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Magnus Racing Closes Sprint Season with Top-Five

MONTEREY, Calif. (September 11, 2018) – Following an up-and-down day that saw everything from pre-race incidents to leading the race, Magnus Racing and drivers John Potter and Andy Lally would finish Sunday’s America’s Tire 250, the final sprint race of the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, with a fifth-place finish.

“Of course we were aiming for a podium, but there were still a lot of positives on the day,” stated team owner and co-driver John Potter. “We were fast all through practice, but with the way the yellow flags flew it was impossible to know exactly what calls would end up being correct, our guys did the best they could. Overall we once again demonstrated our potential, and we’ll turn our attention to Petit Le Mans with a focus on winning.”

Taking place at the scenic WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, tire degradation was the theme of the weekend, a massive drop in lap-times taken in to consideration from the beginning of the stint to the end.

Opting to start the race on brand new tires in consideration, the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS would actually start from the back as a result, a choice which quickly paid dividends following two separate incidents at the start of the race, one before the green flag ever fell. Being at the back, starting driver John Potter was able to avoid the chaos, eventually starting the race after nearly 30 minutes of yellow-flag racing.

As it would turn out, Potter would only get about five laps of green flag running before the team would pit him, putting Andy Lally in with just under two hours remaining. With a clear track as a result of the stop, Lally would push hard to pull a series of quick laps, and as stops cycled through he would actually find himself leading the race.

Leading throughout the middle, the dynamic of the entire event would change with 75 minutes remaining when another yellow flag flew. Knowing the importance of new tires, the Magnus Racing crew would opt to pit Lally for tires and fuel, dropping down the order as a result.

For the final hour, Lally would push hard on the field in front of him, doing his best to deliver fast laps while watching his tires at the same time. With nearly every car on a different strategy, the No. 44 crew would stop one last time for tires and a topping off of fuel, with Andy resuming in search of a top-five.

By time the final stops all cycled through, the No. 44 would find itself in an uncontested fifth, taking the checkered flag as the top Audi. It was a reasonable finish for an up-and-down day, with all focus now on Petit Le Mans.

For Andy Lally, a reasonable weekend shouldn’t be looked at as disappointing.

“This was a tough race to predict properly,” stated Lally. “We had a fast Audi all weekend, the guys should be really proud of the car they put together. It was great to lead, and with a dew different scenarios we could have been a real contender in the end. The team has done a great job making progress all year, and I’m excited about Petit Le Mans!”

Peter Baron was unavailable for comment.

All attention will now focus to the season finale at Road Atlanta, with Petit Le Mans taking its place as the trademark season finale. Practice for the 10-hour classic will begin on Friday, October 19, with the race on Sunday, October 21.


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