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Monday
Jul222019

Magnus Racing Braves Sweltering Temperatures at Lime Rock Park

 

LAKEVILLE, CONNECTICUT (July 22, 2019) Participants of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship endured the hottest race of the year at Saturday’s Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park. Racing on track temperatures over 115 degrees, Magnus Racing drivers John Potter and Andy Lally finished eighth, continuing their perfect streak of top-10 finishes this season. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, Magnus Racing paid special tribute with a one-time car livery on their car, changing the traditional black, blue, and silver livery of the No. 44 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO to a livery matching the Saturn V rocket, complete with a car number change to No. 11. 

“Lime Rock Park always brings challenging conditions, and this year was no different,” stated team owner and co-driver John Potter. “We had great pace, and the team gave us the perfect set up to run competitively without burning off the tires too quickly. We were quick in the pits, and that crucial execution gained us two spots and put us in the position to fight for more positions up the field. All in all we enjoyed the event and have to once again thank everyone at IMSA for accommodating our commemorative effort, as well as of course the fans for an incredible show of support. We were blown away with how well received our tribute was.” 

The opening half of the race saw very little action, with the field taking the green flag and spreading out to maintain starting order for most of the stint. John Potter started the race for the Magnus Racing Lamborghini, expertly managing his tires during this stint to keep his lap times competitive and keep the car in position, close to the competition. 

Andy Lally took over on lap 51, and quick work from the team in pit lane gained the No. 11 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO two spots upon race reentry. Within twenty minutes, the Magnus Racing rocket gained another position, running in eight, 18 seconds behind Jack Hawksworth in the No. 14 Lexus. The Northeast Grand Prix continued to run incident free for all until the final stint, as competitors throughout the field fought aggressively for position. 

The GTD and GTLM cars came alive in the final 40 minutes, with each car completing their final stop and prepared for a sprint to the checker flag. Lally made his final stop from eighth place, and rejoined with fresh Michelin tires, again gaining four seconds on his gap to Hawksworth. With each lap, he inched closer to the Lexus, but in the end it wasn’t enough to race for the position. 

“Those final stints showed how competitive GT racing can be in IMSA,” said Lally. “The temperatures inside the cockpit were ridiculously hot, but the racing was a lot of fun. You have to take great care of your tires while also fighting for position. Lime Rock Park is a shorter track that offers very little rest, demanding the best from the field. I feel like we put on a good show today.”

The eighth place finish marks the team’s sixth top-10 finish in six races, continuing their streak of consistent finishes during a competitive season. The Northeast Grand Prix will air tape delayed on NBC Sports on Saturday, July 20 at 9:00PM ET.

 

Wednesday
Jul172019

Magnus Racing Pays Tribute to 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11 Mission with Specialty Livery and Car Number

LAKEVILLE, Connecticut (July 17, 2019) – With Saturday marking the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, Magnus Racing will pay tribute to the historic event with a one-time, specialized livery and car number during the upcoming IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship’s Northeast Grand Prix, taking place on the same day. With drivers John Potter and Andy Lally taking to the wheel of their usual Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO, this weekend’s event will see the team shed their usual colors and No. 44 for a livery adapted to mimic the Saturn V rocket, as well as carrying car No. 11 with a black panel to commemorate the mission.

“We wanted to do something special to mark the occasion, and we felt this was the best way we could honor the event,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and co-driver John Potter. “Space exploration and the historical significance behind it has always been something I’ve held a long admiration for, so this is a very personal project to me. Obviously the Apollo 11 mission is an amazing tribute to human ingenuity and creativity, and that’s something that translates extremely well to our sport. I’m glad we could pay tribute, and of course I appreciate everyone on the team, as well as IMSA for some of the accommodations they’ve made to change our number and color panel, for making this a reality. Hopefully we can pay the ultimate honor by bringing home a win.”

With the Saturn V rocket acting as the propulsion mechanism to send astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins towards their lunar destination, Magnus Racing will adapt the same color patterns and markings to their GTD category machine. With much of the world paying similar tributes in different ways, Magnus Racing wanted to continue the legacy to the world of sportscar racing. In addition to the car livery, IMSA has granted a special one-time permission to change to car No. 11 as well as use a black number panel to match the markings of the rocket.

