Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
Magnus Racing duo earn seventh top-ten of 2011 Rolex Series season
Magnus Racing drivers John Potter and Craig Stanton scored another top-ten position on Saturday at the Continental Tire Sports Car Festival powered by Mazda at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca when the no. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup crossed the line in seventh position.
After qualifying in tenth, Potter enjoyed a trouble-free opening stint before turning the car over to co-driver Craig Stanton just before the 45 minute pitstop window closed. Aiming to stretch his fuel load as long as possible, Stanton was in fuel conservation mode but was able to move the Magnus Racing Porsche as high as the sixth position. The competitive nature of the GT field was obvious as third through ninth position rain in a train throughout a large portion of the second hour.
One by one, the GT field came into the pits but Stanton was able to stay out, leading two laps before his team brought him into the pits. Reemerging in 8th position, the team’s fuel advantage was negated when the no. 23 Daytona Prototype dug a hole for itself in turn five and brought out an extended yellow flag period. On the ensuing restart, Stanton spun in turn two as he attempted to make up positions but was able to continue, losing only one position.
A separate incident brought out another full-course yellow and set up a ten-minute sprint to the finish. Stanton was able to make up two positions to cross the finish line in seventh place, salvaging a decent points position on the day.
“It was a bittersweet kind of race,” said Potter afterwards. “We had a great strategy and a better car than the result showed. But in the second half of the race the yellows didn’t help our strategy and we had an unfortunate spin at the end cost us a couple of positions. We had a podium car but it just wasn’t to be today.”
Stanton was frustrated with his late race off course excursion as he attempted to battle forward in the Magnus Racing Porsche. He then departed Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on his bicycle to watch his wife, Joy, compete in a rowing competition in Oakland.
“I was trying to make something happen on that final yellow, and it just didn’t work out,” said Stanton. “We had some lapped cars in front of us and I just got it wrong heading into turn two on that restart. I think we were in a really good position with fuel mileage but we kind of lost our advantage with those last yellows. The guys gave us a great car that should have been on the podium.”
Potter and Stanton currently sit fifth (or eighth) in the GT class points standings at 200 points, 22 points behind leaders Andrew Davis and Leh Keen – two of Magnus Racing’s alumni.
By: Magnus Racing