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Magnus Racing Confirms 2018 IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship Program

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (January 4, 2017) – Per the pending announcement from Audi Sport, Magnus Racing is happy to confirm their return to the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship for the full 2018 season. Re-uniting drivers John Potter and Andy Lally, the team will continue with the No. 44 Audi R8 LMS GT3, adding Andrew Davis for the full North American Endurance Cup (NAEC), as well as Markus Winkelhock for the upcoming Rolex 24 at Daytona.

"We're excited to return to IMSA competition and our endurance roots,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and driver John Potter. “Obviously Magnus has enjoyed a number of successes throughout the years of IMSA and formerly GRAND-AM, and in our first season with Audi in 2016 we had one of our best seasons to date. Returning to the series for 2018, we feel stronger than ever, not only with an incredibly fast car but also the same crew that took us to victory in 2016, as well as an incredible lineup in Andy, Markus and Andrew. The support from Audi over the years has obviously been a big factor, from winning in our first race together at Daytona, to helping the secure the Intercontinental GT Challenge title last October, it's been a relationship that has proven fruitful and instantly competitive. With our team, I feel very fortunate to be surrounded by such an incredible group, and we hope we can begin with immediate success."

Following a one-year absence in another series, the team is poised to return to IMSA following a tremendous 2016 run with Audi. In their first race together, the team would take a tremendous victory at the 2016 season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona en route to the North American Endurance Cup Team Championship, ultimately taking two victories and the distinction of being the only Audi team to take victory that season.

Prior to that, the history of Magnus Racing in endurance racing is one of rich success on the track and fun off the track. Making their debut at the 2010 Rolex 24 at Daytona, the team has become one of the longest running private teams in the sport, with accolades that include taking the first-ever North American Endurance Cup (2012), winning the 50th Running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona (2012), the 12 Hours of Sebring (2014), the Inaugural Brickyard Grand Prix, and a grand total of seven professional sportscar victories. Additionally, the team’s reputation for fan interaction and antics has earned them the distinction as a constant favorite, including being voted the “Team to Win” award by fans for the entirety of the 2014 season.

Adding to the tradition, the reunification of drivers John Potter and Andy Lally is one rich with success, dating back to Lally’s first race with the team in 2012 at Daytona where he would win on debut. Earning six of the team’s wins together, the tradition actually began in 2009, where as teammates on another team the duo would take John Potter’s first-ever win in professional sports car.

For Andy Lally, the return to Magnus is one he’s looked forward to for some time. 

“I couldn’t be happier to return to my family at Magnus,” stated Lally. “Some of my best memories in my career are with the team, and it’s great to return with them in 2018. I would really like to express my gratitude to Michael Shank Racing and HPD for a tremendous 2017, and it was not an easy decision to return to John Potter and everyone at Magnus, but it felt like the right move. There’s a lot in motion right now, but I believe we’ll immediately be in a position to contend, and I’m excited to get the season going.”

Joining the team for all four rounds of the North American Endurance Cup, Andrew Davis will take to the wheel as an endurance specialist with the team. No stranger to success or Audi machinery, Davis is one of the most experienced drivers in the paddock, winning the former GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Championship in 2011, as the most recent IMSA driver to win in Audi machinery during last year’s round at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Beyond his success away from Magnus, Andrew is also a team veteran, driving with the team during their American Le Mans Series debut in 2010, and most recently throughout the Pirelli World Challenge’s SprintX championship alongside John Potter.

For Davis, the opportunity to contend for an NAEC crown is one he relishes.

“I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity to join Magnus and contend for all four NAEC rounds,” stated Davis. “Obviously I’ve worked with the team going back to 2010, and I’ve known many of the guys on the team even further than that, so to be engaged in the full Endurance Cup is something I really look to perform in. The Audi R8 LMS GT3 is an incredible car, and given my experience in the same machine over the last two years, I’m looking forward to getting behind the wheel.”

Additionally, long-time Audi Sport driver Markus Winkelhock will join the team for the Rolex 24 at Daytona. A veteran of Formula 1 and an assortment of sports car ranks, the factory driver last drove with Magnus during the October round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, where he and the team took victory.

While official practice for the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona begins on Thursday, January 25, the real work actually begins this weekend for the famed Roar Before the 24, a three-day test taking place from January 5-7, 2017. 


Andy Lally Confirmed with Magnus Racing in 2018

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (October 27, 2017) – Continuing a pairing that began in 2012, Andy Lally will once again return to Magnus Racing in 2018, with the full details of the program yet to be announced. The Long Island native will return for his sixth season with the team, looking to add to a remarkable tenure from 2012-2016. 

“It’s great to have Andy back with the team,” stated Magnus Racing team owner John Potter. “The relationship between Andy and our team has always been strong, and we’re thrilled to see him return for 2018. The extent of our program is still a work in progress, but it’s a great testament to our organization that Andy is willing to return after having a strong 2017, and we’re thrilled to have him. The specifics of next year are still a work in progress, but we’re excited to secure a major piece of the puzzle.”