Known as one of the more fan-engaged teams, the livery and car number will highlight a series of initiatives by the team throughout the weekend, including free astronaut food for children in attendance, specialty autograph cards, tribute costumes and beyond.

For Andy Lally, a similar enthusiasm is shared.

“We’re excited to pay tribute in our own way,” stated Lally. “The camaraderie and team mentality required through the entirety of the Gemini and Apollo programs was unlike any in history, and that’s an ethos that any successful race team has to embrace. The heroism from the astronauts themselves is incredible, but at the same time the effort and attitude from everyone on the project deserves incredible praise. We hope to represent well at Lime Rock.”

Official practice begins this Friday, June 19, with the race taking place on Saturday, July 20, the same day as the anniversary of the moon landing. Coverage can be found live via the NBC Sports App or NBCSports.com beginning at 3PM ET, or find same-day coverage on NBCSN at 9:30PM. International viewers can always find it live via imsa.tv.

Wednesday
Jul102019

Magnus Racing Completes Quiet Weekend in Canada

BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Canada (July 8, 2019) – Following a relatively quiet weekend at the historic Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Magnus Racing and drivers John Potter and Andy Lally would finish eighth following a series of late yellow flags that prevented them from moving further up the order.

“All in all it was an uneventful weekend, but we showed a lot of strengths,” stated team owner and co-driver John Potter. “We were near the top in just about every practice session, so we know the potential was there, we were just a little unlucky with some of the yellow flags but overall we can’t be too disappointed. We’re well positioned for the rest of the year.” 

With the high speeds of Canadian Tire Motorsport Park creating a notoriously challenging layout, the team showed well throughout practice, including second-place results during both Friday sessions.

With John Potter taking on starting duties, a steady drive throughout the opening stint would keep the Utah native on pace with the lead pack, gaining several spots in the process and placing the car securely in the top-10 by time pit stops cycled through. With Andy Lally getting in to close the race, a strong drive forward would advance him to eighth, and primed for a potential top-five based on his pace.

Unfortunately, a late red flag would eat up much of the time remaining in the race, with Lally left with no choice but to settle for the position. 

A recap of the highlights from CNBC’s coverage can be found here.

Monday
Jul012019

Early Contact Maligns Strong Run for Magnus at Watkins Glen

WATKINS GLEN, New York (July 1, 2019) – After showing promise throughout practice and qualifying, a strong run by Magnus Racing and drivers John Potter, Andy Lally and Spencer Pumpelly would suffer an early setback due to unavoidable contact from the series’ prototype category. While the team’s struggles were limited only to bodywork damage, the long straights and high speed corners or the famed Watkins Glen International would mean the team would spend the majority of the event simply managing their pace and making the most of the situation, ultimately finishing seventh.

“It’s unfortunate to have contact like that,” stated team owner and co-driver John Potter. “The early pace from the prototypes was frantic, and they continued to make daring moves around us in the GTD field, and unfortunately that got the better of us. I was sandwiched by two cars in a pretty precarious spot, so when the car on the outside turned down on me I really had nowhere I could go and the contact was inevitable. It’s very unfortunate as this was a race we really wanted, but that’s the nature of it. The team still did a great job making back all of the ground they could, I think seventh was the best we could have asked for with the challenges.”

Following a strong qualifying performance, John Potter’s opening stint for the six-hour classic was off to a stong start. Avoiding first lap chaos in the No. 44 Magnus Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO, as the race would settle in his pace would prove one of his strongest yet, running similar times to the lead pack and well on his way to maintaining a healthy gap while finishing his required drive-time.

After a smooth pit stop, Potter would arrive at the 90-minute mark well within distance to the leaders, knowing he simply needed to manage the remainder of his run until it was time to a pit. A few minutes later, a timely caution would arrive, however it was actually contact between Potter and one of the prototypes that would prove the culprit. Exiting the treacherous bus-stop chicane and in to the high speed outer loop, a pair of faster prototypes would opt to split the Utah resident as they approached, with the No. 31 car on the inside and No. 85 on his outside, putting John in a position with nowhere to go. Doing his best to avoid incident, the outside No. 85 would turn down on the Lamborghini, clipping Potter’s left front and sending both toward the outside barriers, with Potter doing a great job to avoid further contact. 

