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Tuesday
May162017

Magnus Racing Looks Forward to the Politeness of Canada

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (May 16, 2017)- Following several races of contact and aggressive driving inherent in the sprint format, Magnus Racing heads to the famed Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in the hopes that the culture of its fans might transfer to the drivers.

“The fans at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park are the only ones we’ve ever seen line-up for a grid walk,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and co-driver John Potter. “When I say line-up, I literally mean forming a single-person queue in order to walk on to the grid. They’re the most polite people on Earth. Following a few races of hard contact between both cars, we’re hoping that same attitude reflects on our two SprintX races. Regardless, we’re excited about this weekend and look forward to another round of Pirelli World Challenge competition. After VIR we definitely learned a lot, and headed in to Canada I’m confident we can capitalize on everything we’ve seen.”

With this weekend of Pirelli World Challenge competition serving as the third and fourth rounds of the SprintX championship, the team will once again feature four drivers sharing two cars.

In the No. 4 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS, Pierre Kaffer will once again be joined by Spencer Pumpelly to conquer the all-pro category. After setting several of the fastest laps in practice, a challenging weekend at VIR would prevail for the duo after contact would send the car out of contention during the opening round, followed by a fifth-place in Round Two. Looking for redemption, the fast nature of the of 10-turn, 2.5-mile circuit should provide an interesting challenging for the Audi. 

“After the weekend at VIR, we definitely want to show our true performance,” stated Kaffer. “The team has done a great job all year, and we’ve had great cars but the final results haven’t shown our true potential. CTMP is a track that really requires you to find the maximum from everything, and we’re hoping that this could finally bring us the results we’ve been searching for. I look forward to being back with the team.”

For teammate Spencer Pumpelly, a similar feeling is shared.

“Even if the final results didn’t show it, there were a lot of positives at VIR,” stated Pumpelly. “Canadian Tire Motorsport Park is a track that really requires the most out of the car and driver to perform well, and I believe it will play to the strengths of the team. Having run a full SprintX weekend, the team has a much better understanding of what to expect and I think that will show in Canada.”

For the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS, Marco Seefried will also return to the team to co-drive will full-season entrant John Potter. While the duo have teamed together on multiple occasions since 2014, their first SprintX weekend together at VIRginia did not go as well as everyone had hoped. Mechanical gremlins would prevent them from a good result in Race One, while contact would take them out of contention in Race Two. While this will be the first race for Seefried at the famed Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, the German’s experience in testing should still prove fruitful.

“It’s a really exciting track to visit,” stated Seefried. “The circuit is very fast and doesn’t afford a lot of mistakes, and hopefully that should play to our advantage with a patient drive. Luckily John has raced here before and I believe that will help, and given the way the racing went at VIR, I believe a patient run will create good results for us. We’re all looking forward to it.”

Official practice will begin this Friday, May 19, with a double-header of races occurring on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday’s SprintX Race One will occur at 1:45PM ET with Race Two at 3:40PM ET on Sunday. Live streaming will be available at world-challenge.com/streamvideo

Tuesday
May022017

Top-Five Finish Highlights Challenging Weekend at VIR for Magnus Racing

ALTON, Virginia (May 2, 2017)- Following a hard fought double-header series of races, Magnus Racing endured a number of challenges to ultimately walk away with a top-five finish during the first “SprintX” weekend of the Pirelli World Challenge. While mechanical missteps and on-track incidents would thwart much of the weekend, Pierre Kaffer and Spencer Pumpelly would take home a fifth-place during Sunday’s second round, while John Potter and Marco Seefried would take a best finish of seventh in class.

“There were a lot of positives on the weekend,” stated team owner and co-driver John Potter. “Once again we showed a lot of promise in practice, repeatedly posting times at the top, and during the race we were podium threats for both cars, misfortune just got the better of us. I’m happy Pierre and Spencer were able to get a top-five out of today’s race, it’s actually Pierre’s best finish of the season, and gives us a good foundation to move on to the next round in Canada. Marco and I didn’t exactly have the ideal weekend, but again we made a lot of progress and I think moving forward we’ll be able to really capitalize.”

While acting as the third weekend of Pirelli World Challenge competition, this weekend’s events marked the first two rounds of the series’ “SprintX” competition. While traditional “sprint” weekends highlight one driver for 50-minute races, the SprintX championship increases the time to 60 minutes, but with two drivers covering the distance.

Driving the No. 4 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS, Pierre Kaffer would be joined by Spencer Pumpelly. While this would serve as Pumpelly’s first race for the team, his familiarity within the organization is long-standing having held relationships with many team members for over a decade.

