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Sunday
Mar162014

Magnus Racing Takes Victory at Sebring

SEBRING, Fla. (March 16, 2014)- Following one of the most up-and-down races in the history of the event, a complete team effort by Magnus Racing would overcome a number of obstacles to take victory at the 62nd Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. Acting not only as the first Sebring victory for the team, the feat would also take the honor of becoming the first-ever victory for Porsche in the GTD category of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.

“It’s still very surreal to be here,” stated team owner John Potter. “Having so many challenges throughout the race made for a very exciting 12 hours, and I’m still in a bit of shock that we came away with a victory. It’s a perfect testament to the work of not only Andy and Marco, but especially this fantastic crew. The guys had no shortage of challenges yet their preparation kept us in contention, and that’s why we’re here today. It’s also great to finally get a big victory for Flex-Box who have been with us for many years looking for this type of result. It’s just amazing.”

Starting the No. 44 Flex-Box Porsche 911 GT America in tenth spot, Potter would take opening duties as the green flag fell. Shortly into the race, when the No. 33 Viper GT3-R brought out a lengthy caution due to a car fire, it became clear that the round-the-clock event was going to be a unique one, and the race failed to disappoint.

After a clean opening stint, the Salt Lake City resident was comfortably setting a pace on par with the leaders with the team quietly waiting for the race to unfold. Unfortunately, halfway through his second stint the No. 94 Turner BMW of Dane Cameron would make contact with the left rear of the Magnus Porsche sending Potter spinning into the dirt, but luckily avoiding contact with any barriers. The impact with Cameron, and more importantly a large patch of dirt, was significant enough to damage the right-front grill, but luckily the team avoided more significant damage.

Able to stay out until his fuel cycled through, Potter would eventually make his second scheduled pit stop swapping out for team newcomer Marco Seefried. Amazingly, as the driver change occurred the team was able to repair the front grill with minimal time loss and Seefried resumed competition on the lead lap.

Climbing his way through the field, the experience of Seefried, hailing from Germany, proved critical. Unfortunately, as Seefried continued to push, the damaged right-front grill continued to be problematic as the team’s efforts to repair the area quickly meant that continued service would be required in subsequent stops. Luckily, an unusually high number of caution periods allowed the team to continue to work on the area without major consequence.

With Seefried cycling through and climbing into the top five, the team elected to put John Potter back into the car for the middle portion of the race. Knowing his job was simply to hold position and run a clean stint, Potter clicked off a number of impressive lap times eventually handing the car over to Andy Lally who had literally stayed out of the car for the first five hours.

Despite the damage to the car’s front end, Lally immediately set a pace that showed the strength of the Porsche, as the Georgia resident continued to push hard on his way back into the top five. Following a great battle with several cars, Andy brought the No. 44 into podium contention by the time he hit his second stint and the team began to realistically look poised for a podium.

That was when the second disaster struck. As Lally went through the gears, the car all of a sudden failed to shift, which for the Magnus team was eerily reminiscent of problems at Daytona. Following a number of procedures to try and get his gear-shift mechanism working while still on track, the problem was unable to be solved bringing Lally in for a pit stop and driver change.

The team instantly went to work on the air compressor system that engages the gear change, an identical service to what happened in Daytona. In typical Magnus fashion, the repairs, plus Lally’s slow lap into the pit, only put the team one lap down. With five hours remaining there was plenty of time for the team to get back in contention.

Knowing that Andy Lally would need to be fresh for the end, Seefried, who’d already done a double stint at the very bumpy circuit, would end up doing a triple stint to carry the car into the final stages of the event. The German drove notably, with attrition and pits cycles carrying the car to third and even briefly leading.

With just over 90 minutes remaining, Seefried’s series of stints would come to an end as Lally jumped back in knowing that the team had a legitimate shot at a podium.

Sitting in second with an hour to go, the ultimate pace of the No. 44 proved difficult to catch the leading No. 23 Porsche and with a number of cars approaching behind him, the team knew the final pit stop would play a critical role.

It was at the 45-minute mark that the team’s final winning component, strategy, proved decisive. As a prototype began to come to a stop on the track, quick thinking by the team called Lally in for his final stop just before the yellow came out.

