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Thursday
Sep282017

Magnus Racing Partners with Audi Sport for California 8 Hours at Laguna Seca

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (September 28, 2017) – Continuing a relationship that began with Audi Sport customer racing in 2016, and immediately paying dividends by winning their first race together at The Rolex 24 at Daytona, Magnus Racing and Audi Sport will extend their relationship further with the upcoming California 8 Hours at Laguna Seca. Campaigning under the name of Audi Sport Team Magnus, the team will enjoy their first fully factory-supported effort, campaigning their Audi R8 LMS GT3 with drivers Pierre Kaffer, Markus Winkelhock, and Kelvin van der Linde.

“This is an exciting moment for everyone at Magnus Racing,” stated Magnus Racing team owner John Potter. “We’ve of course always enjoyed our relationship with Audi, and have had a number of highlights over the last two years, so entering the inaugural IGTC event in the United States with full factory support is a great testament to both the strength of the relationship and the regard with which our team is held in. It’s a big honor and one we don’t take lightly. We’re as committed as ever to results, and we’re extremely focused on delivering the best event possible for everyone involved.” 

The relationship between Magnus Racing and Audi is one that has been strong since their start together in 2016. Beyond winning The Rolex 24 at Daytona in their first attempt together, the team would also go on to a second victory in their debut season, ultimately winning the North American Endurance Cup for the team. In 2017, the history of success between the two organizations would continue, earning the distinction of being the only Audi team to win in the Pirelli World Challenge this season, and to-date is the winningest team in North America with the Audi R8 LMS GT3.

Heading to the scenic Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca from October 13-15, the team will take part in the inaugural U.S. round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge. A four-race series that sees GT3 specification racing cars competing on four continents, the goal of the IGTC is to place the best manufacturers, teams, and drivers in the world against one another in pursuit of a global championship. With the car specifications being virtually identical to The Pirelli World Challenge, many of the same teams and drivers from the 2017 season will take part, going up against a number of quality teams and drivers from Europe, Asia, and beyond.

Campaigning the same Audi R8 LMS used in the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge season, the program will feature three very highly touted drivers. Returning to the team following a season of Pirelli World Challenge together, Pierre Kaffer will join his familiar home, looking to further his results with the team. New to the team but no stranger to success, Markus Winkelhock will join as a former FIA GT1 World Champion, multi-time winner in Blancpain GT competition, and even a former Formula One driver. At only 21-years old, Kelvin van der Linde joins as a star on the rise, having already won multiple ADAC GT Masters races en route to a championship in 2014. 

Official practice will begin on Friday, October 13, with the race taking place on Sunday, October 15. Live coverage will be available on CBS Sports Network in two shifts, with the race start being shown from 12PM ET to 2PM ET, and race finish from 7PM to 8:30. The team will also provide continuous updates via their social media channels.

Tuesday
Sep192017

Magnus Racing Closes Pirelli World Challenge with Podium, Second in Championship

SONOMA, Calif. (September 19, 2017) – Finishing out their 2017 Pirelli World Challenge season on a high, Magnus Racing would enjoy a solid finish during the Grand Prix of Sonoma, with Pierre Kaffer closing out the season on the podium, and John Potter securing second-place in the series’ GTA Sprint Championship. 

 

“Overall, it was a good way to complete the season,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and driver John Potter. “It’s been a year of mixed fortunes for all of us, but there’s a lot of satisfaction with second in the standings for myself, and seeing Pierre take the podium in his final try was a great achievement. We have a lot of positive takeaways from the experience, and this was definitely a highlight day.”

 

Finishing out his debut in the series, Pierre Kaffer and the No. 4 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS would enjoy his strongest weekend of the year. In a season that showed remarkable potential, a series of incidents and missteps would malign the German’s 2017 efforts, with a podium at the most recent SprintX round in COTA with co-driver Spencer Pumpelly proving his best result to date. Closing out the season with the traditional sprint format, where Pierre would drive solo, the twisty nature of the 2.2-mile, 11-turn circuit, would prove favorable for the Audi, with Kaffer given his best opportunity to date to show well. 

