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Thursday
Mar162017

Marco Seefried Joins Magnus Racing for SprintX Rounds

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (March 17, 2017)- Continuing a relationship that began with victory at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring three years ago, Marco Seefried will once again return to Magnus Racing in 2017, joining teammate John Potter for the majority of Pirelli World Challenge SprintX rounds.

“It’s great to re-team with Marco for the SprintX rounds,” stated Magnus Racing team owner John Potter. “Over time he’s become an instrumental part of our program, and as teammates we have a really well established working history together. We really appreciate his willingness to re-join, and I look forward to working with him to fight for class wins.” 

Driving the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS, Seefried will return to the very car with which he had tremendous success throughout the 2016 endurance season. As part of the team’s endurance line-up last year, the German went on to win The Rolex 24 at Daytona, a podium in Sebring, as well as leading much of the season-ending Petit Le Mans en route to helping the team win its second North American Endurance Championship. Prior to the team’s Audi entry, Seefried made his debut with the team at Sebring in 2014, taking a class victory, and following that up with three additional podiums during the 2014 and 2015 seasons. 

In a busy 2017 that will see Marco drive a number of big international races for a variety of teams and manufacturers, Seefried will be with the team for all of the SprintX rounds with the exception of Lime Rock, due to a schedule conflict with the 24 Hours of Nürburgring. The Pirelli World Challenge SprintX championship is a unique, five-race championship that features two-driver combinations over the course of 60 minute races.

For Seefried, it’s good to be back in his American home. 

“I’m extremely happy we were able to make this work,” stated Seefried. “Magnus has been such a great part of my career, and the SprintX races should be a unique opportunity to just drive flat out. So many of my greatest victories have been with this team, and hopefully we can continue that in the Pirelli World Challenge. While I’ve never competed in this series, it’s obviously grown in to a very strong championship, and with a very impressive roster of teams and drivers now. I’m thankful as always to John and the rest of the team for the opportunity, I look forward to helping them earn the championship.”

While the next round of The Pirelli World Challenge and Magnus Racing will come in just over two weeks’ time at the Grand Prix of Long Beach, Seefried and the series’ two-driver SprintX format will begin in six weeks’ at VIRginia International Raceway, April 28-30. 

Tuesday
Mar142017

Strong Promise Shown in Magnus Racing’s Pirelli World Challenge Debut

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (March 13, 2017)- Making their series debut in the Pirelli World Challenge, Magnus Racing would end their double-header weekend at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg having demonstrated an immediate pace and contention for race victories. Qualifying on the front-row in their series debut, drivers John Potter and Pierre Kaffer would both demonstrate a strong combination of patience and aggression, with Potter taking sixth and eighth place finishes in class, and Kaffer surviving a frought weekend to finish 15th and 19th.

“Overall we have a lot of things to be happy with this weekend,” stated Potter. “It’s a brand new series, brand-new tire, and at a track we’d never been to, and for the most part we had a seamless transition to the Pirelli World Challenge. Behind the scenes, every series runs a little different in the way of procedures, administrative elements, etc., and the fact that we didn’t have a single misstep all weekend long is a strong testament to the quality of everyone on the team. Our only ‘incidents’ were track related, and that’s just a byproduct of the hard racing that this series brings, and that’s what we came here to experience. A front row qualifying effort in our first try is something we should all be happy with, and had it not been for some contact Pierre would have had a great weekend. While obviously I would have liked to have finished higher, I’m happy with my own performance considering how new it all was. In general we learned a lot, which will only make us that much stronger going in to Long Beach.”

Driving the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS, John Potter would take top team honors on the weekend. Arriving to not only a new series but a new track, the Utah resident knew that patience would be a virtue at the tight street-course, with the wall-lined layout providing little room for forgiveness.

Driving in the series’ GTA class, Potter would enjoy a patient run during Saturday’s Race One, familiarizing himself with the nature of the format and getting a sense of his competitors. Not putting a foot wrong for all 50-minutes, John would make steady progress as the race endured, ultimately finishing sixth in class.

For Sunday’s Race Two, a frantic opening lap would lead to a mixture of positions and incidents synonymous with the series, however Potter would manage to avoid all of it, once again demonstrating remarkable patience as he acclimates to the new format. Engaging in a number of battles throughout the 50-minute race, John would set some of his fastest laps of the weekend en route to an eighth place class finish.

