SEBRING, Fl (November 4, 2013)- Taking the first delivery of the all-new Porsche 911 GT America just over one week ago, Magnus Racing and Porsche Motorsport completed a successful two-day test at Sebring International Raceway in preparation for the 2014 TUDOR United Sports Car Championship.
“We managed to accomplish all of the things we set out to do in Sebring, so we’re very pleased with our first run,” stated Magnus Racing team owner John Potter. “The car made a great first impression. It’s very different from the cars we’ve been running, but the potential is clearly there.”
Working closely with Porsche Motorsport, the team ran a two-day test at the famed Sebring International Raceway on Thursday and Friday. Using the first day to work on systems checks and setup, the team ran a 12-hour simulation on Friday, experiencing only minimal problems in their efforts to prepare for the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona.
“This will definitely be a strong car for the 2014 GTD season,” stated co-driver Andy Lally, who drove with Potter and factory driver Patrick Long throughout the test. “It’s interesting to drive a Porsche GT car with paddle shift, and definitely a progressive step forward. The car proved pretty reliable for effectively being a completely new design, and once we start concentrating on setup I think we’ll be right where we need to be.”
Running a Porsche-designed test regimen throughout the two days, the team will now return to their headquarters as they prepare for the first series-sanctioned tests in two weeks’ time.
“I guess the ‘break’ is officially over,” stated Potter. “The guys really haven’t taken any time off from the last season, and I really appreciate the effort everyone made to take in the new car and get it turned around just days later for the test.”
Magnus Racing will return to Sebring on November 16th and 17th, followed by Daytona International Speedway two days later, to take part in a historic series-sanctioned test to evaluate the various merged categories taking to the course together.
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (October 31, 2013)- Continuing a two-year relationship that has seen victories at Daytona, Indianapolis, and even the inaugural North American Endurance Championship, Andy Lally will continue with Magnus Racing into the all-new TUDOR United Sports Car Championship.
“It’s been a great run with Magnus Racing to close out the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and even sweeter to begin a new era with the TUDOR United Sports Car Championship” stated Lally. “John Potter has done an excellent job building a great team around him, and I’m so thankful to have the opportunity to continue on. It’s very much a family here, and after our last two seasons, I feel like we have unfinished business. We came so close to winning this year’s title that it’s making everyone on the team all the hungrier, and I want to be a part of their first championship.”
Joining the team at the 50th Running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2012, the relationship between Magnus Racing and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Rookie-of-the-Year presented instant success when the combination took a triumphant first victory in the team’s history. Six months later, the team would win their second event at the inaugural Brickyard Grand Prix en route to clinching the first-ever North American Endurance Championship.
Capping off the most recent 2013 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series GT season together, the team would go on to take their third victory at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and carried the championship point lead into the final round.
For team owner John Potter, who took his first-ever GRAND-AM victory alongside Andy Lally with another team in 2009, the choice to continue with Lally was clear.
“I’ve enjoyed a relationship with Andy that goes back well before Magnus Racing,” stated Potter. “Ever since joining our team, we’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy a lot of success together, and hopefully we can move up one step in the championship in 2014. This organization is a true team effort, and confirming Andy has been the last piece of the puzzle to ensure our plans for next year. It’s great to finally just focus forward on winning the inaugural TUDOR United Sports Car Championship GT Daytona Championship.”
With the team taking their first laps today, all attention is now focused on preparing the team’s all-new Porsche 911 GT America for the upcoming season. Continued updates will be posted on the team’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. Meanwhile, the team is keeping a photographic journal of the car’s preparation through their Instagram account.
With the final-ever GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series season behind, the team at Magnus Racing is well under way toward preparing for the 2014 season. With the first series’ test just a few weeks away, the crew is focused forward on the months ahead.
