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Monday
Jul112016

Difficult Weekend for Magnus Racing Ends Early in Canada

BOWMANVILLE, ON, Canada (July 12, 2016)- Following a challenging weekend that saw limited practice time for its drivers, proceeded by a difficult qualifying session, Magnus Racing drivers John Potter and Andy Lally would actually fail to finish yesterday’s Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix after a late-race incident kept the team just short of seeing the checkered flag. Despite the premature ending, the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS would still be credited with a 10th place finish, as well as setting the third-fastest time of the race.

“This was definitely a forgettable weekend for all of us,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and co-driver John Potter. “We’re all pretty disappointed, but at the same time there were many positives on the weekend. We were repeatedly the fastest car in practice, we set some of the quickest laps in the race, and I think the strategy that was played was very strong. You never want to focus on what could-have-been, but the fact we almost walked away with a top-five despite a series of obstacles is a great testament to the quality of this team.”

Following a decision to change tires before the race, the No. 44 machine would be forced to start at the back of the field, with John Potter taking on starting duties for the opening of the race. Having had extremely limited track time due to inclement weather in practice, the Salt Lake City resident would do his best to simply manage his time on track, slowly gaining speed as the race progressed and doing his best to chase the field in front of him.

Fulfilling his minimum drive-time requirement of 50 minutes, the team would elect to bring Potter in as they neared the one-hour mark, with Andy Lally stepping in to drive the remainder of the race.

For the next hour, the team would put a firm focus on using pit strategy to gain track position, which would fortunately take shape as the race continued. Following a timely caution period with one-hour, 20 minutes remaining, Lally would catch the back of the field, eventually taking advantage of a second yellow flag where he’d be able to make his final pit stop.

With pit stops complete and all strategy played, it was now up to Andy to do what he could on the track for the remaining hour. Beginning the final stint in eighth, the New York native would slowly gain ground on the field in front of him, eventually advancing to sixth for the final 20 minutes, locked firmly in a battle with the No. 73 Porsche of Joerg Bergmeister in a hard-fought battle for the top-five.

Locked nose-to-tail for much of the closing laps, the No. 44 Audi would stay in strong pursuit of the Porsche, pulling alongside on several occasions only to have the effort thwarted. As the duo came in to the final six minutes of the race, Lally would eventually make a strong run along Bergmeister headed in to the tricky Turn Three, with Lally on the outside as the duo approached the corner. Unfortunately, Bergmeister would run wide, slamming directly in to the right rear of Lally and sending him spinning.

While Andy would quickly gather his car back up and resume racing action, he was now down to seventh and with not much time to regain lost ground. Unfortunately, it was all for not as one lap later, headed in to the very fast Turn One, Lally would get caught in an abrupt spin which would send his car rear-first in to the tire barriers, where he would remain until the checkered flag.

It would serve as a brutal end to a promising day.

“We had a really good car today, and I was doing everything I could to deliver a top result,” stated Lally. “It’s a super competitive field so we have to fight for every inch that we get, but unfortunately today was one of those days that didn’t end favorably. The guys were spectacular all weekend, like they always are, and we’ll go in to the next round knowing just how well we can run. 

With the events already behind, all focus now turns to the next race, less than two weeks away at the famed Lime Rock Park. Practice for the Northeast Grand Prix begins next Friday, July 22, with the race taking place one day later at 3PM ET on Fox Sports 1.