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Magnus Racing Endures Plenty Oproblems to Take 11th at Rolex 24 at Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 26, 2014)- While many racing teams tend to blame their foibles on mechanical gremlins during the famed Rolex 24 at Daytona, Magnus Racing can firmly lay the blame on something even more treacherous… an opossum.
 
Despite this, the team would still cross the checkered flag to see 11th place.
 
“We’re always very excited to get letters after a race,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and co-driver John Potter. “Normally they’re from happy fans, congratulatory notes from the series, but we may be the first team in IMSA history to get a letter from PETA. Regardless, the fact that we still managed to see the finish line after such a crazed race is incredible, and I couldn’t be more proud of our team.”
 
Starting from the fourth row in the No. 44 Flex-Box/Children’s Tumor Foundation Porsche 911 GT America, driver Andy Lally would take the green flag on the historic twice-around-the-clock event. Getting to the green flag, however, was no easy feat for the Magnus crew.
 
During Friday’s final practice session, the team would suffer a surprise issue with the gearbox, cutting their final practice short to examine the problem. Having put an all-new gearbox in the car prior, the team was faced with the arduous task of completely rebuilding their transmission during the final hours of race preparation, putting in a long day and with no opportunity to try the car on-track before the race began.
 
With nearly 100 children and families on site from the Children’s Tumor Foundation rooting for the car, which featured the foundation’s logo as well as 111 names of “NF Heroes” on the rear bumper, the team had even extra motivation to ensure the car was perfect.
 
With the race well under way, the opening series of stints were business-as-usual for the No. 44 team. Despite a small issue with the front splitter, drivers Andy Lally, John Potter and Marco Seefried ran a successful series of opening stints including a strong double stint by Potter. Still holding pace with the lead pack and on the lead lap, by time the team’s fourth driver, Martin Ragginger, took the reigns all eyes would turn toward the team’s gearbox.
 
With Seefried reporting an occasional harshness during upshifts, the problem would continue for Ragginger who did his best to manage to a worsening problem. As the stint wore on, the problem continued to grow with sixth gear failing completely and the car eventually losing drive outright. The car was able to limp to the garage for repairs, however, any hopes for a second victory were gone.
 
Swapping out the gearbox in nearly 45 minutes, an incredible effort all to itself, the team was back out for action. Knowing a victory was not possible, the focus instead shifted to ensuring points for the team, with John Potter getting back in the car following Ragginger’s stint.
 
According to this year’s rules for the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, the team’s designated silver driver needed to drive approximately 4.5 hours in order to score points for the team. With Potter serving this role, the Salt Lake City resident would drive an additional double stint as the night wore on, with the team appearing to be back to normal as the midnight hour approached.
 
With Potter fulfilling the time requirements by time 12PM hit, all focus was now on simply finishing the race, wanting to not only maximize their finishing points in an attrition-filled race, but equally important to show well for the many families on hand from the Children’s Tumor Foundation.
 
Continuing through their driver rotation, all was routine as the team went deep into the night hours, hitting the halfway point of the race and slowly climbing up the charts as attrition wore on.
 
Unfortunately, a rising gearbox temperature created a new sense of alarm within the team and once again bringing the car in at 3AM for further repairs. Following another 30 minutes, the No. 44 was back out and seemingly poised to run the second half of the race at a comfortable pace.
 
That was until Andy Lally jumped in for the early morning stint. Lally, a notable animal rights advocate and devout vegan, was running behind one of the Viper GT3-R machines when sudden contact with “something” on the road would create a significant dent in the front of the car and radiator. After evaluating the vehicle, the team elected to stay out and monitor the situation.
 
With the car seemingly OK, the team continued on for the next several stints until rising temperatures and a resulting plume of smoke erupted from the car as the morning hours continued.
 
Returning to the garage for a third round, more visits than any other time in team history, the crew immediately went to work to diagnose the issue. Upon lifting up the front hood of the car, the team discovered a problem that they’d never seen in any of their combined years of racing… an opossum.
 
Yes, you read that right, an opossum. As it turned out, when Lally was chasing the Viper in the early morning hours, the “debris” that went through the car was an opossum which had unfortunately found its way on the track and through the front end of the Magnus Porsche.

