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Magnus Racing to Enter Pirelli World Challenge with Full-Season, Two-Car GT Effort in 2017 

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (January 13, 2016)- After a seven-year history of endurance racing that has included multiple major victories and championships, Magnus Racing will chart a new direction in 2017, operating two full-season entries in the Pirelli World Challenge’s top-tier GT and GTA categories. Continuing their relationship with Audi Sport customer racing, the team will field two Audi R8 LMS machines, driven by team owner John Potter as well as an Audi Sport customer racing-supplied driver to contend in the series’ flagship GT category. 

After an incredible 2016 that saw the team take two victories, including at the famed Rolex 24 at Daytona as part of the team’s Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Championship, the opportunity to enter a new challenge was a welcome one for the team.

“When evaluating our options for 2017, we thought it was a good opportunity to pursue a new challenge,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and driver John Potter. “When I consider that I’ve driven in pro racing for 10 years, I realized that very little of it has been in a sprint format, and the timing seems right to see how we enjoy it. This will be a new era for the team, not only because of the new series, but with the emphasis on sprint racing and solo driving we have to take a whole new approach. Running a two-car team has been an ambition of ours since the beginning, and while we’ve had some experience with two-car programs at The Rolex 24 at Daytona, the unique format of the Pirelli World Challenge provides us an opportunity to really explore this. We really appreciate the friendly and open nature of everyone we’ve met in the Pirelli World Challenge so far, and of course to everyone at Audi for their renewed partnership. Audi Sport customer racing has been incredible so far. Obviously in our very first race together we took victory at the most prestigious race in the country, and that set the course for a partnership that has been beneficial for all of us. We appreciate their willingness to support us in to 2017, and I think together we will provide an incredible program. Creating a program around one of their factory pilots is a unique opportunity and great platform to develop around, and we look forward to being a weekly threat for overall race wins. Of course a personal highlight is having the Utah Motorsport Campus back on the calendar. It’s obviously my home race and we haven’t been able to compete there at a professional level since 2010, so it will be a very welcome return.”

Debuting in the former GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series in 2010, Magnus Racing’s place within the record books has largely been attributed to endurance racing. 

In 2012, the team solidified its place in history by winning the GT class at the 50th Running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona, and has since followed that up with a second victory at The Rolex 24 in 2016, as well as victories at Indianapolis, The Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, as well as sprint events at Lime Rock Park and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, all culminating in two Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Championships.

Becoming a staple of the paddock, the team’s reputation for on-track performance and off-track engagement has been un-matched.

Driving with Porsche from 2012-2014, the team’s performance was demonstrated through not only their four victories during the era, but also serving as the only Porsche team to take victory in their respective classes during that time. In 2016, the same feat was matched with Audi, taking wins at not only The Rolex 24 and Lime Rock Park, but holding the honor of being the lone team to take victory for the marque since 2014.

Off-track the team has been one of the most reputed in the paddock, known for their constant engagement via unique content, including a number of popular videos, live webcasts, and humorous press releases. All of this led to the team becoming one of the most revered in the paddock among fans, winning IMSA’s “Team to Win” Award in 2014, being voted as the most popular team in the series over such fan-favorites as Corvette Racing and beyond.

Looking to 2017, the switch to a full-season of Pirelli World Challenge competition with Audi Sport customer racing provides a renewed approach for the team. No race will be over 60 minutes, placing an emphasis on outright speed to score top results, which is a significant departure from the team’s historic success in longer races. Running a second GT entry with a manufacturer-provided driver should only further the team’s pursuit of victory and championships.

For Pirelli World Challenge President and CEO Greg Gill, the opportunity to bring in a team with the heritage and character of Magnus Racing is a welcome one.

“We are extremely honored to have the team at Magnus Racing join our series for 2017,” stated Gill. “Their success on-track speaks for itself, and coupled with their reputation for fan engagement and off-track fun is something we really enjoy, and we’re confident the team will have a great experience here. The sprint format is something that a lot of teams and drivers grow to enjoy, and I’m confident everyone within the team will enjoy what The Pirelli World Challenge has to offer. With so many great cars and drivers in our series, having another Audi team with the quality and history of Magnus is a great addition, and we look forward to a great season of competition." 

