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Monday
Jul242017

Spencer Pumpelly Returns to Solo Action at Mid-Ohio

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (July 24, 2017) – Heading in to the famed Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in search of additional podiums, Magnus Racing is pleased to announce the return of Spencer Pumpelly to the No. 4 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS. Continuing their two-car campaign in the Pirelli World Challenge series, John Potter will also return in the No. 44 machine, with the duo resuming the series’ “sprint” championship this coming Saturday and Sunday. Magnus driver Pierre Kaffer, who has been in the No. 4 for the majority of races this year, will be absent due to a schedule conflict.

“It’s great to have Spencer back in the team,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and driver John Potter. “Spencer has always fit right in with us, but driving the team to our first series victory of course sealed a very special place for his legacy with us. We’re hoping Mid Ohio suits both Spencer and the No. 4, and hopefully we can repeat the same feat. On a personal level, we’re coming off of a really strong weekend in the No. 44 at the most recent round in Road America, and hopefully we can continue that in to this weekend. Three podiums in five sprint races has been a great achievement for us, and we aim to continue it in to Ohio. Of course we also wish Pierre well during this weekend’s race at Spa, and look forward to following along Stateside.”

In the No. 4 entry, Pumpelly will take to his Audi having grabbed victory the last time he drove for the team. Competing in all of this season’s “SprintX” rounds, Spencer and then co-driver Dane Cameron took a dominant victory most recently at the storied Lime Rock Park, which features a series of twists, turns, and elevation changes similar to Mid Ohio. No stranger to success, Pumpelly joined the team as a multi-time race winner in a number of series, a two-time winner of the Rolex 24 at Daytona, as well as the defending series champion in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge’s ST category.

“It’s great to return to the team,” stated Pumpelly. “Obviously our last race together went extraordinarily well, and we’re hoping that same momentum can continue in to Mid Ohio. It’s always tough to say what to expect, especially in these very frantic sprint races, but we’re optimistic that the circuit should suit us. The entire team at Magnus has done a great job putting this effort together, and we look forward to pushing for additional results.”

Driving the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS, John Potter will once again resume his role in the series’ GTA category. To date, John’s efforts in the “sprint” championship have gone extremely well, having scored three consecutive podiums, most notably at the most recent round at Road America where he stayed in heavy contention for the race win throughout the entirety of his run.

Official practice for this weekend’s double header will begin on Friday, with Saturday’s Race One occurring at 4:45PM ET, and broadcast at world-challenge.com/streamvideo/ . Sunday’s Race Two will be broadcast same-day on CBS Sports Network at 2PM ET.

Thursday
Jun222017

Magnus Racing Returns to Sprint Action at Road America

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (June 22, 2017)- Following three rounds of the more endurance-oriented “SprintX” championship, Magnus Racing will return to the roots of the Pirelli World Challenge series, taking to the scenic Road America circuit for a double-header in the traditional sprint format. Arriving with a victory at the most recent round at Lime Rock Park, drivers Pierre Kaffer and John Potter will return to action in the GT and GTA categories, with an eye on continuing their podium momentum.

“It’s great to be back to the traditional sprint format,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and driver John Potter. “It’s such a unique experience, coming from our endurance background, to know that you don’t have to hand the car over; it’s definitely a different perspective. Obviously we’re coming from a good amount of momentum from Lime Rock, but Road America couldn’t be more opposite of a circuit. We’re going from one of the smallest tracks on the calendar to one of the biggest, and it definitely presents a whole new challenge for our setup. Our last sprint race at Long Beach was my first podium in the series, so hopefully we can continue where we left off.”

Heading to the 4-mile, 14-turn circuit, located in Wisconsin’s scenic Elkhart Lake. Road America will serve as the largest track that the series visits in 2017. Featuring long straights, uphill climbs, and a number of fast corners, the course requires the most from nearly every performance element of both car and driver. While always a fun event for the team, mixed results have greeted them in previous years, including everything from podium finishes to one of the first mechanical DNF’s ever experienced by the group.

