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Tuesday
Aug082017

Magnus Racing Looks to Impress in Front of Utah Home Crowd

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (August 8, 2017) – With nearly 100 guests on hand to cheer on the “home team,” Salt Lake City-based Magnus Racing will return to competition at Utah Motorsport Campus this weekend for the first time since 2010. 

“It’s great to be back in Utah, and we look forward to being the local favorite,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and driver John Potter. “Utah Motorsport Campus has been a home for me for quite a while now, having rented a garage there for nearly a decade and lived in Salt Lake City even longer. It’s a tremendous locale with a great fan base, and everyone on the team is committed to delivering a first-rate event for them.”

Returning to the Pirelli World Challenge series for the next round of “SprintX” competition, the team will bring two cars with four drivers to the event. Even though all races are only 60 minutes in length, “SprintX” is designed to reflect the endurance heritage of sportscar racing, with multiple drivers sharing the same vehicle.

Driving the No. 4 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS, Pierre Kaffer and Spencer Pumpelly will once again re-unite for the weekend. Pumpelly is joining the team after a difficult weekend in Mid-Ohio, while Kaffer returns to the team after missing the last round due to a schedule conflict. While the two have not driven together since May, the last SprintX race for the No. 4 car at Lime Rock Park was the most successful to date, taking victory.

For the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS, long-time teammate Marco Seefried will once again join John Potter behind the wheel, continuing a partnership that began with victory at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in 2014. So far in 2017, the duo have taken part in two different SprintX weekends, driving with mixed results and taking a top finish of fourth.

Official practice begins this Friday, August 11, with the GTX category featuring a double-header race weekend. Racing will take place at 1:40PM on Saturday and 12:30PM on Sunday. Live streaming can be found at world-challenge.com/streamvideo . 

Monday
Jul312017

Magnus Racing Survives Quiet Weekend at Mid-Ohio

LEXINGTON, Ohio (July 31, 2017) – Continuing with another traditional “sprint” weekend of the Pirelli World Challenge, Magnus Racing would complete the latest round of competition at the famed Mid-Ohio Sports Car course with a relatively quiet weekend. Taking top honors for the team, John Potter would highlight his weekend with a fourth-place finish in class, while Spencer Pumpelly would endure a difficult weekend not of his doing.

“We definitely made some progress over the weekend, but definitely had our challenges,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and driver John Potter. “I actually feel our cars are running very well, setup-wise we feel like we’re right where we need to be. For a variety of reasons, we’re struggling a bit with matching our power against some of our competitors, which has less to do with Audi and more to do with series restrictions on the car. Unfortunately that deficit means we’re struggling to be able make passes on our competitors, and there’s not much you can do from that point. On the positive side, I’m relatively happy with my weekend personally. Top-five in both weekends meant solid points, in the series’ sprint championship we’re well situated in the point standings.”

Driving the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS, John Potter would enjoy a solid points weekend. For Saturday’s Race One, the Utah resident would qualify fifth in the GTA class, leading to a trouble-free race where he would advance on position in the closing laps, taking fourth on the day. For Sunday’s Race Two, a similar story would follow, with John once again starting fifth in class, but engaged in a relentless nose-to-tail battle among the top-five, with Potter ultimately advancing to fourth in the final corner of the last lap.

The result would bolster John’s second-place ranking in the series GTA-class Sprint Standings, with only two races remaining.

For Spencer Pumpelly, filling in for Pierre Kaffer in the No. 4 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS, a challenging series of races would hamper his weekend. With a reputation as one of the best GT drivers in the country, the shortcomings of overall power would create a massive challenge for the Lime Rock winner to be able to mount a significant challenge. Qualifying 10th overall for Saturday’s Race One, the difficulties of passing at Mid-Ohio became evident, with Spencer unable to advance on the competitors in front of him. Meanwhile, a competitor behind him would make a failed pass in to Turn Four, pushing Pumpelly wide at the exit and in to the grass, with Spencer ultimately finishing twelfth. Worth noting, the competitor would be penalized for his failed maneuver.

Sunday’s Race Two wouldn’t prove any better, with Spencer suffering a mechanical issue before the race even started, leaving him to start from the back of the pack at a track notorious for lack of passing opportunities.