 

During Saturday’s Race One, the Audi would demonstrate a remarkable drive through the field indicative of a podium performance, but with championship leader Patrick Long in front of him, the veteran knew that unnecessary risk at the expense of a championship was something that couldn’t be justified, ultimately taking fourth. During Sunday’s Race Two, a more favorable outcome would prove true, with Pierre moving up to third early in the race, ultimately settling in where he’d finish, his first podium in the Sprint category.

 

“It was a great way to finish out the season,” stated Kaffer. “The team at Magnus Racing has done a great job all year, and I’m happy we were finally able to demonstrate it. It was a satisfying feeling to finally reward them for all of their efforts. I appreciate what John Potter and everyone behind the scenes has done all year, and really enjoyed the program.”

 

For John Potter, a relatively quiet weekend would actually prove successful, with the Utah resident clinching second in the series’ GTA Sprint Championship in the process. Entering the weekend finale with a healthy, but not insurmountable hold on second in the standings, the focus for John and the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS was simply on maximizing points for the weekend, with extra attention on avoiding unnecessary risk. During Saturday’s Race One, John would enjoy a steady drive to hold on to fourth, managing the gap to the field behind him, and effectively repeating the effort on Sunday.

 

The result would highlight a strong year for Potter, who in his first season of Pirelli World Challenge would take four podiums, and beating a strong roster of drivers in the standings with his consistency.
While the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge season has come to a close, Magnus Racing’s efforts are actually not finished yet, with a soon-to-be-announced program coming soon, and the team already hard at work in preparation. 
Wednesday
Sep132017

Magnus Racing Looks for a Relaxing, Happy Ending in Sonoma

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (September 13, 2017) – Looking to close out an up-and-down Pirelli World Challenge season that has seen everything from victories to unfortunate incidents, Magnus Racing will take to this weekend’s Grand Prix of Sonoma with high hopes for further results. Still with an outside shot at the GTA title, John Potter will enter the weekend with a strong focus on maximizing his points potential, while Pierre Kaffer will look to close out his tour with a single-minded approach to winning.

 

“We want to end our Pirelli World Challenge campaign on a high,” stated Magnus Racing team owner John Potter. “It’s been an interesting experience and change of pace for us, and we definitely want to close with our best foot forward for both cars. It’s always tough to know until you arrive, but Sonoma has the potential to be a good track for us, as the winding nature of it could benefit our Audi’s characteristics. Of course I also want to see Pierre end his season well, and personally I’m fully aware that there is a potential championship on the line, but also very realistic in what it would take for that to work in my favor. All-in-all we want a great weekend for the whole team, as everyone’s put in a fantastic effort all season and should be rewarded.”

 

Currently sitting second in the GTA category’s “Sprint” Championship, John Potter and the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS enter the weekend with a mathematical shot at the series’ title. Enjoying a sprint season that saw him take three consecutive podium finishes, this weekend’s double-header at the 2.2-mile, 11-turn circuit will be a new one for the Utah resident, but with cautious optimism that it could suit the unique needs of the Audi.

 

In the GT category, Pierre Kaffer and the No. 4 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS will arrive in search of the German’s first victory in Pirelli World Challenge competition. Following his best result to date during the most recent round in Texas, Kaffer comes in to the weekend with nothing to lose, with planned schedule conflicts taking him out of any hopes for a title. 

 

“I would love to end the season with a victory,” stated Kaffer. “I’ve really enjoyed working with the entire Maguns team, and certainly would like to reward the work of the crew with a shot at the win. It’s tough to say how we’ll do with a circuit like Sonoma, but if there’s an opportunity to maximize we’ll certainly take it.”

 

Serving as one of the shortest weekends of the year, a very brief practice session will occur this Friday, September 22, with a double-header of racing taking place on Saturday and Sunday. The race GT/GTA events will take place at 5:15PM ET on Saturday, and 1PM on Sunday, with all races broadcast live at world-challenge.com/streamvideo. 

