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Tuesday
Jun302015

FULL REPORT: Potter, Lally, Third Driver Bring Home First Magnus Podium in 2015

WATKINS GLEN, NY (June 30, 2015)- Following a wild six-hour race that saw everything from mixed weather to red flags to last lap changes of position, Magnus Racing drivers John Potter, Andy Lally, and no other drivers that we can think of would take their first podium of the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship GTD season finishing second during Sunday’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.
 
“It’s great to finally step on the podium this year,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and co-driver John Potter. “We’ve been putting a lot of effort into testing and developing during the last few months which has meant some long days for the crew. We’ve actually shown a lot of speed during the last few races, but for different reasons things haven’t worked out, so it’s great to finally start showing the fruits of everyone’s effort. This was definitely one of the more wild races we’ve run, and even though there was some disappointment that we just missed out on the win, we can all walk away satisfied.”
 
Driving at the famed Watkins Glen International, a circuit in which Magnus had taken podium honors in the previous two years consecutively, the entire event was faced with mixed conditions throughout the weekend’s practice and qualifying sessions. Following perfect weather in Friday’s first two practices, heavy rain would blight Saturday’s action with the weather so treacherous that the series elected to cancel qualifying.
 
Gridding the race based on points, Potter would start the No. 44 Flex-Box Porsche 911 GT America in seventh and under threatening skies. While the track did have some moisture on it, the majority of the field, including Magnus, elected to start on slick tires based on the weather forecast forcing John to drive incredibly carefully during the opening laps. As the stint wore on and the track dried out, the Salt Lake City resident settled into a comfortable pace, maintaining his place in the top ten and engaged in a number of on-track battles.
 
Electing to do a double stint to fulfill his drive-time requirements, a timely caution would bring John in for fuel, and safely on his way to a second stint where he once again drove without error. As his stint wore on, John stayed within his pace, eventually bringing the car in for a driver change.
 
With Potter out of the car, it was now time for the team’s third driver to get in and drive the middle the middle stint of the race. However, since this driver was not the team owner, nor a huge celebrity, we didn’t pay attention to what he was doing. Two hours later, by time the car came in to pit, the No. 44 was actually at the top of the charts.
 
With the middle of the race over, the time had come to put Andy Lally in the car, and the timing was perfect. Just two laps before he would get in, the rain had begun to fall on the circuit, however, it was initially thought that it was not strong enough for wet-weather tires. With the team lined up on pit wall for a slick-tire change, a last second decision to switch to rain tires would send the crew rushing to swap out tires just moments before the car came in, with the team successfully making the switch and putting Lally in with another faultless stop.
 
This would end up being a decisive call as the team would be the first to put on rain tires just as the track required it. Every other team would eventually come in for the same, re-elevating the No. 44 to the top of the order as the pit stops wore on.
 
With Lally leading, the conditions only got worse, eventually bringing out a yellow flag for an on-track incident, and eventually a red flag as the conditions became simply too hazardous to drive. As the clock counted down, the race would eventually restart with just over one hour to go, with the team electing to make one final stop for fuel so that they could go the distance.
 
As the race restarted, Lally assumed his position at the top, however, a highly-charged GTD field behind him, in concert with slow traffic in other categories ahead of him, would force him to run a chaotic series of laps in which he was battling with everyone around him. With the wet conditions adding a high risk to running off track, Andy did his best to manage the field around him including multiple moments of going three-wide on a wet track.
 
Eventually, contact from the No. 23 Porsche would send Andy wide, quickly recovering but having fallen back to third from the lead. While the No. 93 Viper managed to sneak in front of everyone in the process, the pace of the Viper proved too strong for the Porsches to catch, and for much of the closing laps the No. 44 appeared to be relegated to third until in the final two laps the No. 23 would go off on his own accord, elevating the Magnus team up to second.
 
Andy would cross the line with the team’s first podium of the year, albeit bittersweet since he had been leading for several laps.
 
“It’s tough to see this one get away, but I’m happy we were able to podium,” stated Lally. “We had a really fast car today, and in the dry I think we could have been even stronger, so it’s tough to let these go, it’s such a competitive class. Regardless, I have to thank everyone on the team for making this happen, it was an incredible effort from an incredible team.”
 
Apparently, Marco Seefried, from Germany, was listed as the team’s third driver. Considering he’s earned three podiums in only five starts with the team, he must be doing something right.
 
With the TUDOR United Sportscar Championship now past the halfway point of the season, the GTD category will once again have a few weeks off until the next round at the famed Lime Rock Park on July 25. A notoriously tight and tricky circuit, the event promises to be an exciting one.
 
