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FULL REPORT: Magnus Racing Struggles at 12 Hours of Sebring

SEBRING, Fl. (March 19, 2018) – Following a long day that included seemingly endless contact from competitors, Magnus Racing would finish 13th in class during Saturday’s 66th Annual 12 Hours of Sebring, finishing the race two laps down. While the team would enjoy flawless pit stops and no self-induced mistakes by drivers John Potter, Andy Lally, and Andrew Davis, four separate incidents with other cars would malign the team’s efforts. 

“I knew it was a bad start to the day when I was hit by a pit vehicle while WALKING,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and co-driver John Potter. “It’s frustrating to have as much contact as we did, it seemed like we never stopped playing catch up and damage control, but that’s obviously one of the unique parts of Sebring. I was particularly frustrated by the 29 car and how often we seemed to get in to contact for no reason, but it’s something we have to put behind us and move forward.” 

While the 12-hour race is supposed to begin with the green flag, the race actually began for the team two hours earlier, after contact with a prototype in the morning warm up would already begin the repairs for the No. 44 Audi Tire Audi R8 LMS. With the crew making bodywork repairs on pit lane prior to the race start, the event would begin with a hope that the worst was behind them. 

Unfortunately by time the first round of pit stops would occur, damage to the right front was already incurred when the No. 93 would make a diving move in to Turn 17, making contact with the Magnus machine within the first hour. 

Two hours later, the No. 44 would have two separate incidents within a single stint. The first would occur when the No. 29 Audi would make a diving move in to Turn Seven on Andy Lally, with the opposing driver outbraking himself and running straight in to the door of the No. 44. A few laps later, Andy would run in to a prototype that was exiting pit lane.

However the ultimate challenge would occur one hour later, when the same No. 29 would make an aggressive move in the tricky Turn 17, sending the No. 44 spinning in to the tire barriers, with the car quickly diving in to pit-lane for repairs.

With the damage proving substantial, the compromised speed and time lost in the pits would ruin all hope of a top result.

From that point, it was simply a case of soldiering on, with the team refusing to quit and managing the time to the end in the hopes for attrition, which didn’t quite pan out.

For Andy Lally, a similar sentiment was shared.

“Meh.” stated Lally.

For Andrew Davis, no quotes were heard as he was playing Alice in Chains too loudly.

With the first two races of the season behind, all attention now turns to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s return to the scenic Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, where the team will compete at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Showdown from May 4-6.


Winning Aim for Magnus Racing for Saturday’s 12 Hours of Sebring Return

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (March 13, 2018) – Returning to the site of their 2014 triumph, Magnus Racing will arrive for this Saturday’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in search of repeat victory in the GT Daytona (GTD) class. Returning after a year in another series, the combination of John Potter, Andy Lally, and Andrew Davis in the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS should prove formidable.

“It’s always exciting to return to Sebring,” stated team owner and co-driver John Potter. “This year’s Daytona 24 was one of the most unique races we’ve ever been a part of, and returning to Sebring should hopefully return to a more normal flow for everyone. The GTD class is as competitive as ever, and after our most recent test we’re all confident that the program is as good as ever. The guys have been putting in a lot of time to get us prepared, and we’re coming in with a lot of confidence to return to form. 

After a competitive Rolex 24 at Daytona in January, a race that ran for an unprecedented amount of green flag laps, the team would demonstrate speed, but never quite challenged for victory. Heading in to the tricky and notoriously bumpy confines of Sebring, the Audi should be well suited to the former airfield, and with all three drivers having a strong history at the venue.

In 2014, the first year of the re-organized IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship, Magnus took their first-ever win at the circuit, using a combination of speed and strategy to best the competition in a close fought finish. At their most recent visit in 2016, a strong run would be highlighted by an incredible push at the end by Andy Lally, taking a podium position in the closing laps.

“After our most recent test we know we’re in a strong spot,” stated Lally. “It’s so tough to really know where you stand in testing, and with the field as close as it is you can’t afford to miss anything in the setup, but the guys have really put in the work to get everything dialed in, and we’ll arrive as prepared as anyone.”

For Andrew Davis, who will be with the team for the entirety of the North American Endurance Championship, a strong opportunity to win is one he relishes.

“Sebring is a race that every driver wants to win,” stated Davis. “This is as unforgiving as any event we go to, and a race that I’ve come close to in the past. Magnus Racing’s history here is really strong, and there’s no doubt I’m hoping this could finally be the year.”

Practice for the 12 Hours of Sebring will begin this Thursday, March 14, with the race on Saturday, March 17. Coverage in the U.S. will begin on FOX Sports 1 at 10:30AM ET, followed by FOX Sports 2 at 12:30PM, and the closing five hours at 6PM on FOX Sports 2. Continuous radio and international coverage will be available via, or via the FOX Sports Go mobile app for US viewers. 


John Potter, Magnus Racing, Disappointed in IMSA Decision

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (February 12, 2018) – Following the recent announcement by the World Endurance Championship (WEC) to move their October race in Fuji to honor one driver’s schedule, Magnus Racing and owner/co-driver John Potter would like to express their strong displeasure in IMSA’s unwillingness to do the same for his wife’s delivery schedule.

