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Articles on this Page
- 03/01/17--22:45: _Pierre Kaffer, Spen...
- 03/14/17--17:46: _Strong Promise Show...
- 03/16/17--17:26: _Marco Seefried Join...
- 04/05/17--11:05: _Magnus Racing Retur...
- 04/10/17--16:21: _Podium Result for M...
- 04/25/17--12:12: _Two Cars, Four Driv...
- 05/02/17--13:50: _Top-Five Finish Hig...
- 05/16/17--10:58: _Magnus Racing Looks...
- 05/22/17--20:46: _Pair of Top-Fives H...
- 03/16/17--17:26: Marco Seefried Joins Magnus Racing for SprintX Rounds
- 04/05/17--11:05: Magnus Racing Returns to Long Beach Grand Prix After Six-Year Hiatus
- 04/10/17--16:21: Podium Result for Magnus Racing and John Potter at Long Beach Return
- 05/16/17--10:58: Magnus Racing Looks Forward to the Politeness of Canada
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (March 2, 2017)- Following the recent announcement to enter two cars in the Pirelli World Challenge GT and GTA categories respectively, Magnus Racing is pleased to confirm the addition of Pierre Kaffer for the majority of GT category events during the 2017 season, with Spencer Pumpelly joining as Kaffer’s teammate throughout the series’ SprintX championship. Competing in the No. 4 Audi R8 LMS, both drivers head in to the season with a clear target of overall victories and valuable points toward the Team Championship.
“We couldn’t be happier to have the addition of both Pierre and Spencer to the team,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and driver John Potter. “Pierre Kaffer’s success speaks for itself, and as an Audi Sport provided driver, he clearly has the pace and the talent to compete with the best of them. He’s already proven a good fit with us during testing, and we expect he’ll suit us well going in to the 2017 season. I’ve known Spencer for a while, including briefly driving with him, and know he’ll be a great fit with us for the SprintX races. He’s obviously a proven winner, not to mention has some great experience with Audi machinery, so we’re hoping for good things with the two of them driving together. It’s great to finally kick in to gear with the season beginning next week, we all feel very prepared and ready for St. Petersburg.”
Joining the team for the majority of the 2017 season, Pierre Kaffer comes to Magnus Racing as a proven winner and veteran of sportscar racing worldwide. No stranger to success, the German’s career includes an overall victory at the 12 Hours of Sebring, class victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Petit Le Mans, Sebring, and even a championship in the former American Le Mans Series’ highly competitive GT2 category. Having driven a variety of vehicles in a number of series, including the prestigious DTM championship, the Audi Sport driver joins Magnus as a newcomer to the Pirelli World Challenge and its challenging sprint format. Unfortunately, due to his obligations at the 24 Hours of Nürburgring and 24 Hours of Spa, Kaffer will miss the rounds at Lime Rock in May and Mid-Ohio in July. The team will still be entered in those events with an eye on the Team Championship, with a to-be-named replacement.
For Kaffer, the opportunity to join the most recent team to win with Audi in North America is a welcome one.
“I’m really looking forward to joining Magnus Racing in 2017,” stated Kaffer. “The team has a great reputation for results, and even though it’s their first season of the Pirelli World Challenge I think we all believe we can be competitive. I was able to meet everyone at a recent test, and it’s clearly a great group, and a very comfortable atmosphere. I’m extremely appreciative of the opportunity, and look forward to getting the season started in St. Petersburg.”
Joining Kaffer for the series’ two-driver “SprintX” rounds, Spencer Pumpelly will join the Magnus Racing No. 4 GT entry for the five-race championship. A veteran of American racing, the Georgia resident is one of the most respected drivers in the paddock, having taken two victories at The Rolex 24 at Daytona, countless wins in the IMSA and former GRAND-AM and ALMS ranks, and is the reigning IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge ST category champion. While new to the team, Pumpelly has worked with a majority of Magnus personnel over the years, including John Potter whom he drove with in 2009 before the current team was formed.
For Spencer, while technically a Magnus newcomer, the feeling within the team is already comfortable.
“I already feel right at home with everyone at Magnus Racing,” stated Pumpelly. “I’ve known almost everyone on the team for a long time, so it’s a very comfortable place to be, and the chemistry is already excellent. The SprintX format is a unique one, as both Pierre and I will be flat out for some very short stints, but it should make for some exciting races. I drove the previous generation Audi for a full season in 2014, so I know what the quality of car and support will be, and with all this in mind we’re definitely optimistic on our chances. Technically my season doesn’t begin until VIR in April, but everyone has been great, including me in all of their plans and testing, so we’re already in great shape. I really appreciate everyone bringing me on, and look forward to what the season brings."
