Sign Up for Magnus Emails!




Wednesday
Oct182017

FULL REPORT: Audi Sport Magnus Racing Takes Victory in Intercontinental GT Challenge Debut

SALINAS, Calif. (October 16, 2017) – Continuing their heritage as one of the best teams in endurance racing, Magnus Racing, operating as Audi Sport Team Magnus as a result of a factory-partnered program for the race, would take a daring late victory in their Intercontinental GT Challenge debut during Sunday’s California 8 Hour. Running as a fully supported effort with Audi Sport, the No. 44 Audi R8 LMS and drivers Pierre Kaffer, Markus Winkelhock, and Kelvin van der Linde would run as a continued threat throughout the first seven hours, with van der Linde making a bold pass in the final 20 minutes to take the win at the historic Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.


“This was an incredible day for our team,” stated Magnus Racing team owner John Potter. “It was an honor to be named as an Audi factory program to begin with, and to walk away with a victory shows our ability to fight with some of the best teams in the world. I couldn't be happier with everyone on this team, who in an entirely new series were prepared for this with very little lead-time. Our drivers fought all race long and never gave up, and it's great momentum to head in to the off-season. Of course none of this would have been possible had it not been for the tremendous partnership of Audi Sport, and we appreciate the opportunity."


The Intercontinental GT Challenge is an international series spotlighting GT3 and GT4 specification cars, with four races occurring on four continents. With Sunday’s eight-hour race serving as the first-ever visit to the United States, Audi Sport and Magnus Racing would team up as a factory-run program for one of three Audi R8 LMS entries. Working in partnership, the foundations that began in 2015 would be played to their maximum during the weekend, with the “Audi Sport Team Magnus” crew and engineers operating the entry but strongly supported by Audi Sport personnel.
 
With Markus Winkelhock qualifying on the front row, the immediate pace of the car was obvious, with the team comfortably holding on to second throughout the opening of the race.
 


Once settled in to a pace, the race would actually prove fairly uneventful. Following a strong opening stint by team veteran Perre Kaffer, duties were then handed to Winkelhock, who would continue the team’s hold on second, maintaining his gap to the leader and building over second.

With Kelvin van der Linde proving much of the same, a series of yellow flags would occasionally bunch the field back up, but the No. 44 seemed fairly solid with second, giving major consideration to strategy as time went on to see how they might be able to jump ahead of their competitors.
 
Critical to the event, despite being a brand-new series and set of rules for the team, zero mistakes were made in the pits, over a total of seven pit stops, which would ultimately prove invaluable for the end as the team served zero penalties.

 
 
Following final pit stops, Kelvin van der Linde would be tasked with the job of finishing the race, and ultimately earning his place as one of the most promising young talents on the scene. Giving chase to the leading pair of Audis, the South African would close the gap lap-after-lap, and when contact between the leading pair of Audis, the race would change things entirely. With the leading No. 29 and No. 11 Audis getting caught up in a fight through traffic, resulting contact would lead to a timely yellow, and position van der Linde perfectly for a late-race charge.
 
Taking advantage of the opportunity, Kelvin and the No. 44 would chase down the leading No. 29 throughout the final 30 minutes, glued to the back of the leader and doing everything he could to pass safely. Finally, with 18 minutes remaining, a run between Turns Four and Five would position him to make a bold move around the outside of Turn Five, which he’d pull off with perfection, never looking back on his way to the checkered flag.
 


It would prove a popular victory for the American team, as well as the second victory in three races for Audi Sport.
 
“I’m super-happy. We fought hard because the (No. 29) Audi was incredibly strong,” said van der Linde who at the age 21 is the youngest of the nine Audi drivers. “A sincere thank you to Audi Sport and the Magnus Racing squad that gave us a tremendous car. This was my first race in the United States. After my brother, Sheldon, won with Audi in the Petit Le Mans race at Road Atlanta last weekend, the pressure on me was particularly high.”
 
While the specifics are still to be announced, Magnus Racing is already hard at work in preparation for their 2018 plans, which will be announced in the coming weeks.



Wednesday
Oct112017

Magnus Racing, Audi Ready for California 8 Hours 

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (October 11, 2017) – As previously announced, Magnus Racing’s ventures with a factory supported Audi Sport program will officially kick off tomorrow, with practice and testing for “Audi Sport Team Magnus” beginning for this Sunday’s California 8 Hours at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, the first-ever United States round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge.

“We’re all really looking forward to kicking off the weekend,” stated Magnus Racing team owner John Potter. “We’ve of course enjoyed a great relationship with everyone at Audi over the years, and to take part in a factory-supported effort during this weekend’s eight hour race is just a further testament to the collaboration. It will be a very different look and feel for the team this weekend, but we have a great lineup and everyone is ready.” 

