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Sunday
Apr252010

VIRginia - Saturday Report

We didn't get the Grand-Am lucky dog award, but we finished 4th!This was a long day, but as it turned out, it was the best day yet in the short history of Magnus Racing. The Team in Green had both the Porsche GT3 Cup and Porsche Cayman looking their best for the thousands of fans that walked through the pits in the morning and during the autograph session. It was somewhat surprising to see how many of the fans took a big interest in our Cayman. The car seems to have become a crowd favorite already – but there were a lot of Porsche owners in attendance at VIR.

One that was wrapped up, the Jolly Green Giant and the Little Sprout (what Lorie calls John and Craig when they are in their racing suits) were ready for the Rolex race. John started the car and from the word go, was in a huge battle with several other cars, including the No. 97 Camaro, No. 66 Porsche, No.28 Corvette.

Right at the 45 minute mark, John came in and got out, with Craig getting in. The next hour or so was fairly uneventful, but things got really interesting in the latter stages as a pair of yellow flag sessions allowed Craig to get into striking distance of the lead group. Suddenly, Craig was passing Mazdas left and right and was up to fifth on the last lap, when he dove under the No. 57 Camaro in the Rollercoaster. The Camaro took a dead aim at the Porsche but missed, and Craig crossed the line in fourth place for the best result yet for Magnus Racing.

The Cayman battled to a 10th place finishWith the excitement from that barely over, the Cayman was wheeled onto the track for the Continental race. John again took the green and moved up two spots during his stint, pitting during the first yellow to put Leh in the car. The team stretched his fuel mileage as long as possible, getting him as high as third where he battled with the No. 83 Porsche – a battle that will get good airtime when the Continental race eventually airs. As time wound down, however, Leh had to do a splash for fuel and brought the Cayman home tenth for its best result in its short three-race career.

Another weekend with two races in one day, but this was a good one. The team is off to clean up and discover more of the fine dining of South Boston, VA.

Friday
Apr232010

VIRginia – Friday Report

If you haven’t ever been to VIR in Middle of Nowhere, Virginia, it is one of those places that you must put on your list of places to watch a race. The drivers love it, and watching the cars streak up the esses, bouncing off the curbs and hardly cracking the throttle is simply amazing. The drop down the Rollercoaster is a lot bigger than it looks on TV, and a lot faster as well. A wonderful racetrack.

This was also the first time our GT car would be on track with its newest spec from Grand-Am, which would surely mean the Porsches would now run away from the lightweight, tube-chassis, purpose built cars in GT. Our day started with two rounds of practice in both Rolex and the Continental series. All the drivers – Leh and John in the Cayman in GS, and Craig and John in the GT3 in GT – reported steady improvement from session to session, with the GT car particularly finding a lot of speed in the second session with Craig behind the wheel. After some setup changes, we were third on the timesheets in GT, while the Cayman hovered just outside the top-10. Things looked good for qualifying.

Qualifying  for Rolex and Continental were scheduled back to back. This weekend, John will be starting both cars so he qualified the GT car, parked it, hopped in the Cayman, and qualified that one as well.  John qualified ninth in GT, the fastest Porsche, and then qualified the Cayman 15th in GS – again, the fastest Porsche. He told us afterward that he was happy but felt there was more time in the car – but at the same time, felt that both cars were in really good shape for the race. And – surprise! – the lightweight, tube-chassis, purpose-built cars (especially those with rotary engines) still dominate the head of the timesheets.

It will be a long day tomorrow – after morning practice, the Rolex race begins at 12:00PM EST, and the Continental race starting immediately after at 3:30PM EST.



Monday
Apr192010

A Competitive Weekend in Store for Magnus Racing

Look for this Porsche to be closer to the front in VIRApril 20, 2010 (Salt Lake City, Utah) – The Team in Green is heading to the equally green Virginia International Raceway in Alton, Virginia, for the fourth stop on the 2010 GRAND-AM calendar. As they have done since Homestead, the team will field two cars – the No.44 Magnus Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup in the Rolex Sportscar Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No.16, and the No.44 Magnus Racing Porsche Cayman in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge.

For the first time this season, the GT-class Porsches have been given a number of performance enhancements to bring their speed more in line with the purpose-built tube-frame chassis racecars that are predominant in the Rolex Sportscar Series. The performance difference had led all the Porsche teams – except for Magnus Racing – to skip the last GRAND-AM race at Barber Motorsports Park.

“It has been a bit of an uphill battle this year for the Porsche teams, not only in terms of speed but also in trying to get decent tire wear,” said Craig Stanton, who shares the No.44 Magnus Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup with team owner John Potter. “We are grateful that GRAND-AM has given some performance back to the Porsches. Not only will this make the racing more competitive, but it should put on a better show for the fans as several of the other team Porsches will come back to the racetrack.”

On the other side of the trailer, Magnus Racing has continued development on their GS-class Porsche Cayman after an encouraging run at Barber Motorsports Park earlier in the month. Rolex Sportscar Series champion Leh Keen will once again partner with Potter in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race at VIR.

The Cayman continues its development“The Cayman continues to evolve, and we are seeing progress every time we get on the track,” said Potter. “We have the speed to be in the top-10, and we are closing the gap to the leaders each time. Leh did a great job in the car at Barber – passing a bunch of cars at the start – and if someone hadn’t spun the thing around a top-10 was in the cards for us. Racing in the two classes has been a lot of fun and I think VIR is a track that will suit the Cayman well.”

Fans can stay up to date with Magnus Racing throughout each GRAND-AM weekend at magnusracing.com, facebook.com/magnusracing, and twitter.com/magnusracing (@magnusracing).