Magnus Racing’s 2017 season will finally start in one week’s time, with The Pirelli World Challenge taking to the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, next weekend. Running in conjunction with the Verizon IndyCar Series, official practice begins on Thursday, March 9, with a double-header series of races on Saturday, March 11 and Sunday, March 12. Coverage can be found at world-challenge.com, as well as continuous updates via the team’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (March 13, 2017)- Making their series debut in the Pirelli World Challenge, Magnus Racing would end their double-header weekend at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg having demonstrated an immediate pace and contention for race victories. Qualifying on the front-row in their series debut, drivers John Potter and Pierre Kaffer would both demonstrate a strong combination of patience and aggression, with Potter taking sixth and eighth place finishes in class, and Kaffer surviving a frought weekend to finish 15th and 19th.
“Overall we have a lot of things to be happy with this weekend,” stated Potter. “It’s a brand new series, brand-new tire, and at a track we’d never been to, and for the most part we had a seamless transition to the Pirelli World Challenge. Behind the scenes, every series runs a little different in the way of procedures, administrative elements, etc., and the fact that we didn’t have a single misstep all weekend long is a strong testament to the quality of everyone on the team. Our only ‘incidents’ were track related, and that’s just a byproduct of the hard racing that this series brings, and that’s what we came here to experience. A front row qualifying effort in our first try is something we should all be happy with, and had it not been for some contact Pierre would have had a great weekend. While obviously I would have liked to have finished higher, I’m happy with my own performance considering how new it all was. In general we learned a lot, which will only make us that much stronger going in to Long Beach.”
Driving the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS, John Potter would take top team honors on the weekend. Arriving to not only a new series but a new track, the Utah resident knew that patience would be a virtue at the tight street-course, with the wall-lined layout providing little room for forgiveness.
Driving in the series’ GTA class, Potter would enjoy a patient run during Saturday’s Race One, familiarizing himself with the nature of the format and getting a sense of his competitors. Not putting a foot wrong for all 50-minutes, John would make steady progress as the race endured, ultimately finishing sixth in class.
For Sunday’s Race Two, a frantic opening lap would lead to a mixture of positions and incidents synonymous with the series, however Potter would manage to avoid all of it, once again demonstrating remarkable patience as he acclimates to the new format. Engaging in a number of battles throughout the 50-minute race, John would set some of his fastest laps of the weekend en route to an eighth place class finish.
Driving the No. 4 Audi R8 LMS in the series’ GT class, Pierre Kaffer would impress in his series debut, even if the ultimate finishing results didn’t demonstrate it. In both the driver and team’s first ever qualifying effort, the German did a remarkable time to set the second fastest time on the day, qualifying himself outside of the front row and setting the stage for what everyone had hoped would be a good weekend.
When the green flag dropped for Saturday’s Race One, Kaffer would engage in a strong four-way battle for the lead, with four different drivers in four different marques constantly switching positions in the all-out sprint race. Maintaining a podium position through his run, an aggressive pass by the No. 007 Aston Martin would put Pierre in a bad spot on track, with the No. 58 Porsche making a diving move in to Turn Three as a result. This would lead to contact, ultimately cutting down the Audi’s right-rear tire as well as leading to light wall contact. While Kaffer would continue in the race, he would be forced to pit for a new tire and continue on with a slightly damaged rear suspension, finishing 19th overall.
For Sunday’s Race Two, Kaffer’s race misfortunes would continue. Due to running much of Saturdays’ race with a damaged car, the Audi factory driver’s fastest lap would only place him 12th fastest for the race, and with 50-minutes to move up to the field Pierre would have to move quickly. Unfortunately, due to a chaotic opening lap, Pierre would end up caught out approaching the treacherous Turn Four, being forced wide in to the corner and with no choice but to take the turn’s escape road to avoid crashing. As a result, Kaffer would lose nearly a minute trying to re-join the track, which in a sprint race creates an insurmountable gap. While Pierre would do his best to gain ground, a lack of caution periods left him helpless to do much to the field in front of him, settling for 15th overall.
“Even though there were some disappointments, I really enjoyed my first weekend with Magnus,” stated Kaffer. “The team is extremely professional, fun, and they gave me a great car. Everything was working very well throughout practice and it showed in qualifying, the races just didn’t go our way. These things can happen and the series is incredibly competitive. Now that we have a better understanding we’ll be that much stronger headed to Long Beach I’m sure, I thank everyone for the opportunity to be here.”
With the first weekend behind, all focus now shifts to a circuit the team has visited before, albeit not in six years, at the Grand Prix of Long Beach. Taking place on the city streets of the seaside California city, the team looks forward to the next round of competition, taking place April 7-9.
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (March 17, 2017)- Continuing a relationship that began with victory at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring three years ago, Marco Seefried will once again return to Magnus Racing in 2017, joining teammate John Potter for the majority of Pirelli World Challenge SprintX rounds.
