AUSTIN, Texas (September 20, 2016)- Following a quiet race that was most noted for its late-race battles, Magnus Racing drivers John Potter and Andy Lally would fight hard to take fourth during Saturday’s Lone Star Le Mans at the famed Circuit of the Americas. With both drivers doing an excellent job to work their way up the field throughout the two-hour, forty-minute event, the team will head to the series finale within sight of a top-three finish in the championship.
“This was another great day showing the team’s resolve, as the weekend was extremely smooth for all involved,” stated Magnus Racing team owner John Potter. “We’ve been in championship form all year, and it’s a shame that circumstances have prevented the potential, as a fourth today is exactly the kind of result that proved our continued consistency. I’m really happy with how everyone performed on the team, as no one has lost any sense of focus or drive, and it showed on a weekend like this.”
Starting the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS just outside of the top-10, John Potter’s strong form would continue during the opening stint of Saturday’s race, taking the opening laps with a great combination of patience and speed, ultimately settling in to a number of on-track battles that would move him up the field. Running some of his fastest lap times of the weekend, Potter would bring the car inside of the top-10 as they approached their first round of pit stops, handing the car over to teammate Andy Lally for the remaining two hours.
With Lally in the car, all focus would turn to making the most out of the day, beginning a march that saw him grab position after position as the mid-race wore on.
By time the final round of pit stops were over, the New York native would find himself in sixth, giving chase to the No. 73 Porsche of Joerg Bergmeister. Previously, at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, the duo had engaged in a similar battle that would see Lally spin from contact, and ultimately crash out of the race, giving the team much to consider as they watched the laps continue on.
With the Audi showing strength under braking and mid-corner, and the Porsche showing strength under acceleration, the battle between Lally and Bergmeister would prove intense, with Lally often climbing right on to the back of the Porsche but unable to pass due to the Porsche’s straight-line advantage. With the pursuit continuing lap after lap, the intensity would ramp up in the closing minutes, with the two making light contact, and Andy eventually able to pass by taking advantage of a defensive maneuver by the No. 73.
Settled in to what seemed like a fifth place finish, a late-race issue for the second-place No. 23 Porsche would add to the team’s success, with Lally advancing one position on the final lap to fourth.
It would prove a solid round to end the team’s “sprint season,” and a great omen headed in to the series finale at Petit Le Mans.
“Of course on a weekend where you have nothing to lose, you always want to risk it all and go for it,” stated Lally. “Obviously we would have loved to fight for the win, but this just wasn’t on the cards for us and I think think taking fourth was actually a great testament to everyone on the team. I couldn’t be more proud of everyone here, and we’ll definitely head to Petit Le Mans very focused.”
With only one more round of competition left in the championship, the team will be ready for the season-ending Petit Le Mans, where the team will bring three drivers to the 10-hour classic. Still with a fighting chance at taking the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Championship, and with hopes of a top-three in their season long efforts, the team’s determination has never been stronger. Practice will begin on Thursday, September 29, with the 10-hour event occurring on Saturday, October 1. Further details will be revealed shortly.