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Friday
Apr092010

Barber - Thursday Report

Under a morning rain, the Team in Green reported for the first day of practice at the pristine Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. We thought getting out of Florida would mean good weather – our two trips to Daytona this year have been cold, rainy, or snowing, but to be fair Homestead was very nice. The rain let up this morning before Continental practice and the sun came out later in the day, we’re all hoping it stays like this.

First up we had the Cayman out for Continental practice, with Leh Keen behind the wheel for the first half of the session. We’ve been focusing on the rear suspension of the Cayman quite a bit, and we’re making strides but still have a ways to go. In our first session, which was damp but drying throughout, we were eighth, and in our later afternoon session in the sun, we were twelfth.

We had one session today with the GT car, with Craig getting out first and going pretty quick right out of the box. Unlike the first Conti practice, the track was totally dry, but going off wouldn’t be good as the ground was still really wet from the rain – a couple of cars ended up stuck in the mud and had to be pulled out. We ended up tenth, about two seconds off of the fast time, but for us this race is all about tire management and making the car work over the course of a whole stint. Craig was really happy with the car, as was John, noting that they will make some changes for tomorrow based on what the data was saying.

By the way, it is interesting that we are only one of two Porsches entered this weekend in GT…



Tuesday
Apr062010

Magnus Racing’s Two Porsches ready for Porsche 250 at Barber

April 6, 2010 (Salt Lake City, Utah) – Headed in to this weekend’s Porsche 250 at Barber Motorsports Park, the Team in Green will be arriving on the heels of a rough last race that has required quick reaction and strong teamwork. The previous race at the Grand Prix of Miami was a challenging weekend for Magnus Racing, as the Team in Green was forced to do an emergency rebuild of the No.44 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup when Craig Stanton suffered a tire failure in practice and made heavy contact with the concrete wall.

No.44 will be like new in BarberAlthough repaired for the race, the car was wounded and finished down the order but still earned valuable championship points. Also wounded was was the team’s No.44 Porsche Cayman, making its debut in the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, which ran as high as sixth after starting last in the GS-class. The Cayman, however, was forced to retire early with power steering failure.

 Since then, the team’s GT-class Porsche has been extensively repaired – so much so that the No.44 car that Craig Stanton and John Potter will share this weekend will be a practically brand-new car. After a strong debut for the team in Daytona, both Craig and John are anxious to return to that strong form in Barber, a track that is notorious for using up the rear tires of the Porsche.

“Tire management is going to be very critical for us to get a good finish at Barber,” said Stanton. “It isn’t the best track for Porsches so we’ll be fighting for every position and every point possible.”

The Magnus Racing Cayman has also been developed and tested further since the Grand Prix of Miami. Testing commitments with another racing program will keep Bryan Sellers from returning to the cockpit of the Cayman, so in his absence the team has drafted 2009 Rolex Sportscar Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No.16 champion Leh Keen to partner John Potter for the weekend.

Keen, the 2009 Rolex Sportscar Series GT champion, has so far enjoyed a successful 2010 season with a class victory at the 12 Hours of Sebring, a podium in the Rolex Sportscar Series at Homestead-Miami, and recently returned from the ADAC 1000km of Nurburging where Keen finished the race 14th overall.

Leh joins John in the Cayman this weekend“Leh and I have gotten to know each other ober the past couple of seasons in Rolex, and he is obviously a proven talent behind the wheel,” said Potter. “He will be able to get all the potential that there is in the Cayman and Barber is a track that should suit that car very well. We were all really pleased with the potential that the Cayman showed in Homestead, and with a little more development and sorting that car should be fighting for podiums and wins.

“And now that our GT car is back in one piece – and that my co-driver is also in one piece – we can get ourselves back on track to scoring good points in each round. As we've proven, we've got the best crew in the pits and now we just need to get the results that match their effort." The Porsche 250 will air live this Saturday, at 5:00PM EST, on SPEED Channel, while the Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge race from Barber will air April 17 at 3:00PM EST also on SPEED Channel.

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).

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.

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.