One of the most accomplished drivers on the scene, Andy Lally’s five-year run with Magnus Racing has been one of incredible success. In his debut drive for the team, Magnus Racing took their first-ever victory by winning the 50th Running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona, following that up with winning the Inaugural Brickyard Grand Prix en route to the debut title in the North American Endurance Cup. Since that time, the team would go to take four more victories, including the 2014 12 Hours of Sebring, 2016 Rolex 24 at Daytona, and 2016 North American Endurance Championship.

“I couldn’t be happier to return to my family at Magnus,” stated Andy Lally. “Some of my best memories in my career are with the team, and it’s great to return with them in 2018. I would really like to express my gratitude to Michael Shank Racing and HPD for a tremendous 2017, and it was not an easy decision to return to John Potter and everyone at Magnus, but it felt like the right move. There’s a lot in motion right now, but I believe we’ll immediately be in a position to contend, and I’m excited to get the season going.

The team is currently evaluating a number of options on their 2018 plans, with additional announcements set to come including the car, series, and Andy’s surprise co-driver.


FULL REPORT: Audi Sport Magnus Racing Takes Victory in Intercontinental GT Challenge Debut

SALINAS, Calif. (October 16, 2017) – Continuing their heritage as one of the best teams in endurance racing, Magnus Racing, operating as Audi Sport Team Magnus as a result of a factory-partnered program for the race, would take a daring late victory in their Intercontinental GT Challenge debut during Sunday’s California 8 Hour. Running as a fully supported effort with Audi Sport, the No. 44 Audi R8 LMS and drivers Pierre Kaffer, Markus Winkelhock, and Kelvin van der Linde would run as a continued threat throughout the first seven hours, with van der Linde making a bold pass in the final 20 minutes to take the win at the historic Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

“This was an incredible day for our team,” stated Magnus Racing team owner John Potter. “It was an honor to be named as an Audi factory program to begin with, and to walk away with a victory shows our ability to fight with some of the best teams in the world. I couldn't be happier with everyone on this team, who in an entirely new series were prepared for this with very little lead-time. Our drivers fought all race long and never gave up, and it's great momentum to head in to the off-season. Of course none of this would have been possible had it not been for the tremendous partnership of Audi Sport, and we appreciate the opportunity."

The Intercontinental GT Challenge is an international series spotlighting GT3 and GT4 specification cars, with four races occurring on four continents. With Sunday’s eight-hour race serving as the first-ever visit to the United States, Audi Sport and Magnus Racing would team up as a factory-run program for one of three Audi R8 LMS entries. Working in partnership, the foundations that began in 2015 would be played to their maximum during the weekend, with the “Audi Sport Team Magnus” crew and engineers operating the entry but strongly supported by Audi Sport personnel.
With Markus Winkelhock qualifying on the front row, the immediate pace of the car was obvious, with the team comfortably holding on to second throughout the opening of the race.

Once settled in to a pace, the race would actually prove fairly uneventful. Following a strong opening stint by team veteran Perre Kaffer, duties were then handed to Winkelhock, who would continue the team’s hold on second, maintaining his gap to the leader and building over second.

With Kelvin van der Linde proving much of the same, a series of yellow flags would occasionally bunch the field back up, but the No. 44 seemed fairly solid with second, giving major consideration to strategy as time went on to see how they might be able to jump ahead of their competitors.
Critical to the event, despite being a brand-new series and set of rules for the team, zero mistakes were made in the pits, over a total of seven pit stops, which would ultimately prove invaluable for the end as the team served zero penalties.

Following final pit stops, Kelvin van der Linde would be tasked with the job of finishing the race, and ultimately earning his place as one of the most promising young talents on the scene. Giving chase to the leading pair of Audis, the South African would close the gap lap-after-lap, and when contact between the leading pair of Audis, the race would change things entirely. With the leading No. 29 and No. 11 Audis getting caught up in a fight through traffic, resulting contact would lead to a timely yellow, and position van der Linde perfectly for a late-race charge.
Taking advantage of the opportunity, Kelvin and the No. 44 would chase down the leading No. 29 throughout the final 30 minutes, glued to the back of the leader and doing everything he could to pass safely. Finally, with 18 minutes remaining, a run between Turns Four and Five would position him to make a bold move around the outside of Turn Five, which he’d pull off with perfection, never looking back on his way to the checkered flag.

It would prove a popular victory for the American team, as well as the second victory in three races for Audi Sport.
“I’m super-happy. We fought hard because the (No. 29) Audi was incredibly strong,” said van der Linde who at the age 21 is the youngest of the nine Audi drivers. “A sincere thank you to Audi Sport and the Magnus Racing squad that gave us a tremendous car. This was my first race in the United States. After my brother, Sheldon, won with Audi in the Petit Le Mans race at Road Atlanta last weekend, the pressure on me was particularly high.”
While the specifics are still to be announced, Magnus Racing is already hard at work in preparation for their 2018 plans, which will be announced in the coming weeks.


