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.