Tuesday
Sep052017

Magnus Racing Ends SprintX Season with Podium Finish

AUSTIN, Texas (September 5, 2017) – While one race still remains in the traditional “Sprint” championship, Magnus Racing’s adventures in the Pirelli World Challenge “SprintX” category would come to a close with a podium finish on Sunday. Enjoying a mixed season that has seen everything from victory to a series of incidents, Pierre Kaffer and Spencer Pumpelly would close the season with a solid third-place finish during Sunday’s final round, while John Potter and Marco Seefried would walk away with a pair of fourth-place results.

“I’m glad we were able to take a podium to finish out the SprintX season,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and driver John Potter. “Pierre and Spencer have done a great job all season to make the most out of what they had, and I’m glad we were able to finish on a high. The manner in which they did it is all the better as well, as the team had to really push to get the car ready for Sunday’s race, proving just what a group effort this all really is. I’m glad Marco and I were able to run relatively solid as well, and I thank both Marco and Spencer for a great season.”

In the No. 4 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS, Pierre Kaffer and Spencer Pumpelly came in to the weekend looking to end their season on a high following a mixed season together. Unique to the weekend, a previous cancellation at Candian Tire Motorsport Park in May would also mean the weekend would feature a triple-header of racing, with a Friday make-up race added to the Saturday and Sunday rounds.

During Friday’s race, mixed fortunes would beset the team, struggling to match the straightline pace of much of the field, which is critical in a place like the 3.4 mile circuit. Regardless, Pumpelly would still make excellent work of the field in front of him, eventually handing to Kaffer who would continue a solid run for the team, taking sixth at the checkered.

For Saturday’s Race Two, a seventh-place starting position would be maligned for Kaffer when he took the green flag, being cited with an infraction headed in to Turn One for violating a rule that dictated no one could cross the pit exit line in the run to the first corner. Eventually serving the penalty, the No. 4 would be set back from that point on, with Spencer Pumpelly eventually taking the reigns and doing his best to charge through the field. This would eventually lead to an incredible series of maneuvers from Spencer, who would fight hard with the No. 43 Acura to gain ground, ultimately settling for 10th at the finish. 

Unfortunately, however, a late-race restart on Saturday would create one significant detriment to the No. 4 program. Avoiding chaos in front of him on the final lap, Pumpelly would take evasive action that would send the car pounding over an apex curb, causing the car to get slightly airborne, and more importantly bending the chassis in the process.

With the car bent in a manner that would prove impossible to fix overnight, the never-say-die attitude of the Magnus crew once again proved formidable, with the team doing a complete re-alignment and adjusting of body work to try and make up for the bent chassis, with Pumpelly and Kaffer unsure of what kind of car they’d have for Sunday.

As it turned out, however, the duo would have their best run together of the season on Sunday, with Kaffer doing an impressive job to get the car in the top-three for the closing half of the race, not putting a foot wrong and ending the SprintX season on a high.

“I’m glad we were able to finally take a podium together,” stated Kaffer. “The SprintX format is very unique, as you really don’t have a lot of drive time and have to push hard to make things happen, but I think we definitely had some positive moments. It was really impressive of the team to work on the car overnight and get it in good shape for Sunday, and I’m glad we were able to reward them with a top finish. Thank you to Spencer for being a great teammate, and I look forward to closing Sonoma on a high.”

For Spencer Pumpelly, a similar sentiment is shared.

“Ending the season on the podium is as much as we could have asked for,” stated Pumpelly. “With the damage the car took on Saturday, the fact that they were able to effectively get it back to normal working order is a testament to the quality of the program. We of course always want a chance to fight for the championship, but I’m happy to have been a part of their first series win and two additional podiums, and I thank everyone for the tremendous opportunity.”

