BRASELTON, Georgia (April 22, 2013)- With the scenic Road Atlanta circuit in Northern Georgia playing host to one of John Potter and Andy Lally’s favorite tracks, Magnus Racing came in to this weekend’s Visual Studio Ultimate Grand Prix of Atlanta ready to capitalize. Following a fairly quiet run on Saturday, the team managed their third top-five finish of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series season.
“We walked away from the weekend with good points,” stated Magnus Racing Team Owner and Driver John Potter. “We ran a fairly mistake-free race, which is what we need to do in order to keep our championship run going, we just didn’t have the pace to move further up.”
With Potter starting on the pole position by virtue of Friday’s rained out qualifying session, the relative pace of his competitors was instantly apparent as the race went on. While the no. 44 Flex-Box Porsche 911 GT3 Cup ran the first stint without incident, the demand for rear grip on the rear-engined Porsche proved apparent as Potter fought to preserve his rear tires throughout the second half of his run.
“As the stint wore on the car definitely began to become a bit of a handful,” stated Potter. “Rear grip is so critical at a place like Road Atlanta, and I found myself really trying to manage the car as time wore on.”
Following a mistake-free opening stint, it was co-driver Andy Lally’s turn to take the reigns. With Lally putting on an impressive series of lap times, the Dacula, Georgia resident found himself in a similar position to Potter as his stint wore on. Opting to preserve the car and its fragile rear tires, Lally picked up a couple positions as the race continued.
When the time came for Lally’s next stop, a lack of cautions meant that strategy would play less of a factor than in previous rounds. Knowing that outright pace was the ultimate factor in Saturday’s race, Lally made the intelligent decision to simply manage the car to the end, ultimately taking fifth spot.
With yet another consistent run, Magnus Racing slipped one position in the point standings to second, albeit one point shy of the team and driver’s championship lead.
“Everyone here did the best they could today,” stated Lally. “The Rolex GT series is possibly the most competitive it’s ever been, so you really have to fight for everything you can get, and today we just didn’t have the pace to move much further. The guys were perfect all weekend, and that’s why we’re still so close in this championship.”
With the fourth round of the championship now behind, the series will take an extended break, missing the entire month of May, before heading to the Chevrolet GRAND-AM Detroit 200 on Saturday, June 1. Live SPEED coverage of the race will be on Saturday, May 1, at 5PM ET.