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Monday
Jun072010

Magnus Racing experiences the highs and lows of racing in Watkins Glen

Craig Stanton leads the GT field at the start of the Sahlen's Six Hour of the GlenJune 5, 2010 (Watkins Glen, NY) – It was a rollercoaster ride for Magnus Racing on Saturday as the team’s Porsches competed in – and led – both GRAND-AM series races at Watkins Glen International.

On Friday, team owner John Potter saw his co-driver Craig Stanton put the No. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup on pole for Saturday’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, the fifth round of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 championship. He then qualified the No.44 Magnus Racing Porsche Cayman, which had been rebuilt after a major crash in Thursday practice, fifteenth for the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge.

The Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race was first on the day for the team, and after John jumped up to ninth on the opening lap and raced to the front, Leh Keen took over at the first pitstop. Throughout the final hour and a half of the race, Keen put the potential of the Cayman on display as he raced forward until he was in second place, battling for the lead. The battle got heated, and the resulting contact cut the right rear tire on the Cayman, ending the team’s bid for a win. The car was classified as the 17th finisher.

Stanton started the Sahlen’s Six Hour of the Glen for the team and immediately built a large margin over the rest of the GT field. Different pit sequences saw the car fall to fourth as John Potter took over the wheel, but Potter aptly demonstrated his ability behind the wheel as he ran with the leaders as rain fell on Watkins Glen three different times during his stint. He then turned the car over under caution to Dutch driver Jeroen Bleekemolen, who took the restart in second place and timed it to perfection to retake the GT class lead in turn one.

John Potter and Leh Keen put in the strongest appearance of the year in the team's Porsche Cayman, nearly winning the GS raceMuch as Stanton did earlier in the race, Bleekemolen began to drive the No.44 Magnus Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup away from the rest of the GT field. With the race firmly in control, an electrical malfunction surfaced, and Bleekemolen was forced to pit under green to have the team replace a faulty alternator. The lengthy stop effectively removed the car from contention, and when the checkered fell the team crossed the finish line in eleventh position.

“You know, as much as I want to say that it was still a great weekend for us, it is really frustrating to not get that first win for our guys,” said Potter following the Sahlen’s Six Hour of the Glen. “We’ve had the talent in the Magnus Racing team to run at the front all year, and here we were able to put that talent on display and a part on the car failed and it cost us a win. It’s as simple as that. But now, all we can do is move on to the next race at Mid-Ohio.”

With five races of the Rolex Sports Car Series season now complete, Magnus Racing is tied for fifth in the GT team championship, while Stanton and Potter are tenth in the GT drivers championship. Potter is also third in the Bob Akin championship for sportsman drivers.

Next on the calendar for Magnus Racing will be the Emco Gears Classic presented by Keybank at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, June 18-19. The Continental Tie 150 from Watkins Glen will be broadcast June 13 at 1:00 PM ET on SPEED Channel. 

Fans of Magnus Racing can see photo galleries from Watkins Glen on www.magnusracing.com, at facebook.com/magnusracing, and on twitter at 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
Jun042010

Stanton captures first pole for Magnus Racing at the Glen

June 4, 2010 (Watkins Glen, NY) – Craig Stanton, from Long Beach, Calif., blitzed the 3.4-mile Watkins Glen International layout during the GRAND-AM Rolex Sportscar Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No.16 qualifying to take pole position for Saturday’s Sahlen’s Six Hour of the Glen in the No.44 Magnus Racing Porsche GT3 Cup.

Stanton’s pole position was the first for Magnus Racing, the second of Stanton’s career, and the first one in 2010 for Porsche.

“I am so excited for my team, I almost don’t have any words,” said Stanton following the qualifying session. “This really shows the progression that Magnus Racing has undergone this season. These guys all come to us from different places but have come together as a team really quickly. They have busted their butts for us since Daytona, and this result really is for them and for all their hard work. We have a lot of team family and friends here with us this weekend, and we know we have lots of family and friends at home following the action, so I’m really excited to give them something to be happy about.”

For Potter, from Salt Lake City, Utah, the pole position is vindication of the program that he built over the winter after the end of the 2009 GRAND-AM season.

“It’s very exciting to say that Magnus Racing has scored its first pole position,” said Potter. “But mostly I’m thrilled for our guys. It’s their experience and skills that allow us to get great results like our first pole position.”

The No.44 Magnus Racing Porsche GT3 Cup had excelled throughout the day on the fast, flowing Watkins Glen layout. Stanton, Potter, and Jeroen Bleekemolen, the third Magnus Racing driver on this weekend, were able to keep their car in the top-three throughout all of the day’s sessions.

