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Monday
Oct152018

Magnus Racing Closes 2018 Season with Ninth

BRASELTON, Georgia (October 15, 2018) – Following a series of tire failures resulting in multiple unscheduled pit stops, Magnus Racing and drivers John Potter, Andy Lally and Andrew Davis would endure the 2018 Petit Le Mans without incident, but maligned by recurring pit emergencies to ultimately settle for ninth.

“This wasn’t the weekend we were hoping for, but it was out of our control,” stated Magnus Racing team owner John Potter. “Between testing and prep for this weekend we were as ready as we could be, and we were on the right course with our opening strategy, but after three tire failures there’s not exactly much we could do to salvage the day. We would have liked to have gone in to the off-season with the momentum of a strong close, but we’ll put it behind us and focus on our 2019 program.”

Opening the 10-hour race in the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS GT3, John Potter’s race-start would actually kick the event off with a lot of promise. Running a unique strategy to the field, Potter actually drove an incredible triple-stint, running three consecutive pit cycles without putting a foot wrong, ultimately pitting near the three-hour mark having completed his minimum drive-time and handing a clean car to teammates Lally and Davis for the remainder of the race.

Unfortunately, as the middle of the race took hold, in conjunction with the heat of the mid-afternoon, Lally’s climb through the field would be cut short, pitting earlier than expected as a left-rear tire began to lose pressure. Trading for Andrew Davis, a similar fate would ensue, identifying a real problem for the team.

As circumstances continued, a third failure would occur as the race progressed. While no specific problem has been identified, the team would like to make it clear that they ran well within the recommended parameters on both camber and tire pressure, deliberately choosing a conservative strategy to ensure this sort of problem was mitigated in the race.

As the track cooled and the team adjusted their setup to try and manage the issue, the team would eventually climb back up the order, but ultimately resigned to a conservative pace and finishing ninth.

With the season at a conclusion, Magnus Racing will make further announcements on their 2019 plans at a later date.

Tuesday
Oct092018

Magnus Racing Ready to Close 2018 Season at Petit Le Mans

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (October 9, 2018) -  Following an up-and-down season that has included a pair of podiums for Magnus Racing in their IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship campaign, this Saturday’s finale during the prestigious Petit Le Mans will set the lone goal of winning for drivers John Potter, Andy Lally and Andrew Davis.

“It would be great to close our championship going for the win,” stated team owner and driver John Potter. “Petit Le Mans has been a race that has eluded us. The last two times we’ve been in the hunt for a win, including crossing the finish line first in 2016, so it remains unfinished business. The second half of our season has been pretty strong, and following recent tests we’re as prepared as we can be.”

Taking place at the scenic Road Atlanta circuit in northern Georgia, Petit Le Mans has historically been a competitive race for Magnus, with the ultimate prize remaining unclaimed. Under heavy rain conditions in 2015, the team narrowly missed victory in a challenging environment, and in 2016 the team’s No. 44 Audi R8 LMS GT3 actually crossed the finish line first, only to be sent down the order due to a drive-time infraction.

With a strong second-half form this season, including successive podiums at Lime Rock and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, victory remains the lone missing accolade of the team’s 2018 effort.

For Andy Lally, who lives in nearby Atlanta, closing the team’s current chapter is one he remains optimistic for.

“It’s been a transitional year for the team as a whole, and we’ve overcome a lot of obstacles,” stated Lally. “The guys deserve a top result for the time they’ve put in, and we’re all focused on delivering that. Road Atlanta is a circuit unlike any other. It remains to be seen how our Audi will perform there against other marques, but we’re pushing.”

For Andrew Davis, who resides in nearby Athens, a similar sentiment is shared.

"I’ve really enjoyed my time with the team,” stated Davis. “Magnus Racing is one of the most fun environments you can work in, and the team has been pushing hard in testing to ensure we’re prepared for this weekend. A lot can happen in 10 hours, but we’re ready.”

Practice will begin this Thursday, October 11, with the racing taking place two days later on Saturday, October 13. Live coverage can be found on Saturday at 10:30AM ET via FOX Sports 1, switching to FOX Sports 2 at 12PM until the race’s conclusion at 9:30PM. Continuous coverage can be found on the FOX Sports GO app for viewers in the US, or via imsa.tv for international viewers.

Tuesday
Sep112018

Magnus Racing Closes Sprint Season with Top-Five

MONTEREY, Calif. (September 11, 2018) – Following an up-and-down day that saw everything from pre-race incidents to leading the race, Magnus Racing and drivers John Potter and Andy Lally would finish Sunday’s America’s Tire 250, the final sprint race of the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, with a fifth-place finish.

“Of course we were aiming for a podium, but there were still a lot of positives on the day,” stated team owner and co-driver John Potter. “We were fast all through practice, but with the way the yellow flags flew it was impossible to know exactly what calls would end up being correct, our guys did the best they could. Overall we once again demonstrated our potential, and we’ll turn our attention to Petit Le Mans with a focus on winning.”

Taking place at the scenic WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, tire degradation was the theme of the weekend, a massive drop in lap-times taken in to consideration from the beginning of the stint to the end.

Opting to start the race on brand new tires in consideration, the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS would actually start from the back as a result, a choice which quickly paid dividends following two separate incidents at the start of the race, one before the green flag ever fell. Being at the back, starting driver John Potter was able to avoid the chaos, eventually starting the race after nearly 30 minutes of yellow-flag racing.

As it would turn out, Potter would only get about five laps of green flag running before the team would pit him, putting Andy Lally in with just under two hours remaining. With a clear track as a result of the stop, Lally would push hard to pull a series of quick laps, and as stops cycled through he would actually find himself leading the race.