“This wasn’t the weekend we were hoping for, but I’m thankful for the opportunity,” stated Pumpelly. “Mid Ohio is a tough track in which to pass, and combined with the nature of GT3 cars, and the challenges we’re having with power, it was practically impossible. The car was actually very good, and I think under different circumstances we might have shown really well, but for a number of reasons it just wasn’t our weekend. I appreciate everything the team did to make it all work, and I really enjoy driving for the team.”

While the next round of sprint competition will not be for another six weeks in Sonoma, the Pirelli World Challenge will actually be back on track in two weeks’ time for the next round of “SprintX” competition at Utah Motorsport Campus, a more endurance-focused format with two drivers in each car. Spencer Pumpelly will once again return to action for that weekend with Pierre Kaffer, while Marco Seefried will also return as a teammate to John Potter.

Monday
Jul242017

Spencer Pumpelly Returns to Solo Action at Mid-Ohio

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (July 24, 2017) – Heading in to the famed Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in search of additional podiums, Magnus Racing is pleased to announce the return of Spencer Pumpelly to the No. 4 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS. Continuing their two-car campaign in the Pirelli World Challenge series, John Potter will also return in the No. 44 machine, with the duo resuming the series’ “sprint” championship this coming Saturday and Sunday. Magnus driver Pierre Kaffer, who has been in the No. 4 for the majority of races this year, will be absent due to a schedule conflict.

“It’s great to have Spencer back in the team,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and driver John Potter. “Spencer has always fit right in with us, but driving the team to our first series victory of course sealed a very special place for his legacy with us. We’re hoping Mid Ohio suits both Spencer and the No. 4, and hopefully we can repeat the same feat. On a personal level, we’re coming off of a really strong weekend in the No. 44 at the most recent round in Road America, and hopefully we can continue that in to this weekend. Three podiums in five sprint races has been a great achievement for us, and we aim to continue it in to Ohio. Of course we also wish Pierre well during this weekend’s race at Spa, and look forward to following along Stateside.”

In the No. 4 entry, Pumpelly will take to his Audi having grabbed victory the last time he drove for the team. Competing in all of this season’s “SprintX” rounds, Spencer and then co-driver Dane Cameron took a dominant victory most recently at the storied Lime Rock Park, which features a series of twists, turns, and elevation changes similar to Mid Ohio. No stranger to success, Pumpelly joined the team as a multi-time race winner in a number of series, a two-time winner of the Rolex 24 at Daytona, as well as the defending series champion in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge’s ST category.

“It’s great to return to the team,” stated Pumpelly. “Obviously our last race together went extraordinarily well, and we’re hoping that same momentum can continue in to Mid Ohio. It’s always tough to say what to expect, especially in these very frantic sprint races, but we’re optimistic that the circuit should suit us. The entire team at Magnus has done a great job putting this effort together, and we look forward to pushing for additional results.”

Driving the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS, John Potter will once again resume his role in the series’ GTA category. To date, John’s efforts in the “sprint” championship have gone extremely well, having scored three consecutive podiums, most notably at the most recent round at Road America where he stayed in heavy contention for the race win throughout the entirety of his run.

Official practice for this weekend’s double header will begin on Friday, with Saturday’s Race One occurring at 4:45PM ET, and broadcast at world-challenge.com/streamvideo/ . Sunday’s Race Two will be broadcast same-day on CBS Sports Network at 2PM ET.

Thursday
Jun222017

Magnus Racing Returns to Sprint Action at Road America

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (June 22, 2017)- Following three rounds of the more endurance-oriented “SprintX” championship, Magnus Racing will return to the roots of the Pirelli World Challenge series, taking to the scenic Road America circuit for a double-header in the traditional sprint format. Arriving with a victory at the most recent round at Lime Rock Park, drivers Pierre Kaffer and John Potter will return to action in the GT and GTA categories, with an eye on continuing their podium momentum.

“It’s great to be back to the traditional sprint format,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and driver John Potter. “It’s such a unique experience, coming from our endurance background, to know that you don’t have to hand the car over; it’s definitely a different perspective. Obviously we’re coming from a good amount of momentum from Lime Rock, but Road America couldn’t be more opposite of a circuit. We’re going from one of the smallest tracks on the calendar to one of the biggest, and it definitely presents a whole new challenge for our setup. Our last sprint race at Long Beach was my first podium in the series, so hopefully we can continue where we left off.”

