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Difficult Weekend for Magnus Racing Ends Early in Canada

BOWMANVILLE, ON, Canada (July 12, 2016)- Following a challenging weekend that saw limited practice time for its drivers, proceeded by a difficult qualifying session, Magnus Racing drivers John Potter and Andy Lally would actually fail to finish yesterday’s Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix after a late-race incident kept the team just short of seeing the checkered flag. Despite the premature ending, the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS would still be credited with a 10th place finish, as well as setting the third-fastest time of the race.

“This was definitely a forgettable weekend for all of us,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and co-driver John Potter. “We’re all pretty disappointed, but at the same time there were many positives on the weekend. We were repeatedly the fastest car in practice, we set some of the quickest laps in the race, and I think the strategy that was played was very strong. You never want to focus on what could-have-been, but the fact we almost walked away with a top-five despite a series of obstacles is a great testament to the quality of this team.”

Following a decision to change tires before the race, the No. 44 machine would be forced to start at the back of the field, with John Potter taking on starting duties for the opening of the race. Having had extremely limited track time due to inclement weather in practice, the Salt Lake City resident would do his best to simply manage his time on track, slowly gaining speed as the race progressed and doing his best to chase the field in front of him.

Fulfilling his minimum drive-time requirement of 50 minutes, the team would elect to bring Potter in as they neared the one-hour mark, with Andy Lally stepping in to drive the remainder of the race.

For the next hour, the team would put a firm focus on using pit strategy to gain track position, which would fortunately take shape as the race continued. Following a timely caution period with one-hour, 20 minutes remaining, Lally would catch the back of the field, eventually taking advantage of a second yellow flag where he’d be able to make his final pit stop.

With pit stops complete and all strategy played, it was now up to Andy to do what he could on the track for the remaining hour. Beginning the final stint in eighth, the New York native would slowly gain ground on the field in front of him, eventually advancing to sixth for the final 20 minutes, locked firmly in a battle with the No. 73 Porsche of Joerg Bergmeister in a hard-fought battle for the top-five.

Locked nose-to-tail for much of the closing laps, the No. 44 Audi would stay in strong pursuit of the Porsche, pulling alongside on several occasions only to have the effort thwarted. As the duo came in to the final six minutes of the race, Lally would eventually make a strong run along Bergmeister headed in to the tricky Turn Three, with Lally on the outside as the duo approached the corner. Unfortunately, Bergmeister would run wide, slamming directly in to the right rear of Lally and sending him spinning.

While Andy would quickly gather his car back up and resume racing action, he was now down to seventh and with not much time to regain lost ground. Unfortunately, it was all for not as one lap later, headed in to the very fast Turn One, Lally would get caught in an abrupt spin which would send his car rear-first in to the tire barriers, where he would remain until the checkered flag.

It would serve as a brutal end to a promising day.

“We had a really good car today, and I was doing everything I could to deliver a top result,” stated Lally. “It’s a super competitive field so we have to fight for every inch that we get, but unfortunately today was one of those days that didn’t end favorably. The guys were spectacular all weekend, like they always are, and we’ll go in to the next round knowing just how well we can run. 

With the events already behind, all focus now turns to the next race, less than two weeks away at the famed Lime Rock Park. Practice for the Northeast Grand Prix begins next Friday, July 22, with the race taking place one day later at 3PM ET on Fox Sports 1.


Magnus Racing Takes Watkins Glen Podium for Fourth Consecutive Year

WATKINS GLEN, NY (June 5, 2016)- Following a hard-fought race throughout the event, MagnusRacing would take a well-earned second place duringSunday’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen. It would not only serve as the fourth consecutive year that the team would see a podium finish, but also continued the team’s championship efforts with a current second-place ranking in the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup, as well as third in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT category.
“We really, really wanted to win this one, but I don’t think any of us can actually be disappointed with second,” stated John Potter, team owner and co-driver of the No. 44 Magnus Racing Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS. “We came in to the weekend knowing we had a real shot at it, and I think we delivered a performance capable of winning, it just didn’t work out. As always, it’s a team effort, and everyone on the team did their part perfectly. All of our stops were solid, we played strong strategy, and Dion and Andy both did an excellent job getting us a podium spot. We have a lot of momentum going in to the rest of the season, and we’ll definitely be back next year, still looking for that win!”