“There’s a ton of work in receiving, learning, and developing an all new car,” stated Magnus Racing team owner John Potter. “It really hasn’t been much of an off-season, but at the same time everyone should be proud of the work they did in 2013. Sure, it wasn’t the result we were hoping for, but it was an incredible team effort to keep ourselves in contention all year.”
With the team already receiving the very first Porsche GT America, interested fans can follow the development of the car with the launch of the team’s Instagram account, follow @magnusracing here.
Looking back on the year, Magnus Racing held the championship point lead for much of the 2013 Rolex GT season, and ultimately took second; the result of a consistent, never-say-die attitude from everyone on the team. Ultimately, the team finished ahead of the No. 57 Camaro by just one point, and only 10 points shy of the GT champion No. 63 Ferrari.
Here are 12 moments that ensured the team finished as well as they did:
12. First Pit Stop: Detroit Grand Prix. The tricky Belle Isle street circuit in Detroit, Michigan, is notoriously difficult to pass at. Even worse, the tight and bumpy corners aren’t exactly known for favoring Porsches. When the No. 44 Flex Box Porsche joined the entire Rolex GT field as they came in for the first stop under a yellow, the Magnus Racing crew advanced the car from seventh to fourth. Gaining three valuable positions, and the points to come with it, Andy Lally was able to keep the field behind him to take fourth on the day.
11. Pitting Early: Circuit of the Americas. With the long, twisty nature of the Circuit of the Americas appearing to favor the tube-framed cars as well as the stronger braking Ferraris, Magnus Racing held thedistinctionof spending much of the race as top Porsche, but out of podium contention and in a distant fourth.Electing to takethe risk of making their last pit stop early, the team’s strategy played out perfectly. With the car out on track with enough fuel and tires to go the distance, a timely yellow just moments later would force the rest of the field to pit under caution; advancing the No. 44 to the lead, and ultimately second on the day.
10. Avoiding a Penalty: Rolex 24. With the MagnusRacing No. 44 leading a large portion of The Rolex 24 at Daytona, the team’s fortunes took a dramatic turn during the final two hours of the race. With the pace of the Audis showing strong, the team brought in driver Nicolas Armindo for the final driver change with factory pilot Richard Lietz. During an otherwise faultless series of stops, Armindo made a crucial error when he locked the brakes, sliding past the pit marker he was supposed to stop at. The car remained inside of the “box,” however in order to refuel, the team’s fueler would have had to do his job outside of the box lines. Had this happened, the team would have endured a stop-and-go penalty, ending any hope for a good result. Instead, the entire team calmly evaluated the situation, rolled the car back, and continued with the stop. Even though they lost several seconds in the process, it was a calm, level-headed decision that prevented a much more costly penalty.
9. Andy’s Closing Laps: Six Hours at the Glen. When it comes to having a driver do the impossible in the closing moments of a race, Andy Lally is about as good as it gets. During the closing laps of the Sahlen’s Six Hours at the Glen, the native New Yorker proved just that. Facing a track that had gone from wet to dry, and running a long stint with faded tires, Andy closed a massive gap to the leaders during the waning laps. When he took the white flag in fourth, the team figured the race was over, but Lally surprisingly managed to pass the No. 93 BMW of Billy Johnson through infamous bus-stop chicane, and brought the team the third podium of the year.
8. John’s Qualifying: Detroit Grand Prix. When it comes to street racing, track position is of premium importance. On the streets of Belle Isle, Detroit, John Potter knew that he’d have to maximize all that he could out of qualifying, and on a track not known for favoring Porsches. Piecing together a remarkable lap, Potter out-qualified all other Porsche entrants to sit on the third row. That sixth place ended up being critical, as it put Potter in a track position to pit the car within sight of the leaders, ultimately allowing the team’s first pit-stop and driver swap to advance the car to fourth. Fourth at Detroit, while not much on paper, was a performance that kept the team in the championship hunt.
