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Friday
Apr022010

Recover and Rebuild

Believe it or not, this is the car after most of the repairs
When Craig Stanton made contact with the concrete wall on the front straightaway of Homestead-Miami Speedway as a result of tire failure, the impact and damage appeared to be minimal. When the car returned on the flatbed, it told a different story – that was a Big One.

You wouldn’t have known it by talking to Craig, as he was back to the garage even before the car was. In fact, Craig then drove the duration of the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race before driving in the final two stints of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sportscar Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No.16 race that day.

Upon returning to his home in Long Beach, Calif., a checkup at his doctor showed that the crash had done damage not only to the No.44 Magnus Racing Porsche GT3 Cup, but to Craig. His ribs and the surrounding cartilage were damaged as a result of the angled impact with the wall – which measured 7G’s on the car’s data recorder – and had chipped a bone in his right ankle.

Craig’s dedication to his personal fitness has been documented extensively, and no doubt had a lot to do with his ability to race almost two full race distances on the same day as the crash. An X-ray done after the crash showed how much his ribcage had been compressed.

“That crash felt like it knocked the fitness right out of me,” said Craig. “I felt fine out of the car but I was really noticing some discomfort at the end of my stints in the cars. Even though my ribs were jacked up, I still had to be very snug in the car and after having my ribcage compressed in the crash, having the belts on tight wasn’t very comfortable.
Craig Stanton

Three weeks after the crash, Craig has returned to 100% of his training distance and volume, but only 65% of strength.  Craig’s training includes two or three workouts a day, bike rides of two hours or more, runs of one hour or more, and strength sessions called “Sand and Stairs” (which are more painful than they sound) or rock-climbing on the custom-built rock wall in his backyard.

“Anytime you have damaged or broken ribs, it takes about four to six weeks to fully recover, and I’m at week three,” said Craig. “The first couple of weeks were really tough and I took it very easy, almost to the point of doing nothing, but if I sat still for too long, my ribs and the surrounding muscle and cartilage tightened up and that didn’t feel good either.”

After putting in two days of two-plus hours on the bike, Craig says that although he isn’t quite back to his form before the crash, he is more than ready to jump back into the No.44 Magnus Racing Porsche for next weekend’s Porsche 250 at Barber Motorsports Park. Incidentally, Craig’s crash at Homestead-Miani was severe enough that it ended the life of that Porsche tub, and the car that he will share with co-driver John Potter will be a new No.44 Magnus Racing Porsche.

The newly rebuilt car and driver will be in action beginning next Thursday at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama.



Wednesday
Mar102010

Magnus Racing shows potential of the Porsche Cayman in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge


March 11, 2010 (Salt Lake City, Utah) – With its white exterior not calling too much attention to itself, the No.44 Magnus Racing Porsche Cayman took to the track for the first time at the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge’s Homestead 200. With minimal testing time ahead of the weekend, the decision was made to enter the car and use the race weekend as a test session and acquire as much information as possible.

With Porsche veteran Bryan Sellers tabbed to join John Potter for the weekend, the two drivers logged as much time in the car as possible. Throughout Thursday and Friday practice, the duo made steady progress up the timesheets, at times sitting as the fastest Porsche in the field. With Potter behind the wheel, the Cayman qualified an impressive tenth for the two hour and forty-five minute race. The time, however, was disallowed then the car failed the ride-height test by 1/8 of an inch, so Potter would have to start the race from the back.

Starting shotgun on the field, Potter and the Cayman made steady progress throughout the first forty five minutes of the race, running as high as sixth until a blown power steering line led him back to the pits. A full service and driver swap was done, and with Sellers behind the wheel the Cayman was back under way. A short few laps later, the decision was made to bring the car back in and retire it from the race to prevent any other possible damage owing to the loss of power steering.

Despite the end result, the Magnus Racing team came away having learned a lot about the Cayman and motivated by the speed it showed.

“We weren’t sure what to expect when we brought the car to Homestead, considering the limited mileage we had put on the car beforehand,” said Potter. “But credit is due to the Tatum Brothers and the crew of Magnus Racing, because the car was very good from its first lap and we were able to make continuous improvements to it throughout the weekend. We’ll take it back, work out some of the bugs, and get ready for the next one.”

The broadcast of the Homestead 200 will air March 13, at 1:00pm ET, on SPEED. The Cayman will hit the track next at Barber Motorsports Park as part of the GRAND-AM weekend on April 8-10.