All-in-all, the No. 4 car would take three podiums during the 2017 SprintX season, including a victory at Lime Rock.

For the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS of John Potter and Marco Seefried, a fairly quiet run would underscore a solid run for the pairing. 

On Friday’s Race One, Seefried would find himself in a four-car train throughout his stint, proving the overall pace of the car, but lacking the straight-line speed necessary to pass. Handing the car to Potter, a comfortable run would see the Utah resident fairly unchallenged to the checkered, taking fourth place honors.

Unfortunately, a failed hose would sideline the car early during Saturday’s Race Two, with the car repaired and in good shape for Sunday’s Race Three. Once again, John and Marco would enjoy a patient drive, avoiding the chaos around them to settle in for another fourth-place run.

 

“I think everyone on the team did the best they could,” stated Seefried. “It’s always tough to compete in a series like this when there is a straight-line deficit, but we had fast cars and as always the quality of the program was at a top level. I always enjoy the time at my favorite American home, and hope to find more opportunities together in the future.”

While the SprintX season has come to a close, the traditional sprint format of the Pirelli World Challenge will continue with one more event, taking place at the famed Sonoma Raceway in less than two-weeks’ time. John Potter will resume his normal driving duties in the solo GTA category, while Pierre Kaffer will once again resume in GT. Practice begins on Friday, September 15, with a double-header of race action on Saturday, September 16 and Sunday, September 17.

 

Thursday
Aug312017

Magnus Racing Ready for SprintX Finale in Texas

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (August 31, 2017) – With two weekends remaining in the Pirelli World Challenge 2017 season, this weekend’s triple-header at the famed Circuit of the Americas in Texas will play a special one, hosting the last of the series’ two-driver SprintX rounds. Continuing with the same two entries that have carried them throughout the year, a focus on wins and podiums is at the forefront for the pairing of Pierre Kaffer and Spencer Pumpelly, as well as John Potter and Marco Seefried.

“We would like to finish on a high with our driver pairings, but it’s a really competitive series,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and driver John Potter. “Running in SprintX has been a unique experience, and for what has been a mixed season we’ve enjoyed a few highlights, most notably taking our first series win in Lime Rock. It will be the last race for Spencer and Marco, and we’ll be sad to see them go, but appreciate their efforts this year and hope to end on a high.”

Competing at the same circuit and layout as the Formula One World Championship, the visit to the 3.4-mile, 20-turn circuit is always a unique one. A track that features a little bit of everything, from long straights, to tight corners, fast sweepers and a series of switchbacks, the need to perfect setup and maximize the car is at a premium. Unfortunately a lack of straight-line speed due to series’ mandated Balance of Performance (BoP) rules has kept the team at a deficit throughout much of the season, with the long straights in Texas likely creating a challenge. The weekend will also be a unique one with three races taking place, with an additional race added on Friday to make up for the previously cancelled event at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

In the No. 4 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS, Spencer Pumpelly and Pierre Kaffer will enjoy their last weekend together, looking to take their best result as a pairing. Coming off a challenging series of races where a combination of incidents and BoP compromises has kept the team struggling, hopes are high for the season to end strong. The team’s No. 4 program has held the honor of being the top performer for Magnus in 2017, having taken a convincing victory at Lime Rock. The weekend will also have some importance to Pumpelly, who currently sits sixth in the SprintX Championship but with an opportunity to break the top-five.

In the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS, John Potter and Marco Seefried will also enjoy their last run together in 2017, with hopes to take their best finish of the season. In SprintX, the season has been a struggle for the pairing, who much like their teammates have fought a series of incidents and BoP challenges to stay competitive, but still with a podium to highlight the effort.

Official practice begins tomorrow, September 1, with races taking place on all three days. Race One, serving as a make-up race for a previously cancelled race in Canada, will take place Friday at 8:30PM ET, followed by Race Two on Saturday at 5:00PM ET, and Race Three on Sunday at 1:30PM ET. Live coverage will be available for all three via world-challenge.com/streamvideo .