7. Lally’s Opening Stint: Indianapolis. Even if the team’s third place finish wasn’t quite a repeat of their winning performance one year earlier, the commitment of Andy Lally to keep the car up-front never failed. With the strategy decision to extend fuel mileage, Lally was tasked with the all-too-often dilemma of having to manage his car for a long distance, but meanwhile hold pace and keep the field at bay. Never was this more evident than at Indianapolis. Lally was off to a great start, literally making a four-wide pass on the outside, and making an impressive charge through the field. As fuel began to cycle through, much of the field would come in during a mid-race caution, however the team elected to keep Lally out, forcing him to keep the field behind as he lead; but with older tires. This would lead to a legendary battle with fellow Porsche competitor Patrick Long in the No. 73 machine, and gave the team ideal track position for their final stops, where they’d eventually take third.
6. Data Monitoring: Barber Motorsports Park. While winning is an important part of a championship, an equally critical piece is simply finishing. Never was that more evident than with the team’s finish at Barber Motorsports Park. As Andy Lally drove his final stint in the car, a small puncture to the radiator would cause major concern, with all attention switching to the team’s data monitoring. With Porsche engineers looking closely, both team and driver worked together over the radio to nurse the car home and maximize their finish despite an overheating engine, with Lally ultimately finishing sixth. Building their case for the championship, the team’s finishing position would prove incredibly valuable, defying the possible retirement they could have faced.
5. Splitter Repairs: Rolex 24. The front splitter on a sportscar, an attachment to the nose which helps create front downforce, is an extremely important part of the car’s performance. At the high speeds of Daytona International Speedway, it’s even more important. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most fragile parts of a Porsche. This was evidenced throughout this year’s Rolex 24, as the bumps and curbing of the circuit proved too much for the piece, with the front splitter coming off very early in the 24-hour run. Knowing this possibility, Magnus Racing preparation was critical, as the team’s rehearsed splitter change was executed perfectly in the pits, with the team only losing seconds in the repair. Little would the team know that this would be the first of several splitter repairs throughout the next 22 hours. In each of the countless swaps, the team executed flawlessly, ultimately keeping the car on the lead lap for the finish, and nearly winning.
4. Second Stop: Mid Ohio. You’ll notice a recurring theme when it comes to the team’s championship run: pit stops. Magnus Racing’s second place at Mid Ohio was yet another reflection. With an endless series of twists and elevation changes at the famous Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, the team was once again challenged with keeping the rear-engined Porsche competitive with the other marques. Again, however, the team proved instrumental in advancing the car through pit work. Advancing the car in to the top-five during the first round of pit stops, it was the team’s second round of stops in green flag conditions that would prove critical. Knowing that every tenth of a second can add significantly when pitting under green, the Magnus Racing crew was perfect. Many other teams would faulter during this round of stops, including two separate incidents and penalties for the team’s two main championship rivals. With the stop putting Lally in prime track position, it would play a critical role in his eventual second place on the day.
3. Everything: Laguna Seca. Simply put, the team’s victory at Laguna Seca was the result of… everything. John Potter drove one of his career-best stints to open the race, advancing the car several positions before the first round of pit stops. During the first pit stop, the team advanced the car four positions en route to second on track. With track position being critical, the team made the daring strategy decision to lay back on fuel and finish the race on one more stop. As a result, Andy Lally had to maintain position and pace, meanwhile saving every ounce of fuel. This daring strategy call would leave the No. 44 out when many others would dive in to the pits, eventually pitting on the outer edge of the fuel window to make it to the end. The team would deliver yet another perfect pit stop, and then it was up to Lally to nurse it home. The rest of the field would have to make one more stop, and as a result Lally would take the lead with a charging field behind on him; all on fresher tires. Somehow he managed to hold everyone off for the team’s lone victory of the year, and regaining the point lead in the process.
