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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

Wednesday
Jan212015

Webcast Returns for Magnus Racing, Children’s Tumor Foundation at Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 21, 2015)- Continuing a tradition that began in 2012, in which Magnus Racing took their historic first victory, the Children’s Tumor Foundation and Magnus Racing will once again team up to present a 24-hour, live pit-side webcast during this weekend’s 53rd running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
 
Presented by the Children’s Tumor Foundation and run entirely out of the Magnus Racing pit stall, the web stream will begin this coming Saturday, January 24 at 2:00PM and run all the way until race end… 24 hours later on January 25. The stream will be available via magnusracing.com and racing4research.org, with services provided by Ustream.

“It’s great to bring the webcast back again, and fantastic to have the Children’s Tumor Foundation behind the whole program,” stated Magnus Racing co-owner and driver John Potter. “We’re very dedicated to presenting a fun, interactive programs for our fans and we really enjoy the feedback we get from this. CTF has done an excellent job helping us to get ready and I hope we can help raise awareness as well as funds for the cause.”
 
Known for its blend of providing behind-the-scenes insight coupled with irreverent humor, the webcast will give fans not only the opportunity to see the event from one team’s perspective during the entirety of the event, but also interact and chat live with the drivers, crew, and guests at large.
 
While drivers such as Andy Lally, John Potter, Marco Seefried and Martin Ragginger will frequent the booth, spearheading this year’s stream will be Jill Beck of the Children’s Tumor Foundation, as well as long-time host Sean Heckman. Using the event as a platform to help raise awareness and funds for the Foundation, the webcast will once again present a number of notable guests and personalities from around the paddock, often times joining in by surprise.
 
Beyond the interactive chat experience, the stream also promises many of the classic Magnus segments, such as “Magnus After Dark,” the search for Shane Van Gisbergen and the very popular Magnus Challenge, in which fans are given a secret word every hour in the hopes to win a prize pack for naming all 24 words. Additionally, the Children’s Tumor Foundation will be auctioning a number of items, including signed collectibles, team swag and more, all benefiting CTF.
 
The webcast will be in addition to the round-the-clock race coverage provided by FOX, FOX Sports, and IMSA.com, who will be broadcasting the race non-stop as well. The race will begin on FOX networks and affiliates on Saturday from 2-4PM, followed by 4-8PM on FOX Sports 2, 8-10PM on Fox Sports 1, then overnight coverage via IMSA.com until 7AM, with the remainder of the race on FOX Sports 1.
 
For more information, be sure to visit magnusracing.com or racing4research.org.

Friday
Jan162015

Children’s Tumor Foundation, Magnus Racing to Partner at Rolex 24

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (January 16, 2014)- Continuing an association that dates back to the team’s first-ever victory at the 50th Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona, Magnus Racing and the Children’s Tumor Foundation will renew their partnership for this year’s 53rd running of the twice-around-the-clock classic.
 
“It’s a real honor to reunite with everyone at the Children’s Tumor Foundation,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and co-driver John Potter. “Our relationship dates back to 2012 and it’s remarkable what the Foundation does for NF families and the cause at-large. In all honesty, neurofibromatosis is something I hadn’t known much about prior to working with the Foundation, and it’s been a real eye-opening experience. We look forward to welcoming the families to our paddock and hope that the affiliation brings us the same luck as it did in 2012!”
 
The Children’s Tumor Foundation (CTF), through their Racing4Research program, has been a long-time staple of the motorsport scene. Campaigning to raise both awareness and fund research into neurofibromatosis – known simply as NF - a common yet under-recognized genetic disorder that can cause tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body, Racing4Research has raised over $3.5 million in the last seven years.
 
In addition to the No. 44 Flex-Box Porsche 911 GT America running the CTF colors, the team will welcome dozens of “NF Heroes” and their families, who will get an up-close opportunity to meet both the drivers and team.
 
“We’re looking forward to our return with Magnus,” stated Jill Beck, Racing4Research Director. “Beyond our great memories of seeing the team win in 2012, the team has proven itself over the years as one of the top teams in the series. Despite that, they’ve never lost their feel as a family that really enjoys what they do, and that reflects our organization as well. Beyond their on-track performance, the team is notorious for some of their other programs during the Daytona 24, and we’re excited to be a part of it.”
 
Most recently, Magnus Racing was awarded Microsoft Visual Studio’s “Team to Win” award at the end of the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season. Voted as the most popular team in the championship, Magnus Racing was awarded $10,000 for the honor, which they promptly donated to the Children's Tumor Foundation.
 
With the start of the race just over one week away, both the team and the Foundation are hard at work in preparation, including plans for one of the team’s most renowned interactive race features – details of which will be announced shortly.

Wednesday
Jan142015

Magnus Racing Confirms Rolex 24 Lineup

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (January 14, 2015)- Following a successful three-day test at the annual Roar Before the 24, Magnus Racing has confirmed that next weekend’s Rolex 24 at Daytona will involve not only full-season drivers John Potter and Andy Lally, but also Porsche veterans Marco Seefried and Martin Ragginger. Competing in the team’s 24-hour event, the No. 44 Flex-Box Porsche 911 GT America will once again take part in the GT-Daytona (GTD) category of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
 
“I’m very confident about our lineup headed into the 24,” stated team principal and co-driver John Potter. “Marco has become a staple of the Magnus organization over the last 12 months and Martin is a proven veteran who will mix in really well with our group. There’s no doubt it will be a tough race, but we have a very experienced, patient group and everyone is focused on the same goal.”
 
Seefried, hailing from Germany, is no stranger to the Magnus organization. Debuting with the team during last year’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, Marco immediately gelled with the team as demonstrated by their class victory. Six months later, Marco would return to the team for another endurance classic, Petit Le Mans, where the team once again took podium honors. Beyond his duties with Magnus, Seefried is also a full-time competitor in the highly-touted Blancpain GT series as well as a competitor in several endurance events around the world.
 
“It’s great to return to Magnus for Daytona,” stated Seefried. “It’s a great organization and a very warm family. So far we’ve had two podiums together in two races, so I’m hoping to continue that next weekend. The car is very competitive and they’ve proven they know how to win there so we’re all feeling very confident.”
 
Martin Ragginger, hailing from Austria, is new to Magnus but no stranger to Daytona. Debuting at the 24 in 2008, Martin has amassed countless miles at the circuit. Considered one of the most venerable Porsche drivers in the paddock, “Raggi” has taken victory at the 24 Hours of Dubai, the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia, and the FIA GT2 European Cup. Most notably, Martin is the recipient of the 2013 Porsche International Driver’s Cup, a distinction given to one driver a year by the marque.
 
“With Magnus we have a very good opportunity to win,” stated Ragginger. “The team has proven their ability to take top results at big events, and I have been very impressed with my experience so far. It’s very much a family at this organization, and I’m honored to be a part of it. We all want to win, and it’s clear everyone is focused on that.”
 
With the race only 10 days away, the team is hard at work in preparation for the event. With IMSA’s recent announcement to provide 24 hours of coverage over the various FOX networks and IMSA.com, fans should be able to catch all the action at any time in the day.
 
Additionally, Magnus Racing will be providing their own interactive experience, which will be announced in the coming days.