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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, or

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 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 All press inquiries can be directed to


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.


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…


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,, and (@magnusracing).

More information about Magnus Racing can be found at 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 All press inquiries can be directed to


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.