During Saturday’s Race One, Kaffer would start in fourth position and was instantly on pace when the green flag fell. Setting laps on par with the leaders and maintaining his car, the German held position throughout much of his opening stint, but as the race continued an opportunity to move up the field became apparent. Fighting for third, Kaffer would seize an opportunity heading in to the tricky “esses,” moving inside of the No. 31 Ferrari in to the left-hander. While both cars were side by side, the Ferrari would turn for the same spot on the track, making contact with Kaffer and sending him spinning in to the grass. The Audi would return on track, although with suspension damage that would effectively knock them out of contention. The team would make quick repairs to get teammate Spencer Pumpelly on track for the end, but ultimately finishing 22nd. 

For Saturday’s Race Two, by series rule the driving order would be reversed, with Pumpelly taking on starting duties and then handing off to Kaffer. Serving as his first opportunity to truly go wheel-to-wheel with his competitors, Pumpelly was off to a strong start, once again holding fourth throughout his stint, setting a comfortable pace and pushing hard to challenge the third-place Cadillac. With the pit window open, the team would elect to bring Pumpelly in early, hoping to take advantage of potential cautions, with Kaffer taking the wheel for the second half of the race. Initially fighting for the podium, the car’s handling would fade over the closing laps, with Pierre doing his best to hold on, ultimately taking fifth. 

For the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS of John Potter and Marco Seefried, an unfortunate weekend of mishaps would sideline their effort.

During Saturday’s Race One, an issue with the car’s power would send Potter to the pits during the opening lap, with the team spending much of the race making repairs in order to get teammate Seefried out in time to set a qualifying lap for Sunday’s race.

During Sunday’s Race Two, Seefried would take starting duties, and during the first half of the race showed a lot of promise for the team to take another top-five result. Pushing hard with the cars in front of him, contact with the No. 77 Porsche would bring out a caution period that served well to bunch up the field. Unfortunately, Marco would end up making contact with the car in front of him while under yellow, causing damage to the front end of the car. John Potter would get in to take his Audi to the finish, however the damage to the front end would hurt all hopes of being able to run competitive times, eventually taking seventh.

For Pierre Kaffer, a challenging weekend would at least be highlighted by a strong finish.

“I’m happy we were at least able to take our best finish of the season,” stated Kaffer. “Saturday was a very frustrating day. We really had a shot, but the Ferrari turned in to me and unfortunately that just changed everything. The second race we were at least able to turn around without any incidents, and we definitely had a good car but we struggled to match the pace as the race wore on. We’ll be even stronger in Canada and I look forward to redemption.”

For Spencer Pumpelly, a debut weekend with the team was still enjoyable.

“Even if the results weren’t what we wanted, I really enjoyed the experience,” stated Pumpelly. “Magnus Racing is an excellent team, and I felt right at home. The car was really fast, and I think we proved that with what we were able to put up during practice. A little change of fortune and the races could have really had strong results, and I’m confident as we head in to Canada we’ll be even better.”

For Marco Seefried, a tough weekend is one he’ll move on from.

“It definitely was a frustrating weekend,” stated Seefried. “We had a good car, but unfortunately Saturday was over for us before it really started, and if I’m being honest I simply made a mistake during Sunday’s race. I can only accept fault for it and move on, and I’m grateful to John and the whole team for being so understanding.”

With three weeks until the next round of SprintX action, Magnus Racing and the Pirelli World Challenge will next head to the famed Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, formerly known as “Mosport.” The series will once again feature a double-header, with Race One taking place on Saturday, May 20, and Race Two on Sunday, May 21.

 

Tuesday
Apr252017

Two Cars, Four Drivers for Magnus Racing “SprintX” Debut This Weekend 

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (April 25, 2017)- Continuing their new-for-2017 venture in the Pirelli World Challenge, Magnus Racing will enjoy yet another first this weekend, making their SprintX Championship debut as part of the full-season commitment. Unlike the first two rounds of “traditional” Pirelli World Challenge competition, in which each car is campaigned by one driver, this weekend’s Grand Prix of VIR at VIRginia International Raceway marks the first of the series SprintX rounds, which will feature two drivers per car. As previously announced, Pierre Kaffer will be joined in his Audi R8 LMS by Spencer Pumpelly, with John Potter joined by long-time teammate Marco Seefried. 

“The first SprintX round in some ways is a return to familiar territory for us,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and co-driver John Potter. “Obviously our heritage is with multiple drivers in endurance racing, where we’ve been fortunate to have had a lot of success. Heading in to VIR, we’ll be returning to a track we’ve had a lot more experience than our first two venues this season, and with a lineup that we’re all very excited about. Spencer will be a great teammate to Pierre, and at a track he’s had a lot of success at. Marco is of course someone I’ve driven with on several occasions, and fortunately we’ve had some of our greatest wins together.”