Kaffer will arrive in search of his best Pirelli World Challenge result. Returning from the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the German will be in search of his first podium finish in the series despite several strong runs.

Driving the No. 4 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS, the German has high ambitions for Road America.

“Road America is always a favorite track for many drivers,” stated Kaffer. “It’s what we could consider a classic. Fast corners, high speed almost everywhere, you really have to be on the limit to get the maximum. It’s tough to say how we’ll do because the layout really rewards different strengths with different cars, but I know everyone at Magnus will do their best to get the maximum out of our Audi. I look forward to it and really hope we can get our best result of the season together.”

For John Potter in the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS, a return to sprint competition is one to look forward to. At the last “Sprint” round in Long Beach, the Utah resident took his first series podium with third, and hopes to continue that trend in to this weekend’s festivities.

Official practice begins today, with a double-header of races in conjunction with the Verizon IndyCar Series on Saturday and Sunday. Race One will take place on Saturday, June 24 at 5:30PM ET, with Race Two on Sunday, June 25 at 10:55AM ET. All races will be streamed live at www.world-challenge.com/streamvideo/

Wednesday
May312017

Magnus Racing Takes First Victory in Pirelli World Challenge at Lime Rock

LAKEVILLE, CONNECTICUT (May 31, 2017) – Following an hour of hard driving and clever strategy at the historic Lime Rock Park, the Magnus Racing No. 4 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS of Spencer Pumpelly and Dane Cameron would take their debut victory during Saturday’s sixth round of the Pirelli World Challenge SprintX Championship. Following a car-best second place in Friday’s Race One, a combination of pit strategy and strong “in-laps” by Cameron would hand the team the lead by Saturday’s halfway point, with Pumpelly closing the race by building the gap further. Similarly, a strong run by the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS of John Potter and Andrew Davis would net a fourth-place finish in addition to Saturday’s sixth-place finish.

“We couldn’t be happier with the results for the No. 4 team,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and co-driver John Potter. “Our first win in the Pirelli World Challenge is something we’ve been chasing after all year, so to finally achieve it at a place like Lime Rock is very satisfying. Spencer and Dane proved strong all week, and it’s something everyone on the team has been striving for. For our No. 44 effort, we’re of course always after a podium, but we walked away with a clean car and continued to learn a lot. It was great having Andrew as a teammate and we all wish him the best moving forward.”

With primary teammate Pierre Kaffer unavailable due to a schedule conflict, full-season SprintX driver Spencer Pumpelly would welcome a new teammate to the No. 4 program, reigning IMSA Prototype champion Dane Cameron. While a Magnus debutante, Cameron would enter the festivities as no stranger to GT racing, including winning the IMSA GTD crown in 2014.

During Friday’s Race One, Pumpelly would put in a strong qualifying run to grid the Audi in third for the start, wasting no time in the opening laps to seize the opportunities in traffic by elevating himself to second, hounding the lead Porsche for much of his opening stint. During the series-mandated driver change, Cameron would jump in to close the race, setting strong lap times but unable to mount a significant challenge for the lead as tires faded. Still the best result in the history of the No. 4, the team would cross the line in second.

With Saturday’s Race Two having a grid set by Race One’s fastest laps, a strong lap by Pumpelly would see the No. 4 start the day on the front row, just barely off the pole-sitting Porsche of Marc Lieb. With the driver order inverted, Cameron would take on starting duties for the team, when calamity would ensue next to him as a hard charging Ferrari would send the pole-sitter spinning in to the guardrail, with Cameron lucky to avoid the mess but allowing the No. 8 Cadillac of Jordan Taylor to slip through in the process.

