Huitieme in Trois-Rivieres for Potter and Keen August 18, 2010 (Salt Lake City, Utah) -- Traveling to Canada to sightsee and take in the local culture of Quebec, John Potter and Leh Keen took the time to bring the No. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche ...
Huitieme in Trois-Rivieres for Potter and Keen
August 18, 2010 (Salt Lake City, Utah) -- Traveling to Canada to sightsee and take in the local culture of Quebec, John Potter and Leh Keen took the time to bring the No. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche Cayman north of the border with them. Luckily, they found themselves at the Grand Prix de Trois Rivieres, which happened to be the ninth round of the 2010 Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge.
While most street circuits are described as 'tight and twisty', that is the perfect description of Circuit Trois-Rivieres, a 1.521, 10-turn street course located at Terrain de l'Exposition. The packed weekend schedule meant that GRAND-AM's GS-class cars would compact all of their practice, qualifying, and racing into one day of action.
Taking the wheel for qualifying, Potter drove his Cayman to 11th on the starting grid for the two-hour contest that would start at dusk and finish at night. Although they had not had a lot of track time, the team realized quickly that conserving the brakes of the Cayman would play a huge role in the outcome of the race. With several heavy braking zones in a short course, brake usage was the highest the team had seen all season.
At the drop of the green, Potter made a clean start and drove conservatively , doing everything he could to conserve the car -- especially the brakes -- so Keen would be able to race to the end without trouble. Three caution periods during the first hour of the race -- including one for a car which crashed due to failed brakes -- helped him in his efforts.
With Keen in the car for the second half of the race, the Cayman was able to maintain pace with the leaders, waiting for another yellow to come to help him make up some track position. Surprisingly, a yellow never fell in the final hour of the race and the long green-flag run meant that Keen would begin to experience brake fade near the end of the race. However, he was able to keep the car on the lead lap -- and at the checkered, crossed the line to finish eighth. And just as in New Jersey, the Cayman was the first non V8-powered car to cross the finish line in the GS class.
"We knew that we were going to be in trouble with the brakes if we were not careful -- we used one set of pads up during qualifying," said Potter. "I saved as much of the brakes as I could during my stint while trying to go fast enough to stay close to the leaders. Leh still had trouble, but at least he didn't crash and have the car catch fire, unlike some others. We're happy with first in class and I'm glad that we got part one of the two-part Magnus Racing Excellent Quebec Adventure done with no major harm."
Part two of the Magnus Racing Excellent Quebec Adventure will be August 27-28 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Quebec, on the Ile Notre Dame. The event will be round eleven of the Rolex Sportscar Series, and Potter will be back in the No. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup with co-driver Craig Stanton.