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Friday
Aug052016

The Private Client Reserve of U.S. Bank, Magnus Racing Continue Partnership in Wisconsin

 

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (August 5, 2016)- Heading to the historic Road America circuit in the scenic village of Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, Magnus Racing is looking to continue their recent IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship momentum in to this weekend’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase. Departing from the shortest circuit of the year at Lime Rock Park and stepping on to the longest, the drivers and crew of the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS will enter the weekend knowing that every point will be of premium importance. Adding to the excitement, the team is pleased to continue their tradition of event-partnership with The Private Client Reserve of U.S. Bank, hosting over 15 guests for the fourth year in succession.

“It’s great to have The Private Client Reserve of U.S. Bank back with us this weekend,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and co-driver John Potter. “They’ve been a great partner over the years, and it’s always fun to introduce so many new guests to our sport. Road America is one of the most exciting and challenging events of the season for us, and to succeed there, you need a little bit of everything. The track requires great braking, high top speed, and fast cornering. There are certainly elements of that which should suit us, but it should be a super competitive field. We’ve always had mixed luck there, but with the championship on the line, we know we have to maximize each weekend, and we’re headed in to this fully aware of that.”

A partnership that first began in 2013, The Private Client Reserve of U.S. Bank is a perfect example of the value of experiential entertainment within the sport. With 15 guests on-hand from a specialty division of the renowned institution, the team takes great joy in taking them “behind the scenes” by giving them exclusive access to the pit and paddock, private tours around the track, and even VIP rides for a lucky few.

Featuring 14 turns at a length of over four miles, Road America serves as one of the highest-speed venues in the series, a key feature that will spotlight the respective strengths and weaknesses of the entire GT Daytona (GTD) category. After climbing up to second in championship standings at the most recent round in Lime Rock, all attention is on maximizing potential in the final four rounds of the series. Historically, Road America has proven a difficult venue for the team, including a blown engine in 2012 and getting caught up in an incident in 2014.

Keeping all thinking positive, co-driver Andy Lally knows the need to capitalize is at a premium.

“It’s tough to say how we’ll fair at Road America, but we’re all staying positive,” stated Lally. “This is one of my favorite courses to drive. It’s really fast, there are several corners that really require you to push, and it’s a true joy. With the long straights, the cars with good top-speed will definitely have the advantage, but we’ve played our hand really well the last few races, and if we can keep that attitude there’s no reason to think we can’t continue our momentum.”

Practice for the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase begins today, with the race taking place on Sunday, August 7. Live coverage can be found at 4PM ET on Fox Sports 1. 

Monday
Jul252016

FULL REPORT: Magnus Racing Takes Victory at Lime Rock Park

 

LAKEVILLE, Connecticut (July 25, 2016)- Returning to a circuit where the team has notoriously endured challenging luck, Magnus Racing took a surprise victory during Saturday’s Northeast Grand Prix, the seventh round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Once again proving a team effort, a combination of great pit stops, car setup, and outstanding driving has put the team back in contention for the GT Daytona (GTD) category championship, now currently second in series standings.

“It was an incredible victory,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and co-driver John Potter. “Lime Rock has always been such a challenging place for us, so to come in and take a victory, especially the way we did, is unbelievable. As always, it was a team effort, and everyone did their part with excellence. Yesterday came down to perfect pit stops by the guys, an excellent approach to our car’s setup, I’d like to think I did my part, and Andy was incredible. We thought this race would be one of our weaknesses, so to walk away with a win is pretty amazing.”

Driving the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS, John Potter would take starting duties in the 10th position. With lap times that are typically under a minute, the shortest of any circuit during the season, Potter knew that maintaining a grip on the field in front of him was critical. Making an excellent start, the Salt Lake City resident did a remarkable job of surviving early chaos to stay with the lead pack, turning strong times and proving the team would be in contention. As the race hit the first 30 minutes, yet another caution period would cause many to come in for a pit stop, however with Potter still needing to drive his minimum time the team elected to leave him out.

This would cycle John up to second for the re-start, with a strong field that had new tires charging hard behind him. Doing an incredible job of keeping the field at bay, the team owner didn’t put a foot wrong, defending his position well and hitting his marks perfectly. As he closed in on his minimum drive-time, another opportune caution period would present itself. Unfortunately, it was declared a “short yellow” meaning the pits would be closed, forcing Potter to pit after he’d taken the green flag on a re-start.

Coming in for the first of two pit-stops, Potter would hand the car over to Andy Lally, with the team performing their usual excellent service to send him on his way. Due to the short lap times of Lime Rock, the New York native would re-enter the field a lap down, but with a fast car capable of regaining lost ground.