“We knew coming to Watkins Glen that we would do well, as this is a track that favors the Porsche,” said Stanton. “Its layout – with high speeds and lots of fast straightaways – suits the aerodynamics and balance of the Porsche, but I had it on the ragged edge to put that lap down. The car has felt phenomenal all day, and we also think we will have a car that will be good for all six hours tomorrow.”

In Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge qualifying, Potter drove the No.44 Magnus Racing Porsche Cayman for the first time since it was involved in a heavy accident yesterday to a 15th overall qualifying position. The Magnus Racing team had a large job to repair the car but, as they have done throughout the season, proved up to the task of getting the car ready-to-race.

The CTSCC race will begin Saturday at 10:15 AM ET, with the Rolex Sportscar Series race beginning at 2:00 PM ET. The GT race will air live in two segments on SPEED Channel, with the first segment beginning at 2:00 PM ET and ending at 4:00 PM ET, and the second beginning at 6:00 PM ET and ending at 8:30 PM ET. Qualifying for the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen will stream live online at http://stream.speedtv.com, beginning at 3:35 PM ET and will run for both the Daytona Prototype and GT sessions.

Throughout the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, fans of Magnus Racing will be able to log on to the team’s website at magnusracing.com, and chat live with the team and drivers. Fans of Magnus Racing also stay updated with the team at facebook.com/magnusracing, and on twitter at 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.

Thursday
Jun032010

Jeroen Bleekemolen and Live Blog are back for Magnus Racing in Watkins Glen

June 3, 2010 (Salt Lake City, Utah) – The upcoming Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, the sixth stop on the 2010 GRAND-AM Rolex Sportscar Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No.16 schedule, is the race that the Magnus Racing team has been waiting for.

It’s no small secret that with the current rules package and tire specifications the Porsche 911 GT3’s have struggled to match the pace of the other GT-class cars in GRAND-AM in 2010, especially in the shorter races. However, the Sahlen’s Six Hour of the Glen will play to the strengths of the Porsche platform – namely, its reliability and consistency over the course of an endurance race. At last year’s Sahlen’s Six Hour of the Glen, Magnus Racing drivers John Potter and Craig Stanton teamed up to have one of their strongest runs of the season, finishing fifth.

Adding to the firepower of the No.44 Magnus Racing Porsche 911 GT3 will be the Netherlands’ Jeroen Bleekemolen, who will rejoin the team for this weekend’s race. Bleekemolen also drove with the team at the Rolex 24 in Daytona, where his speed was noticed by not just by the team but throughout the GRAND-AM paddock. Bleekemolen recently co-drove the similar winning Porsche in the GT-C class at the American Le Mans six hour race in Monterey, California, and is a former class winner at the 24 Hours of LeMans as well as the 2009 Porsche Supercup champion.

Bleekemolen has a family connection to Watkins Glen, as his father Michael Bleekemolen contested the 1978 United States Grand Prix East at the track. Potter also has a connection to the facility, as his father was once told to never return to the track by a New York state officer after partying too much during the 1964 United States Grand Prix.

“I’m really glad to have Jeroen back with us for this weekend,” said Potter. “We have been able to make progress in the last couple of races, and we think the long race will suit the strengths of the Porsche. And having Jeroen back means we have a very quick driver who understands endurance racing and knows how to make the Porsche go fast. He gelled with the team right away at Daytona and we’re all happy to have him back.”

Stanton and Potter are currently eleventh in the Rolex Sportscar Series’ GT championship standings, while Potter is fourth in the Bob Akin Award standings for sportsman drivers in the GT class. Magnus Racing is also fifth in the GT Team Championship standings, just a few points outside of fourth place.

The GT race will air live in two segments on SPEED Channel, with the first segment beginning at 2:00 PM ET and ending at 4:00 PM ET, and the second beginning at 6:00 PM ET and ending at 8:30 PM ET. Qualifying for the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen will stream live online at http://stream.speedtv.com, beginning at 3:35 PM ET and will run for both the Daytona Prototype and GT sessions.

Throughout the six hour race, fans of Magnus Racing will be able to log on to the team’s website at magnusracing.com, and chat live with the team and drivers as they contest the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen. Fans of Magnus Racing also stay updated with the team at facebook.com/magnusracing, and on twitter at 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.

