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Monday
Jul232018

Lime Rock Runner-Up Finish Highlights Season Turnaround for Magnus Racing

LAKEVILLE, Conn. (July 23, 2018) – After an incredibly hard-fought day that saw everything from intermittent brake issues, intense battles for position, and even contact with traffic, Magnus Racing emerged from Saturday’s Northeast Grand Prix in Lime Rock Park with their best finish of the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season, taking second. Following a third-place finish at the most recent round in Canada, the runner-up placing at Lime Rock would mark two consecutive podiums for the team in what is proving to be a mid-season turnaround.

“This was an incredible day for everyone on the team,” stated Magnus Racing team owner John Potter. “As always, it was complete team effort. The crew not only did a great job of getting our car together for this weekend and finding a great balance, but their pit stops and strategy were excellent, leading to a faultless run for us. Andy’s drive at the end was exactly why everyone loves watching Andy race, and if I’m being honest I was pretty happy with my stint as well. We had a lot of braking issues during my stint but I was able to adapt and even improve. It was a great weekend and great to see so many fans, this was the kind of form we were all hoping for.”

Making a clean start, John Potter took the green flag for the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS with a strong awareness of the calamity that usually ensues with the tricky 1.5-mile circuit; the shortest of any on the calendar. Failing to disappoint, a first lap incident with some cars ahead would advance John further up the grid, however an intermittent braking issue would arise shortly after, causing Potter to back his pace up significantly. Effectively encountering an inconsistent “soft” pedal, to avoid incident the team owner would back up his braking distances throughout the middle of the stint, opting to manage the car under unpredictable circumstances.

Doing his best to adapt to the issue, the issue would resolve itself over time, allowing Potter to regain his old form, leading to an impressive second half of his stint. Driving some of the best laps in the category, John would gain time over the field for lap-after-lap, eventually catching the field in front by time pit stops would cycle through.

At that point, the Audi was in the hands of Andy Lally to the end, who would set a blistering pace to catch the field in front of him. By time the second round of pit stops would cycle, Lally was up to third, already priming the team for their second consecutive podium.

The most excitement, however, would come in the closing laps as Andy chased down a struggling Patrick Long for second. With Long facing a rear tire issue, a head-to-head fight between two of the sport’s most legendary drivers would engage for several laps, with Patrick doing everything he could to keep Lally behind while they both dealt with faster GTLM category traffic in the process.

Eventually, Lally would sneak his Audi inside of Long’s Porsche in to Turn One, setting the No. 44 up for an impressive pass along the outside of Turn Two.

With the leading car simply too far ahead, Andy would then focus on managing his tires to the end, crossing the finish line in second.

For Lally, another great result for the team was well earned.

“This was an incredible race,” stated Lally. “First off, John’s driving was phenomenal. To have the issues he had and not fall back very far was really heads-up on his part, and once that went away he was one of the fastest cars on the track. It was one of his best drives to date and he should be really proud. The guys did a great job in the pits as always, great strategy, and it was one of the best cars we’ve had. Racing with Patrick again was great fun, and the respect he showed on track was something half the field could learn from. This was exactly what we needed." 

Land Motorsports’ Peter Baron also shared his thoughts.

“Always good to see an Audi up front and the 44 achieving back-to-back podiums,” stated Baron. “Tuning into the race I was hoping to fall asleep while watching in Germany, being six hours ahead after an overnight flight. The Magnus race was exciting enough to keep me awake. So for me it’s bittersweet. Happy for Magnus, but really want to sleep now.” 

Still in the thick of their busy summer season, Magnus Racing and the entire IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will be back in just two weeks’ time, competing at the annual Continental Tire Road Race Showcase, held at the scenic Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Practice begins on Friday, August 3, with the race taking place on Sunday, August 5 at 2:30PM ET on FS1.

 

Wednesday
Jul182018

Magnus Racing Heads to Lime Rock in Hope of Return to Success

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (July 18, 2018) – Returning to the venue where Magnus Racing and the Audi R8 LMS GT3 has had some of its greatest success, this weekend’s Northeast Grand Prix in Lime Rock Park is an optimistic one. Arriving at the historic Lakeville, Connecticut circuit for the annual Saturday race, driver John Potter and Andy Lally and the entire Magnus crew will look to return to victory following two successive years of winning.

“Lime Rock Park has become a great track for us in recent years,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and driver John Potter. “The layout seems to really suit our Audi, and the development we’ve made over the last few weeks comes at an opportune time. We’re as prepared as we can be, and after a great weekend in Canada we’re all looking forward to this.”

In 2016, the team’s first year with the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS GT3, an exceptional drive by both drivers would result in an impressive come-from-behind victory, with Andy Lally pulling in an amazing run of final laps to take the team’s second win of the season. Last year, although in a different series, Magnus Racing and Audi would once again repeat success, this time with drivers Spencer Pumpelly and Dane Cameron taking overall victory.

While the most recent race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park showed a great turnaround for the team, earning their first podium of the year, the challenge of Lime Rock is not overlooked. At 1.5 miles, the circuit is the shortest on the calendar, and with high speeds and a narrow surface the propensity for incidents and chaos is notoriously high. As the first of two GT-only races, this year’s event promises much of the same, with attrition playing a large role in the outcome of the event.

For Andy Lally, a return to the circuit closest to his childhood home is a welcome one.

“Being so close to New York, there’s always a bit of nostalgia for Lime Rock,” stated Lally. “It’s a fast, classic track, but one we always have to be very heads-up at. The guys have been pushing really hard to get it perfect for this weekend, as we know this is a venue where we really might have a shot. There’s a lot of variables on any race weekend, especially this one, so you can never be overly optimistic, but we’re all focused.”

Practice begins this Friday, July 20, with the race taking place at 3PM ET on Saturday, July 21. Live coverage can be found on imsaradio.com or imsa.tv internationally, or at 4PM ET on FS1 for viewers in the US.

Tuesday
Jul102018

FULL REPORT: Magnus Racing Lands Best Result for Audi in 2018

BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Canada (July 10, 2018) – Running their most competitive race of the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship, Magnus Racing and Audi Sport customer racing would enjoy their best result of the year, taking third during yesterday’s Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix at the historic Candian Tire Motorsport Park, formerly known as Mosport. Gaining eight positions in treacherous heat throughout the race, the two-hour, forty-five minute sprint race would generate the first podium for any Audi vehicle in the series, re-affirming Magnus Racing’s commitment to getting the best results of any team waving the Audi flag.

“This was exactly the result that we needed,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and co-driver John Potter. “We’ve enjoyed a great relationship with Audi Sport customer racing over the years, and continuing our heritage as their top performer is something we take great pride in. This was an not easy result for us. The guys had a very busy few weeks of preparation with some dramatic changes we made between races, then of course the Six Hours of the Glen, another test, and this weekend’s race all happened within a week. This was a great reward for all the crew, they really earned the result.”

Following a rough several weeks leading in to this weekend’s round, the traditional busyness of the summer has not disappointed for the Magnus crew in 2018. Prior to last weekend’s Six Hours of the Glen, the team put in an extensive amount of time in to their preparation for the summer with some major changes to the car made in June, followed of course by last weekend’s six-hour race. Adding to the challenge, record heat throughout last weekend’s race, as well as a series test the following day, would create brutal conditions for everyone.

Arriving in Canada, Saturday’s third practice session would present an issue with the ABS system for the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS, sending driver John Potter in to the tire barriers in Turn Five, and creating front body damage to the car with only a few hours to repair before qualifying. With the team doing a herculean job of getting the car prepared, Potter would take to the car in time for Saturday’s qualifications, ensuring the car was in proper shape for Sunday’s race.

When the green flag fell on Sunday, Potter’s pace was quick right from the beginning, holding with the pack in front of him throughout his opening stint. Making zero mistakes, John would find himself well within the top-10 by time it was he entered the pits, with Andy Lally eventually settling in to sixth place once stops cycled through.

With a fast car under him, Lally’s trademark ability to drive through the field would once again prove true, passing car-after-car throughout his closing stint, eventually moving to the top-five in the closing laps. Enjoying some impressive re-starts following some late-race cautions, Lally would work his way to third in hot pursuit of a runner-up finish over the Lexus in front of him, however he simply ran out of time to advance any further.

For Lally, it was a great finish to turn their season around.

“It was great to return to our old form,” stated Lally. “The guys have been pushing like heck the last several weeks, and I knew it was on me to deliver the result they wanted in those closing laps. The car was really fast and really good on the tires, IMSA has done a great job helping to get us more competitive.”

With two weeks until the next round, Magnus Racing will now turn their attention to preparation for one of the most notorious rounds of the championship, the Northeast Grand Prix in Lakeville, Connecticut. Taking place at Lime Rock Park, the shortest circuit of the season, attrition is notoriously high, however Magnus has had a great run of success there recently. In 2016, Magnus Racing took their last IMSA victory at the track, following it up last year with an overall win in another series. Practice begins on Friday, July 20, with the race taking place one day later.

Monday
Mar192018

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.

Wednesday
Mar142018

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 imsa.com, or via the FOX Sports Go mobile app for US viewers.