As the stint continued, Lally’s ability to work through the field on new tires was evident, and the driver, who grew up just two hours away in Long Island, would eventually get himself back on the lead lap. As his stint continued on, a perfectly-timed yellow with 66 minutes remaining would allow Lally to catch the back of the GTD field before the final round of pit stops began.

Following another solid stop, it was now up to Andy for the final hour of the race, sitting in seventh but with a very fast car. With a specific setup designed for the final hour, the team’s approach to have a strong vehicle for the end worked perfectly.

Wasting no time to work up to sixth, Lally would begin his march to the front, eventually gaining fifth position, then fourth, with nearly 30 minutes remaining. Following a controversial blocking maneuver from Audi counterpart Robin Liddell, Lally would slip back, but once again continued his charge and eventually found his way up even further.

With 25 minutes to go he was in a podium position, eventually making his way around the No. 33 Viper to finally take the lead with 20 minutes remaining.

From that point on, Lally would never look back, building his lead as the laps continued on until eventually crossing the finish line unchallenged. It would serve as the second victory for the team in 2016, and third in IMSA WeatherTech Series history.

For Lally, a win at his second “home track” is incredible.

“This was an amazing team effort,” stated Lally. “Not only has John Potter put together an incredible team, but he drove excellent yesterday. To start in second with the field he had behind him is challenging for anyone, and he was just perfect. John was incredible throughout the whole weekend to be honest. The guys performed perfect pit stops, and the approach we took with setup ended up being the right call. It’s such a joy to have a car like this, and I couldn’t be more thankful to everyone for it.”

Now 13 points out of the championship lead, Magnus Racing will head to the eighth round of the championship at the infamous Road America with a keen eye on continuing their momentum. Practice will begin on Friday, August 5, with the race taking place on August 7. Coverage will be featured on Fox Sports 1 at 4PM ET.

Wednesday
Jul202016

Magnus Racing Heads to Lime Rock in Search of Not Crashing

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (July 21, 2016)- Following a mixed season that has seen everything from winning the biggest race of the year, to most recently suffering their first DNF in over 12 months, Magnus Racing is heading to Lime Rock Park, the seventh round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, in search of simply seeing the finish of the most notorious circuit in the championship.

“Any time we go to Lime Rock, we’re often just showing up with our fingers crossed,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and co-driver John Potter. “The two keys to this race are: 1. Not crashing, and 2. Finishing ahead of the competition.  We failed both of those goals in in our last race. Now that we’re entering the final five races of the championship, the intensity is going to be that much higher and we just want to have a good showing.”

At 1.5 miles in length, the scenic track located in Lakeville, Connecticut is most known for its tight confines and often incident-packed racing. As the shortest track of the entire IMSA circuit, the venue notoriously provides not only close racing, but alternative strategy options due to shorter lap times and a high likelihood for caution periods.

Unfortunately for the crew of the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS, the reputation of Lime Rock has preceded itself. In 2012, the team took a gamble on fuel strategy that ended up not working, forcing the team to give up a victory just two laps from the end. One year later, as the season finale, the team would return to the venue as the championship leader only to find themselves caught up in an accident on the second lap. 

For 2016, the focus is simply on running a steady race with a goal of managing attrition. 

For Andy Lally, who grew up just two hours away, the return to Lime Rock acts as his “second home track” of the 2016 season.

“Growing up in Long Island, Lime Rock is always a track I look forward to seeing many friends at,” stated Andy Lally. “While I’ve always considered Watkins Glen my home track, in many ways Lime Rock provides a similar satisfaction and it’s always an event I want to perform well at. The guys have been hard at work since our last event in Canada, and both John and I really want to reward them for their efforts.”

The Northeast Grand Prix will take place this Saturday, July 23, with coverage on FOX at 3PM ET.

 

 

Monday
Jul112016

Difficult Weekend for Magnus Racing Ends Early in Canada

BOWMANVILLE, ON, Canada (July 12, 2016)- Following a challenging weekend that saw limited practice time for its drivers, proceeded by a difficult qualifying session, Magnus Racing drivers John Potter and Andy Lally would actually fail to finish yesterday’s Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix after a late-race incident kept the team just short of seeing the checkered flag. Despite the premature ending, the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS would still be credited with a 10th place finish, as well as setting the third-fastest time of the race.

“This was definitely a forgettable weekend for all of us,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and co-driver John Potter. “We’re all pretty disappointed, but at the same time there were many positives on the weekend. We were repeatedly the fastest car in practice, we set some of the quickest laps in the race, and I think the strategy that was played was very strong. You never want to focus on what could-have-been, but the fact we almost walked away with a top-five despite a series of obstacles is a great testament to the quality of this team.”

