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Tuesday
Mar312015

Early End to Sebring for Magnus Racing Following Incident at Sebring

SEBRING, Fla. (March 22, 2015)- Despite a strong effort through the early parts of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, Magnus Racing’s ambition to repeat last year’s victory ended with an 11th place ranking. Following a mid-race incident, the team would make a valiant effort to get the car back on track and ensure valuable championship points, however a terminal issue would result in a failure to finish.
 
“This was a really difficult one,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and co-driver John Potter. “We put a lot of effort in to trying to win this one, everything from testing here several weeks ago, to a ton of time prepping, and the crew here has been relentless. Unfortunately it just wasn’t our day and I really feel bad for everyone here, it’s a tough one to swallow.”
 
With drivers Andy Lally, John Potter, and Marco Seefried swapping seats during a smooth first half of the race, the team was on-form for another strong finish. Starting in seventh, Lally would slowly gain positions over the course of his stint, handing the car to Potter with the team having cracked the top-five.
 
Driving one of his best series of stints, John Potter was remarkable as he cycled through to the lead, and would spend the majority of his time in a constant fight with the No. 33 Viper GT3-R for first, engaged in a series of swapped positions before ultimately pitting and handing the car to Seefried.
 
With Seefried cycling through effortlessly, Lally would once again take the reigns, and as the team approached the halfway mark, the team would once again hand the car to Potter to take his final stint.
 
Continuing his show of impressive form, the Utah resident would once again prove fast, making an impressive pass on the No. 63 Ferrari to put the No. 44 Flex-Box Porsche 911 GT America in the lead once again.
 
Unfortunately, while trying to lap a backmarker, contact with traffic would damage the right front of Potter’s machine, resulting in a collapsed suspension a half-lap later, sending the vehicle in to the wall on the track’s back-straight.
 
John would limp the car in to the pits where the team would begin repairs, choosing to roll the car back to the team’s paddock for further work.
 
Effectively rebuilding the entire suspension, within two hours the car was able to run again, yet another herculean task by the Magnus crew.
 
By series rule, John Potter had to complete a minimum of three hours in his Porsche for the team to be eligible to score points, meaning he still had just under an hour to go to keep the team’s championship hopes alive. The effort proved successful, and as the team continued on, they unfortunately discovered a terminal problem as the laps proceeded, eventually being forced to retire.
 
“Today was a tough one,” stated Andy Lally. “We were ready, this car was really fast and I think we showed strong throughout the day. John was absolutely excellent out there, he lead more than any of us! That’s incredible. Unfortunately, we all make mistakes, and he’s once again proven his professionalism by accepting it and moving on. We’ll all re-group and move on to Laguna Seca, we’ve always run really strong there.”
 
For Marco Seefried, many positives can be taken on the weekend.
 
“The team has a lot to be proud of,” stated Seefried. “I really believe we had a car capable of winning today, everyone was really strong. John was exceptional today, to lead for as long as he did, battling with so many great cars, we were all very impressed. Mistakes happen, there’s not a driver out there who can say he hasn’t done that, and John should be proud of how he drove. This truly is a great team, I’m sure they’ll have a great season.”
 
Magnus Racing and the entire GTD category will now take a six-week break, with the next round kicking off the “sprint” season at the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix, taking place from May 1-3.

Wednesday
Mar182015

Magnus Racing Returns to Sebring in Defense of Victory

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (March 18, 2015)- One year after their last victory in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, and the only 2014 win for Porsche in the GT-Daytona (GTD) category, Magnus Racing heads to Saturday’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring looking to defend their title.

“Sebring was definitely the highlight of our season last year,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and driver John Potter. “Beyond being one of the signature events of the series, it was a great team effort, making it all the more special. We had an endless series of challenges, yet everyone on the team did their job perfectly and the result spoke for itself. Everyone knows the challenges we had at Daytona so it would be great to rebound and move the season forward.”