Magnus Racing, Audi Ready for California 8 Hours 

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (October 11, 2017) – As previously announced, Magnus Racing’s ventures with a factory supported Audi Sport program will officially kick off tomorrow, with practice and testing for “Audi Sport Team Magnus” beginning for this Sunday’s California 8 Hours at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, the first-ever United States round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge.

“We’re all really looking forward to kicking off the weekend,” stated Magnus Racing team owner John Potter. “We’ve of course enjoyed a great relationship with everyone at Audi over the years, and to take part in a factory-supported effort during this weekend’s eight hour race is just a further testament to the collaboration. It will be a very different look and feel for the team this weekend, but we have a great lineup and everyone is ready.” 

As part of a four-race endurance series that takes part on four different continents, the 2017 Intercontinental GT Challenge will enjoy its third round on Sunday, featuring an eight hour race that will campaign similar GT3 and GT4 specification cars seen in this season’s Pirelli World Challenge.

Bearing a different look from the traditional Magnus Racing livery and driver lineup, the team will fly the factory colors of Audi Sport for the No. 44 Audi Sport Team Magnus Audi R8 LMS, with drivers Pierre Kaffer, Markus Winkelhock, and Kelvin van der Linde. Pierre Kaffer is of course a Magnus alumni from this season as well as a winner of endurance races including Le Mans, Sebring, and beyond, Markus Winkelhock is a winner of multiple 24 hour races including Nurburgring and Spa, and Kelvin van der Linde is coming off an incredible race at Petit Le Mans just five days ago, where his team took a commanding win.

Official practice begins this Friday, October 13, with race action taking place on Sunday, October 15. CBS Sports Network will cover the first two hours of the race at 12:20PM ET, followed by the last hour at 7:20PM ET, with all eight hours streamed live via MotorTrend on Demand.


Magnus Racing Partners with Audi Sport for California 8 Hours at Laguna Seca

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (September 28, 2017) – Continuing a relationship that began with Audi Sport customer racing in 2016, and immediately paying dividends by winning their first race together at The Rolex 24 at Daytona, Magnus Racing and Audi Sport will extend their relationship further with the upcoming California 8 Hours at Laguna Seca. Campaigning under the name of Audi Sport Team Magnus, the team will enjoy their first fully factory-supported effort, campaigning their Audi R8 LMS GT3 with drivers Pierre Kaffer, Markus Winkelhock, and Kelvin van der Linde.

“This is an exciting moment for everyone at Magnus Racing,” stated Magnus Racing team owner John Potter. “We’ve of course always enjoyed our relationship with Audi, and have had a number of highlights over the last two years, so entering the inaugural IGTC event in the United States with full factory support is a great testament to both the strength of the relationship and the regard with which our team is held in. It’s a big honor and one we don’t take lightly. We’re as committed as ever to results, and we’re extremely focused on delivering the best event possible for everyone involved.” 

The relationship between Magnus Racing and Audi is one that has been strong since their start together in 2016. Beyond winning The Rolex 24 at Daytona in their first attempt together, the team would also go on to a second victory in their debut season, ultimately winning the North American Endurance Cup for the team. In 2017, the history of success between the two organizations would continue, earning the distinction of being the only Audi team to win in the Pirelli World Challenge this season, and to-date is the winningest team in North America with the Audi R8 LMS GT3.

Heading to the scenic Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca from October 13-15, the team will take part in the inaugural U.S. round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge. A four-race series that sees GT3 specification racing cars competing on four continents, the goal of the IGTC is to place the best manufacturers, teams, and drivers in the world against one another in pursuit of a global championship. With the car specifications being virtually identical to The Pirelli World Challenge, many of the same teams and drivers from the 2017 season will take part, going up against a number of quality teams and drivers from Europe, Asia, and beyond.

Campaigning the same Audi R8 LMS used in the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge season, the program will feature three very highly touted drivers. Returning to the team following a season of Pirelli World Challenge together, Pierre Kaffer will join his familiar home, looking to further his results with the team. New to the team but no stranger to success, Markus Winkelhock will join as a former FIA GT1 World Champion, multi-time winner in Blancpain GT competition, and even a former Formula One driver. At only 21-years old, Kelvin van der Linde joins as a star on the rise, having already won multiple ADAC GT Masters races en route to a championship in 2014. 

Official practice will begin on Friday, October 13, with the race taking place on Sunday, October 15. Live coverage will be available on CBS Sports Network in two shifts, with the race start being shown from 12PM ET to 2PM ET, and race finish from 7PM to 8:30. The team will also provide continuous updates via their social media channels.