Doing his best to chase down Taylor, Cameron would match the Cadillac turn-for-turn, repeatedly demonstrating the strength of both driver and car, but finding the tricky nature of Lime Rock Park nearly impossible to pass on. Opting to preserve his tires, Cameron would give chase for much of the run, but it wasn’t until pit-stops would emerge that the team would mount their real challenge.

Allowing the Cadillac to pit one lap earlier, Cameron would use the clear track in front of him to push as hard as possible before he came in to the pits, meanwhile the Cadillac would re-join the field stuck in traffic, all playing in to the hands of Magnus Racing’s strategy to gain track position. With Pumpelly in the car and minimum pit-stop time fulfilled, the Georgia resident would re-join ahead of the Cadillac with less than 30 minutes remaining.

While traffic would prove difficult to keep his challenger behind him, Spencer once again proved his place among the best in the sport by managing the pace, ultimately gaining a small gap over the course of the final minutes to take victory.

This would serve as not only the first Pirelli World Challenge victory for the team, but also the first overall win in team history. 

 “I’m really happy we could deliver for all of the guys today,” stated Pumpelly. “This series is incredibly competitive, and you have to capitalize on every opportunity you can, everyone executed perfectly today. Dane had an awesome opening stint and the team played the strategy perfectly to gain the track position we needed; by time the car was given to me I knew I simply had to manage the traffic and make sure I didn’t open the door for the No. 8. I appreciate Michael Cooper racing so clean today, and similarly it’s a shame that Pat Long and I weren’t able to resume our fight from yesterday. Regardless, this one was for the whole team.”

For Dane Cameron, who currently has a 100% podium record with the team, a great experience was shared.

“I’m really happy I could be part of this experience,” stated Cameron. “Magnus Racing is a long-proven team, and this week just furthered that. It was a crazy opening lap and I’m glad the incident wasn’t more serious, it’s too bad that such a strong competitor was taken out that way. Regardless, it was great being able to fight with Jordan Taylor just like we do in prototypes. I knew it was critical to hand over a clean car to Spencer so I didn’t want to take any big risks, and when the opportunity to capitalize on a clean track came I knew we had to take advantage. Spencer proved why he’s one of the best guys out there, and similarly I was very impressed with the whole Magnus team, I’m very grateful for the opportunity.”

For the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS, a quiet but competitive event was in store for Potter and new teammate Andrew Davis. With primary teammate Marco Seefried also out with a schedule conflict, the experience of long-time GT veteran Davis became the ideal replacement.

During Friday’s Race One, Potter would put together solid series of opening laps, including the fastest race lap for the No. 44, as he made work of the field in front of him. With tire wear being a serious consideration at Lime Rock, the focus would eventually turn to tire management, with John never putting a foot wrong by time his stint would come to a close. Davis would take over just before the halfway point, setting consistent laps but settled in to sixth, where the car would finish. 

For Saturday’s Race Two, Davis would take on starting duties, once again settling in to a strong rhythm in pursuit of a top-five, with the team pitting him at the final 30 minutes. From there it was back to Potter, who immediately began to gain ground on the field in front of him. While the gap to the third-place No. 54  machine would continue to shrink as the laps wore on, John simply ran out of time to be able to mount a real challenge, ultimately settling for the fourth position at the checkered flag.

 

For Andrew Davis, back with the team for the first time since 2010, an appreciation for the experience was evident.

“I really appreciate the opportunity to come back,” stated Davis. “While Magnus has a fun reputation, they truly are a very professional and well-run team, I’m glad I was able to witness such a great day for them first-hand. John is a great teammate and ran some really great lap times, and while of course we both wanted a podium, we were able to do the most with what we had and should be satisfied with the run. I look forward to following the team’s success and wish them the best moving forward.”

With Lime Rock serving as the fifth and sixth SprintX rounds, all series attention now returns to the traditional “sprint” format of the series, with solo-driver efforts taking over at the next round in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Once again joining the Verizon IndyCar Series, Magnus Racing and the whole of the Pirelli World Challenge will be at the scenic Road America circuit from June 23-25, with Potter driving the No. 44 and Pierre Kaffer returning to the No. 4. 