As a 12-hour race notorious for its immense challenge on equipment due to the bumpy and difficult circuit surface - originally built as a World War II airfield - the team’s 2014 victory was not without its challenges. Following early contact with a competitor, the team was forced to make quick repairs to the nose of the car before the race had hit the two-hour mark, and would go on to suffer everything from shifting issues to an endless series of technical complications throughout the event. Despite this, the team never lost site of their goal, with drivers John Potter, Andy Lally, and Marco Seefried all taking their first victories at the event.

Opting not to mess with a good thing, all three drivers will return to the No. 44 Flex-Box Porsche 911 GT America, continuing a combination that has amassed a podium finish in every race they’ve run together.

 For Lally, returning to Sebring is a welcome opportunity to turn their season around.

“Daytona was a difficult week for us, and returning to the place where we took such a great victory will be a great change for us,” stated Lally. “John and Marco are both incredibly fast here and the team is more prepared than ever. You never know how these races will unfold, but we’re all optimistic.”

For Seefried, a similar sentiment is shared.

“It’s great to return to Sebring with Magnus,” stated the German. “The team is, of course, a lot of fun but they provide a fast car and a very quality program and I think it shows in the results we’ve had together. We really hope to have a chance for victory, the team is definitely prepared for it.”

Official practice begins tomorrow morning, with the race taking place this Saturday, March 21. The race will begin at 10:45AM ET and end 12 hours later, with race coverage beginning at 10:30 AM on FOX Sports 1, followed by a variety of coverage on FOX Sports 2, IMSA.com, and returning to FOX Sports 1.

Monday
Mar162015

Magnus Racing, Tim George Jr.’s “Prime Performance” Partner for Sebring

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (March 16, 2015)- While Magnus Racing has long been known for its on-track success and off-track antics, the team can now add one more element to its reputation, #TGbomb.
 
Partnering with Tim George, Jr., one of the most noted characters in the sportscar and stock car paddock, the team will present Tim’s brand new “Prime Performance” line of health-oriented personal cooking and catering services.
 
Tim George, most recently known over social media via his #ChefTG and #TGbomb moniker, is no stranger to the paddock, himself a long-time driver in the Porsche and stock car ranks. As the 2008 Rookie of the Year in the former Rolex Sports Car series, followed by a win in the highly touted ARCA Racing Series and several starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and Camping World Truck Series, Tim is no stranger to the requirements of performing on track. With a dedicated fitness regimen and years of experience in the culinary arts, George, Jr. has recently trained under the Natural Gourmet Institute, as well as serving an apprenticeship under the Jean Georges brand at The Mercer Kitchen. Combining his love of car racing, sustainable farming and the culinary world, Tim has combined his passions in to his latest venture, Prime Performance.
 
“I really have to thank everyone at Magnus Racing for this opportunity,” stated George, Jr. “John Potter and I go back several years when we both drove for the same team, many of the crew members and I go way back, and Andy Lally was my co-driver when I earned my first Rolex Series victory. It’s a great group and I’m excited to show them what our program is all about. Prime Performance is a very different approach from traditional catering, as our entire model is built on local, farm-fresh organic ingredients, and we pride ourselves on providing healthy energy that is perfectly suited for anyone in a competitive, endurance environment. Sebring should be a great proving ground.”
 
As a new venture, Prime Performance will look to showcase itself to not only the IMSA paddock but to the motorsport and sports world as a whole. With the classically trained New York chef providing a series of meals, the team will have the opportunity to sample some of George, Jr.’s diversity of entrées, everything from his #TGbomb salad to his #TGbomb pole-caught seafood.

 

“It’s great to have Tim and his group on board,” stated Magnus Racing team owner John Potter. “If you look at his record on track, it’s clear he’s committed to excellence, and I’m sure that will reflect in his efforts with us. Sebring is always a daunting event, and we hope this will give us that extra edge.”
 
Returning to next weekend’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring as the defending GTD category champions, Magnus Racing will arrive with the No. 44 Flex-Box Porsche 911 GT America having a virtually unchanged program. Featuring the same three-driver line up of John Potter, Andy Lally and Marco Seefried, the team has only one goal in mind: winning.
 