Proving a critical decision, the No. 44 would come out of the pits in third, but with the knowledge that the two cars in front would require a pit stop, and since they were under caution he had already caught up to them. The strategy worked perfectly, and as pit stops cycled through, Lally was handed the lead with 30 minutes to go.

With the overall pace of the damaged No. 44 still proving difficult, it was now up to Andy to finish the job having the monumental task of going as fast as he could to keep his competitors behind. Playing the faster traffic perfectly, Lally did just that taking the checkered flag in first to the surprise of everyone.

Beyond serving as the first Sebring victory for the team, Potter, and Seefried, it would also serve as the first victory at the event for Lally who has now completed his collection of major endurance victories in North America.

“I still can’t believe it. We won Sebring,” stated Lally. “I just don’t have the words to describe it, what a team effort. Everyone on this team was just perfect. Perfect job by John and Marco, perfect pit stops, fast repairs, and a brilliant call at the end. Sebring has always been the one that escaped me, and we finally, finally did it. I can’t thank everyone at Magnus, and everyone at Flex-Box, enough for making this a reality.”

For Marco Seefried, who finished second in the event last year, his first major North American victory will be a memorable one.

“What a crazy race,” stated the German. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen that many yellows in my life, but we managed to make it work. This whole Magnus team is just amazing, and to win at Sebring is a major accomplishment for my career. I’m just very thankful for the opportunity.”

Magnus Racing, and the entire GTD category, will now take an extended break from competition as the series heads into the more traditional “sprint” season. The team will return to competition on May 2-3 in California, racing at the storied Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Tuesday
Mar112014

Magnus Racing: Re-discover SportsCar 2: Sebring Edition

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Thursday
Mar062014

Magnus Racing, Flex-Box Continue Partnership Through 2014 Season

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (March 6, 2014)- Continuing a partnership that began at Sebring in 2011, Flex-Box will remain a primary sponsor of the Magnus Racing No. 44 Porsche 911 GT America for the remaining 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.

“Flex-Box has been a big part of our team’s history and it’s great to continue for the year,” stated team owner John Potter. “Most people know our team for our results over the last several years, or for our engagement and fun with fans, but Flex-Box’s continuing commitment to us is a great testament to our guest entertainment and client interaction. We’ve put a lot of attention into providing a warm, immersive environment to everyone who comes through our door, and we look forward to continuing through this historic first season for IMSA.”

Flex-Box, based out of Hong Kong, is a leading worldwide supplier of new and used shipping, storage and reefer containers. The company manufactures and ships to customers all over the world, keeping a year-round inventory of containers in China, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and North America.

The organization has a long history with Magnus Racing starting at the 59th Mobil1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in 2011, and continuing at select events in 2012 followed by the entirety of the 2013 Rolex SportsCar Series Championship. Using the paddock as a means of VIP and guest entertainment, the Magnus Racing staff has hosted multitudes of Flex-Box guests to provide an intimate, comprehensive experience during a race weekend.

The familiar blue logo will return during next weekend’s event at Sebring which will feature live coverage on Fox Sports 1 beginning at 11AM ET with coverage of all 12 hours live on IMSA.com.

Sunday
Feb232014

Magnus Racing Completes Successful Test at Sebring

SEBRING, Fla. (February 23, 2014)- With the majority of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship paddock taking part in a two-day test in advance of the upcoming 62nd Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, Magnus Racing wrapped up the two-day event with a number of advances and findings within the different divisions of the team.

Below is a rundown of different elements tested as well as the respective results:

Engineering
Lars Giersing, Chief Engineer, tested a number of different items for evaluation. While not normally a whiskey drinker, he figured he would test out Palm Ridge Reserve made out of a micro-distillery on a small cattle farm near Umatilla, Florida. Running this test in concert with a number of his usual preferred wines, tequilas and, of course, beer Giersing found his results inconclusive.

“We used this test as an opportunity to evaluate a number of liquors,” stated the Denmark native. “Even though Magnus is a very collaborative team, in all honesty, I had no interest in other people’s input as I had to sample everything personally to eliminate the variables. We’re still working on a number of possible developments here so we will continue to ship many different options to my home.”