Introduced last year, The Pirelli World Challenge’s SprintX Championship is a unique take on the series’ traditional sprint format. Combining the excitement of sprint racing with the heritage of endurance racing, SprintX races will depart from traditional rounds because all races require two drivers to share duties throughout the race, yet all races only last 60 minutes. This means no driver will race for more than 40 minutes at a time, yet still forced to conquer the challenges of pit stops, driver changes, and the compromises inherent in shared driver duties.

Joining Pierre Kaffer in the No. 4 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS, Spencer Pumpelly will make his team debut on a track he has had extensive experience at. A graduate of Virginia-based James Madison University, Spencer joins the team having never driven for Magnus Racing before, but with a high level of familiarity with multiple members of the team. Most notably, Pumpelly teamed with John Potter prior to the formation of Magnus Racing. 

“Racing at VIR is always something I look forward to,” stated Pumpelly. “The track is a really fun challenge, and should hopefully suit us well with the Audi R8 LMS. The first two weekends have shown the potential with the team for sure, and hopefully arriving at the first permanent road course, and one they’ve raced at several times before, should suit them well. The SprintX Championship has a really impressive roster of drivers this weekend, so Pierre and I will have to be heavily focused on getting everything out of the car that we can.”

Coming off of the team’s best result this season at Long Beach, John Potter and the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS will be joined by team veteran Marco Seefried. Having driven with the team in multiple endurance races since 2014, the combination of Potter and Seefried have amassed some of the team’s greatest highlights together, including wins at The Rolex 24 and Twelve Hours of Sebring, as well as four podiums.

For Marco Seefried, the opportunity to return to Magnus is an exciting one.

“It’s great to be back with my American family,” stated Seefried. “Magnus Racing is an exceptional team, and one I’m extremely grateful to have been with for so long. Some of the greatest moments in my career were with this team, and hopefully VIR will add to the memories. John had a great race at Long Beach, and combined with the team’s experience at VIR I’m really encouraged going in to the weekend.”

Official practice for the Grand Prix of VIR begins this Friday, April 21, with double-header race action taking place on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday’s Race One will take place at 3:20PM ET, with Sunday’s Race Two at 1:05PM ET. Live streaming can be found at www.world-challenge.com/streamvideo

Monday
Apr102017

Podium Result for Magnus Racing and John Potter at Long Beach Return

LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 10, 2017)- Following the team’s strongest run in Pirelli World Challenge competition so far, Magnus Racing driver John Potter would take the team’s first series podium with a third-place finish in class during yesterday’s Grand Prix of Long Beach, the third round of the GT and GTA championship. Pierre Kaffer would also enjoy a solid run in their GT entry, running quietly to eighth.

“I’m extremely happy with our first podium of the year,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and driver John Potter. “This was our first time at the track in six years, and with a completely different car, so we had no idea what to expect. Luckily we rolled off competitive in our first practice, and at a venue with so little track time we were fortunate that we stayed ahead all weekend. I was very happy with my own performance, but this podium is a testament to the team effort of this whole group, as we showed up prepared and ready, and the results bared the fruit of it. It was a lot of fun racing with the other guys in class, and it’s nice to come home with some hardware!”

Driving the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS, the 2017 race would serve as the first-time the team had been at the famed street circuit since 2011. As a 1.9-mile configuration literally built out of the city streets of downtown Long Beach, the challenges of the course are unlike any other, with walls on all sides and very little track time to truly get comfortable. 

Driving in the series’ GTA category, Potter wasted no time getting up to speed, immediately on pace throughout practice and consistently within the top-five. In his best qualifying performance so far, John would find himself starting third in class for Sunday’s race.

During the race, the Salt Lake City resident would do a remarkable job of staying clean throughout a chaotic first lap in which several cars around him would make heavy contact. As the race settled in, John would maintain the strong pace established in practice, comfortably in third until one of the most unique caution periods in the history of the sport would show itself. Fifteen minutes in, a nearby fire hydrant outside of the circuit was hit by a passing street car, creating a flood of water that eventually flowed on to the track, creating an unsafe situation for the race cars to pass over. As a result, the event was red flagged until the hydrant was fixed and water cleaned up.

Following the 20-minute delay, the race would resume, once again with Potter in third and now engaged in a strong defensive battle with a hard-charging McLaren. Doing an excellent job of preserving his podium position, a mistake by his competitor would lead to a crash, bringing out the final caution of the race. 