Driving the No. 4 Audi R8 LMS in the series’ GT class, Pierre Kaffer would impress in his series debut, even if the ultimate finishing results didn’t demonstrate it. In both the driver and team’s first ever qualifying effort, the German did a remarkable time to set the second fastest time on the day, qualifying himself outside of the front row and setting the stage for what everyone had hoped would be a good weekend. 

When the green flag dropped for Saturday’s Race One, Kaffer would engage in a strong four-way battle for the lead, with four different drivers in four different marques constantly switching positions in the all-out sprint race. Maintaining a podium position through his run, an aggressive pass by the No. 007 Aston Martin would put Pierre in a bad spot on track, with the No. 58 Porsche making a diving move in to Turn Three as a result. This would lead to contact, ultimately cutting down the Audi’s right-rear tire as well as leading to light wall contact. While Kaffer would continue in the race, he would be forced to pit for a new tire and continue on with a slightly damaged rear suspension, finishing 19th overall.

For Sunday’s Race Two, Kaffer’s race misfortunes would continue. Due to running much of Saturdays’ race with a damaged car, the Audi factory driver’s fastest lap would only place him 12th fastest for the race, and with 50-minutes to move up to the field Pierre would have to move quickly. Unfortunately, due to a chaotic opening lap, Pierre would end up caught out approaching the treacherous Turn Four, being forced wide in to the corner and with no choice but to take the turn’s escape road to avoid crashing. As a result, Kaffer would lose nearly a minute trying to re-join the track, which in a sprint race creates an insurmountable gap. While Pierre would do his best to gain ground, a lack of caution periods left him helpless to do much to the field in front of him, settling for 15th overall.

 

“Even though there were some disappointments, I really enjoyed my first weekend with Magnus,” stated Kaffer. “The team is extremely professional, fun, and they gave me a great car. Everything was working very well throughout practice and it showed in qualifying, the races just didn’t go our way. These things can happen and the series is incredibly competitive. Now that we have a better understanding we’ll be that much stronger headed to Long Beach I’m sure, I thank everyone for the opportunity to be here.”

With the first weekend behind, all focus now shifts to a circuit the team has visited before, albeit not in six years, at the Grand Prix of Long Beach. Taking place on the city streets of the seaside California city, the team looks forward to the next round of competition, taking place April 7-9.

Friday
Mar102017

Audi Tire Center Extends Magnus Racing Sponsorship for Pirelli World Challenge Season

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (March 7, 2017)- Extending a sponsorship that began in 2016, Magnus Racing and Audi Tire Center will once again re-unite for the entirety of the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge season.

“It’s great to see Audi Tire Center back with our program,” stated Magnus Racing team owner John Potter. “It goes without saying we’ve enjoyed a strong relationship with Audi as a whole over the last year, and the mutual support with an organization such as Audi Tire Center is a great demonstration of just how deep the partnership extends. We were fortunate enough to take part in a few Audi events over the course of 2016, and it’s clear how committed a group like Audi Tire Center is to their customers and quality of service, and that resonates very strongly within our own group, as obviously we pride ourselves on being competitive but also delivering a unique voice for our fans. We look forward to representing them well with both of our cars this year.”

 

Now in their second year together, the relationship between Magnus Racing and Audi Tire Center was immediately solidified dating back to their debut race together, when Magnus Racing, competing for the first time in the prolific Audi R8 LMS, went on to take victory at the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona. Since that time, the relationship has only strengthened, with Magnus taking an additional victory at Lime Rock Park, and podium honors at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring and Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen. Capping off an incredible season, Audi would go on to win the Manufacturer’s Championship, a role that Magnus was proud to contribute to.

Moving to 2017 and Magnus Racing’s new entry in to the sprint format of The Pirelli World Challenge, the continuation of the relationship will extend, with the team continuing to support Audi’s efforts in properly servicing their large customer base.