Hospitality
Following 24 hours of running and operation placed on the litany of team-owned crockpots, grills, microwaves and warmers, Magnus hospitality staff decided to test out a new popcorn maker. Unfortunately, at the three-hour mark the team discovered an “electrical issue” that prevented the popcorn maker from continuing. The electrical issue was in no way a clever use of phrasing to cover up a larger failure. No race team has ever done that, ever.

“This is why we come to test,” stated Lorie Bedell, hospitality director. “We still have some gremlins to figure out, but I’m sure we’ll have it working by the race. The guys have been hard at work getting to the bottom of it and we’ll just dig a little deeper.”

Tires
While the team’s Continental Tires proved faultless as usual, team owner John Potter instead turned his attention to testing the patience of tire technician, Wayne Lollis.

“I don’t know why Potter feels the need to try a Southern accent on me,” stated the North Carolina resident. “He thinks he is funny when he does a southern accent, but all he can really say is the word “tires.” By the way, if you remind me later, I would like to talk to him about how important tires are.”

Drivers
Andy Lally was “tested” a few days prior to the events at Sebring. According to the data, we suggest any female “friends” of Andy may want to get tested as well.

Meanwhile, the team also tested newcomer Marco Seefried’s sense of humor. He passed, and is awesome.

PR
The Magnus PR team tested out their snooze alarm.

It worked.

Transportation
Team truck driver, Kyle Leo, tested a number of routes that could sneak in a return trip to his Georgia home without anyone finding out. Unfortunately, it took over a day to arrive at his Georgia home, demonstrating a clear performance gap to many of the other team’s trucks.

“The series really needs to do something for Volvo trucks like ours,” stated Leo. “The Mack drivers were regaling me with tales of Sunday barbeques, going to see movies and all sorts of things that Volvo teams are unable to do. Right now it’s a tough time to compete with truck drivers like this, I hope officials can do something soon.”

The Car
Oh yeah, it was fine.

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Magnus Racing and the entire TUDOR United SportsCar Championship will return to Sebring in three weeks with the 62nd Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring taking place on Saturday, March 15.

Both Magnus Racing and the TUDOR championship will have a number of announcements regarding the event coming soon. Stay tuned to the team’s website, Facebook, and Twitter pages.

 

Friday
Feb072014

Marco Seefried to Join Magnus Racing at Sebring

Salt Lake City, UT (February 7, 2014)- Following an impressive run at the most recent Rolex 24 at Daytona, Germany’s Marco Seefried will join Magnus Racing for the upcoming 62nd Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. This will complete the team’s three-driver lineup for the historic event.

“We’re heading to Sebring with a strong sense of potential,” stated team owner and driver John Potter. “With the miles we’ve logged at Sebring in the off-season, we’re as prepared as we can be, and having Marco join us is our final piece of the puzzle. We’re grateful to have him join us, and are confident that his experience will contribute a lot.”

With over 23 years of racing experience, Seefried joins the team as a veteran of Porsche competition. Having run in Porsche Supercup events dating back to 2002, the Bavarian joins the team with not only experience at Sebring, Daytona, and many of the world’s great endurance races, but also taking podium honors at last year’s event.

“I am very proud to join Magnus Racing,” stated the 37-year-old. “I’ve followed the team since my first start in the US in GRAND-AM. I admire the team and the guys who drive for them because the team has always been competitive. I’ll do my very best to support the team as well as I can, which my 12 years of Porsche experience should help with. I look forward to returning to Sebring, it is really a challenging track without any room for mistakes. Last year, together with Sean Edwards and Henrique Cisneros, we finished third in class. It’s very unfortunate Sean won’t be there anymore to fight with, but I am sure we will have a great race with a great grid in the new series.”

With the trio of Seefried, Potter and Andy Lally, combined with the fact that the team took the very first laps of the new Porsche 911 GT America at the famed airport circuit, confidence within the team is high.

The team will join the entire TUDOR United SportsCar Championship at the upcoming series-sanctioned test, taking place February 20-21. The team will then return for the 12-hour classic, which will take place on Saturday, March 15.