Starting from the eighth position after one of his best qualifying runs yet, John Potter would take opening duties for the famed six-hour classic. Showing strong pace throughout practice, the Salt Lake City resident was off to an excellent start when the green flag dropped, maintaining his distance to the field in front of him and doing his best to show patience for the long race ahead. As his stint continued, an opportune yellow would present itself for the team’s first stop, with the team opting to leave Potter in to fulfill his minimum drive-time requirement.
By series rule, Potter’s role within the lineup would require him to drive a minimum one-hour and forty-five minutes, and with the team owner now in to his second-stint, the strategy of having all minimum drive-time obligations fulfilled before the race’s one-third mark appeared to be playing out.
Unfortunately, as the clock approached the minimum time, the team’s on-board telemetry revealed a dropping tire pressure in the left-rear, putting the team in a tough position on what to do next. With Potter’s minimum drive-time lapsing in a matter of minutes, if the team brought him in immediately, it would mean his required time would not be fulfilled and he’d likely need to drive another full stint. If they elected to leave him out until he met the time requirement, they were putting both driver and car at risk of a complete tire failure.
Slowing his pace, Potter did his best to delicately negotiate his Audi through the corners and put as little stress on his tire as possible, however coming out of Turn 10 the tire eventually let go, luckily only a few yards from pit entry. The driver immediately ducked in to the pits, unfortunately just seconds before his minimum drive-time would lapse, meaning the team would need to keep John in the car to run yet another stint.

Now running his third stint in the car, the emergency pit stop would actually not prove too detrimental, with many other teams pitting at a similar time, keeping the No. 44 on the same pit sequence as the majority of the competitors. Knowing that his pace would be critical, Potter drove some of his best laps of the weekend, maintaining pace with the lead pack throughout the remainder of his run, and keeping the team safely within the hunt for a win. After a faultless series of laps, John would eventually pit just before the halfway mark, nearly driving three hours to open the race.
After another quick pit stop by the crew, it was time for team newcomer Dion von Moltke to take his turn in the Audi. A veteran of the marque, von Moltke’s vast experience with the R8 was evident, with the Charleston resident immediately on pace to open up his stint. Having a reputation as a clean driver who rarely makes mistakes, Dion failed to disappoint, continuously moving his way up the field and putting the team in a position to fight for the podium as his laps continued on.

With two-and-a-half hours remaining, it was time for yet another stop as well as a driver change, opting to put Andy Lally in for the remainder of the race. With Lally in the car, all focus was on moving to the front, and the New York native did just that.
Growing up in Long Island, this is often considered the “home track” for Andy, and one that always provides a little extra motivation for him to win at. As the laps continued, Andy would continue to set a series of fast laps, eventually moving his way up to to third, then second, and eventually taking the lead as his first stint came to a close.
Unfortunately, with 90 minutes remaining, the team’s penultimate pit stop would suffer a minor setback that would cost the team valuable time, with Lally rejoining the track behind several of the cars that he’d managed to pass minutes before.
With one stop to go, it was clear that strategy would play a major factor in the race’s outcome, and the team patiently waited to see how the event unfolded. Continuing his pursuit of the front, Andy continued to make several gains on the field in front of him, once again putting his No. 44 in to a podium position as the team figured out their next move.

