With the weather much nicer than the last time we were here (during the Artic blizzard of ’10), Thursday started bright and early for Magnus Racing, with the team meeting at the track around 7am to get breakfast and do the morning prep for the No.44 Magnus Racing Porsche GT3 Cup. A 90 minute practice session started the day off, and Richard Lietz – the fourth driver for Magnus Racing for the 24 hour, who was unable to attend the January Test Days – was given the bulk of the driving responsibility to get re-acclimated with the track and to get familiar with the Magnus Racing Porsche.
Our four drivers – John, Craig, Jeroen and Richard – were very happy with the car and were ready to make an impression when qualifying rolled around at 4:15 this afternoon. The job of qualifying fell to the most experienced (read: oldest) driver on the squad, Craig. However, before he could get a flyer in, something struck the front of the car, damaging the nose and effectively ending the session for Magnus Racing. All the team’s hard work and the speed we had shown in practice was not rewarded, as No.44 was shown 21st at the end of qualifying.
With qualifying gone and nothing we could do about it, the team went out in the two-hour night session to see what kind of car No.44 would be once the sun went down and the track got cool. As it turned out, the green Porsche was very fast at night, with Richard clocking a time good for fourth in the session. John, Craig, and Jeroen all put in times very close to Richard as well.
So, qualifying sure didn’t go our way but we finished the day knowing that the car is very fast and we’ll be in the mix come race time. We have tomorrow’s second qualifying session to improve on our 21st. Keep an eye on the twitter and Facebook pages for updates throughout the day now that our PR guy has graced us with his presence.