Potter and Stanton survive the heat to finish eighth in New Jersey
John Potter, Craig Stanton, and the new look Magnus Racing Porsche showed up ready for battle and very hydrated for Sunday’s American Red Cross 250 at New Jersey Motorsports Park. With a the third day of action at New Jersey providing some respite –temperatures remained in the 90’s, but the humidity level only approached 67 – cockpit conditions would still approach 140 degrees for both drivers in the two hour and forty-five minute race.
A recent change in GRAND-AM regulations meant the Magnus Racing team opted to have Stanton start the race. After qualifying eighth, Stanton jumped ahead of the no. 59 Brumos Porsche at the start of the race and picked up two more positions by working past the no. 07 and no.57 Camaros.
While pitstops began for the GT class, Stanton was able to extend his fuel window but a yellow flag caution period bunched the field up, allowing Stanton to run as high as second. However, a miscommunication between Stanton and his crew meant that Stanton came in the pits one lap after the GT pit stop window opened and just as the race returned to green flag conditions. Second at the time of the stop, the Magnus Racing Porsche with Potter at the wheel would reemerge in eighth position.
Having lost much track position and with no full course yellows, Potter would battle throughout his one hour and seven minute stint with the no. 88 Camaro and the no. 94 BMW. When he turned the car over to Stanton with thirty minutes remaining, the Magnus Racing Porsche was still in eighth position.
Stanton ran a trouble-free final stint to bring the car home in eighth position – in the same position where he took the green flag two hours and forty-five minutes earlier.
“This must be what my thanksgiving Turkey feels like,” said Potter afterwards. “I had some concern about how I would feel because of the high heat and because there was the possibility of being in the car quite a bit longer than I usually am. Craig gave me some of his rocket fuel, but it was very hot throughout the entire stint. Missing the stop like that really hurt us, and we didn’t get a yellow until it was too late. It’s frustrating but we actually made up some ground in the championship.”
Stanton, who nearly passed out at the end of last year’s race at New Jersey Motorsports Park, was happy to not have a repeat of that but wasn’t thrilled about the missed opportunity to gain points.
“Our grey Magnus Racing Porsche was so good at the start,” said Stanton. “We were going forward and making up spots and getting great fuel mileage. I was happy to get out of the car after the first hour because it was super hot in the car, but I was able to get some fluids in me and recover for the end. But we were the first car a lap down and didn’t really have to defend our position, so I just cruised home and stayed out of trouble in my second stint.”
Potter and Stanton’s finish dropped them to sixth in the GT points standings, but the two actually made up ground to the GT points leaders Andrew Davis and Leh Keen as the Magnus Racing pair are now eighteen points behind the leaders and only six points behind third-placed Sylvain Tremblay and Jonathan Bomarito.
The next Rolex Series race will be August 12-13 at Watkins Glen International, on the short course in the traditional date shared with the NASCAR Sprint Cup. The Watkins Glen 200 will be shown live on SPEED Channel Saturday August 13 at 6:00 PM ET.
However, the team will return to American Le Mans competition on August 5-6 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge, bringing its Party Barge back to action for the first time since the IMSA GT3 Challenge race at the Montreal Grand Prix.
By: magnus racing