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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 at 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.


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

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.