“It’s great to re-team with Marco for the SprintX rounds,” stated Magnus Racing team owner John Potter. “Over time he’s become an instrumental part of our program, and as teammates we have a really well established working history together. We really appreciate his willingness to re-join, and I look forward to working with him to fight for class wins.”
Driving the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS, Seefried will return to the very car with which he had tremendous success throughout the 2016 endurance season. As part of the team’s endurance line-up last year, the German went on to win The Rolex 24 at Daytona, a podium in Sebring, as well as leading much of the season-ending Petit Le Mans en route to helping the team win its second North American Endurance Championship. Prior to the team’s Audi entry, Seefried made his debut with the team at Sebring in 2014, taking a class victory, and following that up with three additional podiums during the 2014 and 2015 seasons.
In a busy 2017 that will see Marco drive a number of big international races for a variety of teams and manufacturers, Seefried will be with the team for all of the SprintX rounds with the exception of Lime Rock, due to a schedule conflict with the 24 Hours of Nürburgring. The Pirelli World Challenge SprintX championship is a unique, five-race championship that features two-driver combinations over the course of 60 minute races.
For Seefried, it’s good to be back in his American home.
“I’m extremely happy we were able to make this work,” stated Seefried. “Magnus has been such a great part of my career, and the SprintX races should be a unique opportunity to just drive flat out. So many of my greatest victories have been with this team, and hopefully we can continue that in the Pirelli World Challenge. While I’ve never competed in this series, it’s obviously grown in to a very strong championship, and with a very impressive roster of teams and drivers now. I’m thankful as always to John and the rest of the team for the opportunity, I look forward to helping them earn the championship.”
While the next round of The Pirelli World Challenge and Magnus Racing will come in just over two weeks’ time at the Grand Prix of Long Beach, Seefried and the series’ two-driver SprintX format will begin in six weeks’ at VIRginia International Raceway, April 28-30.
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (April 5, 2017)- Following a six-year absence from the world-famous Grand Prix of Long Beach, Magnus Racing will once again return to action this weekend, campaigning two Audi R8 LMS machines in the Pirelli World Challenge. In a packed weekend that runs in conjunction with the Verizon IndyCar series, the team will return to action at a venue they haven’t visited since 2011.
“It’s great to be back at Long Beach,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and driver John Potter. “The last time we visited in 2011 we had a really fun weekend, capped off with a podium, and it’s something we hope to repeat heading in to this year’s race. Between the scenery, the crowd, the whole atmosphere, it’s one of the best events of the year for our series, and we’re excited to be back. After our debut at St. Petersburg we walked away with a lot of lessons learned, and heading in to Long Beach I think there’s a lot we’ve learned. Of course visiting another street course, and one we haven’t been to in a while, creates a big challenge for us compared to our competitors, but obviously with the talent and experience behind this whole team we’re ready for it.”
Although the team has only competed once at the venue made of up of Long Beach’s downtown city streets, the legacy from that 2011 experience has lived on. It was during that weekend that the team debuted their partnership with Roscoe’s House of Chicken ‘N Waffles, located just two blocks from the track, which created a legacy that is still talked about today. Listed as one of the top Porsche liveries in the history of the marque, the “Roscoe’s Car” can still be found on many video games and posters today.
("Roscoe's" Magnus Porsche, 2011)
Driving in the series’ GTA class, Potter will once again take to the wheel of his No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS following his series debut just one month ago on the streets of St. Petersburg. Running an error-free weekend on a circuit he’d never been to, the Utah native will arrive for the series’ second round on a track he’s at least driven before, albeit in a very different car and format.
Driving in the premier GT class, Pierre Kaffer will return in the No. 4 Audi Tire Center R8 LMS, looking for redemption after a muted weekend in St. Petersburg. During the series’ opening weekend, the German qualified on the front row and showed promise throughout practice, only for in-race contact to create a blown tire in Race One, followed by being forced wide in to an escape road during Race Two.
With the team knowing the speed of both driver and car, Long Beach presents a new opportunity on a circuit the Audi factory driver is very familiar with.
“Long Beach is a fantastic event, and one I’m excited to be a part of again,” stated Kaffer. “The whole Magnus Racing team demonstrated a lot of potential during St. Petersburg, we just had some bad luck. I’m confident we will be strong again, but it should be a very close race. The configuration of Long Beach is unlike any other, so it’s tough to say who will be strong, but we know we have a great team behind us to maximize every opportunity.”
Practice for the Grand Prix of Long Beach begins this Friday, April 7, with the race taking place on Sunday, April 9. Same-day television coverage will be available on CBS Sports Network at 2:30 PM ET.
LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 10, 2017)- Following the team’s strongest run in Pirelli World Challenge competition so far, Magnus Racing driver John Potter would take the team’s first series podium with a third-place finish in class during yesterday’s Grand Prix of Long Beach, the third round of the GT and GTA championship. Pierre Kaffer would also enjoy a solid run in their GT entry, running quietly to eighth.