Monday
May222017

Pair of Top-Fives Highlight Rain-Shortened Event for Magnus Racing in Canada 

BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Canada (May 22, 2017)- Following a hard-fought first race for the team at the famed Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on Saturday, Magnus Racing and the entire Pirelli World Challenge SprintX championship would see their full weekend of action cut short during yesterday’s second round. With an endless deluge or rain pouring down nearly 26cm of rain during the afternoon, series officials deemed the conditions unfit for good and safe racing.

“I have no idea how much 26cm of rain is,” stated John Potter. “But it looked like a lot from where we were standing, so the series really had no choice but to stop the race from happening. It was the right move, even if the damage bill would have been better given the Canadian exchange rate, I’d still rather have no bill at all. Overall, it was a unique week for us. I think everyone on the team got the maximum out of everything, unfortunately the configuration and layout of this track isn’t one that really suited our car, so we’ll take the points and move on to the next one, eh? There’s not a lot of time between now and Lime Rock so everyone is hard at work getting us back and ready.”

Competing at the 10-turn, 3.96 km circuit nestled just 76 km from Toronto, the team came in to the event after proving competitive at the previous two rounds in Virginia, but with a series of incidents thwarting their efforts. With the track formerly known as “Mosport” featuring a long uphill run that tends to favor large-displacement vehicles, the team knew their challenge would be finding ultimate pace, and would instead have to contend via clever race craft and strategy.

During Saturday’s Race One, the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS would take top finishing honors for the team, with a fourth-place in class. Serving a penalty due to an incident from the previous race, the duo of John Potter and Marco Seefried would start from the back of the class, with Potter driving the opening stint. Behind the wheel for the opening 25 minutes with immediate pace, the Utah resident held competitive times throughout his running, matching the class leaders during every lap but struggling to be able to pass due to the configuration of the circuit.

Making a clean stop and handing the car over to teammate Marco Seefried once the pit window opened, the German would continue the strong run, with an opportune yellow flag causing the field to shuffle, and placing Seefriend in a position to contend. As the race went in to the closing minutes, Marco would push the field hard in front of him, patiently making his way up before eventually settling in to fourth in class, where they would finish.

For the No. 4 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS of Pierre Kaffer and Spencer Pumpelly, a similar steady run would ensue. Starting in 10th overall, Kaffer would once again assume the opening stint, doing his best to move up the field given the challenges of passing at the circuit. Setting times on par with the field in front of him, the German would have an incident-free run, handing the reigns over to teammate Pumpelly with 35 minutes remaining to close the race.

From there, Spencer would begin an impressive charge through the field, hounding the assortment of cars from various manufacturers in front of him, including some daring passes in to Turn One that would eventually move him in to fifth. From that point, the race would settle in for the final laps, the Atlanta resident having impressively moved the car in to the top five.

Although Sunday’s Race Two would be cancelled due to rain, the race will be resumed during a to-be-announced race weekend. With the grid set from Saturday’s fastest race laps, the No. 4 will begin in eighth, with the No. 44 beginning one spot behind in ninth overall, but third in class.

For Spencer Pumpelly, another great run demonstrated a strong resolve to move up the field.

“I think we can all be very happy with getting the most out of Saturday,” stated Pumpelly. “This is a tough track on which to pass, and our car isn’t particularly suited for long uphill straights so overall I think we did what we could. Had the weather cooperated I believe Sunday’s race could have been a really strong one for us, especially if it was wet. Unfortunately it was just too much and the series made the right call.”

For Pierre Kaffer, the potential of the team continues to show.

“This was a tough track for our car, so I think we showed well,” stated Kaffer. “Passing is incredibly tough, so it’s always a struggle if you can’t be right at the front, but we made the best of it. Sunday’s race could have been even better for us and it’s a shame it didn’t happen, but obviously safety was the priority and I think we all agree with that. I wish the team the best of luck at Lime Rock and look forward to coming back stronger.”

