LAKEVILLE, CONNECTICUT (July 28, 2015)- With the tight confines of the famed Lime Rock Park creating no shortage of action during Saturday’s Northeast Grand Prix, Magnus Racing took a phenomenal triumph over long-time championship rival Scuderia Corsa and the No. 63 Ferrari 458. This finish would prove strong enough to take the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series GT championship… had it been 2013.
Unfortunately it is now 2015 and the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, with the Magnus Racing No. 44 Flex-Box Porsche 911 GT America being credited with fifth place in the GTD category, while the No. 63 Ferrari would take ninth.
“Nowhere in the IMSA rule book does it say we cannot transfer points from one year’s race to another, so we think it’s time the series look at this,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and co-driver John Potter. “It might be difficult since we’d like to apply our finish to a GRAND-AM event, but we’ve seen crazier decisions. Otherwise, it was definitely an eventful race for us, but we continued to show progress and hopefully Road America will bring stronger results.”
After a strong opening to the weekend in Friday practice, in which the team set the fastest time of the day, qualifications would see the team starting in seventh for Saturday’s two-hour, forty-minute race.
With John Potter starting, a fairly routine stint would see him run a mistake-free opening hour, setting the stage for Andy Lally to make a strong bid during the race’s second half.
Following another impressive pit stop for the team, Lally was under way to make his run for the front, however a caution would come out early in his run, allowing him to catch the field and set up for what could have been a hard fight with the lead pack.
Unfortunately, during the re-start from the caution, an unforeseen bunch-up of cars would send Andy to the high-side of the famed downhill section, with the No. 63 Ferrari of Townsend Bell cutting across the track right in to Andy, damaging both cars in the process with light damage to the right front of the Porsche. Lally would immediately duck in to the pits for repairs, with the team doing a quick evaluation and service before sending him back on his way.
From that point on, Andy and team were flat out in their pursuit of the field, as the driver continued to set fast times and move his way up. Managing his race, another flawless pit stop would send the Northport, New York native in contention for a podium, catching the front pack and hounding the No. 007 Aston Martin and No. 73 Porsche for third.
Unfortunately, the team’s misfortune would continue in the closing laps of the race, as the No. 85 Prototype Challenge machine would run wide as he passed the No. 44, sending Andy in the grass and ending any hope of another podium.
Out of time to catch the field, Andy would cross the line in fifth, the second-best finish of the season for the team.
“It wasn’t the finish we wanted, but there were a number of positives out of the weekend,” stated Lally. “Our pit stops were excellent, as always, and above all our car was really fast all weekend. It showed in practice, and had just a few different things gone our way it would have been a very different story this weekend.”
With only two weeks until the next event, the team is back at work preparing for the upcoming Continental Tire Road Race Showcase, taking place at the heralded Road America circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Practice begins on Friday, August 7, with race action at 3PM ET on Sunday, August 9.