Heading to the 4-mile, 14-turn circuit, located in Wisconsin’s scenic Elkhart Lake. Road America will serve as the largest track that the series visits in 2017. Featuring long straights, uphill climbs, and a number of fast corners, the course requires the most from nearly every performance element of both car and driver. While always a fun event for the team, mixed results have greeted them in previous years, including everything from podium finishes to one of the first mechanical DNF’s ever experienced by the group.

Kaffer will arrive in search of his best Pirelli World Challenge result. Returning from the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the German will be in search of his first podium finish in the series despite several strong runs.

Driving the No. 4 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS, the German has high ambitions for Road America.

“Road America is always a favorite track for many drivers,” stated Kaffer. “It’s what we could consider a classic. Fast corners, high speed almost everywhere, you really have to be on the limit to get the maximum. It’s tough to say how we’ll do because the layout really rewards different strengths with different cars, but I know everyone at Magnus will do their best to get the maximum out of our Audi. I look forward to it and really hope we can get our best result of the season together.”

For John Potter in the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS, a return to sprint competition is one to look forward to. At the last “Sprint” round in Long Beach, the Utah resident took his first series podium with third, and hopes to continue that trend in to this weekend’s festivities.

Official practice begins today, with a double-header of races in conjunction with the Verizon IndyCar Series on Saturday and Sunday. Race One will take place on Saturday, June 24 at 5:30PM ET, with Race Two on Sunday, June 25 at 10:55AM ET. All races will be streamed live at www.world-challenge.com/streamvideo/

Wednesday
May312017

Magnus Racing Takes First Victory in Pirelli World Challenge at Lime Rock

LAKEVILLE, CONNECTICUT (May 31, 2017) – Following an hour of hard driving and clever strategy at the historic Lime Rock Park, the Magnus Racing No. 4 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS of Spencer Pumpelly and Dane Cameron would take their debut victory during Saturday’s sixth round of the Pirelli World Challenge SprintX Championship. Following a car-best second place in Friday’s Race One, a combination of pit strategy and strong “in-laps” by Cameron would hand the team the lead by Saturday’s halfway point, with Pumpelly closing the race by building the gap further. Similarly, a strong run by the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS of John Potter and Andrew Davis would net a fourth-place finish in addition to Saturday’s sixth-place finish.

“We couldn’t be happier with the results for the No. 4 team,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and co-driver John Potter. “Our first win in the Pirelli World Challenge is something we’ve been chasing after all year, so to finally achieve it at a place like Lime Rock is very satisfying. Spencer and Dane proved strong all week, and it’s something everyone on the team has been striving for. For our No. 44 effort, we’re of course always after a podium, but we walked away with a clean car and continued to learn a lot. It was great having Andrew as a teammate and we all wish him the best moving forward.”

With primary teammate Pierre Kaffer unavailable due to a schedule conflict, full-season SprintX driver Spencer Pumpelly would welcome a new teammate to the No. 4 program, reigning IMSA Prototype champion Dane Cameron. While a Magnus debutante, Cameron would enter the festivities as no stranger to GT racing, including winning the IMSA GTD crown in 2014.

During Friday’s Race One, Pumpelly would put in a strong qualifying run to grid the Audi in third for the start, wasting no time in the opening laps to seize the opportunities in traffic by elevating himself to second, hounding the lead Porsche for much of his opening stint. During the series-mandated driver change, Cameron would jump in to close the race, setting strong lap times but unable to mount a significant challenge for the lead as tires faded. Still the best result in the history of the No. 4, the team would cross the line in second.

With Saturday’s Race Two having a grid set by Race One’s fastest laps, a strong lap by Pumpelly would see the No. 4 start the day on the front row, just barely off the pole-sitting Porsche of Marc Lieb. With the driver order inverted, Cameron would take on starting duties for the team, when calamity would ensue next to him as a hard charging Ferrari would send the pole-sitter spinning in to the guardrail, with Cameron lucky to avoid the mess but allowing the No. 8 Cadillac of Jordan Taylor to slip through in the process.