 





Tuesday
Jun012010

Potter and Stanton survive hectic Lime Rock race to record a seventh-place finish for Magnus Racing

Craig on his way to the checkered flag in Lime RockMay 31, 2010 (Salt Lake City, Utah) – The first GRAND-AM Rolex Sportscar Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No.16 race at Lime Rock Park that featured a combined field of Daytona Prototypes and Grand Touring cars lived up to expectations that the race would be fast-paced and feature plenty of action between the two classes of cars.

The mission for Magnus Racing’s starting driver John Potter was simple: keep the No.44 Magnus Racing Porsche 911 GT3 out of trouble and hand over a good car to his co-driver, Craig Stanton. While other GT cars around him ran into trouble – or were run off the track by Daytona Prototypes – Potter moved upwards through the field in what was, for the second time this season, the only Porsche entered in the race.

When the bulk of the GT field came to the pits, the Magnus Racing team executed a flawless pitstop and Stanton rejoined the race in tenth position. As he did at last month’s race at Virginia International Raceway, Stanton moved the Porsche forward throughout the final hour. With a few minutes remaining in the race, Stanton executed a pass on the No.30 Mazda RX-8 entering Lime Rock’s Big Bend for sixth place. Stanton, one of the most experienced drivers in the Rolex Sportscar Series, made the pass happen on the outside of the corner but left plenty of racing room for his competitor to make it through the corner. He was then hit in the right rear by the Mazda, sending him spinning off the track and causing him to lose several positions.

Stanton rejoined the race and owing to another incident later that lap involving other GT cars, he was able to bring the Magnus Racing Porsche home in seventh place.

“We knew that we would be struggling on pace in Lime Rock – it’s just a track that’s not suited for our car,” said Potter. “We can run an excellent race pace and go very fast at the end of a race if Craig and I take care of the car and look after the tires, but track position is huge at Lime Rock so had a disadvantage from the start because of qualifying. We did get some help with the yellows and were able to minimize the loss of time and damage to the car when the prototypes went by. It’s too bad Craig was punted by that Mazda because if not for that we would have been sixth, but we are relatively happy with seventh and we’re happy the car is in one piece so the guys don’t have to thrash to get it ready for the Sahlen’s Six Hour of the Glen.”

Stanton and Potter remain eleventh in the Rolex Sportscar Series’ GT championship standings, while Potter also remains fourth in the Bob Akin Award standings for sportsman drivers in the GT class. Magnus Racing is also fifth in the GT Team Championship standings.

The team in green will now head west to Watkins Glen, New York for this weekend’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen. The GT race will air live in two segments on SPEED Channel, with the first segment beginning at 2:00 PM ET, and the second beginning at 6:00 PM ET. Fans of Magnus Racing can see photo galleries from the weekend and more 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.

Thursday
May272010

Potter and Keen look to replicate top-10 run for Magnus Racing’s Porsche Cayman at Lime Rock

Magnus Racing is looking for another top-10 in GS(May 26, 2010) Salt Lake City, Utah – The short career of the No.44 Magnus Racing Porsche Cayman has been a good one, as the team’s little Porsche has quickly found a place toward the front of the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge’s GS class.

Embroiled in a race-long battle at the Bosch Engineering 200 at VIRginia International Raceway, Potter and Keen jumped from their 14th starting position to run as high as third. A late-race pitstop for a splash of fuel dropped them down the order but the Cayman still crossed the finish line in tenth, for the first top-10 of its three-race career.

Keen, the defending champion in the GRAND-Am Rolex Sportscar Series Presented by Crown Royal Cask No.16’s GT class will again join Potter in the Cayman in Lime Rock for this weekend’s Memorial Day Classic for the GS-only race.  The tight and twisty 1.53-mile road course in upstate Connecticut will tip the balance of speed to the Cayman a bit more than VIR did, as it places an emphasis on chassis and minimizes advantages gained by the big horsepower cars. At last year’s GT-only race in Lime Rock, Potter co-drove a Porsche 997 to a second-place finish.

“We have had the chance to test the Cayman since VIR, and we keep learning new things each time,” said Potter. “We’ve been pleased with the performance and results to date, and Lime Rock should be a track that favors the Porsches a bit more than some of the other tracks we’ve been to. Horsepower still helps, but the straightaways aren’t really long and you can pay a penalty if you use up your tires.”

Because the race will not be broadcast live on television, fans of Magnus Racing can keep up with the progress of Potter and Keen at magnusracing.com, facebook.com/magnusracing, and twitter.com/magnusracing (@magnusracing). Friday will see the team practice and qualify, with the green flag dropping for the GS-only race on Saturday at 3:00PM ET.

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.