Official practice begins on Thursday, March 19, with the 12-hour event beginning two days later on Saturday, March 21. The race will begin at 10:45AM ET and end 12 hours later, with race coverage beginning at 10:30 AM on FOX Sports 1, followed by a variety of coverage on FOX Sports 2, IMSA.com, and returning to FOX Sports 1.

Monday
Jan262015

Magnus Racing Endures Plenty Oproblems to Take 11th at Rolex 24 at Daytona  

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 26, 2014)- While many racing teams tend to blame their foibles on mechanical gremlins during the famed Rolex 24 at Daytona, Magnus Racing can firmly lay the blame on something even more treacherous… an opossum.
 
Despite this, the team would still cross the checkered flag to see 11th place.
 
“We’re always very excited to get letters after a race,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and co-driver John Potter. “Normally they’re from happy fans, congratulatory notes from the series, but we may be the first team in IMSA history to get a letter from PETA. Regardless, the fact that we still managed to see the finish line after such a crazed race is incredible, and I couldn’t be more proud of our team.”
 
Starting from the fourth row in the No. 44 Flex-Box/Children’s Tumor Foundation Porsche 911 GT America, driver Andy Lally would take the green flag on the historic twice-around-the-clock event. Getting to the green flag, however, was no easy feat for the Magnus crew.
 
During Friday’s final practice session, the team would suffer a surprise issue with the gearbox, cutting their final practice short to examine the problem. Having put an all-new gearbox in the car prior, the team was faced with the arduous task of completely rebuilding their transmission during the final hours of race preparation, putting in a long day and with no opportunity to try the car on-track before the race began.
 
With nearly 100 children and families on site from the Children’s Tumor Foundation rooting for the car, which featured the foundation’s logo as well as 111 names of “NF Heroes” on the rear bumper, the team had even extra motivation to ensure the car was perfect.
 
With the race well under way, the opening series of stints were business-as-usual for the No. 44 team. Despite a small issue with the front splitter, drivers Andy Lally, John Potter and Marco Seefried ran a successful series of opening stints including a strong double stint by Potter. Still holding pace with the lead pack and on the lead lap, by time the team’s fourth driver, Martin Ragginger, took the reigns all eyes would turn toward the team’s gearbox.
 
With Seefried reporting an occasional harshness during upshifts, the problem would continue for Ragginger who did his best to manage to a worsening problem. As the stint wore on, the problem continued to grow with sixth gear failing completely and the car eventually losing drive outright. The car was able to limp to the garage for repairs, however, any hopes for a second victory were gone.
 
Swapping out the gearbox in nearly 45 minutes, an incredible effort all to itself, the team was back out for action. Knowing a victory was not possible, the focus instead shifted to ensuring points for the team, with John Potter getting back in the car following Ragginger’s stint.
 
According to this year’s rules for the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, the team’s designated silver driver needed to drive approximately 4.5 hours in order to score points for the team. With Potter serving this role, the Salt Lake City resident would drive an additional double stint as the night wore on, with the team appearing to be back to normal as the midnight hour approached.
 
With Potter fulfilling the time requirements by time 12PM hit, all focus was now on simply finishing the race, wanting to not only maximize their finishing points in an attrition-filled race, but equally important to show well for the many families on hand from the Children’s Tumor Foundation.
 
Continuing through their driver rotation, all was routine as the team went deep into the night hours, hitting the halfway point of the race and slowly climbing up the charts as attrition wore on.
 
Unfortunately, a rising gearbox temperature created a new sense of alarm within the team and once again bringing the car in at 3AM for further repairs. Following another 30 minutes, the No. 44 was back out and seemingly poised to run the second half of the race at a comfortable pace.
 
That was until Andy Lally jumped in for the early morning stint. Lally, a notable animal rights advocate and devout vegan, was running behind one of the Viper GT3-R machines when sudden contact with “something” on the road would create a significant dent in the front of the car and radiator. After evaluating the vehicle, the team elected to stay out and monitor the situation.
 