(PHOTOS BELOW: WARNING- THEY'RE GRAPHIC)

Magnus Racing, known for its irreverent live webcast and fun social media presence, elected to name the deceased “Ballast,” and with repairs made chose to finish the race under the theme #AvengeBallast.
 
Making quick repairs for the third time, an impressive Magnus crew once again sent the car on its way, where the drivers would cycle through, with John Potter driving the final stint to the checkered flag.
 
Despite the challenges, and literal marsupial sacrifice, the team was able to continue their perfect record of finishes at the race, now seeing the checkered flag for all six Rolex 24 events they’ve competed in. This also continues Andy Lally’s streak of 12 straight finishes at the Rolex.
 
While the event will likely go down as one of the weirdest for the team, it was nonetheless another testament to the commitment and preparation of all involved.
 
“It’s a cliché to say the race is all about preparation, but nonetheless true,” continued Potter. “Everyone has put their heart and soul into this during the winter, and I’m glad we were at least able to see the finish. We really wanted to deliver for the Children’s Tumor Foundation, and it is truly special to know just how many young children and families are rooting for you.”
 
For Andy Lally, keeping his streak alive highlights an odd race.
 
“This was definitely one of the weirdest ones I’ve been a part of,” stated Lally. “The guys had no shortage of challenges, but they jumped to it every time, and it’s an amazing level of commitment. When I was behind the Viper I knew I hit something, but when I looked in my mirrors I didn’t see anything behind me so it was very odd. I had no idea that we’d picked up a passenger in the process, and it’s unfortunate on a number of levels. Regardless, I’m glad we could see the finish and I look forward to the rest of the season.”
 
For Marco Seefried, who until this race had been on the podium every time he’d driven with the team, the theme of a strange race continued.
 
“It was a very odd race for sure,” stated Seefried. “I think we all thought we had a shot this weekend, so to have so many strange events was unexpected. It’s really too bad as the car was quite good, but this is the nature of this kind of racing. Regardless, I thank John Potter and everyone on the Magnus Racing team for such a great experience, I look forward to the next one.”
 
For Martin Ragginger, making his debut with the team, the sentiment is shared.
 
“It’s very unfortunate to have the race we did,” stated Ragginger. “The car was quite good, we were very strong. I was really impressed with the whole Magnus team and I thought we had a really good shot, but obviously racing is unpredictable and this is just part of it. Regardless I appreciate the opportunity and hope they find success this season.”
 
Despite the team’s struggles on-track, the off-track programs synonymous with the team proved successful yet again. Introducing this year’s annual movie poster, the “John Potter and Order of the Rolex” theme proved a massive success via social media and in the autograph line, and the annual pit side webcast held once again, with nearly 50,000 followers enjoying the interactive and irreverent experience. The highly unusual opossum sacrifice was equally noteworthy, with Andy Lally’s initial tweet being retweeted by thousands, and the #AvengeBallast hashtag trending among the loyal sportscar fan base.
 
With several weeks between the Rolex 24 and the next big event, the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, the team is already back at work in preparation for Round Two of the series.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PHOTOS ARE BELOW, WE WARNED YOU.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SERIOUSLY. YOU'VE BEEN WARNED.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OK THEN.......

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Read more: Magnus Racing Endures Plenty Oproblems to Take 11th at Rolex 24 at Daytona

Children’s Tumor Foundation, Magnus Racing to Partner at Rolex 24

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (January 16, 2014)- Continuing an association that dates back to the team’s first-ever victory at the 50th Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona, Magnus Racing and the Children’s Tumor Foundation will renew their partnership for this year’s 53rd running of the twice-around-the-clock classic.
 
“It’s a real honor to reunite with everyone at the Children’s Tumor Foundation,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and co-driver John Potter. “Our relationship dates back to 2012 and it’s remarkable what the Foundation does for NF families and the cause at-large. In all honesty, neurofibromatosis is something I hadn’t known much about prior to working with the Foundation, and it’s been a real eye-opening experience. We look forward to welcoming the families to our paddock and hope that the affiliation brings us the same luck as it did in 2012!”
 
