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Magnus Racing Triumphs Over No. 63 Ferrari at Lime Rock… Two Years Too Late

LAKEVILLE, CONNECTICUT (July 28, 2015)- With the tight confines of the famed Lime Rock Park creating no shortage of action during Saturday’s Northeast Grand Prix, Magnus Racing took a phenomenal triumph over long-time championship rival Scuderia Corsa and the No. 63 Ferrari 458. This finish would prove strong enough to take the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series GT championship… had it been 2013.
 
Unfortunately it is now 2015 and the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, with the Magnus Racing No. 44 Flex-Box Porsche 911 GT America being credited with fifth place in the GTD category, while the No. 63 Ferrari would take ninth.
 
“Nowhere in the IMSA rule book does it say we cannot transfer points from one year’s race to another, so we think it’s time the series look at this,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and co-driver John Potter. “It might be difficult since we’d like to apply our finish to a GRAND-AM event, but we’ve seen crazier decisions. Otherwise, it was definitely an eventful race for us, but we continued to show progress and hopefully Road America will bring stronger results.”
 
After a strong opening to the weekend in Friday practice, in which the team set the fastest time of the day, qualifications would see the team starting in seventh for Saturday’s two-hour, forty-minute race.


With John Potter starting, a fairly routine stint would see him run a mistake-free opening hour, setting the stage for Andy Lally to make a strong bid during the race’s second half.
 
Following another impressive pit stop for the team, Lally was under way to make his run for the front, however a caution would come out early in his run, allowing him to catch the field and set up for what could have been a hard fight with the lead pack.
 
Unfortunately, during the re-start from the caution, an unforeseen bunch-up of cars would send Andy to the high-side of the famed downhill section, with the No. 63 Ferrari of Townsend Bell cutting across the track right in to Andy, damaging both cars in the process with light damage to the right front of the Porsche. Lally would immediately duck in to the pits for repairs, with the team doing a quick evaluation and service before sending him back on his way.
 
From that point on, Andy and team were flat out in their pursuit of the field, as the driver continued to set fast times and move his way up. Managing his race, another flawless pit stop would send the Northport, New York native in contention for a podium, catching the front pack and hounding the No. 007 Aston Martin and No. 73 Porsche for third.
 
Unfortunately, the team’s misfortune would continue in the closing laps of the race, as the No. 85 Prototype Challenge machine would run wide as he passed the No. 44, sending Andy in the grass and ending any hope of another podium.
 
Out of time to catch the field, Andy would cross the line in fifth, the second-best finish of the season for the team.
 
“It wasn’t the finish we wanted, but there were a number of positives out of the weekend,” stated Lally. “Our pit stops were excellent, as always, and above all our car was really fast all weekend. It showed in practice, and had just a few different things gone our way it would have been a very different story this weekend.”
 
With only two weeks until the next event, the team is back at work preparing for the upcoming Continental Tire Road Race Showcase, taking place at the heralded Road America circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Practice begins on Friday, August 7, with race action at 3PM ET on Sunday, August 9.

Read more: Magnus Racing Triumphs Over No. 63 Ferrari at Lime Rock… Two Years Too Late

Magnus Racing Looks to Replace Old Memories of Lime Rock

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (July 22, 2015)- In 2013, the last time Magnus Racing visited the famed Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut, the race ended in tears, literally, as the team’s championship came to an end before finishing the second lap of the race. One year before that, the team went from leading the closing stages of the race to running out of fuel with only a few laps to go.
 
In 2015, the team is hoping the circuit can create a complete change of fortune during Saturday’s Northeast Grand Prix. Enduring a challenging TUDOR United SportsCar Championship campaign throughout the first half of 2015, the team is hoping their recent podium at Watkins Glen has instilled a renewed confidence headed to the notorious track.
 
“I don’t ever like the philosophy that a track owes you, but certainly Lime Rock is a place where we’ve paid our dues,” stated Magnus Racing team owner John Potter. “In 2012, we almost took our third win of the season and it would have put us third in the championship, but our fuel mileage came up short. The next year, a decent finish would have earned us the championship, but it wasn’t meant to be. After finally getting a podium at our last race, maybe it’s time Lime Rock became a place of good memories for us. The entire team has been hard at work with some recent tests and developments, so we’re all hoping for a good weekend.”
 
As a narrow track that only runs 1.5 miles, the shortest of any course on the TUDOR circuit, Lime Rock Park is synonymous with tight racing and frequent incidents. Unfortunately, Magnus Racing has been on the wrong end of this more often than not.
 