Now in the window for their final stop, the team would play their strategy by bringing in Lally with just over 50 minutes remaining, taking a full load of fuel and tires to take him to the end.
However, as the rest of the field continued to cycle through stops, a series of different strategies would begin to appear, most notably the No. 63 Ferrari who all of a sudden re-appeared with an 11-second lead, which was indicative of the team’s decision to not change tires.
Doing his best to move up the field, a third-place Lally would spend several laps in pursuit of the No. 33 Viper driven by Jeroen Bleekemolen in second, however he would struggle due to the vastly different strengths and weaknesses of the two cars. Eventually, a major back-up in traffic would result in contact between the Viper and Audi, with Lally managing to narrowly make a pass and move his way up to second.
A series of yellow flags would then follow suit as the clock continued to count down, and while this did help close the gap between the Magnus Audi and the No. 63 Ferrari, it also eliminated any advantages the team had with new tires and plenty of fuel.
As the laps closed down, Andy would give strong chase to the leader, however it was clear that the No. 63 had a comfortable pace to keep Lally behind, with the checkered flag eventually falling and securing another win for the Ferrari.
Securing second, the satisfaction with yet another podium was underscored by a slight amount of frustration with a missed opportunity for victory.
“We all really wanted to win this thing, so it’s tough to be completely happy,” stated Lally. “Ultimately we’re walking away with another podium and great points for the championship, and that is a testament to how awesome this team is. We put a lot of time in to thisrace, both this weekend and some previous testing we’ve done, hopefully second is a strong reward for that. John was spectacular. We really had to rely on him after that tire went down, and he went way above and beyond in his third stint. His times were impressive and that played a big role in keeping us in contention. Dion has earned himself a great reputation to play the exact role we needed him to play, and he did that perfectly. I really enjoyed having him on the team. Obviously we’re getting in to the crazy season with the next few sprint races, but our team is well equipped and we’ll see where this goes.”
For Dion von Moltke, an inaugural event with the team was a fun one.
“I’ve been competing against these guys for so long, it was great to be a part of it,” stated von Moltke. “It’s a great family here, everyone was immediately very welcoming and made me feel like a part of the team, and that goes a long way. Any time you can grab a podium it’s a good day, I know a lot of the guys here were really pushing for a win, but I think we should all feel satisfied with a strong run, I don’t think there’s anything anyone could have done any different.”
With little time to slow down, the team is hard at work preparing for the next event, which takes place in just a few days at the upcoming Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix at the storied Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, the series’ lone visit outside of the U.S. Practice begins this Friday, July 8, with the race taking place on Sunday, July 10. The event begins on Sunday at 11AM ET, with live coverage on FOX Sports 1.


Magnus Racing “Swipes Right” on Dion von Moltke for Watkins Glen

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (June 27, 2016)- Per their video release (above), Magnus Racing is pleased to announce the addition of IMSA veteran Dion von Moltke for this weekend’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen. As the Official Sportscar Brand Ambassador for Audi of America, the 25-year old will replace the team’s regular endurance driver Marco Seefried, who was unavailable due to a schedule conflict.

Seefried instead decided to make a documentary film about it. See above.
“It’s great to have Dion on board,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and co-driver. “We’ve obviously known Dion for several years now, and he’s really earned himself a great reputation as a reliable, solid driver who doesn’t make mistakes. When we realized Marco wouldn’t be available he was the clear choice for us, and we know he’ll fit right in with us this weekend. Plus, he seemed to be the only who we matched with when we looking for drivers on-line. I think one of the greatest things about Dion is his extremely edgy personality, you just never know what horrific thing is going to come out of his mouth, and that’s when he’s sober! We look forward to his crude jokes and brash commentary.”
A South Carolina resident, von Moltke joins the team with a long history in the sport despite a fairly young age. Having driven for a variety of teams in the sport, Dion has accrued a number of accolades including victories at The Rolex 24 at Daytona and Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, all leading to his current role as the Official Sportscar Brand Ambassador for Audi of America.
For von Moltke, the opportunity to join Magnus is a welcome one.
“I’ve known a lot of the guys at Magnus for a long time now, so it’s great to finally be a part of the team,” stated von Moltke. “The team obviously has a reputation for fun, that’s why I ‘swiped right’ when I saw they were looking, but their success on the track speaks volumes for them. They seem to run really well at endurance races, and I know they really want to win at Watkins Glen, and hopefully I can do my part.”
Despite three consecutive podiums at the famed upstate New York circuit, Magnus Racing has never taken victory at the six-hour event. Currently leading the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Championship, the team is cautiously optimistic forSunday’s festivities.
Practice for the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen begins this Friday, July 1, with the race taking place on Sunday, July 3. Live coverage will be available via Fox Sports 1 at 10AM ET, or for international fans.