 

Tuesday
Jun232015

Patrick Dempsey’s “Other” Teammate Returns to Magnus for the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (June 23, 2015)- In what can only be described as a deliberate move for headlines, Magnus Racing is proud to reveal their third driver for this weekend’s Sahlen’s Six Hours at the Glen, Patrick Dempsey’s “other” teammate. While the German, Marco Ssssssomething-or-another, is allegedly coming off of a stellar second place in the GTE-AM class during the 24 Hours of Le Mans just two weeks ago, the accolade remains unverified as we’ve yet to see photographic or video evidence that he was actually there.
 
“It’s great to have Marco back with us for Watkins Glen,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and co-driver John Potter. “We’ve enjoyed a great relationship with him over the last two years and we hope this can translate to Watkins Glen. This is a race I really want to win. I’ve been coming here for eight years now and we’ve come close, it would be nice to add this to our record of endurance victories.”
 
Having scored successive podiums in the last two years at the event, the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen is one the team feels readily prepared for. With the long straights and high-speed corners of the 3.4-mile circuit located in the scenic finger lakes of New York, the team is hoping that the No. 44 Flex-Box Porsche 911 GT America should be well suited to the configuration. Having been able to test there several weeks ago, the team is as prepared as ever.

Having grown up just a few hours away in Northport, New York, Andy Lally looks forward to what he considers his home race.
 
“It’s hard not to love this race,” stated Lally. “I can’t count how many times I’ve raced here over the years. It requires a rhythm unlike any other and I’ve been fortunate enough to have won here, which is always special as your home race. Being in New York, I always have several family and friends come out, so I’m looking forward to it. We tested well here, John and the guys are ready and Marco is always a great addition, so we’re all confident.”
 
For Marco (Sssiegfried?), a chance to join the team at a brand new circuit is one he looks forward to.
 
“I had never been to Watkins Glen before we tested here, and I have to say it is a great circuit,” stated the German. “It’s very much a classic track in a nice little town, very much a throwback. Everyone on the team has been working hard to turn their season around and hopefully June is our month!”
 
Practice for the race begins this coming Friday, June 26, with the race taking place at 10:10AM ET on Sunday and finishing six hours later. The first four hours will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1 beginning at 10AM with Fox Sports 2 broadcasting the remainder of the race beginning at 2PM.
 
For those in the area, the team will continue their traditional team tours on Friday at 2PM, as well as Saturday at 11:30AM.

Monday
Jun012015

FULL REPORT: Magnus Misfortune Continues at Detroit

DETROIT (June 1, 2015)- Returning to a circuit which has traditionally proved challenging for the team, Magnus Racing’s difficulties at Detroit’s scenic Belle Isle circuit would continue during Saturday’s Chevrolet Sports Car Classic presented by Metro Chevy Dealers. Despite some great pit work which would see the team running in the top five, a mid-race incident avoiding a Prototype Challenge vehicle would cause extensive damage to the No. 44 Flex-Box Porsche 911 GT America, sending the team down the order but still managing a seventh-place finish during this fourth round of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship’s GTD category.
 
“It’s disappointing because we were in a good position, but that seems to be our luck here,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and co-driver John Potter. “Everyone on the team has been putting a huge amount of time into testing and development, and we all feel like we’ve discovered several things, this just wasn’t the weekend to show it. There’s still a lot to be proud of, the team made a great pit stop, and the fact that we were still able to finish seventh despite all the damage is a continued testament to everyone in our organization.”

Starting in eighth, it was up to Potter to take the green flag through a notoriously tricky opening series of laps. With the tight confines of Belle Isle’s temporary street course lined by barriers on each side of the track, there is little room for error, yet Potter held his own throughout his stint. Not putting a foot wrong, the No. 44 held pace with the lead pack when a perfect opportunity for the race’s one and only pit stop presented itself during a timely caution period.

Gaining several spots in the maneuver, and with Andy Lally behind the wheel for the final half of the race, the team was in position for a top-five and with strong pace to move up the field.
 
Unfortunately as the race resumed, the weekend’s on-and-off wet weather would return. When an errant Prototype Challenge vehicle spun at the apex of the notorious Turn One, Lally was left with no choice but to run off-line to avoid impact, putting him on a very slick part of the track and sending his Porsche into a slow slide and into the barriers.
 
