ELKHART LAKE, Wisconsin (August 11, 2014)- Racing in a state famed for its dairy and meat industry, Magnus Racing enjoyed a good old-fashioned slaughter thanks to being taken out by a competitor during yesterday’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase at the famed Road America. After spending over 30 minutes in the garage to repair a number of components, the team would still manage to see the finish, scoring 14th place points in their quest for the championship.
“Today was extremely disappointing,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and co-driver John Potter. “With a championship as close as this one, you can’t afford to give anything away, so to have a series newcomer run in to the back of me and create the ensuing chaos is a tough one to swallow. Two good cars were taken out as a result, and it’s not what we needed, but there is some solace knowing that the guys once again did a phenomenal job keeping us out there.”
Following significant progress with the car’s setup after a difficult past few races, the team’s strong practice and qualifying run would net the No. 44 Flex-Box Porsche 911 GT America a fourth-row starting spot. With Potter taking the green flag, the first of what would be 90-minutes worth of caution periods would take place just a few laps in. After an extensive yellow period due to track clean up, Potter and much of the GTD field would find themselves starting from the back of a 50-car field when the next green flag fell. With the cramped nature of a full field fighting to take the green flag, the No. 35 Audi would misjudge the field in front of him as everyone slowed for the next corner, punting John from behind which would in turn send Potter in to the No. 45 Audi and No. 63 Ferrari, causing extensive damage to both the front and rear of the car. Doing his best to get the car turned around, Potter would navigate the track for several laps to evaluate the car, with the team eventually pitting once a yellow for debris (from their incident) was issued. Upon evaluation in the pits, the team elected to send the No. 44 back to the garage for further repairs. Additionally the No. 63 Ferrari, another innocent victim, was sent to the garage for similar problems.
Once in the garage, the notorious Magnus Racing crew did what they’re most known for, replacing countless parts and getting the car back on track in just over 30 minutes. With extensive damage to both the front and rear of the car, the team would replace everything including the front nose, front fenders, lights, splitter, several pieces on the rear, and so on.
In this process, however, the most critical piece of the equation was getting both drivers their required minimum drive time. By series’ rule in the GTD category, drivers must complete a minimum of one-hour on the track during the traditional two-hour, 45-minute events. With every minute in the garage or in the pits, time was being taken away from the driver’s ability to meet this requirement.
Luckily, the team’s stellar work would get Potter back out in time to meet his requirement, with the Utah resident pitting within enough time to give teammate Andy Lally his time as well.
Down by 15 laps and simply trying to run a safe race, Lally would drive without incident, crossing the finish line with 14th place points for both drivers.
“There’s not much to say about today, it’s just one of those deals,” stated Lally. “Everyone says they have the best crew in the business, but our guys prove it time and time again. This was a big blow in the championship, but at least we were able to get some points and hopefully that shows up in the end.”
With the busy summer season still under way, Magnus Racing and several classes of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship will return to action in less than two weeks’ time at Virginia International Raceway. With the GTLM and GTD classes competing in the season’s lone GT-only event, the event promises to be an exciting one. Practice begins on Saturday, August 23, with race coverage on Sunday, August 24 at 4PM ET on FOX Sports 1.