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Tire Woes End Day Early for Magnus Racing at VIR

ALTON, Virginia (August 25, 2015) – Despite repeatedly setting some of the quickest times in practice and looking like a strong contender for Sunday’s TUDOR United Sports Car Championship race, a series of tire and mechanical woes would end the Oak Tree Grand Prix early for Magnus Racing. Despite the race retirement, the team would still be credited with ninth in the GTD category.

“It’s disappointing to end another race early, but we feel as though we did it for the right reasons,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and co-driver John Potter. “At a certain point you just have to look at the merit of running vs. the risk, and in our case it unfortunately made sense to retire the car and look deeper into what was going on. It’s frustrating because we’ve all been working hard on this season and we know the quality of what we have, we just couldn’t find the luck we needed.”

Taking starting duties in the No. 44 Flex-Box Porsche 911 GT America, John Potter would take the green flag in seventh, with all eyes focused on the field in front of him. Knowing how strong the car had been, it was up to the Salt Lake City resident to manage his car carefully, doing an excellent job of maintaining a pace with the lead pack without putting the car in unnecessary risk.



As the laps continued, John had managed to move the car up to fifth with only two laps to go before pitting for teammate Andy Lally, when a sudden tire deflation through the tricky uphill esses would send the Porsche understeering wide past a right-hand turn and in to the grass, with Potter doing an excellent job to keep the car from contacting anything. He would manage to recover without significant damage, however, he would need to limp to the pits given the issue with his tire.

Upon further analysis from the team, the data did show a sudden loss of tire pressure on the left front, illustrating Potter’s quick thinking to get himself out of trouble once the incident began.

“When I went into the right hander on the esses, all of a sudden I saw the wall coming at me,” continued Potter. “I thought to myself, ‘I’ve seen this before,’ and jumped on the gas to get the car to turn around… luckily it worked perfectly. It was frustrating to have that kind of surprise, but I’m glad I was able to keep it from being anything more serious.”

Following a quick stop to evaluate damage and replace the tire, all signs were that the car was fine, their only real penalty being time lost from the spin and time in the pits. One lap later when Potter would eclipse the required minimum drive time, John would pit in favor of teammate Andy Lally.

With Lally in the car, all focus was on trying to get the car back on the lead lap and back on strategy, chasing down the race leaders as the laps went on. Unfortunately, just 13 laps later, a similar fate would hit Andy with another tire going down.

The crew would once again replace the tire, and after evaluating the car went back to action. Unfortunately, as the laps went on Lally felt a nagging vibration, with the team eventually pitting him again to examine the whole car.

Eventually, with the team effectively out of championship contention and with no way of winning the race, the decision was made to retire in the interest of safety.

“It’s disappointing for all of us,” stated Andy Lally. “This was another one of those weekends where we had the car to win, but it just wasn’t meant to be. It’s so disappointing for this team, because we have all the pieces to win. At the end of the day I do agree it was the right choice, I don’t think of any of us wanted to write off the car, put ourselves at risk, or screw up another team’s championship.”

With nearly a month until the next round at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, the team will have several weeks to make an extensive evaluation of the car. Practice for the Lone Star Le Mans will begin on Thursday, September 17, with the race action taking place on Saturday, September 19. 

Read more: Tire Woes End Day Early for Magnus Racing at VIR

Magnus Racing Heads to VIRginia International Raceway in Pursuit of Victory

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (August 20, 2015) – With the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship entering the final stages of the 2015 season, Magnus Racing is looking to close out the season with one goal in mind, winning. Headed to this weekend’s Oak Tree Grand Prix at the scenic VIRginia International Raceway (VIR), the team is in a “must win” position to have any shot at the tightly-contested GTD category championship.

“We’ve definitely found our pace over the last few races, it’s just a matter of having all of the pieces come together,” stated team owner and co-driver John Potter. “Headed to the end of the season, especially when we still have an outside chance at the championship, it would be great to deliver our best results. Everyone on the team has earned a top finish with the time they’ve been putting in for testing, etc., so we’re definitely hoping to deliver.”

As the season’s lone GT-only event, featuring the series’ GTLM and GTD categories in a stand-alone event, the 3.27-mile circuit will create a scenic backdrop for the ninth round of the championship. With only three races remaining, the No. 44 Flex-Box Porsche 911 GT America team still holds an outside chance at both team and driver’s championship, although at a 17-point difference, the chances are increasingly slim.

Having taken the fastest lap times throughout much of practice during the previous round at Road America, the long straights, hills, and fast corners of VIR promise to offer a similar set of opportunities for the team.

For Andy Lally, a previous winner at the circuit, the preparedness of the team is clearly there.

“The team is definitely ready and as cohesive as ever,” stated Lally. “VIR should be a good fit for us. We had an excellent setup at Road America and we proved it by repeatedly setting the fastest lap times in practice. Hopefully everything can come together for us in Virginia, we’d really like to deliver for our amazing crew.”

Practice for this weekend’s Oak Tree Grand Prix begins on Friday, October 21, with LIVE race coverage on Sunday, October 23, on FOX Sports 1 at 1PM ET.

Read more: Magnus Racing Heads to VIRginia International Raceway in Pursuit of Victory

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

Quiet Run to Fifth for Magnus at Road America

ELKHART LAKE, Wisconsin (August 10, 2015) – With hopes of erasing several past memories of the historic circuit, Magnus Racing enjoyed a fairly quiet run during Sunday’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase to take fifth place in the GTD category at Road America. In spite of this, the team remains only 13 points out of the championship lead, part of a remarkably tight GTD championship battle among seven teams.
 
“Just make up whatever quote you want,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and co-driver John Potter. “We finished fifth, not really sure what I’m supposed to say, it was fine. I do hope everyone at The Private Client Reserve of U.S. Bank enjoyed their experience with us, and certainly we would have hoped to have had a better result, but there wasn’t anything that really went wrong during the race, we were simply fifth.”
 
Starting the No. 44 Flex-Box Porsche 911 GT America from the fourth row, Potter would take the reigns of his machine with a goal of simply running clean through his one-hour stint. With an early yellow mixing up the race strategy for the entire field, the team elected to stay out with Potter coming into the pits after his mandatory 50-minute drive time had finished.
 
Following another faultless stop from the team, it was now time for Andy Lally to take to action with a firm aim of moving to the front. While the team would demonstrate some of the fastest laps in the field, and yet another excellent team pit stop, an extended series of green flag runs until the end would give Lally an insurmountable gap to make up to the field in front of him, eventually gaining positions between attrition, altering strategies and a few late on-track passes to take fifth.
 
“We finished fifth,” stated Lally. “Yup.”
 
Achieving success off the track, the team was proud to host over a dozen guests from The Private Client Reserve of U.S. Bank, a special division of the bank catering to the needs of their high net worth clientele. With Magnus Racing handling their every need over the weekend, the team was proud to immerse their guests in everything that sportscar racing has to offer, presenting a behind-the-scenes experience like no other.
 
The team will return to action in just two weeks’ time, competing in the Oak Tree Grand Prix at VIR, a very unique GT-only race taking place at the historic VIRginia International Raceway. Practice begins on Friday, August 21, with the race taking place on Sunday, August 23.

Read more: Quiet Run to Fifth for Magnus at Road America

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

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