For Tristan Herbert, the Manager of Motorsport and Customer Racing at Audi of America, the continuation of a relationship that started with instant success at Daytona should only become stronger in 2017.

“The strength of Magnus Racing became instantly apparent when we won our first race together, at the biggest event of the year.” stated Herbert. “From there the team has seemed to go from strength to strength, and it’s been impressive to watch how they operate. From Day One we’ve admired the quality and depth of the team, as above all else they come with a strong will to win and that makes for an excellent partnership. The Pirelli World Challenge presents a new opportunity for everyone within the team, and we believe our car should be an excellent contender in that format. We’re well aware of the challenges that a two-car team can create, and we’re prepared to support them as best we can to deliver a winning program.”

Magnus Racing would also like to pay homage to their extremely loyal fan base, who have played an instrumental role in the team’s place within the sport. Through their constant number of at-track and digital initiatives the team has enjoyed a very strong tie to its audience, and hopes to continue that in to the new program.

The Pirelli World Challenge season will officially begin on Saturday, March 10, competing at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida, an event run in concert with the Verizon IndyCar Series. The team will compete in the “full” championship, which will include the traditional 50-minute sprint races, as well as the newly-introduced 60-minute SprintX format. Additional news, including the team’s GT-category driver, will follow soon. 






SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (September 29, 2016)- Despite the frustrations of recent rounds amid what had otherwise been a fantastic season, the team at Magnus Racing (MR) will head to this weekend’s Petit Le Mans (PLM) at the famed Road Atlanta (RA) circuit looking to close out their season with a win. Having competed at the famed endurance race beginning in 2010, a win at “Petit” would complete an amazing record of endurance success that has included victories at Daytona and Sebring.

“With the season we’ve had, we really want to end with a victory,” stated team owner and co-driver John Potter. “When we look at our endurance racing record as a team, it’s been incredible. Two wins at Daytona, a win at Sebring, four consecutive years of taking the podium at Watkins Glen, adding to the tally with winning Petit Le Mans would be a great piece to add. Beyond personal ambition, I’d really like to bring home a win for this team who’ve worked incredibly hard for this. It’s been a non-stop season for everyone involved, and considering the setbacks we had in August, there’s no doubt this is how we want to end it. Having Marco return will help our cause a lot, it goes without saying that his success rate with us has been remarkable.”

Joining the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS for the 10-hour classic, Marco Seefried will return to the team for his third race of the season, previously participating at The Rolex 24 at Daytona (D24) and Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring (S12H). Joining the team for the eighth time in his career, Marco has had an incredible history with Magnus Racing, not only taking victories at Daytona and Sebring, but podium finishes in all but one event. 

“It’s great to be with Magnus Racing once again,” stated Seefried. “The team is incredible with their commitment to preparation and performance. I think we all want to close out with a win, and I’m very dedicated to doing my part.” 

Additionally, the team is also entering the finale in strong contention of the highly touted IMSA Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Championship (TPNAEC). Just one point out of the lead of the all-endurace-race championship, the team will head in to the finale sitting second, with the top-five cars all separated by five points. 

For Andy Lally, closing out 2016 with victory will put a stamp on a strong run.

“We all want to win this,” stated Lally. “We have some of the best guys in the paddock. The team has been virtually faultless all year, so I’m confident in what we can achieve, but at a place like Road Atlanta you never know what to expect. We all want to close this out on top, and we absolutely have the team and car to do it.” 

Official practice begins this Thursday, September 29, with the race taking place on Saturday, October 1. Live coverage can be found on a variety of sources, see the full list below.



11:00AM – 12:00PM EDT: Fox Sports 1

2:30PM – 6:00PM EDT: Fox Sports 2



Full Race (11:00AM-9:30PM EDT): FOX Sports Go App

Full Race (11:00AM-9:30PM EDT):


Magnus Racing Takes Fourth in Texas

AUSTIN, Texas (September 20, 2016)- Following a quiet race that was most noted for its late-race battles, Magnus Racing drivers John Potter and Andy Lally would fight hard to take fourth during Saturday’s Lone Star Le Mans at the famed Circuit of the Americas. With both drivers doing an excellent job to work their way up the field throughout the two-hour, forty-minute event, the team will head to the series finale within sight of a top-three finish in the championship.