For Marco Seefried, setting quick times continued to prove the German’s ability.

“Obviously it’s always tough when you’re just outside of the podium, but the team should be proud,” stated Seefried. “The guys did a great job putting the car together, and I believe we were as fast as we could be, so in that sense it was a strong effort. Like everyone else has said, I agree with the decision to cancel Sunday’s race, and I look forward to coming back and going for even better results.”

With little time to prepare for the next race, the team will actually be back on track in just a few days’ time, with the fifth and sixth rounds of the Pirelli World Challenge SprintX series competing at Lime Rock Park this coming Friday and Saturday. While Pierre Kaffer and Marco Seefried will be unavailable due to a schedule conflict, the team will be making an announcement shortly on their replacements.

Tuesday
May162017

Magnus Racing Looks Forward to the Politeness of Canada

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (May 16, 2017)- Following several races of contact and aggressive driving inherent in the sprint format, Magnus Racing heads to the famed Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in the hopes that the culture of its fans might transfer to the drivers.

“The fans at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park are the only ones we’ve ever seen line-up for a grid walk,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and co-driver John Potter. “When I say line-up, I literally mean forming a single-person queue in order to walk on to the grid. They’re the most polite people on Earth. Following a few races of hard contact between both cars, we’re hoping that same attitude reflects on our two SprintX races. Regardless, we’re excited about this weekend and look forward to another round of Pirelli World Challenge competition. After VIR we definitely learned a lot, and headed in to Canada I’m confident we can capitalize on everything we’ve seen.”

With this weekend of Pirelli World Challenge competition serving as the third and fourth rounds of the SprintX championship, the team will once again feature four drivers sharing two cars.

In the No. 4 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS, Pierre Kaffer will once again be joined by Spencer Pumpelly to conquer the all-pro category. After setting several of the fastest laps in practice, a challenging weekend at VIR would prevail for the duo after contact would send the car out of contention during the opening round, followed by a fifth-place in Round Two. Looking for redemption, the fast nature of the of 10-turn, 2.5-mile circuit should provide an interesting challenging for the Audi. 

“After the weekend at VIR, we definitely want to show our true performance,” stated Kaffer. “The team has done a great job all year, and we’ve had great cars but the final results haven’t shown our true potential. CTMP is a track that really requires you to find the maximum from everything, and we’re hoping that this could finally bring us the results we’ve been searching for. I look forward to being back with the team.”

For teammate Spencer Pumpelly, a similar feeling is shared.

“Even if the final results didn’t show it, there were a lot of positives at VIR,” stated Pumpelly. “Canadian Tire Motorsport Park is a track that really requires the most out of the car and driver to perform well, and I believe it will play to the strengths of the team. Having run a full SprintX weekend, the team has a much better understanding of what to expect and I think that will show in Canada.”

For the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS, Marco Seefried will also return to the team to co-drive will full-season entrant John Potter. While the duo have teamed together on multiple occasions since 2014, their first SprintX weekend together at VIRginia did not go as well as everyone had hoped. Mechanical gremlins would prevent them from a good result in Race One, while contact would take them out of contention in Race Two. While this will be the first race for Seefried at the famed Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, the German’s experience in testing should still prove fruitful.

“It’s a really exciting track to visit,” stated Seefried. “The circuit is very fast and doesn’t afford a lot of mistakes, and hopefully that should play to our advantage with a patient drive. Luckily John has raced here before and I believe that will help, and given the way the racing went at VIR, I believe a patient run will create good results for us. We’re all looking forward to it.”

Official practice will begin this Friday, May 19, with a double-header of races occurring on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday’s SprintX Race One will occur at 1:45PM ET with Race Two at 3:40PM ET on Sunday. Live streaming will be available at world-challenge.com/streamvideo