Sebring Trophy Another Prize For Magnus Porsche
John Potter’s Magnus Racing has a knack for winning America’s premier endurance races.
The team’s first victory was in the 2012 Rolex 24 At Daytona, where Potter joined full-season co-driver Andy Lally and guest drivers Richard Lietz and Rene Rast to win the GT class in the 50th anniversary running of the event.
Then it was on to Indianapolis, where Potter and Lally drove the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup to a GT victory in the inaugural Rolex Sports Car Series race at the hallowed Brickyard. That also gave the team the victory in the inaugural North American Endurance Championship.
On March 15th, The TUDOR United SportsCar Championship raced for the first time at Sebring International Raceway. Once again, Magnus Racing rose to the occasion in the 62nd Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida.
Racing in the GT Daytona (GTD) class, Marco Seefried joined Potter and Lally in the winning No. 44 Flex-Box Porsche 911 GT America prepared by engineer Lars Giersing and engineer John Bedell.
“Sebring was the missing piece, and the Magnus group busted their butts and made this car go pretty fast,” Potter said. “It’s one of the most exciting things that’s happened in a while to me. The best part is we’ve got a great bunch of guys sharing in this venture together. Having so many challenges throughout the race made for a very exciting 12 hours, and I’m still in a bit of shock.”
For Potter, it was a victory in his first race on the demanding 3.74-mile circuit. For his co-driver, it meant the fulfillment of a long-time quest.
“Holy cow – we’ve won Sebring!” Lally said. “I’ve been coming here for 18 years, and never won the race. So many Sebrings … I’ve finished second overall … I’ve finished third … But I’ve never gotten to that top step of the podium. To do it like this, to do it in a battle with six cars on the lead lap, and fighting off the guys that just won the Rolex 24 At Daytona – man, you talk about pressure. That was awesome.”
Lally pointed out two keys to the victory.
First, the team managed to fix the air pressure compressor that engages the shifter – a problem that plagued the team at Daytona. This time they were able to make repairs costing only one lap with five hours remaining.
Second, Giersing made the call for the final pit stop moments before the caution waved for the final time to put the team in position to lead the No. 555 AIM Autosport Ferrari 458 Italia.
There’s a long road ahead towards the 2014 TUDOR Championship, as well as two more rounds in the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Championship, which is worth $50,000 to the GTD-winning team.
Having checked off Daytona, Indianapolis and now Sebring off the “bucket list,” Potter and his Magnus squad look to add the trophies from the Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen International on June 29, and the Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda at Road Atlanta on Oct. 4.