The Rolex Sportscar Series’ Bosch Engineering 250 will be shown live on Saturday, April 24, at 2:00 PM EST on SPEED Channel, while the Continental Tire Sports Car Series’ Bosch Engineering VIR 200 will be shown on May 1 at 1:00 PM EST on SPEED Channel.

More information about Magnus Racing can be found at www.magnusracing.com.

Any organization interested in learning more about how to be involved with one of the most unique and visible teams in the Grand-American Rolex Sportscar Series can e-mail info@magnusracing.com. All press inquiries can be directed to press@magnusracing.com.



Tuesday
Apr132010

Magnus Racing Jumps Back into Battle at Barber

The Porsche, a rare species in Birmingham, Alabama

April 13, 2010 (Salt Lake City, Utah) – It was a challenging weekend for Magnus Racing, as the team traveled from cold Salt Lake City to rainy – then sunny – Birmingham, Alabama to contest the GRAND-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No.16’s Porsche 250, as well as the weekend’s Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race.

Magnus Racing is a team that loves sportscar racing and loves having a great time at the track, but it is fair to say that the track at Birmingham is one on the schedule that the team was least looking forward to. Barber Motorsports Park is a beautiful facility with an exciting configuration, but the layout promotes extensive tire degradation throughout an endurance race. Coupled with the fact that tire wear is already an issue for the GT-class Porsche, and the team was looking forward to an uphill battle. That hill was apparently too large a hill for the other Porsche teams, as Magnus Racing was the only one who showed up in Birmingham.

The battle began in qualifying, when the GT field was only given five minutes to qualify due to track delays. Unable to put heat in the tires before the checkered fell, John Potter qualified the No.44 Magnus Racing Porsche GT3 Cup in eleventh place.

Once the green fell, Potter was able to maintain his position and stayed with the lead group of GT cars, fighting for position while being careful not to overwork the rear tires of his Porsche. Unfortunately, it would be for naught as he was turned around in turn 14 – which SPEED viewers had several opportunities to view throughout the race broadcast – and fell down the order.  After a pitstop for fuel, tires, and a driver change, Craig Stanton took over the wheel and battled throughout the final hour with several tube-chassis cars to finish the race in eleventh place.

The Cayman makes it to the checkered in its second raceIn the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race, Leh Keen started the No.44 Magnus Racing Porsche Cayman in 14th position and made a rocket of a start, passing five cars on the opening lap. He held station in the top-10 until he pitted and Potter took over the car. Potter hovered around the top-10 of the field, not able to make an impression on the Mustangs and Camaros but able to run a solid race pace until he spun in traffic in turn five. Because of the large number of cars behind him, Potter was unable to rejoin the race quickly and fell down the order. Once he got the Cayman moving in the right direction again he would bring the car home on the lead lap in 18th position.

“I think I spent more time going backwards today than I spent going forwards,” stated Potter at the end of the race day. “Maybe to other drivers, the No.44 looks like a bulls eye. But anyways, despite the spins it was a good day for us in the sense that we learned more about what’s going to make the Porsches work. Grand-Am made some changes to the GT car, and we thought it would be more beneficial to come and race the car instead of staying home and complaining.

“We still have a ways to go on the Cayman, but we moved in the right direction and even between qualifying and the race we made a big improvement. Leh did a great job and the car was in perfect shape when I got in it during our pitstop. I was hoping for a result in the top-10, but we got the car to finish its first race and that is a victory in itself. Another weekend where the crew did a great job, and we all left upbeat and looking forward to VIR.”

The Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge race will air April 17 at 3:00PM EST on Speed Channel. Magnus Racing fans can see photo galleries of the weekend at www.magnusracing.com, or facebook.com/magnusracing.

Next for Magnus Racing will be the Bosch Engineering 250 at Virginia International Raceway on April 23-24. The Rolex Sportscar Series race will air on April 24 at 2:00PM EST, while the Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge race will air on May 1st at 1:00PM EST, both on SPEED Channel.

More information about Magnus Racing can be found at www.magnusracing.com. Any organization interested in learning more about how to be involved with one of the most unique and visible teams in the Grand-American Rolex Sportscar Series can e-mail info@magnusracing.com. All press inquiries can be directed to press@magnusracing.com.



Saturday
Apr102010

Barber - Friday Report

We’ve seen some interesting stuff in the short history of Magnus Racing, but before today we had never encountered a five-minute qualifying session. Because of a compressed schedule due to sharing the weekend with the IRL, and a Daytona Prototype that crashed in the DP qualifying session, that’s exactly what John Potter encountered when he went out to qualify the No.44 Magnus Racing Porsche GT3 Cup for Saturday’s GRAND-AM Rolex Sportscar Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No.16 race.

Five minutes wasn’t enough time to bring the tires on our Porsche up to temperature, and John did a great job to minimize the damage and put the car eleventh for tomorrow’s grid. It was disappointing because the car had been so good and practice, and both Craig and John were very happy with the way it was handling and for their chances in qualifying. But, that is the hand that we were dealt and we are all already looking forward to tomorrow’s race.

In the Continental Tires Sports Car Challenge qualifying, our latest new driver Leh Keen qualified the No.44 Magnus Racing Porsche Cayman in 14th position – and this time, we won’t get moved to the back! Instead, hopefully, we’ll be moving forward. We aren’t thrilled with starting 14th and we are still making big chassis changes as we learn what it takes to get the Cayman to the front of the field.

The Rolex Sportscar Series race will be shown live on Speed at 1:30PM EST, and will be followed by the Continental Sportscar Challenge race at 4:00PM EST.