In 2012, the circuit played host to the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Championship finale. To that point, Magnus Racing had experienced a banner year, winning at The Rolex 24 at Daytona as well as Brickyard Grand Prix, and headed to Lime Rock sitting fifth in the championship. With the constant yellows and tight confines playing a pivotal role in the team’s strategy, drivers Andy Lally and John Potter were able to extend their fuel mileage beyond anyone else, taking the lead during the closing stages of the race as everyone else pitted. Looking poised to take victory and jump to third in the championship standings, the gamble didn’t quite pan out, and with only a couple laps to go, the team’s gamble came up short with Lally running out of gas and coasting to the pits.

 

In 2013, the team came to Lime Rock with even higher hopes, their first series championship. With the track hosting the Rolex Series finale once again, Magnus Racing took the green flag as the championship leader with a comfortable points lead requiring only a reasonable finish to take the title.
 
Unfortunately, on only the second lap of the race, TRG-AMR driver Richie Stanaway would drive wide and into the grass in Turn One, veering back on course and right into Magnus Racing’s John Potter. The No. 44 would be sent spinning as a result, with the approaching GT field having no choice but to run straight into him. The team would rebound to fix the car in only 40 minutes, salvaging a runner-up finish in the championship, but all hopes for a title were lost.

 

This year, the No. 44 Flex-Box Porsche 911 GT America will take to the track with extensive testing done in recent weeks, and with a newfound pace that should suit the team well.


For Andy Lally, who grew up just two hours away in Northport, New York, hopes are high for a return to form.
 
“This crew has been unbelievable during a trying season,” stated Lally. “Even when we’re testing, everyone is as intense and dedicated as ever, and Watkins Glen started to show some of the fruits of that. It’s tough to say how Lime Rock will be for Porsche teams, but there’s no question which team I’d want behind me. John and I will give everyone the best performance we can, and we’ve proven in the past just how well this team can do.”
 
As a race held exclusively for the Prototype Challenge (PC) and GT Daytona (GTD) classes, the Northeast Grand Prix should be unlike any other during the 2015 season. Practice begins on Friday, July 24, with the race taking place on Saturday, July 25, at 3:15PM. Live coverage will be available on IMSA.com, and the race will also be available on Fox Sports 1 at 5PM the following day, July 26.

 

Read more: Magnus Racing Looks to Replace Old Memories of Lime Rock

Patrick Dempsey’s “Other” Teammate Returns to Magnus for the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (June 23, 2015)- In what can only be described as a deliberate move for headlines, Magnus Racing is proud to reveal their third driver for this weekend’s Sahlen’s Six Hours at the Glen, Patrick Dempsey’s “other” teammate. While the German, Marco Ssssssomething-or-another, is allegedly coming off of a stellar second place in the GTE-AM class during the 24 Hours of Le Mans just two weeks ago, the accolade remains unverified as we’ve yet to see photographic or video evidence that he was actually there.
 
“It’s great to have Marco back with us for Watkins Glen,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and co-driver John Potter. “We’ve enjoyed a great relationship with him over the last two years and we hope this can translate to Watkins Glen. This is a race I really want to win. I’ve been coming here for eight years now and we’ve come close, it would be nice to add this to our record of endurance victories.”
 
Having scored successive podiums in the last two years at the event, the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen is one the team feels readily prepared for. With the long straights and high-speed corners of the 3.4-mile circuit located in the scenic finger lakes of New York, the team is hoping that the No. 44 Flex-Box Porsche 911 GT America should be well suited to the configuration. Having been able to test there several weeks ago, the team is as prepared as ever.

Having grown up just a few hours away in Northport, New York, Andy Lally looks forward to what he considers his home race.
 
“It’s hard not to love this race,” stated Lally. “I can’t count how many times I’ve raced here over the years. It requires a rhythm unlike any other and I’ve been fortunate enough to have won here, which is always special as your home race. Being in New York, I always have several family and friends come out, so I’m looking forward to it. We tested well here, John and the guys are ready and Marco is always a great addition, so we’re all confident.”
 
For Marco (Sssiegfried?), a chance to join the team at a brand new circuit is one he looks forward to.
 
“I had never been to Watkins Glen before we tested here, and I have to say it is a great circuit,” stated the German. “It’s very much a classic track in a nice little town, very much a throwback. Everyone on the team has been working hard to turn their season around and hopefully June is our month!”
 