As part of a four-race endurance series that takes part on four different continents, the 2017 Intercontinental GT Challenge will enjoy its third round on Sunday, featuring an eight hour race that will campaign similar GT3 and GT4 specification cars seen in this season’s Pirelli World Challenge.

Bearing a different look from the traditional Magnus Racing livery and driver lineup, the team will fly the factory colors of Audi Sport for the No. 44 Audi Sport Team Magnus Audi R8 LMS, with drivers Pierre Kaffer, Markus Winkelhock, and Kelvin van der Linde. Pierre Kaffer is of course a Magnus alumni from this season as well as a winner of endurance races including Le Mans, Sebring, and beyond, Markus Winkelhock is a winner of multiple 24 hour races including Nurburgring and Spa, and Kelvin van der Linde is coming off an incredible race at Petit Le Mans just five days ago, where his team took a commanding win.

Official practice begins this Friday, October 13, with race action taking place on Sunday, October 15. CBS Sports Network will cover the first two hours of the race at 12:20PM ET, followed by the last hour at 7:20PM ET, with all eight hours streamed live via MotorTrend on Demand.

Thursday
Sep282017

Magnus Racing Partners with Audi Sport for California 8 Hours at Laguna Seca

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (September 28, 2017) – Continuing a relationship that began with Audi Sport customer racing in 2016, and immediately paying dividends by winning their first race together at The Rolex 24 at Daytona, Magnus Racing and Audi Sport will extend their relationship further with the upcoming California 8 Hours at Laguna Seca. Campaigning under the name of Audi Sport Team Magnus, the team will enjoy their first fully factory-supported effort, campaigning their Audi R8 LMS GT3 with drivers Pierre Kaffer, Markus Winkelhock, and Kelvin van der Linde.

“This is an exciting moment for everyone at Magnus Racing,” stated Magnus Racing team owner John Potter. “We’ve of course always enjoyed our relationship with Audi, and have had a number of highlights over the last two years, so entering the inaugural IGTC event in the United States with full factory support is a great testament to both the strength of the relationship and the regard with which our team is held in. It’s a big honor and one we don’t take lightly. We’re as committed as ever to results, and we’re extremely focused on delivering the best event possible for everyone involved.” 

The relationship between Magnus Racing and Audi is one that has been strong since their start together in 2016. Beyond winning The Rolex 24 at Daytona in their first attempt together, the team would also go on to a second victory in their debut season, ultimately winning the North American Endurance Cup for the team. In 2017, the history of success between the two organizations would continue, earning the distinction of being the only Audi team to win in the Pirelli World Challenge this season, and to-date is the winningest team in North America with the Audi R8 LMS GT3.

Heading to the scenic Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca from October 13-15, the team will take part in the inaugural U.S. round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge. A four-race series that sees GT3 specification racing cars competing on four continents, the goal of the IGTC is to place the best manufacturers, teams, and drivers in the world against one another in pursuit of a global championship. With the car specifications being virtually identical to The Pirelli World Challenge, many of the same teams and drivers from the 2017 season will take part, going up against a number of quality teams and drivers from Europe, Asia, and beyond.

Campaigning the same Audi R8 LMS used in the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge season, the program will feature three very highly touted drivers. Returning to the team following a season of Pirelli World Challenge together, Pierre Kaffer will join his familiar home, looking to further his results with the team. New to the team but no stranger to success, Markus Winkelhock will join as a former FIA GT1 World Champion, multi-time winner in Blancpain GT competition, and even a former Formula One driver. At only 21-years old, Kelvin van der Linde joins as a star on the rise, having already won multiple ADAC GT Masters races en route to a championship in 2014. 

Official practice will begin on Friday, October 13, with the race taking place on Sunday, October 15. Live coverage will be available on CBS Sports Network in two shifts, with the race start being shown from 12PM ET to 2PM ET, and race finish from 7PM to 8:30. The team will also provide continuous updates via their social media channels.

Tuesday
Sep192017

Magnus Racing Closes Pirelli World Challenge with Podium, Second in Championship

SONOMA, Calif. (September 19, 2017) – Finishing out their 2017 Pirelli World Challenge season on a high, Magnus Racing would enjoy a solid finish during the Grand Prix of Sonoma, with Pierre Kaffer closing out the season on the podium, and John Potter securing second-place in the series’ GTA Sprint Championship. 