The Children’s Tumor Foundation (CTF), through their Racing4Research program, has been a long-time staple of the motorsport scene. Campaigning to raise both awareness and fund research into neurofibromatosis – known simply as NF - a common yet under-recognized genetic disorder that can cause tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body, Racing4Research has raised over $3.5 million in the last seven years.
 
In addition to the No. 44 Flex-Box Porsche 911 GT America running the CTF colors, the team will welcome dozens of “NF Heroes” and their families, who will get an up-close opportunity to meet both the drivers and team.
 
“We’re looking forward to our return with Magnus,” stated Jill Beck, Racing4Research Director. “Beyond our great memories of seeing the team win in 2012, the team has proven itself over the years as one of the top teams in the series. Despite that, they’ve never lost their feel as a family that really enjoys what they do, and that reflects our organization as well. Beyond their on-track performance, the team is notorious for some of their other programs during the Daytona 24, and we’re excited to be a part of it.”
 
Most recently, Magnus Racing was awarded Microsoft Visual Studio’s “Team to Win” award at the end of the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season. Voted as the most popular team in the championship, Magnus Racing was awarded $10,000 for the honor, which they promptly donated to the Children's Tumor Foundation.
 
With the start of the race just over one week away, both the team and the Foundation are hard at work in preparation, including plans for one of the team’s most renowned interactive race features – details of which will be announced shortly.

Read more: Children’s Tumor Foundation, Magnus Racing to Partner at Rolex 24

Magnus Racing Disappointed in BoP Adjustment for Reindeer Power

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (December 25, 2015)- Citing concerns over a lack of homologation efforts for the North Pole-produced “Santa” GT Sleigh.R, Magnus Racing is left with no choice but to make their grievances public over the lack of Balance-of-Performance adjustments issued by series officials of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
 
“It’s clear with the latest BoP adjustments that the series has pre-determined who they want to succeed,” stated Magnus Racing team owner John Potter. “We understand that Santa Claus has quite a few toys to deliver, but he still has to play by the same rules that we all do.”
 
With a rumored entry coming from driver/owner Saint Nicholas, originally hailing from the Greek village Patara and now currently residing near the North Pole, the team has repeatedly requested clarification on where this vehicle will fit in the series’ structure. Despite efforts to balance a number of manufacturers all competing in the same space, including marques such as Porsche, Ferrari, and Audi, the latest round of performance changes have completely neglected the symbolic Northern European brand.
 
Running a sleigh that has yet to go through any wind tunnel tests, and a team of reindeer who have reportedly never been run on a dyno, the series continues to avoid any sort of performance measures on the vehicle.
 
“It’s completely unacceptable the way IMSA has behaved,” continued Potter. “We don’t even know how reindeerpower compares to horsepower, but the series seems uninterested in returning our calls… and don’t even get me started on aerodynamics. With a good tow, we’ll barely get above 170 at Daytona, yet this guy can get up to 1,800 miles per second. It’s just frustrating, they clearly want a new European manufacturer in the series and will do anything to make it happen, it’s unfair to the current teams.”
 
Knowing that officials would be unwilling to take their own initiative, Magnus team members took it upon themselves to submit large amounts of video evidence.
 
“We specifically handed (race director) Beaux Barfield hours of video proving our point,” stated Potter. “We showed him Miracle on 34th Street, the Santa Clause, Christmas with the Kranks, and even Ernest Saves  Christmas, but all he had to tell us was they won’t accept any outside footage… especially featuring Tim Allen.”
 
Despite the team’s failed efforts, they still applaud everyone within IMSA, as well as IMSA’s teams and fans, for a successful 2014 and continued health headed in to the New Year.

Read more: Magnus Racing Disappointed in BoP Adjustment for Reindeer Power

Magnus Racing Confirms Rolex 24 Lineup

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (January 14, 2015)- Following a successful three-day test at the annual Roar Before the 24, Magnus Racing has confirmed that next weekend’s Rolex 24 at Daytona will involve not only full-season drivers John Potter and Andy Lally, but also Porsche veterans Marco Seefried and Martin Ragginger. Competing in the team’s 24-hour event, the No. 44 Flex-Box Porsche 911 GT America will once again take part in the GT-Daytona (GTD) category of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
 
“I’m very confident about our lineup headed into the 24,” stated team principal and co-driver John Potter. “Marco has become a staple of the Magnus organization over the last 12 months and Martin is a proven veteran who will mix in really well with our group. There’s no doubt it will be a tough race, but we have a very experienced, patient group and everyone is focused on the same goal.”
 