For Audi customers, only Audi Original Tires are engineered specifically for their Audi model. To help maintain the outstanding ride and handling characteristics of a customer’s Audi, tire installation at an authorized Audi dealership will ensure their benefit from factory-trained technicians with extensive Audi knowledge, best utilizing tire mounting and balancing equipment specified by Audi to help ensure a smooth ride.  Finally, customers can be assured that their tires are protected by complimentary Road Hazard Coverage.  

For Anthony Russo, Parts Program Specialist for Audi of America, the opportunity to re-unite with Magnus’s new two-car effort is a welcome one.

“We’re very excited to be back with Magnus Racing in 2017,” stated Russo. “Our 2016 season was a tremendous success, and the on-track results the team achieved were some of the best we’ve seen in company history. The move to the Pirelli World Challenge offers us a unique opportunity to extend our message to a new community, and the sprint format puts a real premium on performance which resonates well with us. Seeing our brand on both the No. 4 and 44 cars is fantastic, and we look forward to being part of an event where we can compete for overall victories. It’s a great next step for our program, and only further extends the parallels between on-track performance and the quality of service provided by Audi Tire Center.”

Official practice for the season-opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg begins tomorrow, March 9, with an event double-header taking place on Saturday and Sunday. Magnus Racing will place continuous updates via their social media channels, as well as live coverage on world-challenge.com/streamvideo/

 

Wednesday
Mar082017

Magnus Racing To Make Pirelli World Challenge Debut at This Weekend’s Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (March 8, 2017)- Following the recent announcement of Magnus Racing’s switch to the Pirelli World Challenge series after seven years of endurance racing, the team’s two-car effort will make their series debut at this weekend’s Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. With the series’ unique sprint format featuring two 50-minute races, the debut event around the temporary circuit built on the city streets of downtown St. Petersburg, Florida, promises to be an exciting one.

“We’re all very eager to finally get our season going,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and driver John Potter. “It goes without saying this is a big shift for our team, but there are a lot exciting elements to the championship. The series’ sprint racing format means that you have 50 minutes, including caution periods, to maximize your position, so you can’t hesitate at all. It’s the first time in a very long time that I haven’t had to worry about handing over a ‘clean’ car to a co-driver, so I’m excited to just push hard for the whole race. Of course with Pierre Kaffer in our second car we’re also aiming for overall wins, which is something totally new for us since in the past we’ve always had to compete with other classes. None of us have ever been to this track before, and as a temporary course there are walls all around us, so the penalty for making a mistake is very high, but that’s what makes this series very exciting.”

Driving the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS, John Potter will enter the series’ GTA category for the first-time in his career. With a resúmé that includes two victories at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, a win at the 12 Hours of Sebring, and a total of seven IMSA-sanctioned victories, the Utah resident’s first professional sprint race will present a new focus. Not only will Potter have 50-minutes to maximize his position, but he will do this at a temporary street course that he’s never visited before, meaning tomorrow’s two practice sessions will be his first and only opportunities to practice before Friday’s qualifying session. 

In addition, Pierre Kaffer will make both his team and series debut in the team’s No. 4 entry. Competing in the GT category for overall victory, the Audi Sport factory driver faces some stiff competition against a number of factory drivers from marques including Porsche, Ferrari, Acura, Cadillac and McLaren, which promises to create some thrilling competition at the front of the field. No stranger to success, Kaffer also joins the team with a multitude of endurance accolades, including an overall victory at the 12 Hours of Sebring, and multiple GT class titles including the 24 Hours of Le Mans, American Le Mans Series, and beyond.

While Kaffer has also never competed on the streets of St. Petersburg nor the Pirelli World Challenge series, the opportunity is one he looks forward to.

“It’s great to finally begin our season,” stated Kaffer. “The sprint format of the Pirelli World Challenge should be very exciting for the fans, and for the drivers it’s great to just be able to push flat out the whole time. I was very impressed with the team during our pre-season testing, Magnus Racing is very fun but very professional. St. Petersburg definitely makes for an interesting event to debut at since we’ve never been there, but I’m confident in the team and of course our Audi R8 LMS that we can have a competitive weekend.”