With wife Emily Potter due to give birth to their second child in May, Potter is beyond upset that the series schedule, which has been set for six months now, won’t arbitrarily be changed just because he threw a fit.

“This is beyond acceptable,” stated Potter. “We’ve been asking IMSA to change their schedule for four days now, and they won’t budge. There’s clearly a precedent, and I asked for it, so that should be all there is to it. I don’t understand what other considerations IMSA needs to look at, I asked for it… so it should happen!”

Voted IMSA’s most popular team in 2014, the draw of Magnus Racing is without question. Boasting nearly 150,000 viewers in their most recent Daytona webcast, the group is notoriously highly engaging with fans, with up to as many as 12 more fans attending each race due to the team’s participation.

Unofficially ranked as Audi’s second-favorite GT3 team in the USA, and sixth among all U.S. customers, the team plays a large role in Audi’s 2018 plans, and in such, the team expects the series and manufacturer to do everything they ask for, regardless of how reasonable it is. 

“If the series doesn’t do what we ask for, we may leave,” stated Potter. “Some may say ‘well we might leave anyway,’ but that’s irrelevant. It’s far easier to get what you want when your threats have nothing to do with your plan of action already in place. I want what I want, and the series needs to give it to me. I’m one of a few dozen paying customers, and what I say should matter more than those other pleebs.” 

Expecting their second child at the beginning of May, Magnus Racing’s attendance at the heralded return to action at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is likely not in doubt. Somehow the cars will still race, the fans will still come, and whether John Potter is personally there or not, the team is still confirmed to participate and entertain the crowd.

While no official response has been given from IMSA, one off-the-record series official cited the fact the schedule came out before the couple became pregnant, and the fact it may conflict with plans from every other team, manufacturer, driver, and fan.


Faultless Run for Magnus Racing in Rolex 24 Return Leads to Sixth

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 29, 2018) – Marking their return to IMSA competition, Magnus Racing would enjoy a solid, faultless run during the weekend’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, ultimately finishing sixth.

“Certainly we would have liked a better finish, but we can’t be too disappointed in our performance,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and co-driver John Potter. “Overall the team ran without any major mistakes, our car was fairly strong, it just wasn’t our weekend. With the length of green flags and insanely few yellows, the dynamics and strategies that we normally excel at just weren’t a factor. It’s great to be back in IMSA and we’re in a strong position for the rest of the season.”

In one of the most unique races in recent history, the standout factor of this year’s Rolex 24 was the extreme lack of yellow flags, a dynamic in the race that usually enables a number of different approaches and strategies. With a grand total of only four cautions throughout the entirety of the race, vast durations of green flag periods would virtually eliminate any opportunity to advance via clever pit strategy.

With Andy Lally taking the green flag, the overall pace of the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS did show strong, advancing multiple positions in his opening stints, however still falling short of the incredible pace of the top machines.

Running error-free, the car would transition through the scheduled driver rotation of Lally, followed by John Potter, Andrew Davis, and Markus Winkelhock. While the team ran without any major mistakes, the No. 44 would ultimately find itself one lap down nearing the one-third mark of the race, with the team fighting hard to regain the deficit.

As the race wore on, and a continued lack of caution periods prevailed, the deficit simply proved too much, and while the team was able to gain ground to the pack in front of them, ultimately sixth place was where they would resign when the checkered flag fell.

For Andy Lally, while a disappointing finish, there were a lot of positives on the weekend.

“We’re not a team that ever settles for sixth, but we still had some strong attributes to look back on,” stated Lally. “The guys ran strong stops as usual, John didn’t make a single mistake, and Andrew once again proved that he’ll be an excellent teammate for the endurance races. It’s great to be back with the team and we definitely have a lot of positives going in to the rest of the season.”

For Andrew Davis, an enjoyable weekend was had.

“I really enjoyed the experience,” stated Davis. “The team has developed a great atmosphere, they’re a lot of fun, and the potential is all there to show even stronger. I’m appreciative of the opportunity and look forward to Sebring.”

All attention now turns to the 12 Hours of Sebring, taking place from March 14-17.


QUICK SHOT: Magnus Racing Takes Sixth in Rolex 24 at Daytona Return

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (January 28, 2017) – Returning to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship for 2018, Magnus Racing would take a solid sixth-place finish during today's season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona. 

"We're never a group that's entirely happy with sixth, but I do feel like we performed well today,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and co-driver John Potter. “This was one of the most unique runs at the Rolex 24 we've ever had. Between the lack of cautions, the way the event unfolded, and several other factors, our day today could have gone a lot worse. We'll take the performance as a solid foundation toward a championship run and move on from there."

With the classic 24-hour race beginning the season, the 2018 event would prove one of the most unique in series' history. Featuring no more than four caution periods, s significant decrease from previous years, the approach to pace, strategy and race-craft would not quite suit the team as well as years' past, with drivers John Potter, Andy Lally, Andrew Davis and Markus Winkelhock eventually settling in to a rhythm that would see them routinely fight in the top-five, and ultimately sixth at the finish.

A full report will follow shortly.

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