Practice for the race begins this coming Friday, June 26, with the race taking place at 10:10AM ET on Sunday and finishing six hours later. The first four hours will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1 beginning at 10AM with Fox Sports 2 broadcasting the remainder of the race beginning at 2PM.
 
For those in the area, the team will continue their traditional team tours on Friday at 2PM, as well as Saturday at 11:30AM.

Read more: Patrick Dempsey’s “Other” Teammate Returns to Magnus for the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen

FULL REPORT: Potter, Lally, Third Driver Bring Home First Magnus Podium in 2015

WATKINS GLEN, NY (June 30, 2015)- Following a wild six-hour race that saw everything from mixed weather to red flags to last lap changes of position, Magnus Racing drivers John Potter, Andy Lally, and no other drivers that we can think of would take their first podium of the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship GTD season finishing second during Sunday’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.
 
“It’s great to finally step on the podium this year,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and co-driver John Potter. “We’ve been putting a lot of effort into testing and developing during the last few months which has meant some long days for the crew. We’ve actually shown a lot of speed during the last few races, but for different reasons things haven’t worked out, so it’s great to finally start showing the fruits of everyone’s effort. This was definitely one of the more wild races we’ve run, and even though there was some disappointment that we just missed out on the win, we can all walk away satisfied.”
 
Driving at the famed Watkins Glen International, a circuit in which Magnus had taken podium honors in the previous two years consecutively, the entire event was faced with mixed conditions throughout the weekend’s practice and qualifying sessions. Following perfect weather in Friday’s first two practices, heavy rain would blight Saturday’s action with the weather so treacherous that the series elected to cancel qualifying.
 
Gridding the race based on points, Potter would start the No. 44 Flex-Box Porsche 911 GT America in seventh and under threatening skies. While the track did have some moisture on it, the majority of the field, including Magnus, elected to start on slick tires based on the weather forecast forcing John to drive incredibly carefully during the opening laps. As the stint wore on and the track dried out, the Salt Lake City resident settled into a comfortable pace, maintaining his place in the top ten and engaged in a number of on-track battles.
 
Electing to do a double stint to fulfill his drive-time requirements, a timely caution would bring John in for fuel, and safely on his way to a second stint where he once again drove without error. As his stint wore on, John stayed within his pace, eventually bringing the car in for a driver change.
 
With Potter out of the car, it was now time for the team’s third driver to get in and drive the middle the middle stint of the race. However, since this driver was not the team owner, nor a huge celebrity, we didn’t pay attention to what he was doing. Two hours later, by time the car came in to pit, the No. 44 was actually at the top of the charts.
 
With the middle of the race over, the time had come to put Andy Lally in the car, and the timing was perfect. Just two laps before he would get in, the rain had begun to fall on the circuit, however, it was initially thought that it was not strong enough for wet-weather tires. With the team lined up on pit wall for a slick-tire change, a last second decision to switch to rain tires would send the crew rushing to swap out tires just moments before the car came in, with the team successfully making the switch and putting Lally in with another faultless stop.
 
This would end up being a decisive call as the team would be the first to put on rain tires just as the track required it. Every other team would eventually come in for the same, re-elevating the No. 44 to the top of the order as the pit stops wore on.
 
With Lally leading, the conditions only got worse, eventually bringing out a yellow flag for an on-track incident, and eventually a red flag as the conditions became simply too hazardous to drive. As the clock counted down, the race would eventually restart with just over one hour to go, with the team electing to make one final stop for fuel so that they could go the distance.
 
As the race restarted, Lally assumed his position at the top, however, a highly-charged GTD field behind him, in concert with slow traffic in other categories ahead of him, would force him to run a chaotic series of laps in which he was battling with everyone around him. With the wet conditions adding a high risk to running off track, Andy did his best to manage the field around him including multiple moments of going three-wide on a wet track.
 
Eventually, contact from the No. 23 Porsche would send Andy wide, quickly recovering but having fallen back to third from the lead. While the No. 93 Viper managed to sneak in front of everyone in the process, the pace of the Viper proved too strong for the Porsches to catch, and for much of the closing laps the No. 44 appeared to be relegated to third until in the final two laps the No. 23 would go off on his own accord, elevating the Magnus team up to second.
 
Andy would cross the line with the team’s first podium of the year, albeit bittersweet since he had been leading for several laps.
 
