Utah: Magnus Racing race report

Half of Salt Lake City turns out to see Magnus Racing round out Grand-Am season September 13, 2010 (Salt Lake City, Calif.) -- With the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 season finale held at the home base of...

Half of Salt Lake City turns out to see Magnus Racing round out Grand-Am season

September 13, 2010 (Salt Lake City, Calif.) -- With the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 season finale held at the home base of Magnus Racing -- the expansive Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah -- it was no surprise that half of the event attendance was made up of visitors of the Magnus Racing hospitality area.

As such, team owner John Potter was eager to put on a strong showing in the No. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup in Saturday's Utah 250, and the team was in high spirits after a strong showing at the Montreal 200 in Montreal, Quebec when he led the race in the early going before Craig Stanton brought the car home in fifth place.

Finishing in 11th position in Friday's qualifying session, Potter had a clean start when the green flag fell for Saturday's Utah 250 and ran a steady pace throughout his stint. He advanced a position when he passed the No. 41 Mazda RX-8 before a caution for 'debris' saw him pit and hand the car over to Stanton.

With the race being relatively incident-free and with the field spread out, Stanton was directed by the team to begin saving fuel with the goal being to have enough to make it to the end of the race. Running a conservative pace, he ran as high as seventh before two yellow flags removed any issue of fuel mileage from the race. With such a long stint on his tires, Stanton struggled for grip but found a way to make a last-lap, last-corner pass attempt on Memo Gidley in the No. 43 Mazda RX-8 that he was unable to pull off. He crossed the finish line in eight to put a cap on the first GRAND-AM season for Magnus Racing.

"Craig refers to the people who post on our website and Facebook pages as the Magnus Nation. If that is the case, then this is Magnus City," said Potter. "We wanted to put on a good show and the Porsche ran great today and all weekend. We picked a strategy and unfortunately the race played out differently than we would have liked, but we brought the car home in one piece, none of our drivers passed out, and no one hit us, so it was a good day in GT."

Unfortunately, the No. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche Cayman was more reluctant than its green brother, as it flat out refused to start after Friday's final practice session. A glitch in the car's ECU could not be resolved, despite the efforts of the Magnus Racing crew and Ken Garff Automotive Group, the Porsche dealership in not-so-nearby Orem, Utah.

No such problems existed on Friday when Potter drove the Cayman from downtown Salt Lake City to Taylorsville, Utah, when he drove 11-year-old Reed Tyler to Bennion Elementary School. Tyler was selected by Miller Motorsports Park as the winner of the VIP Ride to School contest, which included a live television spot on the local Fox News affiliate and a high-speed police escorted ride in the Magnus Racing Cayman down I-215. Tyler also joined the crew during the Utah 250, wearing a Magnus Racing firesuit and sitting on the pit box with Potter and the team's engineering staff.

Magnus Racing finished ninth in the team championship in their first season, and it will be a short off-season before the team reappears in January for the 2011 Rolex 24 at Daytona -- where Magnus Racing's campaign to bring a new perspective back to sports car racing will continue.

-source: magnus racing

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Memo Gidley , Tyler Reed , Craig Stanton , John Potter
Teams Magnus Racing