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Saturday
Jan302010

Rolex 24 at Daytona - Friday Report

This report is short because this is the shortest day we will have here this week.

Morning started with a short practice session, which was followed by our qualifying session.  The session went great – Craig put the No.44 Magnus Racing Porsche GT3 Cup into second. However, because of the Grand-Am qualifying rules, which set the top-20 in the field according to yesterday’s session in which we were 21st, we will start the Rolex 24 at Daytona in 22nd position.

There was one more session after that, in which John and Jeroen bedded in brake pads for the 24 Hour. Necessary, but not exactly exciting. We will have to change pads once during the race so we need to have the second set of pads ready to go.

With the day for Magnus Racing more or less complete, John and Craig took part in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race. Craig’s car was effectively taken out at the start, while John was in the hunt for a top-10 until his car ran out of gas in the final fifteen minutes, so he ended up 18th. But he was happy that he beat Craig’s Cayman.

The only other thing to do was driver change practice. Assisting the drivers with the changes throughout the race will be Anthony Mosbacher. With a lot to do in less than 30 seconds – refill the drink bottle, get the window net down, replace a tired driver with a fresh one, adjust belts, plug in the radio, get the window net back up, shut the door, and get out of the way – Anthony’s job isn’t easy. But he’s been fired so many times, when he comes back, he gets to do the hard work.

Time for some shut eye. Tomorrow is going to be a long day.

Thursday
Jan282010

Rolex 24 at Daytona - Thursday Report

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.



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