Official practice begins tomorrow, March 9, with the first of two races taking place on Saturday, March 11, followed by the second race on Sunday, March 12. Saturday’s race will begin at 9:30AM ET, and Sunday’s race at 3:00PM ET. All Pirelli World Challenge races are all streamed live at www.world-challenge.com/streamvideo/  

 

 

Thursday
Mar022017

Pierre Kaffer, Spencer Pumpelly Confirmed for Magnus Racing 2017 GT Effort

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (March 2, 2017)- Following the recent announcement to enter two cars in the Pirelli World Challenge GT and GTA categories respectively, Magnus Racing is pleased to confirm the addition of Pierre Kaffer for the majority of GT category events during the 2017 season, with Spencer Pumpelly joining as Kaffer’s teammate throughout the series’ SprintX championship. Competing in the No. 4 Audi R8 LMS, both drivers head in to the season with a clear target of overall victories and valuable points toward the Team Championship.

“We couldn’t be happier to have the addition of both Pierre and Spencer to the team,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and driver John Potter. “Pierre Kaffer’s success speaks for itself, and as an Audi Sport provided driver, he clearly has the pace and the talent to compete with the best of them. He’s already proven a good fit with us during testing, and we expect he’ll suit us well going in to the 2017 season. I’ve known Spencer for a while, including briefly driving with him, and know he’ll be a great fit with us for the SprintX races. He’s obviously a proven winner, not to mention has some great experience with Audi machinery, so we’re hoping for good things with the two of them driving together. It’s great to finally kick in to gear with the season beginning next week, we all feel very prepared and ready for St. Petersburg.”

Joining the team for the majority of the 2017 season, Pierre Kaffer comes to Magnus Racing as a proven winner and veteran of sportscar racing worldwide. No stranger to success, the German’s career includes an overall victory at the 12 Hours of Sebring, class victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Petit Le Mans, Sebring, and even a championship in the former American Le Mans Series’ highly competitive GT2 category. Having driven a variety of vehicles in a number of series, including the prestigious DTM championship, the Audi Sport driver joins Magnus as a newcomer to the Pirelli World Challenge and its challenging sprint format. Unfortunately, due to his obligations at the 24 Hours of Nürburgring and 24 Hours of Spa, Kaffer will miss the rounds at Lime Rock in May and Mid-Ohio in July. The team will still be entered in those events with an eye on the Team Championship, with a to-be-named replacement.

For Kaffer, the opportunity to join the most recent team to win with Audi in North America is a welcome one.

“I’m really looking forward to joining Magnus Racing in 2017,” stated Kaffer. “The team has a great reputation for results, and even though it’s their first season of the Pirelli World Challenge I think we all believe we can be competitive. I was able to meet everyone at a recent test, and it’s clearly a great group, and a very comfortable atmosphere. I’m extremely appreciative of the opportunity, and look forward to getting the season started in St. Petersburg.”

Joining Kaffer for the series’ two-driver “SprintX” rounds, Spencer Pumpelly will join the Magnus Racing No. 4 GT entry for the five-race championship. A veteran of American racing, the Georgia resident is one of the most respected drivers in the paddock, having taken two victories at The Rolex 24 at Daytona, countless wins in the IMSA and former GRAND-AM and ALMS ranks, and is the reigning IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge ST category champion. While new to the team, Pumpelly has worked with a majority of Magnus personnel over the years, including John Potter whom he drove with in 2009 before the current team was formed.

For Spencer, while technically a Magnus newcomer, the feeling within the team is already comfortable.

“I already feel right at home with everyone at Magnus Racing,” stated Pumpelly. “I’ve known almost everyone on the team for a long time, so it’s a very comfortable place to be, and the chemistry is already excellent. The SprintX format is a unique one, as both Pierre and I will be flat out for some very short stints, but it should make for some exciting races. I drove the previous generation Audi for a full season in 2014, so I know what the quality of car and support will be, and with all this in mind we’re definitely optimistic on our chances. Technically my season doesn’t begin until VIR in April, but everyone has been great, including me in all of their plans and testing, so we’re already in great shape. I really appreciate everyone bringing me on, and look forward to what the season brings." 

Magnus Racing’s 2017 season will finally start in one week’s time, with The Pirelli World Challenge taking to the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, next weekend. Running in conjunction with the Verizon IndyCar Series, official practice begins on Thursday, March 9, with a double-header series of races on Saturday, March 11 and Sunday, March 12. Coverage can be found at world-challenge.com, as well as continuous updates via the team’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds.

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