[source: Magnus Racing]
Running their most competitive race of the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship, Magnus Racing and Audi Sport customer racing would enjoy their best result of the year, taking third during yesterday’s Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix at the historic Candian Tire Motorsport Park, formerly known as Mosport. Gaining eight positions in treacherous heat throughout the race, the two-hour, forty-five minute sprint race would generate the first podium for any Audi vehicle in the series, re-affirming Magnus Racing’s commitment to getting the best results of any team waving the Audi flag.
“This was exactly the result that we needed,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and co-driver John Potter. “We’ve enjoyed a great relationship with Audi Sport customer racing over the years, and continuing our heritage as their top performer is something we take great pride in. This was an not easy result for us. The guys had a very busy few weeks of preparation with some dramatic changes we made between races, then of course the Six Hours of the Glen, another test, and this weekend’s race all happened within a week. This was a great reward for all the crew, they really earned the result.”
Following a rough several weeks leading in to this weekend’s round, the traditional busyness of the summer has not disappointed for the Magnus crew in 2018. Prior to last weekend’s Six Hours of the Glen, the team put in an extensive amount of time in to their preparation for the summer with some major changes to the car made in June, followed of course by last weekend’s six-hour race. Adding to the challenge, record heat throughout last weekend’s race, as well as a series test the following day, would create brutal conditions for everyone.
Arriving in Canada, Saturday’s third practice session would present an issue with the ABS system for the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS, sending driver John Potter in to the tire barriers in Turn Five, and creating front body damage to the car with only a few hours to repair before qualifying. With the team doing a herculean job of getting the car prepared, Potter would take to the car in time for Saturday’s qualifications, ensuring the car was in proper shape for Sunday’s race.
When the green flag fell on Sunday, Potter’s pace was quick right from the beginning, holding with the pack in front of him throughout his opening stint. Making zero mistakes, John would find himself well within the top-10 by time it was he entered the pits, with Andy Lally eventually settling in to sixth place once stops cycled through.
With a fast car under him, Lally’s trademark ability to drive through the field would once again prove true, passing car-after-car throughout his closing stint, eventually moving to the top-five in the closing laps. Enjoying some impressive re-starts following some late-race cautions, Lally would work his way to third in hot pursuit of a runner-up finish over the Lexus in front of him, however he simply ran out of time to advance any further.
For Lally, it was a great finish to turn their season around.
“It was great to return to our old form,” stated Lally. “The guys have been pushing like heck the last several weeks, and I knew it was on me to deliver the result they wanted in those closing laps. The car was really fast and really good on the tires, IMSA has done a great job helping to get us more competitive.”
With two weeks until the next round, Magnus Racing will now turn their attention to preparation for one of the most notorious rounds of the championship, the Northeast Grand Prix in Lakeville, Connecticut. Taking place at Lime Rock Park, the shortest circuit of the season, attrition is notoriously high, however Magnus has had a great run of success there recently. In 2016, Magnus Racing took their last IMSA victory at the track, following it up last year with an overall win in another series. Practice begins on Friday, July 20, with the race taking place one day later.