Magnus Racing Takes Top-10 in Detroit

DETROIT (June 6, 2016)- Returning to a track that has been notoriously challenging for the team, Magnus Racing would finish Saturday’s Chevrolet Sports Car Classic presented by Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers in a quiet 10th

“We knew this would be a challenging weekend for us,” stated team owner and co-driver John Potter. “For whatever reason the circuit at Belle Isle has just never been our track, and this weekend proved no different. I applaud everyone on the team for working hard throughout the weekend, we definitely put in the effort, and ultimately seeing the checkered flag in 10th was all we could ask for.”

As the lone temporary street circuit for the GTD category of IMSA’s WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the bumpy and tight nature of the 2.36-mile course has notoriously proven difficult for the team. In 2014, the team was blighted with penalties which cost the team a possible podium, and in 2015 the team’s co-driver Andy Lally was caught in an unavoidable incident that put the team well behind.

For the 2016 race, John Potter would take starting duties in the No. 44 Audi Tire Center / Auric Solar Audi R8 LMS. Starting from the eighth row, Potter simply managed his time throughout his stint, making a solid pass early on and largely focused on preserving his car. Maintaining contact with the lead pack, an opportune yellow would present itself just past the 35-minute mark of the race, allowing the team to pit in favor of co-driver Andy Lally to take the car through the remainder of the 100-minute race.

Executing a flawless stop, all attention was now on Lally to work on the field in front of him. Showing strong pace, a combination of constant yellow flags and difficulty passing would undermine the pace of the Audi, with Andy doing his best to work on the field in front of him but struggling to gain ground.

As the laps wound down, Lally would be able to make one last gasp pass on the No. 94 Turner BMW of Markus Palttala on the final lap, slotting him in to 10th and gaining valuable points in the process.

“This was just one of those races you know you have to get through,” stated Lally. “Everyone on the team did their part, this just wasn’t a good weekend for us. Luckily we walked away with a car that is still in tact and we definitely learned a few things, so I think headed in to the rest of the season we’ll be in pretty good shape. 

With the event behind them, all focus now turns to an event where the team has done well at, the Sahlen’s Six Hours at the Glen in Watkins Glen, New York. As the third round of the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Championship, the team will take to the track on Friday, July 1, with the six-hour classic taking place that Sunday. The team will have more details on the event shortly.




Magnus the Shark, Magnus Racing Re-Unite in Detroit

DETROIT (June 2, 2016)- Continuing a tradition that began during last year’s event, Magnus Racing will once again partner with SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium for this weekend’s Chevrolet Sports Car Classic presented by Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers. As the fourth round of the GTD category in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the team is hoping that the return of “Magnus the Shark” to pit lane will help bring some good luck to the team’s championship efforts.

“We’ve heard a lot about sharks in the paddock over the years, but we figured we would bring the biggest one,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and co-driver John Potter. “Having Magnus the Shark in our paddock last year was a lot of fun, and as part of our commitment to celebrating every community we visit, we thought this was a good tradition to continue. The SEA LIFE aquarium is a really cool venue with a unique approach to guest experience, and it’s great to continue on with them for another year. We’ve enjoyed a strong start to our championship effort, but obviously the most recent round in Monterey was a bit of a challenge, hopefully this will bring the good luck we’re searching for.” 

Magnus the Shark is the signature mascot of Detroit’s SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium. Designed as an interactive experience, guests can walk through a highly themed aquarium that brings you nose to nose with sharks, stingrays, jellyfish, seahorses and over 5,000 underwater creatures. Located in nearby Auburn Hills, the experience opened in January of 2015, and operates seven days a week.
Magnus the Shark will join the team throughout Saturday’s pre-race festivities, including joining drivers Andy Lally and John Potter during the 10:15AM autograph session, as well as joining the team during the series’ signature gridwalk.

Heading in to the shortest race of the GTD season, the 100-minute event at the famed Belle Isle street circuit promises to be a thrilling one. Historically, Magnus Racing has struggled at the challenging venue, however with the team competing in the No. 44 Audi Tire Center / Auric Solar Audi R8 LMS for the first time at the circuit, optimism is high that their fortunes may turn in 2016.

As part of a shared weekend with the Verizon IndyCar series, practice begins this Friday, June 3, with the race taking place one day later at 12:40PM ET. Live race coverage can be found on Saturday, June 4 at 12:30 PM on Fox Sports 1.





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