“This was another great day showing the team’s resolve, as the weekend was extremely smooth for all involved,” stated Magnus Racing team owner John Potter. “We’ve been in championship form all year, and it’s a shame that circumstances have prevented the potential, as a fourth today is exactly the kind of result that proved our continued consistency. I’m really happy with how everyone performed on the team, as no one has lost any sense of focus or drive, and it showed on a weekend like this.”

Starting the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS just outside of the top-10, John Potter’s strong form would continue during the opening stint of Saturday’s race, taking the opening laps with a great combination of patience and speed, ultimately settling in to a number of on-track battles that would move him up the field. Running some of his fastest lap times of the weekend, Potter would bring the car inside of the top-10 as they approached their first round of pit stops, handing the car over to teammate Andy Lally for the remaining two hours. 

With Lally in the car, all focus would turn to making the most out of the day, beginning a march that saw him grab position after position as the mid-race wore on.

By time the final round of pit stops were over, the New York native would find himself in sixth, giving chase to the No. 73 Porsche of Joerg Bergmeister. Previously, at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, the duo had engaged in a similar battle that would see Lally spin from contact, and ultimately crash out of the race, giving the team much to consider as they watched the laps continue on. 

With the Audi showing strength under braking and mid-corner, and the Porsche showing strength under acceleration, the battle between Lally and Bergmeister would prove intense, with Lally often climbing right on to the back of the Porsche but unable to pass due to the Porsche’s straight-line advantage. With the pursuit continuing lap after lap, the intensity would ramp up in the closing minutes, with the two making light contact, and Andy eventually able to pass by taking advantage of a defensive maneuver by the No. 73.

Settled in to what seemed like a fifth place finish, a late-race issue for the second-place No. 23 Porsche would add to the team’s success, with Lally advancing one position on the final lap to fourth. 

It would prove a solid round to end the team’s “sprint season,” and a great omen headed in to the series finale at Petit Le Mans.

“Of course on a weekend where you have nothing to lose, you always want to risk it all and go for it,” stated Lally. “Obviously we would have loved to fight for the win, but this just wasn’t on the cards for us and I think think taking fourth was actually a great testament to everyone on the team. I couldn’t be more proud of everyone here, and we’ll definitely head to Petit Le Mans very focused.”

With only one more round of competition left in the championship, the team will be ready for the season-ending Petit Le Mans, where the team will bring three drivers to the 10-hour classic. Still with a fighting chance at taking the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Championship, and with hopes of a top-three in their season long efforts, the team’s determination has never been stronger. Practice will begin on Thursday, September 29, with the 10-hour event occurring on Saturday, October 1. Further details will be revealed shortly.


Magnus Racing Excited for Five Hours, Twenty Minutes of COTA

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (September 14, 2016)- With the penultimate round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship taking place at this weekend’s Lone Star Le Mans, held at the famed Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas, Magnus Racing couldn’t be more excited for 160 minutes of racing followed by another 160 minutes of sweating and nail-biting during post-race technical inspection.

“The first half of these races are incredibly fun,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and co-driver John Potter. “For the first 160 minutes, we leave it all on the track. It’s about speed, patience, strategy, teamwork, all the elements required to win. For the following 160 minutes, you hope that you didn’t actually leave it all on the track. It’s like the worlds longest slow-moving crash, you hope you can avoid it but at a certain point you just know it’s not in your hands. What makes it even harder is that most restaurants close at 8PM on a Sunday, thankfully this weekend’s race is on a Saturday.”

Following the most recent round at VIRginia International Raceway where the team took third during the first 160 minutes of racing, and then had the result altered 160 minutes later, the team is looking forward to laughing it off and moving on with the business at-hand, racing the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS. With the team effectively out of contention now for the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, all focus now turns to race wins and development for the season finale, where the team is still in contention for the North American Endurance Championship.

For co-driver Andy Lally, an opportunity to race no-holds-barred for the win is an exciting one.

“As disappointed as we all are after VIR, the positive is that we’re coming in to this weekend just to race,” stated Andy Lally. “I’m always thinking about championships when I drive, so to just be allowed to go full-tilt will be a lot of fun. This is a team that always wants to win so we’re excited about that, but of course we’re really looking toward to the Endurance Championship in two weeks, so we’re focused on that.”