From that point, the No. 44 would slowly head back to the pits, where quick work from the team would do their best to repair the damage, but due to timing had no opportunity to do any detailed work.

With Spencer Pumpelly now in the car, the middle of the race would turn all attention toward regaining their lost lap from the chaos. Doing his best to keep pace, Spencer would actually run right with the race leader, proving the pace of the car, but was unable to safely regain his lap in the process. With a long run of green flags throughout the middle of the race, Spencer would drive a fast but uneventful series of stints, finally handing the car over to Andy Lally for the final two hours.

Still in search of the lead lap, Lally would find himself in a similar position to Pumpelly, finally taking advantage of an opportune yellow with just over one hour remaining. Now on the lead lap, the team would managefuel and examine alternative strategies to jump further up the order, but fate was simply not on the team’s side and Andy would bring the car home in seventh.

While there was disappointment in the result, the overall pace of the car and cohesiveness of the group left a lot of promise for the team.

“There were a lot of positives on the day,” stated Lally. “Our strategy was on point, the car was really good all weekend, John drove incredibly well, and overall the guys are really working in the same direction. We have very good momentum headed in to the second half of the year, and we’re not out of the championship, so we have to keep focus.”

Facing the shortest turnaround of the year, the team now only has a few days to prepare for the sixth round of the IMSA GTD championship, taking place north of the border at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Practice begins this Friday, with race action on Sunday, July 7 at 1PM ET on NBCSN.

Wednesday
Jun262019

Magnus Racing Looking for Elusive First “Six Hour” Win

WATKINS GLEN, New York (June 26, 2019) – When John Potter took to the wheel of his first-ever professional sportscar race, the 2007 Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, few would have known that the likable Utah resident would enjoy a 12-year career that would see him win The Rolex 24 at Daytona, The 12 Hours of Sebring, and a total of six personal wins in top-level sportscar competition. With all of those victories taken with the team he formed in 2010, Magnus Racing, one race has continued to elude him…. the same race he began his career with.

“Watkins Glen is the one race that I really feel incomplete with,” stated Potter. “It’s my favorite course on the calendar, the village is one of my favorite places to visit, and overall the Six Hours of the Glen is just a really special ever that we’ve done everything in but win. It’s very much a missing trophy in my collection, and this year’s race is probably one of our best chances yet. We’ve had a really good spring in preparation thanks to hard work from the team, and I’m also very appreciative of the efforts from everyone at Lamborghini Squadra Corse to make sure we’re as prepared and competitive as possible.”

Heading in to this weekend’s six hour classic with the No. 44  Magnus Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO, Magnus Racing will arrive having experienced the extreme lows of the event, including watching the car burn down within the first 30 minutes, to several highs, most notably four consecutive podiums from 2013-2016. Currently sitting fifth in both the season-long WeatherTech Championship and Michelin Endurance Cup,  this weekend will not only feel like unfinished business, but also as a pivotal opportunity to stay in the hunt for the championship. 

Joining Potter will be both full-season teammate Andy Lally as well as full endurance-season driver Spencer Pumpelly. Both known for strong performances at “The Glen,” including winning together twice in 2007 and 2010, the duowill unite with Potter to offer a strong opportunity this Sunday. 

Serving as a home race for Lally, who grew up in Long Island, taking his fifth win at the famed endurance event would be a perfect addition to his time with Magnus Racing.

“The Six Hour is one that everyone on this team really wants,” stated Lally. “It’s my absolute favorite track in the world. Super-fast, little room for error, and always provides great racing. It’s a perfect length to combine the patience of endurance racing and the aggression of sprint racing, and the fans are unlike any other. The team has come very close in years past, and I know this is one that John really wants, we’re focused.”

For Spencer Pumpelly, furthering the team’s championship goal as well as earning his third Six Hour win is the focus.

“The team is very well prepared,” stated Pumpelly. “Our testing leading up to this was very productive, the team is very well gelled, and I think we’re in a great rhythm for Watkins Glen. It’s important for both championships that we show well, and we’re all pretty confident heading in.”

Practice for the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen begins this Friday, June 28, with the headline event taking place on Sunday the 30th. Live coverage in the U.S. will be available via the NBC Sports Gold app beginning at 9:30AM ET, and broadcast coverage on NBCSN at 7PM ET. International coverage can be found on imsa.tv at 9:30AM ET.