heart and soul that everyone at Magnus puts in to it simply amazing. Not only do they do an excellent job on the track, but they’ve managed to combine it with a fun and refreshing approach that you rarely see, easily making it the most fun group I’ve ever been a part of.”
In the throws of a difficult championship fight, Magnus remains a quiet contender with only three races remaining, just a few points out of the lead in a very hotly contested fight among the top-six.
With this weekend’s first-ever GT only race for the TUDOR Championship, Magnus Racing and the entire GTD field will share the track with the faster GTLM category, setting up for what should be an interesting event.
Television coverage begins this Sunday, August 22 at 4PM ET on Fox Sports 1.


Magnus Racing Joins the Herd in Wisconsin Slaughter

ELKHART LAKE, Wisconsin (August 11, 2014)- Racing in a state famed for its dairy and meat industry, Magnus Racing enjoyed a good old-fashioned slaughter thanks to being taken out by a competitor during yesterday’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase at the famed Road America. After spending over 30 minutes in the garage to repair a number of components, the team would still manage to see the finish, scoring 14th place points in their quest for the championship.
“Today was extremely disappointing,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and co-driver John Potter. “With a championship as close as this one, you can’t afford to give anything away, so to have a series newcomer run in to the back of me and create the ensuing chaos is a tough one to swallow. Two good cars were taken out as a result, and it’s not what we needed, but there is some solace knowing that the guys once again did a phenomenal job keeping us out there.”
Following significant progress with the car’s setup after a difficult past few races, the team’s strong practice and qualifying run would net the No. 44 Flex-Box Porsche 911 GT America a fourth-row starting spot. With Potter taking the green flag, the first of what would be 90-minutes worth of caution periods would take place just a few laps in. After an extensive yellow period due to track clean up, Potter and much of the GTD field would find themselves starting from the back of a 50-car field when the next green flag fell. With the cramped nature of a full field fighting to take the green flag, the No. 35 Audi would misjudge the field in front of him as everyone slowed for the next corner, punting John from behind which would in turn send Potter in to the No. 45 Audi and No. 63 Ferrari, causing extensive damage to both the front and rear of the car. Doing his best to get the car turned around, Potter would navigate the track for several laps to evaluate the car, with the team eventually pitting once a yellow for debris (from their incident) was issued. Upon evaluation in the pits, the team elected to send the No. 44 back to the garage for further repairs. Additionally the No. 63 Ferrari, another innocent victim, was sent to the garage for similar problems.
Once in the garage, the notorious Magnus Racing crew did what they’re most known for, replacing countless parts and getting the car back on track in just over 30 minutes. With extensive damage to both the front and rear of the car, the team would replace everything including the front nose, front fenders, lights, splitter, several pieces on the rear, and so on.
In this process, however, the most critical piece of the equation was getting both drivers their required minimum drive time. By series’ rule in the GTD category, drivers must complete a minimum of one-hour on the track during the traditional two-hour, 45-minute events. With every minute in the garage or in the pits, time was being taken away from the driver’s ability to meet this requirement.
Luckily, the team’s stellar work would get Potter back out in time to meet his requirement, with the Utah resident pitting within enough time to give teammate Andy Lally his time as well.
Down by 15 laps and simply trying to run a safe race, Lally would drive without incident, crossing the finish line with 14th place points for both drivers.
“There’s not much to say about today, it’s just one of those deals,” stated Lally. “Everyone says they have the best crew in the business, but our guys prove it time and time again. This was a big blow in the championship, but at least we were able to get some points and hopefully that shows up in the end.”
With the busy summer season still under way, Magnus Racing and several classes of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship will return to action in less than two weeks’ time at Virginia International Raceway. With the GTLM and GTD classes competing in the season’s lone GT-only event, the event promises to be an exciting one. Practice begins on Saturday, August 23, with race coverage on Sunday, August 24 at 4PM ET on FOX Sports 1.


Magnus Racing Heads to Road America in Tight Championship Fight

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (August 7, 2014)- With an incredibly tight TUDOR United SportsCar GTD Championship on the line, Magnus Racing heads to this weekend’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase at the scenic Road America circuit in search of bolstering their title hopes.
“It’s an incredibly important weekend for us,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and co-driver John Potter. “We were able to escape catastrophe at Indianapolis in spite of the engine misfire, but we need to ensure strong finishes for the last stretch of the season. Everyone on the team has been preparing for this and I think we’re as ready as we can be.”
With only four races remaining in the season, this Sunday’s race at the historic course in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin is critical for all championship contenders. With only 12 points separating the top four, every position will play a critical role in the team’s final tally with everyone on the No. 44 Flex-Box Porsche 911 GT America checking every detail on the car in search of speed.
For Andy Lally, the pursuit of another title in his career is at a premium.
“This championship is incredibly close,” stated Lally, co-driver of the No. 44 machine. “This is arguably the most competitive GT championship I’ve ever been a part of and this team has come so close in the past that they want it bad. We’re all pushing, and hopefully Road America will suit us well.”
Featuring long straights and several high-speed corners, hopes are high that the four-mile circuit will play into the favors of the Porsche, but with such an incredibly competitive field everything remains to be seen.
Practice will begin Friday, August 8, with the race being broadcast on Fox Sports 1 on Sunday, August 10, at 6:30PM ET.