Practice begins this tomorrow, September 15, with race-day action taking place on Saturday, September 17 at 12:30PM ET. Live coverage will be available on FOX Sports 2.


REACTION: Magnus Racing Takes Third at VIR, Then Excluded by Series

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (August 31, 2016)- Following a hard-fought race that saw the team advance seven positions during a nearly “all green” race, Magnus Racing’s recent third-place finish at the Michelin GT Challenge, the ninth round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, has been completely excluded at the discretion of series officials due to a ride height infraction.

This is a highly contested point by the team, as they were able to clearly demonstrate on-track incidents led to the infraction. The decision has resulted in a significant change in the team’s championship standings, taking them from second place and only eight points out of the lead with two races to go, to mathematically completely out of contention. It is worth noting that the penalty was for one small part of the car failing by just over 1mm, or the thickness of a penny.

Strongly disagreeing with the penalty, resulting punishment, as well as process to get there, the team will continue to honor their 2016 season commitments in IMSA.

“Disappointment is not the right word, I’m flat out shocked with how this whole affair has been treated,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and co-driver John Potter. “We’re the first people to advocate for rules being followed, we have zero history of disqualification, and within IMSA’s own precedent we were able to demonstrate what led to the ride height failure, and yet this is all just being ignored and we’re basically not able to contend for a championship we’ve fought hard for. This isn’t just a decision that takes away a podium, this is a decision that ruins an entire season’s worth of work, over something that is both debatable and with a completely disproportionate punishment. While we do appreciate IMSA’s efforts over the last two days to re-evaluate, we are fundamentally upset with how this has been handled and the inability to do anything about it.”

Starting in 10th, John Potter would take on opening duties for the GT-only race. With a hard charging No. 23 Porsche coming from behind, the two would make contact, twice, exiting Turn One before the race settled in. This contact specifically occurred on the right front of the car and was clearly visible both from outside the car as well as from on-board footage. Despite the damage, Potter continued on, eventually handing the car over to teammate Andy Lally. Lally would proceed on, proving unable to keep pace with the leading No. 48 Lamborghini and un-damaged No. 9 Audi, but still managing third. It is also worth noting, at one point Lally also would go off road, demonstrating the potential to further the damage to the body work and undercarriage.

With the car in third place, the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS would go through the mandatory post-race technical inspection process. While series officials found that the vast majority of the car cleared the minimum ride height, a small area toward the center of the splitter and a foot behind the leading edge, failed by just over 1mm. It is worth repeating, one small area of the car, failed by just over 1mm, and the rest of the car was in complete compliance.

By series definition, the car was deemed in violation of: Article 13.1.2.a of the 2017 GTD Technical Regulations (minimum ride height as referenced in Technical Bulletin #16-37). While the team is not contesting the existence of the failure, the precedent and counter arguments against both the enforcement and resulting penalty are vast.


Infraction Due to Contact

While not written in the rulebook, there is an established historical precedent within the series of accepting on-track incidents as a possible cause for an infraction. Though arbitrary by design, the existence of this kind of exception exists for incidents such as: damage causing parts to fall off leading to minimum weight violations, car damage leading to ride height violations, etc.

Within Magnus and IMSA, there is already a precedent for such an occasion. At the “Lone Star Le Mans” at Circuit of the Americas in 2014, heavy contact with the No. 94 BMW created a similar circumstance to the most recent incident. Damage to the Magnus Porsche led to a partial failure of ride height, however the series waived it due to the visible damage on the car. Beyond Magnus, of course, there are multiple other occurrences of this very standard being set repeatedly with other teams, as acknowledged by most in the paddock. 

As seen from the team’s on-board video, there was a very clear moment of contact between the No. 23 Porsche and No. 44 Audi. The “crunch” is the effect of the right-front bodywork caving in from the contact. As proof, the center of the nose was shifted, as shown to series officials. Therefore, the team’s splitter, which for the Audi R8 LMS is normally a concave structure, was put under undue stress and was likely compressed and warped to the point that the center was likely drooping.

As continued proof, the splitter’s usual concave nature results in the outer-most points of the splitter registering as the lowest, and the center sitting high. Yet on this occasion, the opposite was true, leading to a clear conclusion that an outside influence (such as contact) clearly bent the splitter during the race.