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
Mar092010

Photos from Grand Prix of Miami

We've uploaded a ton of photos, taken by ace photographer Regis Lefebure, from last weekend's Grand Prix of Miami. Take a look on our Photos page.

Tuesday
Mar092010

Challenging weekend for Magnus Racing at Grand Prix of Miami

March 8, 2010 (Salt Lake City, Utah) – What began as a very promising weekend for the No.44 Magnus Racing Porsche GT3 Cup, with a tenth-place qualifying run at the hands of John Potter for the Rolex Sports Car Series Presented by Crown Royal Cask No.16’s Grand Prix of Miami, turned around very quickly as Craig Stanton made heavy contact with the front straightaway retaining wall during Sunday morning practice. A tire failure at nearly 150mph meant Stanton could do little as the Porsche registered a 7G impact with the concrete wall.

However, the day was not over yet for Magnus Racing. With the car returned via flatbed to the garage, the team got started on the very large task of making the car ready to race for the afternoon. There were several passersby who remarked that it would take a miracle to get the car prepared in time for the 5pm starting time, as well as several who felt that it couldn’t be done.

At 5pm, the repaired car lined up on the pit straightaway just in time for the national anthem on Homestead’s front straightaway. In a few short hours, the team had replaced all of the right side suspension and brake components, the front bumper, splitter, radiator, right front fender, right door, as well as engine and transmission. In short, the team had rebuilt 75% of the car in a time frame when most would feel lucky to replace just one of those items.

“Simply put, they did an unbelievable job,” said Potter, team owner of Magnus Racing. “John Bedell and the rest of the crew have shown each time that when they are under pressure and there is major work that has to be done, they get it done. I couldn’t ask for a better crew.”

The No.44 Porsche took the green flag but nearly immediately there were lingering effects from the morning’s crash. Throughout the first 45 minutes, the car was in and out of the pits making more repairs but by the time that Stanton took over the car around the 45 minute mark, all was well with the car and Stanton was posting lap times equivalent to the leading cars. However, well down in the order, the team elected to simply collect laps and collect points as other cars dropped out of the race. When the checkered flew, the team breathed a collective sigh of relief and recorded what may well be the most satisfying 14th place they have ever recorded.

“Those guys just never quit,” said Stanton, following the race. “They just kept plugging away and plugging away until the car was right again. It gives me such confidence as a driver to know that we have the best crew in the paddock right here.”

Potter, Stanton, and the rest of Magnus Racing will see action on April 8-10 at the Porsche 250 at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. The race will be broadcast on April 10 at 1:30pm 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.

 

Sunday
Mar072010

Grand Prix of Miami - Saturday Report

What a day.

To get things started off, Craig had a right front tire fail on our GT car as he exited the NASCAR turn four banking in morning practice. The result was a Big One – data registered the impact at 7G’s, and Craig decelerated from 128mp to 96mph in two-tenths of a second. As a result, the crew worked throughout the day to repair the car and make it ready for the afternoon’s race – replacing the front bumper and splitter assembly, right front and right rear suspensions, right side front fender and door, repairing the right rear quarter panel, and replacing both the engine and transmission. It was a HUGE job – but the car was on the grid and ready to answer the bell when the time came.

Today was also the day that the Cayman would start its first Continental Sports Car Challenge race in the GS category. John started the car last after the ride-height penalty, but the car was on the move from the word go. The little Cayman and John seemed to get along well, as it wasn’t long before he was in the top-10, running as high as sixth. But, as the team was getting ready to bring him in for fuel and tires, John radioed that the car had lost power steering – just in time to hand it over to Bryan.

Unfortunately for Brian and the team, the decision was made shortly afterward to bring the Cayman in and retire it from the race, to prevent any further damage as a result of the loss of power steering. Considering it was the first race weekend for the Cayman, the team was expecting some teething issues, but came away very impressed with the pace.

With that race wrapped up, it was time to for John and Craig to jump into the rebuilt No.44 Porsche GT3 Cup. John started the race, but we had issues from the beginning with the car alignment not being quite right (no surprise given the 7G impact it suffered in the morning). It took the first part of the race to sort out, but once it was, Craig was running times on pace with the leaders. Far down in the order with a wounded car, Craig brought the car home in 14th place to collect more crucial season long points.

Two major themes from this weekend: one, the Cayman will be a front-runner in GS . Two, there is nothing that the Magnus Racing crew can’t handle.