Watkins Glen: Magnus Racing race report

Magnus Racing experiences the highs and lows of racing in Watkins Glen (Watkins Glen, NY) -- It was a rollercoaster ride for Magnus Racing on Saturday as the team's Porsches competed in -- and led -- both GRAND-AM series races at Watkins Glen ...

Magnus Racing experiences the highs and lows of racing in Watkins Glen

(Watkins Glen, NY) -- It was a rollercoaster ride for Magnus Racing on Saturday as the team's Porsches competed in -- and led -- both GRAND-AM series races at Watkins Glen International.

On Friday, team owner John Potter saw his co-driver Craig Stanton put the No. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup on pole for Saturday's Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen, the fifth round of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sportscar Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 championship. He then qualified the No.44 Magnus Racing Porsche Cayman, which had been rebuilt after a major crash in Thursday practice, fifteenth for the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge.

The CTSCC race was first on the day for the team, and after John jumped up to ninth on the opening lap and raced to the front, Leh Keen took over at the first pitstop. Throughout the final hour and a half of the race, Keen put the potential of the Cayman on display as he raced forward until he was in second place, battling for the lead. The battle got heated, and the resulting contact cut the right rear tire on the Cayman, ending the team's bid for a win. The car was classified as the 17th finisher.

Stanton started the Sahlen's Six Hour of the Glen for the team and immediately built a large margin over the rest of the GT field. Different pit sequences saw the car fall to fourth as John Potter took over the wheel, but Potter aptly demonstrated his ability behind the wheel as he ran with the leaders as rain fell on Watkins Glen three different times during his stint. He then turned the car over under caution to Dutch driver Jeroen Bleekemolen, who took the restart in second place and timed it to perfection to retake the GT class lead in turn one.

Much as Stanton did earlier in the race, Bleekemolen began to drive the No.44 Magnus Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup away from the rest of the GT field. With the race firmly in control, an electrical malfunction surfaced, and Bleekemolen was forced to pit under green to have the team replace a faulty alternator. The lengthy stop effectively removed the car from contention, and when the checkered fell the team crossed the finish line in eleventh position.

"You know, as much as I want to say that it was still a great weekend for us, it is really frustrating to not get that first win for our guys," said Potter following the Sahlen's Six Hour of the Glen. "We've had the talent in the Magnus Racing team to run at the front all year, and here we were able to put that talent on display and a part on the car failed and it cost us a win. It's as simple as that. But now, all we can do is move on to the next race at Mid-Ohio."

With five races of the Rolex Sportscar Series season now complete, Magnus Racing is tied for fifth in the GT team championship, while Stanton and Potter are tenth in the GT drivers championship. Potter is also third in the Bob Akin championship for sportsman drivers.

Next on the calendar for Magnus Racing will be the Emco Gears Classic presented by Keybank at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, June 18-19.

-source: magnus racing

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Craig Stanton , Jeroen Bleekemolen , Bob Akin , Lehman Keen , John Potter
Teams Magnus Racing