Yet, despite this contention from not only Magnus Racing, but also management at Audi Sport customer racing, who have an intimate knowledge of their machine and agreed with the team’s conclusion, IMSA officials could not be convinced.


The Punishment Does Not Fit the Crime

While the team at Magnus Racing strongly disagrees with the penalty itself, the second major source of frustration is the resulting punishment and implied lack of consistency.

Under race conditions, the team has found no precedent for outright exclusion due to a technical infraction of this nature. Given the debatable nature of the infraction, it’s even more frustrating.

Based on the rulebook, the penalty to the team reads as follows:

Article 56.4: Cars receiving a penalty applied post-Race that alters the finishing position order shall result in all other affected Cars advancing accordingly. Any Car found out of compliance with the RULES may be removed from the results (Exclusion) and other finishers advanced accordingly.

The key term in this is IMSA “may” exclude a team from a race under this condition.

“May” is not clear wording, and in a situation where the difference between third-place points (31) and zero points is the difference of a championship, to enforce the strongest possible penalty is a stretch.

If defining the enforcement is vague and leaves wiggle room, then one must look at previous examples to set the context, which again presents a serious concern.

At the Rolex 24 at Daytona, all Lamborghini Huracán GT3 machines were found to be in violation of Attachment 2, Paragraph 2.9 of IMSA’s rulebook, effectively violating the series’ “sandbagging” rule. This was arguably a blatant violation of series regulations, and could in no way be attributed to “on track” factors the way Magnus Racing’s infraction could.

Yet, despite this, teams were given a five-minute penalty for the infraction, thereby meaning the only “loss” individual teams suffered was any change of position as a result of this penalty. Proportionally, a five-minute penalty in a 24-hour race is equal to a 34-second penalty during a traditional sprint race. The worst case for any of the Lamborghini teams was a loss of five positions. None were outright excluded. 

While series officials would argue the difference was a violation of “sporting code” vs. technical regulation, at a certain point this becomes an issue of semantics vs. a clear examination of looking after the best interest of the competitors. One incident had a clear situation of manipulating the rules for performance enhancement, the other had a questionable infraction, which at most, provided minimal to no performance gain, yet the it’s the latter that received the harshest penalty.

Most recently, during this weekend’s same race at VIR, the championship-leading No. 63 Ferrari was given a penalty for “over-boost,” in which it was detected their turbo-powered engine was producing an excessive amount of pressure from the turbo system. The team was first given a warning, and then given an in-race penalty of a “drive-through,” in which the car was forced to come in to the pits and drive through pit lane at the pit road speed limit. The team dropped back several positions, but was still able to rebound to seventh, and more importantly gain seventh-place points.

While an “in-race” penalty is considered separate from post-race, the spirit of the infraction is similar. The Ferrari was found in violation of a technical item that was beyond its dictated limit, and yet the team was given a penalty that allowed them to finish the race, and more importantly score points.

The other argument provided by series officials is citing past exclusions, however all of these citations were from qualifying infractions. 

The series has excluded cars for ride height violations in qualifying, most recently in the GTD class at Watkins Glen International. Once again, however, Magnus Racing finds this logic flawed.

First, ride height violations under qualifying scenarios are usually harder to debate. In none of these circumstances was there ever any on-track contact. The nature of qualifying typically means cars are distanced from one another.

Second, disqualification from qualifying provides a far less severe penalty. While the team’s time is excluded, they’re still allowed to compete the next day, the only challenge being they start from the back. They still have the potential to race, they still have the potential to win, and most notably they can still score points.

Under race conditions, there has been no known citation for this type of infraction. 

With an outright exclusion effectively treating the event like the team was never there, this in essence serves as the largest penalty in series history. Again, all over 1mm of ride height in a small section of the car, induced by crash damage.

If you consider operational costs and entry fees, “not showing up” acts as a $150,000 penalty when you consider the whole thing. Considering Lamborghini was fined $25,000 for a blatant violation of sporting code, it’s once again a tough item to accept. 

All in all, while Magnus Racing appreciates the competitors, the relationship with Audi Sport customer racing, and of course the fans above all else, the frustration is beyond reproach.