2. Getting the Car Back Out: Lime Rock Park. Heading to the championship finale in Lime Rock Park, Magnus Racing held a small point lead, with the knowledge that a second place would guarantee the team’s hopes. Unfortunately, all championship hopes ended on the second lap when the No. 66 TRG machine would send John Potter spinning in to the line of on-coming traffic. The resulting impact from two different cars was enough to do significant damage, with the car being towed to the paddock. Surveying the damage, it was easy to assume the car was finished, however not for the Magnus Racing crew. Knowing that if John Potter could get back on track 30 minutes later he could be credited with driver points, and if Andy Lally did the same the team could get full running points, the team sprang in to action. With every crew member seeming to intuitively know his role, the car was repaired, re-aligned, and back on track just over 30 minutes later. The team would eventually be credited with a finish, and the points to go with it, which ensured the team took second in the championship… by one point.
1. Repairing the Front Radiator: Kansas Speedway. No one would have known it at the time, but the team’s misfortune in Kansas Speedway may have just been the most critical part of the championship. When Andy Lally ran over an errant track sign in the middle of the course, the resulting puncture to the radiator would send the No. 44 in for repairs. Thanks to the team’s preparation and rehearsal, the radiator was changed in nine minutes. Similar to Lime Rock, the team never lost focused, and understood the urgency to make repairs as quickly as possible and get back on track. As race attrition mounted, the team managed to advance one position on the very last lap. That position was worth one point, and as it turns out, had the team gotten the car out just 30 seconds later, Magnus Racing would have been third in the championship.
With 2013 officially behind, stay tuned to Magnus Racing’s respective website and social media channels for more information.
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (October 10, 2013)- In an effort to get a head start on plans for the all-new 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, Magnus Racing is pleased to announce a full-season commitment to both Porsche and the series’ GT Daytona category. The team will take delivery of the very first Porsche 911 GT America, a newly designed car for the category.
“We’re very pleased to already look ahead to the 2014 season with Porsche,” stated team owner and driver John Potter. “Ever since starting the team, we have enjoyed a fantastic relationship that has gotten even stronger over the last four years. Being the first to commit to Porsche, and receive the very first all-new 911 GT America, is a great step forward for us and we’re anxious to get going and learn everything we can about this car. We came so close to winning the final-ever Rolex GT championship, but now we are fully focused on being the first winners of the all-new TUDOR GTD Championship that begins with this car.”
Entering their first Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2010, Magnus Racing has since enjoyed the longest active streak among all Porsche teams competing in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series. Finishing as the top Porsche in the 2010 Rolex GT standings, the team has since gone on to become the only Porsche team to win in GRAND-AM competition since 2011, including 2012 victories during the Rolex 24 at Daytona, as well as the Inaugural Brickyard Grand Prix. This all culminated in Magnus and Porsche being crowned the first winners of the North American Endurance Championship, as well as highlighting Magnus’ ranking as the top Porsche team in the final standings for both the 2012 and 2013 seasons.
For Jens Walther, president and CEO of Porsche Motorsports North America, the relationship has been a solid one.
"The relationship between Magnus Racing and Porsche has been very successful since its inception. The team has proven themselves winners and championship contenders in the GRAND-AM Series and they are committed to continuing in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. Our customer programs are a vital part of how we approach motorsports at Porsche, and we are very pleased to see John Potter and Magnus returning in what we know will be a very competitive GT Daytona class in 2014."
With the TUDOR GT Daytona class promising to be one of the most competitive, the series should possess a lot of the same intensity found in the Rolex GT category throughout the years with marques such as Ferrari and Audi set to return in 2014.
As a result, Porsche has designed the all-new 911 GT America for the series. Having a number of features not seen in previous generation 911 GT3 Cup machines including a paddle shift system, redesigned chassis, and an all-new transmission, Magnus Racing will begin an intensive development program as soon as it receives the first vehicle.
The team will take possession of their 911 GT America in the coming weeks and will take part in the series-sanctioned tests at Daytona and Sebring in November.