 

“Overall, it was a good way to complete the season,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and driver John Potter. “It’s been a year of mixed fortunes for all of us, but there’s a lot of satisfaction with second in the standings for myself, and seeing Pierre take the podium in his final try was a great achievement. We have a lot of positive takeaways from the experience, and this was definitely a highlight day.”

 

Finishing out his debut in the series, Pierre Kaffer and the No. 4 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS would enjoy his strongest weekend of the year. In a season that showed remarkable potential, a series of incidents and missteps would malign the German’s 2017 efforts, with a podium at the most recent SprintX round in COTA with co-driver Spencer Pumpelly proving his best result to date. Closing out the season with the traditional sprint format, where Pierre would drive solo, the twisty nature of the 2.2-mile, 11-turn circuit, would prove favorable for the Audi, with Kaffer given his best opportunity to date to show well. 

 

During Saturday’s Race One, the Audi would demonstrate a remarkable drive through the field indicative of a podium performance, but with championship leader Patrick Long in front of him, the veteran knew that unnecessary risk at the expense of a championship was something that couldn’t be justified, ultimately taking fourth. During Sunday’s Race Two, a more favorable outcome would prove true, with Pierre moving up to third early in the race, ultimately settling in where he’d finish, his first podium in the Sprint category.

 

“It was a great way to finish out the season,” stated Kaffer. “The team at Magnus Racing has done a great job all year, and I’m happy we were finally able to demonstrate it. It was a satisfying feeling to finally reward them for all of their efforts. I appreciate what John Potter and everyone behind the scenes has done all year, and really enjoyed the program.”

 

For John Potter, a relatively quiet weekend would actually prove successful, with the Utah resident clinching second in the series’ GTA Sprint Championship in the process. Entering the weekend finale with a healthy, but not insurmountable hold on second in the standings, the focus for John and the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS was simply on maximizing points for the weekend, with extra attention on avoiding unnecessary risk. During Saturday’s Race One, John would enjoy a steady drive to hold on to fourth, managing the gap to the field behind him, and effectively repeating the effort on Sunday.

 

The result would highlight a strong year for Potter, who in his first season of Pirelli World Challenge would take four podiums, and beating a strong roster of drivers in the standings with his consistency.
While the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge season has come to a close, Magnus Racing’s efforts are actually not finished yet, with a soon-to-be-announced program coming soon, and the team already hard at work in preparation. 
Wednesday
Sep132017

Magnus Racing Looks for a Relaxing, Happy Ending in Sonoma

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (September 13, 2017) – Looking to close out an up-and-down Pirelli World Challenge season that has seen everything from victories to unfortunate incidents, Magnus Racing will take to this weekend’s Grand Prix of Sonoma with high hopes for further results. Still with an outside shot at the GTA title, John Potter will enter the weekend with a strong focus on maximizing his points potential, while Pierre Kaffer will look to close out his tour with a single-minded approach to winning.

 

“We want to end our Pirelli World Challenge campaign on a high,” stated Magnus Racing team owner John Potter. “It’s been an interesting experience and change of pace for us, and we definitely want to close with our best foot forward for both cars. It’s always tough to know until you arrive, but Sonoma has the potential to be a good track for us, as the winding nature of it could benefit our Audi’s characteristics. Of course I also want to see Pierre end his season well, and personally I’m fully aware that there is a potential championship on the line, but also very realistic in what it would take for that to work in my favor. All-in-all we want a great weekend for the whole team, as everyone’s put in a fantastic effort all season and should be rewarded.”

 

Currently sitting second in the GTA category’s “Sprint” Championship, John Potter and the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS enter the weekend with a mathematical shot at the series’ title. Enjoying a sprint season that saw him take three consecutive podium finishes, this weekend’s double-header at the 2.2-mile, 11-turn circuit will be a new one for the Utah resident, but with cautious optimism that it could suit the unique needs of the Audi.

 

In the GT category, Pierre Kaffer and the No. 4 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS will arrive in search of the German’s first victory in Pirelli World Challenge competition. Following his best result to date during the most recent round in Texas, Kaffer comes in to the weekend with nothing to lose, with planned schedule conflicts taking him out of any hopes for a title. 

 

“I would love to end the season with a victory,” stated Kaffer. “I’ve really enjoyed working with the entire Maguns team, and certainly would like to reward the work of the crew with a shot at the win. It’s tough to say how we’ll do with a circuit like Sonoma, but if there’s an opportunity to maximize we’ll certainly take it.”

 

Serving as one of the shortest weekends of the year, a very brief practice session will occur this Friday, September 22, with a double-header of racing taking place on Saturday and Sunday. The race GT/GTA events will take place at 5:15PM ET on Saturday, and 1PM on Sunday, with all races broadcast live at world-challenge.com/streamvideo.