“It’s tough to see this one get away, but I’m happy we were able to podium,” stated Lally. “We had a really fast car today, and in the dry I think we could have been even stronger, so it’s tough to let these go, it’s such a competitive class. Regardless, I have to thank everyone on the team for making this happen, it was an incredible effort from an incredible team.”
 
Apparently, Marco Seefried, from Germany, was listed as the team’s third driver. Considering he’s earned three podiums in only five starts with the team, he must be doing something right.
 
With the TUDOR United Sportscar Championship now past the halfway point of the season, the GTD category will once again have a few weeks off until the next round at the famed Lime Rock Park on July 25. A notoriously tight and tricky circuit, the event promises to be an exciting one.
 
 

Read more: FULL REPORT: Potter, Lally, Third Driver Bring Home First Magnus Podium in 2015

FULL REPORT: Magnus Misfortune Continues at Detroit

DETROIT (June 1, 2015)- Returning to a circuit which has traditionally proved challenging for the team, Magnus Racing’s difficulties at Detroit’s scenic Belle Isle circuit would continue during Saturday’s Chevrolet Sports Car Classic presented by Metro Chevy Dealers. Despite some great pit work which would see the team running in the top five, a mid-race incident avoiding a Prototype Challenge vehicle would cause extensive damage to the No. 44 Flex-Box Porsche 911 GT America, sending the team down the order but still managing a seventh-place finish during this fourth round of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship’s GTD category.
 
“It’s disappointing because we were in a good position, but that seems to be our luck here,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and co-driver John Potter. “Everyone on the team has been putting a huge amount of time into testing and development, and we all feel like we’ve discovered several things, this just wasn’t the weekend to show it. There’s still a lot to be proud of, the team made a great pit stop, and the fact that we were still able to finish seventh despite all the damage is a continued testament to everyone in our organization.”

Starting in eighth, it was up to Potter to take the green flag through a notoriously tricky opening series of laps. With the tight confines of Belle Isle’s temporary street course lined by barriers on each side of the track, there is little room for error, yet Potter held his own throughout his stint. Not putting a foot wrong, the No. 44 held pace with the lead pack when a perfect opportunity for the race’s one and only pit stop presented itself during a timely caution period.

Gaining several spots in the maneuver, and with Andy Lally behind the wheel for the final half of the race, the team was in position for a top-five and with strong pace to move up the field.
 
Unfortunately as the race resumed, the weekend’s on-and-off wet weather would return. When an errant Prototype Challenge vehicle spun at the apex of the notorious Turn One, Lally was left with no choice but to run off-line to avoid impact, putting him on a very slick part of the track and sending his Porsche into a slow slide and into the barriers.
 
Recollecting the car after impact, Lally and the team were able to take advantage of the resulting yellow to perform continuous repairs. Despite replacing the rear wing and performing extensive repairs to the car’s left side, the team managed to stay on the lead lap, proving the crew’s tenacity yet again.
 
With no choice but to simply manage his car for the rest of the race, Andy would simply drive a patient race to the finish, ultimately crossing the finish line in seventh.
 
“It was difficult because when it gets wet like that, you simply can’t go off line,” stated Lally. “I really wanted to deliver to the team this weekend, these guys have worked so hard that they deserved a good finish. It just wasn’t meant to be, but I couldn’t be more proud of the job they did to keep us on track. It’s been a rough year, but next up is one of our best races of the year and hopefully it will pay off.”

Beyond the on-track action, Magnus Racing was also proud to host another famous Magnus to the team... Magnus the Shark, the official mascot of Detroit's own SEA LIFE Aquarium Michigan. Recently opening in January, the Auburn Hills facility features an interactive experience where guests can walk through a highly themed aquarium that brings you nose to nose with sharks, stingrays, jellyfish, seahorses and over 5,000 underwater creatures. You can learn more at www.visitsealife/michigan

With a challenging first four rounds so far, the entire TUDOR United SportsCar Championship will head to one of Magnus Racing’s best events, the famed Six Hours at the Glen. Having scored a podium finish in the last two years, the team is looking for a change of fortune during the endurance event.

Read more: FULL REPORT: Magnus Misfortune Continues at Detroit

Elkhart Lake, WI
August 7 - 9
Austin, TX
September 18 - 19
Braselton, GA
October 1 - 3
Elkhart Lake, WI
August 7 - 9
Austin, TX
September 18 - 19
Braselton, GA
October 1 - 3