Recollecting the car after impact, Lally and the team were able to take advantage of the resulting yellow to perform continuous repairs. Despite replacing the rear wing and performing extensive repairs to the car’s left side, the team managed to stay on the lead lap, proving the crew’s tenacity yet again.
 
With no choice but to simply manage his car for the rest of the race, Andy would simply drive a patient race to the finish, ultimately crossing the finish line in seventh.
 
“It was difficult because when it gets wet like that, you simply can’t go off line,” stated Lally. “I really wanted to deliver to the team this weekend, these guys have worked so hard that they deserved a good finish. It just wasn’t meant to be, but I couldn’t be more proud of the job they did to keep us on track. It’s been a rough year, but next up is one of our best races of the year and hopefully it will pay off.”

Beyond the on-track action, Magnus Racing was also proud to host another famous Magnus to the team... Magnus the Shark, the official mascot of Detroit's own SEA LIFE Aquarium Michigan. Recently opening in January, the Auburn Hills facility features an interactive experience where guests can walk through a highly themed aquarium that brings you nose to nose with sharks, stingrays, jellyfish, seahorses and over 5,000 underwater creatures. You can learn more at www.visitsealife/michigan

With a challenging first four rounds so far, the entire TUDOR United SportsCar Championship will head to one of Magnus Racing’s best events, the famed Six Hours at the Glen. Having scored a podium finish in the last two years, the team is looking for a change of fortune during the endurance event.

Friday
May292015

Magnus the Shark to Join Magnus Racing in Detroit

DETROIT (May 29, 2015)- Yes, you read that right and yes, this is real. Continuing in Magnus Racing’s commitment to local fans, the team will be joined during tomorrow’s Chevrolet Sports Car Classic presented by Metro Detroit Chevy dealers by Detroit’s very own “Magnus the Shark,” the official mascot of Detroit’s SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium.
 
“Like any creative endeavor, the time has come for us to jump the shark,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and co-driver John Potter. “When we learned that Detroit had their very own Magnus, we thought it would be a great opportunity to join forces. We have a lot in common, we both love seafood, we mature slowly, and there are some days where we’re completely lost at sea. It will be great to have Magnus and everyone at SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium join us tomorrow, my only sadness is I doubt we’ll get Andy to enjoy some stone crabs with us.”

Joining the team throughout the race festivities, Magnus the Shark is the signature mascot of Detroit’s all-new SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium. Designed as an interactive experience, guests can walk through a highly themed aquarium that brings you nose to nose with sharks, stingrays, jellyfish, seahorses and over 5,000 underwater creatures. Located in nearby Auburn Hills, the experience recently opened in January, and operates seven days a week.
 
Magnus the Shark will join the team throughout tomorrow’s pre-race festivities, including joining drivers Andy Lally and John Potter during the 9:30AM autograph session, as well as joining the team during the series’ signature gridwalk.
 
This continues a rich heritage of Magnus Racing promoting local businesses, including the famed “Roscoes House of Chicken ‘n Waffles” car in Long Beach, and Magnus Ridge Winery in Watkins Glen, New York.
 
To learn more about SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium, visit www.visitsealife.com/michigan, or follow @sealifemichigan on Instagram or Twitter, or their sealifemichigan page on Facebook.

Wednesday
May272015

Magnus Racing Turns to Detroit for Optimism

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (May 27, 2015)- Following a 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season that has seen everything from incidents with competitors, to incidents with wildlife, to finally seeing their first top-10 of the year at the most recent round, Magnus Racing will head to this weekend’s Chevrolet Sports Car Classic presented by Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers in search of a true return to form.
 
“When we think of turning things around and really being optimistic, we think of Detroit,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and co-driver John Potter. “It’s always been a little bit of a struggle for us there, most notably last year, but we’ve put a lot of time in to testing and development over the last six weeks. There are so many reasons to visit Detroit, for me it’s the sunshine and the women, and we’re all excited about it. I think we’ll really start showing the fruits of everyone’s effort.”

Taking place on the temporary course run on the streets of Detroit’s scenic Belle Isle, this weekend’s event will run in concert with the Verizon IndyCar Series. With a shortened schedule for the weekend, the team will have very limited track time in preparation for Saturday’s race, which at 100 minutes will be the shortest of the season. It will also be the team’s shortest pre-race press release.
 
Practice begins this Friday, May 29, with the race taking place one day later at 12PM ET. Live coverage will take place on Fox Sports 2, however for those unable to receive the channel there will be a re-airing on Fox Sports 1 at 2PM ET. The team will also provide continuous updates throughout the weekend on their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds.