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Thursday
Sep062018

Magnus Racing Set for Final Sprint Race of 2018

 

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (September 6, 2018) – With this weekend’s upcoming round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship taking place at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, Magnus Racing drivers John Potter and Andy Lally look forward to their final sprint race of the season, looking to close on a high. With no championship at stake, and nothing to gain other than going for a win, the team is purely focused on the top result.

“While of course we would love to come in to the weekend with the burden of a championship mindset, that’s not been the way our season shaped up ,so in a way we’re just going to enjoy going for the win,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and driver John Potter. “Laguna Seca has been a good track for us on many occasions, and we would love to continue that tradition this year. It’s the final sprint race of our season, so we have no reason to think about anything other than completely going for it.” 

As a scenic track nestled in the hills of Monterey and just minutes from the Pacific Ocean, Laguna Seca is always a favorite for both fans and teams alike. Featuring the most dramatic elevation change of any circuit on the calendar, the event has proven strong for the team in the past. From 2012-2015, John Potter and Andy Lally managed a podium on every visit, including an incredible win to take the championship lead in 2013.

“Laguna Seca has been a great race for us in year’s past,” stated co-driver Andy Lally. “The last few races we’ve continuously showed a lot of promise, but for different reasons we’ve had trouble closing. As the last sprint race of the year, we expect a pretty frantic pace, but we’re racing with nothing to lose and we’re all focused on just winning.”

Practice begins this Friday, September 7, with the race taking place on Sunday, September 9. Live coverage will be available in the US at 5PM ET via FS1, or at the same for international viewers via imsa.tv.

Monday
Aug062018

Magnus Racing Sees a Lot of Positive in Top-10 at Road America

ELKHART LAKE, Wisconsin (August 6, 2018) – Following a wild up-and-down race in which Magnus Racing drivers John Potter and Andy Lally worked their way up through the field to be ranked as high as sixth, the team can still take a lot of solace in yet another top-10 finish in their 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship campaign.

“Looking at the car after the race, there’s a lot of things to look positively at,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and driver John Potter. “The driver’s side door looks OK, the rear-view mirror seems in-tact, and at cursory glance the left-rear wheel seems like it’s still on. We also saved a solid $5.83 in fuel costs thanks to running one less lap on track. All-in-all that seems positive to me.”

After a strong opening series of practices, yesterday’s two-hour, forty-minute race would present some challenges with handling, with the team constantly working on the car in the hopes to find lost ground. In the closing laps, however, Andy Lally would find a renewed pace, making a late charge through the field and gaining three positions in the process, with an aim at the top-five. Unfortunately, a final-lap fight would see him on the outside of the treacherous Turn Six, running wide at the exit and sending the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS spinning across the track and making head-on contact with the inside barrier. Lally would walk away un-hurt, with the stricken car classified in ninth when it all came to a close.

Continuing his evaluation of the car, John Potter did note a few challenges for the team as they prepare for the next event just 11 days away.

“The car did take some damage, so the guys will have to look in to it. Some things I noticed were the right-rear turn signal looked a little beaten up, they may have to re-do some of the vinyl on the passenger door, oh and the entire front-end will have to be written off. Other than that though, I think we’re in great shape for Virginia, it was great to take another top 10!” 

With the car heavily damaged, the efforts of the team will ramp up in the coming days, with extensive repairs needed in time for the next round, with the cars loading in to the track next Thursday, August 16.

Practice for the Michelin GT Challenge at VIR will begin on Friday, August 17 with the race taking place on Sunday, August 19 at 1PM ET on FS1.

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.