With race re-starts being the best opportunity for passing, Potter’s podium position was under threat as the race resumed, dealing with two separate cars making daring moves to overtake in to the tricky Turn One. Fighting hard, Potter did an excellent job of defending his line on the inside as they approached, forcing his competitors to move on the outside unsuccessfully. As a result, John was unchallenged through the remaining laps, with the competitors behind him unable to match the pace of the third-place No. 44.

In the team’s GT entry, the No. 4 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS of Pierre Kaffer would run a fairly quiet race. Qualifying seventh, the opening-lap calamity that is notorious with the street circuit failed to disappoint, with the German avoiding major incident but nonetheless falling back slightly in the process. Within the Top-10 and setting some of the fastest times of the race, the track’s configuration unfortunately means it’s nearly impossible to pass, with Pierre doing all he could to get around his competitors but left helpless to make large gains.

As attrition and incidents continued, Kaffer would manage a couple of passes, ultimately working up to eighth by time the checkered flag fell. 

For Kaffer, the potential is definitely there for a top finish.

“We had a great car for sure, we just needed a few breaks to get the most out of the weekend,” stated Kaffer. “The team at Magnus Racing did a great job of preparing our Audi, unfortunately Long Beach is such a unique race that you can’t really predict how it will go. There were some crazy moments that we managed to avoid which was great, we just need a little better luck during the whole weekend to really see our best result. I expect our next race will be a really strong one in Virginia.”

With the third round of racing behind, the team will now focus on the first SprintX race of the year in three weeks’ time, where the team will return to the familiar territory of multi-driver racing. Continuing their two-car effort, Kaffer will be joined by co-driver Spencer Pumpelly, with Potter joined by long-time team driver Marco Seefried.

Practice begins on Friday, April 28, with racing action taking place throughout April 29 and 30.

Wednesday
Apr052017

Magnus Racing Returns to Long Beach Grand Prix After Six-Year Hiatus

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (April 5, 2017)- Following a six-year absence from the world-famous Grand Prix of Long Beach, Magnus Racing will once again return to action this weekend, campaigning two Audi R8 LMS machines in the Pirelli World Challenge. In a packed weekend that runs in conjunction with the Verizon IndyCar series, the team will return to action at a venue they haven’t visited since 2011.

“It’s great to be back at Long Beach,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and driver John Potter. “The last time we visited in 2011 we had a really fun weekend, capped off with a podium, and it’s something we hope to repeat heading in to this year’s race. Between the scenery, the crowd, the whole atmosphere, it’s one of the best events of the year for our series, and we’re excited to be back. After our debut at St. Petersburg we walked away with a lot of lessons learned, and heading in to Long Beach I think there’s a lot we’ve learned. Of course visiting another street course, and one we haven’t been to in a while, creates a big challenge for us compared to our competitors, but obviously with the talent and experience behind this whole team we’re ready for it.”

Although the team has only competed once at the venue made of up of Long Beach’s downtown city streets, the legacy from that 2011 experience has lived on. It was during that weekend that the team debuted their partnership with Roscoe’s House of Chicken ‘N Waffles, located just two blocks from the track, which created a legacy that is still talked about today. Listed as one of the top Porsche liveries in the history of the marque, the “Roscoe’s Car” can still be found on many video games and posters today.

("Roscoe's" Magnus Porsche, 2011)

Driving in the series’ GTA class, Potter will once again take to the wheel of his No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS following his series debut just one month ago on the streets of St. Petersburg. Running an error-free weekend on a circuit he’d never been to, the Utah native will arrive for the series’ second round on a track he’s at least driven before, albeit in a very different car and format.

Driving in the premier GT class, Pierre Kaffer will return in the No. 4 Audi Tire Center R8 LMS, looking for redemption after a muted weekend in St. Petersburg. During the series’ opening weekend, the German qualified on the front row and showed promise throughout practice, only for in-race contact to create a blown tire in Race One, followed by being forced wide in to an escape road during Race Two.

With the team knowing the speed of both driver and car, Long Beach presents a new opportunity on a circuit the Audi factory driver is very familiar with.

“Long Beach is a fantastic event, and one I’m excited to be a part of again,” stated Kaffer. “The whole Magnus Racing team demonstrated a lot of potential during St. Petersburg, we just had some bad luck. I’m confident we will be strong again, but it should be a very close race. The configuration of Long Beach is unlike any other, so it’s tough to say who will be strong, but we know we have a great team behind us to maximize every opportunity.”

Practice for the Grand Prix of Long Beach begins this Friday, April 7, with the race taking place on Sunday, April 9. Same-day television coverage will be available on CBS Sports Network at 2:30 PM ET.