With the car seemingly OK, the team continued on for the next several stints until rising temperatures and a resulting plume of smoke erupted from the car as the morning hours continued.
 
Returning to the garage for a third round, more visits than any other time in team history, the crew immediately went to work to diagnose the issue. Upon lifting up the front hood of the car, the team discovered a problem that they’d never seen in any of their combined years of racing… an opossum.
 
Yes, you read that right, an opossum. As it turned out, when Lally was chasing the Viper in the early morning hours, the “debris” that went through the car was an opossum which had unfortunately found its way on the track and through the front end of the Magnus Porsche.

(PHOTOS BELOW: WARNING- THEY'RE GRAPHIC)

Magnus Racing, known for its irreverent live webcast and fun social media presence, elected to name the deceased “Ballast,” and with repairs made chose to finish the race under the theme #AvengeBallast.
 
Making quick repairs for the third time, an impressive Magnus crew once again sent the car on its way, where the drivers would cycle through, with John Potter driving the final stint to the checkered flag.
 
Despite the challenges, and literal marsupial sacrifice, the team was able to continue their perfect record of finishes at the race, now seeing the checkered flag for all six Rolex 24 events they’ve competed in. This also continues Andy Lally’s streak of 12 straight finishes at the Rolex.
 
While the event will likely go down as one of the weirdest for the team, it was nonetheless another testament to the commitment and preparation of all involved.
 
“It’s a cliché to say the race is all about preparation, but nonetheless true,” continued Potter. “Everyone has put their heart and soul into this during the winter, and I’m glad we were at least able to see the finish. We really wanted to deliver for the Children’s Tumor Foundation, and it is truly special to know just how many young children and families are rooting for you.”
 
For Andy Lally, keeping his streak alive highlights an odd race.
 
“This was definitely one of the weirdest ones I’ve been a part of,” stated Lally. “The guys had no shortage of challenges, but they jumped to it every time, and it’s an amazing level of commitment. When I was behind the Viper I knew I hit something, but when I looked in my mirrors I didn’t see anything behind me so it was very odd. I had no idea that we’d picked up a passenger in the process, and it’s unfortunate on a number of levels. Regardless, I’m glad we could see the finish and I look forward to the rest of the season.”
 
For Marco Seefried, who until this race had been on the podium every time he’d driven with the team, the theme of a strange race continued.
 
“It was a very odd race for sure,” stated Seefried. “I think we all thought we had a shot this weekend, so to have so many strange events was unexpected. It’s really too bad as the car was quite good, but this is the nature of this kind of racing. Regardless, I thank John Potter and everyone on the Magnus Racing team for such a great experience, I look forward to the next one.”
 
For Martin Ragginger, making his debut with the team, the sentiment is shared.
 
“It’s very unfortunate to have the race we did,” stated Ragginger. “The car was quite good, we were very strong. I was really impressed with the whole Magnus team and I thought we had a really good shot, but obviously racing is unpredictable and this is just part of it. Regardless I appreciate the opportunity and hope they find success this season.”
 
Despite the team’s struggles on-track, the off-track programs synonymous with the team proved successful yet again. Introducing this year’s annual movie poster, the “John Potter and Order of the Rolex” theme proved a massive success via social media and in the autograph line, and the annual pit side webcast held once again, with nearly 50,000 followers enjoying the interactive and irreverent experience. The highly unusual opossum sacrifice was equally noteworthy, with Andy Lally’s initial tweet being retweeted by thousands, and the #AvengeBallast hashtag trending among the loyal sportscar fan base.
 
With several weeks between the Rolex 24 and the next big event, the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, the team is already back at work in preparation for Round Two of the series.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PHOTOS ARE BELOW, WE WARNED YOU.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SERIOUSLY. YOU'VE BEEN WARNED.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OK THEN.......

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Thursday
Jan222015

LIVE AT DAYTONA