Following a decision to change tires before the race, the No. 44 machine would be forced to start at the back of the field, with John Potter taking on starting duties for the opening of the race. Having had extremely limited track time due to inclement weather in practice, the Salt Lake City resident would do his best to simply manage his time on track, slowly gaining speed as the race progressed and doing his best to chase the field in front of him.

Fulfilling his minimum drive-time requirement of 50 minutes, the team would elect to bring Potter in as they neared the one-hour mark, with Andy Lally stepping in to drive the remainder of the race.

For the next hour, the team would put a firm focus on using pit strategy to gain track position, which would fortunately take shape as the race continued. Following a timely caution period with one-hour, 20 minutes remaining, Lally would catch the back of the field, eventually taking advantage of a second yellow flag where he’d be able to make his final pit stop.

With pit stops complete and all strategy played, it was now up to Andy to do what he could on the track for the remaining hour. Beginning the final stint in eighth, the New York native would slowly gain ground on the field in front of him, eventually advancing to sixth for the final 20 minutes, locked firmly in a battle with the No. 73 Porsche of Joerg Bergmeister in a hard-fought battle for the top-five.

Locked nose-to-tail for much of the closing laps, the No. 44 Audi would stay in strong pursuit of the Porsche, pulling alongside on several occasions only to have the effort thwarted. As the duo came in to the final six minutes of the race, Lally would eventually make a strong run along Bergmeister headed in to the tricky Turn Three, with Lally on the outside as the duo approached the corner. Unfortunately, Bergmeister would run wide, slamming directly in to the right rear of Lally and sending him spinning.

While Andy would quickly gather his car back up and resume racing action, he was now down to seventh and with not much time to regain lost ground. Unfortunately, it was all for not as one lap later, headed in to the very fast Turn One, Lally would get caught in an abrupt spin which would send his car rear-first in to the tire barriers, where he would remain until the checkered flag.

It would serve as a brutal end to a promising day.

“We had a really good car today, and I was doing everything I could to deliver a top result,” stated Lally. “It’s a super competitive field so we have to fight for every inch that we get, but unfortunately today was one of those days that didn’t end favorably. The guys were spectacular all weekend, like they always are, and we’ll go in to the next round knowing just how well we can run. 

With the events already behind, all focus now turns to the next race, less than two weeks away at the famed Lime Rock Park. Practice for the Northeast Grand Prix begins next Friday, July 22, with the race taking place one day later at 3PM ET on Fox Sports 1.

Thursday
Jul072016

Magnus Racing Ready to Carry Momentum Past Canadian Customs

BOWMANVILLE, ON, Canada (July 7, 2016)- Following a strong performance just four days ago at the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, Magnus Racing and the entire IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is already back in action this weekend, headed North for the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix, held at the popular Canadian Tire Motorsport Park located just one hour outside of Toronto.
“This is part of the season where preparation shows most, and we all feel very confident about the summer months ahead,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and co-driver John Potter. “Back-to-back races are always tough on a small team like ours, and we’re of course about to hit a swing where we’re racing nearly every other weekend, but we’ve been fortunate to have done a lot of testing to get prepared for this, and everyone on the team is well versed to the demands required.”
Currently sitting third in the GTD-category point standings, the next two months will prove critical for everyone on the team. In the 23 weeks since the season started, the team has competed in five rounds of the 11-race championship. In the next seven weeks, however, the team will nearly equal that number. With the next five rounds of the series being campaigned as “sprint” races, all taking less than three hours, ultimate speed will play a large role during this summer season.
Heading to the scenic Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, historically known by many as “Mosport,” the rolling hills, fast corners, and long straights should deliver an interesting outcome for the entire category. With a long uphill back-straight playing a key role, it remains to be seen just how the No. 44 Audi R8 LMS will fair against the variety of other marques on track, but it should no-doubt make for an exciting fight.
For teammate Andy Lally, a return to the high speeds of “CTMP” are something to look forward.
“The track here in Canada is always one of the most exciting that we go to,” stated Lally. “With so many fast corners, you really have to develop a lot of courage to put together the perfect lap, and it always makes for really tough racing as you have to really plot your way to make a pass. It’s going to be a tough race for us but we’re well prepared, and it’s obviously the kick-off to a very busy series of sprint races.”
Practice for the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix  begins tomorrow, July 8, with the race taking place on Sunday, July 10. Live coverage can be found on Fox Sports 1 at 11AM ET.