Doing his best to chase down Taylor, Cameron would match the Cadillac turn-for-turn, repeatedly demonstrating the strength of both driver and car, but finding the tricky nature of Lime Rock Park nearly impossible to pass on. Opting to preserve his tires, Cameron would give chase for much of the run, but it wasn’t until pit-stops would emerge that the team would mount their real challenge.

Allowing the Cadillac to pit one lap earlier, Cameron would use the clear track in front of him to push as hard as possible before he came in to the pits, meanwhile the Cadillac would re-join the field stuck in traffic, all playing in to the hands of Magnus Racing’s strategy to gain track position. With Pumpelly in the car and minimum pit-stop time fulfilled, the Georgia resident would re-join ahead of the Cadillac with less than 30 minutes remaining.

While traffic would prove difficult to keep his challenger behind him, Spencer once again proved his place among the best in the sport by managing the pace, ultimately gaining a small gap over the course of the final minutes to take victory.

This would serve as not only the first Pirelli World Challenge victory for the team, but also the first overall win in team history. 

 “I’m really happy we could deliver for all of the guys today,” stated Pumpelly. “This series is incredibly competitive, and you have to capitalize on every opportunity you can, everyone executed perfectly today. Dane had an awesome opening stint and the team played the strategy perfectly to gain the track position we needed; by time the car was given to me I knew I simply had to manage the traffic and make sure I didn’t open the door for the No. 8. I appreciate Michael Cooper racing so clean today, and similarly it’s a shame that Pat Long and I weren’t able to resume our fight from yesterday. Regardless, this one was for the whole team.”

For Dane Cameron, who currently has a 100% podium record with the team, a great experience was shared.

“I’m really happy I could be part of this experience,” stated Cameron. “Magnus Racing is a long-proven team, and this week just furthered that. It was a crazy opening lap and I’m glad the incident wasn’t more serious, it’s too bad that such a strong competitor was taken out that way. Regardless, it was great being able to fight with Jordan Taylor just like we do in prototypes. I knew it was critical to hand over a clean car to Spencer so I didn’t want to take any big risks, and when the opportunity to capitalize on a clean track came I knew we had to take advantage. Spencer proved why he’s one of the best guys out there, and similarly I was very impressed with the whole Magnus team, I’m very grateful for the opportunity.”

For the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS, a quiet but competitive event was in store for Potter and new teammate Andrew Davis. With primary teammate Marco Seefried also out with a schedule conflict, the experience of long-time GT veteran Davis became the ideal replacement.

During Friday’s Race One, Potter would put together solid series of opening laps, including the fastest race lap for the No. 44, as he made work of the field in front of him. With tire wear being a serious consideration at Lime Rock, the focus would eventually turn to tire management, with John never putting a foot wrong by time his stint would come to a close. Davis would take over just before the halfway point, setting consistent laps but settled in to sixth, where the car would finish. 

For Saturday’s Race Two, Davis would take on starting duties, once again settling in to a strong rhythm in pursuit of a top-five, with the team pitting him at the final 30 minutes. From there it was back to Potter, who immediately began to gain ground on the field in front of him. While the gap to the third-place No. 54  machine would continue to shrink as the laps wore on, John simply ran out of time to be able to mount a real challenge, ultimately settling for the fourth position at the checkered flag.

 

For Andrew Davis, back with the team for the first time since 2010, an appreciation for the experience was evident.

“I really appreciate the opportunity to come back,” stated Davis. “While Magnus has a fun reputation, they truly are a very professional and well-run team, I’m glad I was able to witness such a great day for them first-hand. John is a great teammate and ran some really great lap times, and while of course we both wanted a podium, we were able to do the most with what we had and should be satisfied with the run. I look forward to following the team’s success and wish them the best moving forward.”

With Lime Rock serving as the fifth and sixth SprintX rounds, all series attention now returns to the traditional “sprint” format of the series, with solo-driver efforts taking over at the next round in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Once again joining the Verizon IndyCar Series, Magnus Racing and the whole of the Pirelli World Challenge will be at the scenic Road America circuit from June 23-25, with Potter driving the No. 44 and Pierre Kaffer returning to the No. 4.