Magnus Continues Streak Through Brickyard Grand Prix
Following another strategy-led race, Magnus Racing continues to hold on to the Rolex Sports Car Series GT championship lead following a third place in yesterday’s Brickyard Grand Prix.
“Overall I’m happy with today’s result,” stated Magnus Racing team owner John Potter. “We had several guests from Flex-Box and The Private Client Reserve of U.S. Bank, and we really wanted to show well for them. As it has been all year, the Porsche’s struggled on pace, but everyone did a great job to keep the car in contention for the whole race. The fact that we’re still leading the series is a testament to the team.”
Starting the No. 44 Flex-Box / Private Client Reserve of U.S. Bank Porsche from the sixth row, John Potter and the entire Magnus team had extra incentive to perform during the day’s event. Not only were they the defending winners of the Indianapolis race, but additionally played host to over 25 guests from sponsors Flex-Box and The Private Client Reserve of U.S. Bank. Following an activity-filled day for all of their guests and VIP’s, it was time for the team’s attention to turn to the track.
Knowing the race would last slightly longer than a “traditional” sprint race, the team came in to the event with the understanding that strategy and fuel mileage would play a large factor. Knowing his job was to maintain with the leaders and deliver a clean car, John Potter took the green flag and kept to his usual steady pace.
With two hours remaining, Potter handed the reigns to teammate Andy Lally, with an immediate aim of extending fuel mileage as far as possible. Driving with his usual mix of aggression balanced with patience, Lally made several impressive passes during his stint, including a four-wide pass during a re-start, managing to work his way toward the top-five.
As the race began to take shape, a constant series of yellow flags gave the team the opportunity to complete the race on one more stop, advancing ahead of their competitors as every other team elected to make additional pit stops during the middle-portion of the race.
Leading for a sizeable portion of the race, a spirited battle between Lally and the No. 73 Porsche of Patrick Long would highlight the team’s day, with the Magnus No. 44 holding the car off for several laps despite older tires and managing fuel.
With 50 minutes to go and the No. 44 in the fuel window to make one last stop, the team brought the car in for its final round of tires and fuel. Unfortunately, a majority of the GT leaders came in at the same time, and having made pit stops during the middle of the race, the other cars were able to top off their fuel tanks quicker than the No. 44 which was virtually empty.
Setting Lally on his way for a final run to the checkered flag, a pass on the No. 69 Ferrari was all he could muster throughout his stint, settling in to third place as the final laps cycled through.
Friday’s run would serve as the team’s third consecutive podium finish, their fourth of the season. The result would also classify the team as fourth in the North American Endurance Championship, the highest finishing Porsche.
While the team still leads in the Rolex GT championship by four points, and has now held top Porsche honors in seven of the series’ eight races, the need to earn victories is evident.
“It’s going to be tough to win the championship without a couple wins,” stated Andy Lally. “The Camaros and Ferraris are definitely showing some strong pace, and if they can have a consistent series of runs in the next four races it’s going to be tough for us. I’m really proud of the guys for giving us such a great car and having flawless stops, we just need to have things go our way now for a victory.”
With four races to go and a very tight battle for the Rolex GT point lead, the series will return to action in two weeks’ time, with the VisitFlorida.com Sports Car 250 at the scenic Road America Circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Live coverage can be found on Saturday, August 10, at 5PM ET on SPEED.
Source: Magnus Racing