Leading throughout the middle, the dynamic of the entire event would change with 75 minutes remaining when another yellow flag flew. Knowing the importance of new tires, the Magnus Racing crew would opt to pit Lally for tires and fuel, dropping down the order as a result.

For the final hour, Lally would push hard on the field in front of him, doing his best to deliver fast laps while watching his tires at the same time. With nearly every car on a different strategy, the No. 44 crew would stop one last time for tires and a topping off of fuel, with Andy resuming in search of a top-five.

By time the final stops all cycled through, the No. 44 would find itself in an uncontested fifth, taking the checkered flag as the top Audi. It was a reasonable finish for an up-and-down day, with all focus now on Petit Le Mans.

For Andy Lally, a reasonable weekend shouldn’t be looked at as disappointing.

“This was a tough race to predict properly,” stated Lally. “We had a fast Audi all weekend, the guys should be really proud of the car they put together. It was great to lead, and with a dew different scenarios we could have been a real contender in the end. The team has done a great job making progress all year, and I’m excited about Petit Le Mans!”

Peter Baron was unavailable for comment.

All attention will now focus to the season finale at Road Atlanta, with Petit Le Mans taking its place as the trademark season finale. Practice for the 10-hour classic will begin on Friday, October 19, with the race on Sunday, October 21.

 

Thursday
Sep062018

Magnus Racing Set for Final Sprint Race of 2018

 

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (September 6, 2018) – With this weekend’s upcoming round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship taking place at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, Magnus Racing drivers John Potter and Andy Lally look forward to their final sprint race of the season, looking to close on a high. With no championship at stake, and nothing to gain other than going for a win, the team is purely focused on the top result.

“While of course we would love to come in to the weekend with the burden of a championship mindset, that’s not been the way our season shaped up ,so in a way we’re just going to enjoy going for the win,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and driver John Potter. “Laguna Seca has been a good track for us on many occasions, and we would love to continue that tradition this year. It’s the final sprint race of our season, so we have no reason to think about anything other than completely going for it.” 

As a scenic track nestled in the hills of Monterey and just minutes from the Pacific Ocean, Laguna Seca is always a favorite for both fans and teams alike. Featuring the most dramatic elevation change of any circuit on the calendar, the event has proven strong for the team in the past. From 2012-2015, John Potter and Andy Lally managed a podium on every visit, including an incredible win to take the championship lead in 2013.

“Laguna Seca has been a great race for us in year’s past,” stated co-driver Andy Lally. “The last few races we’ve continuously showed a lot of promise, but for different reasons we’ve had trouble closing. As the last sprint race of the year, we expect a pretty frantic pace, but we’re racing with nothing to lose and we’re all focused on just winning.”

Practice begins this Friday, September 7, with the race taking place on Sunday, September 9. Live coverage will be available in the US at 5PM ET via FS1, or at the same for international viewers via imsa.tv.

Monday
Aug202018

Strong Drive Shows Promise for Magnus at VIR

ALTON, Virginia (August 20, 2018) – Following a wild day of up-and-down moments, Magnus Racing and the No. 44 Audi R8 LMS GT3 would take seventh place, and top Audi honors, at VIRginia International Raceway (VIR). While drivers John Potter and Andy Lally would be classified as seventh, the result fails to underscore a strong run, which including leading throughout much of the second-half of the race.

“I actually think we should be happy with the overall weekend,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and driver John Potter. “We were fast throughout practice, had a solid car in the race, and we made a great strategy call. With a little different fortune we were poised for a podium, and overall we should take a lot of satisfaction in where we are with the program.”

After continuously running toward the top-half of the time sheets throughout practice, John Potter would take starting duties from the fourth row. Keeping pace with the field, John would effectively hold position throughout his run, handing over to Andy Lally without putting a foot wrong.

With Lally behind the wheel, the pursuit of the field in front of him would begin, slowly making progress through the twisty confines of the four-mile circuit. Just past halfway, however, the entire nature of the race would change when the race’s one-and-only caution period would arise.

With 80-minutes remaining, the timing would prove unique as many teams chose to make pit stops, knowing that they would likely still need to make another stop toward the end of the race. Opting to gain track position instead, Lally would stay out, advancing to the front of the field, now with the lead but with the knowledge that his final stop would likely be longer than everyone else." 

Once the race resumed, Andy would lead for several laps, doing his best to build a gap, ultimately making his final stop with under one hour remaining. As pit stops would cycle through, Lally would find himself in second, chasing down the lead but with an aggressive field behind him.

As the race came to a close, Andy would actually manage to get around the class leader, however the loss of momentum from the pass would allow the AMG of Jeroen Bleekemolen behind him to make a pass, with the two making light contact and Bleekemolen barely edging by and forcing Lally wide. Unfortunately, in the next corner Lally would end up getting in to the back of Bleekemolen, causing the AMG to spin off course.

This would eventually lead to a drive-through penalty for the Magnus Audi, dropping down the order and with only enough time to recover to seventh. It was a difficult end to an otherwise promising weekend, but with two races remaining the team is well poised to close on a high note.

For Land Motorsport’s Peter Baron, a unique was shared.

“Some days, you might have been better off staying at a Magnus-owned Comfort Inn and Suites , eating all the self serve ice cream you wish,” stated Baron. “Actually, that’s pretty much every day.  I do love I cream.  John and Andy finished 7th.”

The next round of competition, the final sprint race of the year, will be at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, nestled in the scenic hills of Monterey, California. Practice begins on Friday, September 7, with the race on Sunday, September 9.