Seefried, hailing from Germany, is no stranger to the Magnus organization. Debuting with the team during last year’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, Marco immediately gelled with the team as demonstrated by their class victory. Six months later, Marco would return to the team for another endurance classic, Petit Le Mans, where the team once again took podium honors. Beyond his duties with Magnus, Seefried is also a full-time competitor in the highly-touted Blancpain GT series as well as a competitor in several endurance events around the world.
 
“It’s great to return to Magnus for Daytona,” stated Seefried. “It’s a great organization and a very warm family. So far we’ve had two podiums together in two races, so I’m hoping to continue that next weekend. The car is very competitive and they’ve proven they know how to win there so we’re all feeling very confident.”
 
Martin Ragginger, hailing from Austria, is new to Magnus but no stranger to Daytona. Debuting at the 24 in 2008, Martin has amassed countless miles at the circuit. Considered one of the most venerable Porsche drivers in the paddock, “Raggi” has taken victory at the 24 Hours of Dubai, the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia, and the FIA GT2 European Cup. Most notably, Martin is the recipient of the 2013 Porsche International Driver’s Cup, a distinction given to one driver a year by the marque.
 
“With Magnus we have a very good opportunity to win,” stated Ragginger. “The team has proven their ability to take top results at big events, and I have been very impressed with my experience so far. It’s very much a family at this organization, and I’m honored to be a part of it. We all want to win, and it’s clear everyone is focused on that.”
 
With the race only 10 days away, the team is hard at work in preparation for the event. With IMSA’s recent announcement to provide 24 hours of coverage over the various FOX networks and IMSA.com, fans should be able to catch all the action at any time in the day.
 
Additionally, Magnus Racing will be providing their own interactive experience, which will be announced in the coming days.

Read more: Magnus Racing Confirms Rolex 24 Lineup

Flex-Box, Magnus Continue Partnership in 2015

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (December 23, 2014)- Continuing a relationship that originally began in 2011, Magnus Racing and Flex-Box will once again join forces for the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
 
“It’s great to have Flex-Box return with us for the 2015 season,” stated Magnus Racing team owner John Potter. “Their logo is unmistakable on our cars, and over the years they’ve become a staple of the Magnus brand, so it’s great to see that continue. Since our first race together four years ago, we’ve seen the relationship continue to grow and I’m confident 2015 will be one of our best seasons yet. It’s also a great vote of confidence for our way of doing business. Magnus is a team that combines professionalism with a fun and familial atmosphere, and I think this resonates with the many Flex-Box guests who visit us over the year.”
 
Flex-Box, based out of Hong Kong, is a leading worldwide supplier of new and used shipping, storage, and reefer containers. The company manufactures and ships to customers all over the world, keeping a year-round inventory of containers in China, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and North America.

 
The organization has a long history with Magnus Racing starting at the 59th Mobil1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in 2011, and continuing at select events in 2012 followed by the entirety of the 2013 and 2014 seasons. Using the paddock as a means of VIP and guest entertainment, the Magnus Racing staff has hosted multitudes of Flex-Box guests to provide an intimate, comprehensive experience during a race weekend.
 
“Magnus has done an excellent job over the years in handling our guests, and we’re happy to return.” stated Henrik Nielsen, Managing Director of Flex-Box. “John Potter and everyone at Magnus Racing have always gone above and beyond to insure that everyone has a great experience, and I look forward to continuing that into 2015. We’ve enjoyed being in victory lane together, and this year we hope to join them in the fight for the championship.”
 
The familiar logo will return beginning with the upcoming Roar Before the 24 on January 9-11 that will kick off the second season of the TUDOR Championship.

Read more: Flex-Box, Magnus Continue Partnership in 2015

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