“I’m extremely happy with our first podium of the year,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and driver John Potter. “This was our first time at the track in six years, and with a completely different car, so we had no idea what to expect. Luckily we rolled off competitive in our first practice, and at a venue with so little track time we were fortunate that we stayed ahead all weekend. I was very happy with my own performance, but this podium is a testament to the team effort of this whole group, as we showed up prepared and ready, and the results bared the fruit of it. It was a lot of fun racing with the other guys in class, and it’s nice to come home with some hardware!”
Driving the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS, the 2017 race would serve as the first-time the team had been at the famed street circuit since 2011. As a 1.9-mile configuration literally built out of the city streets of downtown Long Beach, the challenges of the course are unlike any other, with walls on all sides and very little track time to truly get comfortable.
Driving in the series’ GTA category, Potter wasted no time getting up to speed, immediately on pace throughout practice and consistently within the top-five. In his best qualifying performance so far, John would find himself starting third in class for Sunday’s race.
During the race, the Salt Lake City resident would do a remarkable job of staying clean throughout a chaotic first lap in which several cars around him would make heavy contact. As the race settled in, John would maintain the strong pace established in practice, comfortably in third until one of the most unique caution periods in the history of the sport would show itself. Fifteen minutes in, a nearby fire hydrant outside of the circuit was hit by a passing street car, creating a flood of water that eventually flowed on to the track, creating an unsafe situation for the race cars to pass over. As a result, the event was red flagged until the hydrant was fixed and water cleaned up.
Following the 20-minute delay, the race would resume, once again with Potter in third and now engaged in a strong defensive battle with a hard-charging McLaren. Doing an excellent job of preserving his podium position, a mistake by his competitor would lead to a crash, bringing out the final caution of the race.
With race re-starts being the best opportunity for passing, Potter’s podium position was under threat as the race resumed, dealing with two separate cars making daring moves to overtake in to the tricky Turn One. Fighting hard, Potter did an excellent job of defending his line on the inside as they approached, forcing his competitors to move on the outside unsuccessfully. As a result, John was unchallenged through the remaining laps, with the competitors behind him unable to match the pace of the third-place No. 44.
In the team’s GT entry, the No. 4 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS of Pierre Kaffer would run a fairly quiet race. Qualifying seventh, the opening-lap calamity that is notorious with the street circuit failed to disappoint, with the German avoiding major incident but nonetheless falling back slightly in the process. Within the Top-10 and setting some of the fastest times of the race, the track’s configuration unfortunately means it’s nearly impossible to pass, with Pierre doing all he could to get around his competitors but left helpless to make large gains.
As attrition and incidents continued, Kaffer would manage a couple of passes, ultimately working up to eighth by time the checkered flag fell.
For Kaffer, the potential is definitely there for a top finish.
“We had a great car for sure, we just needed a few breaks to get the most out of the weekend,” stated Kaffer. “The team at Magnus Racing did a great job of preparing our Audi, unfortunately Long Beach is such a unique race that you can’t really predict how it will go. There were some crazy moments that we managed to avoid which was great, we just need a little better luck during the whole weekend to really see our best result. I expect our next race will be a really strong one in Virginia.”
With the third round of racing behind, the team will now focus on the first SprintX race of the year in three weeks’ time, where the team will return to the familiar territory of multi-driver racing. Continuing their two-car effort, Kaffer will be joined by co-driver Spencer Pumpelly, with Potter joined by long-time team driver Marco Seefried.
Practice begins on Friday, April 28, with racing action taking place throughout April 29 and 30.
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (April 25, 2017)- Continuing their new-for-2017 venture in the Pirelli World Challenge, Magnus Racing will enjoy yet another first this weekend, making their SprintX Championship debut as part of the full-season commitment. Unlike the first two rounds of “traditional” Pirelli World Challenge competition, in which each car is campaigned by one driver, this weekend’s Grand Prix of VIR at VIRginia International Raceway marks the first of the series SprintX rounds, which will feature two drivers per car. As previously announced, Pierre Kaffer will be joined in his Audi R8 LMS by Spencer Pumpelly, with John Potter joined by long-time teammate Marco Seefried.
“The first SprintX round in some ways is a return to familiar territory for us,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and co-driver John Potter. “Obviously our heritage is with multiple drivers in endurance racing, where we’ve been fortunate to have had a lot of success. Heading in to VIR, we’ll be returning to a track we’ve had a lot more experience than our first two venues this season, and with a lineup that we’re all very excited about. Spencer will be a great teammate to Pierre, and at a track he’s had a lot of success at. Marco is of course someone I’ve driven with on several occasions, and fortunately we’ve had some of our greatest wins together.”
Introduced last year, The Pirelli World Challenge’s SprintX Championship is a unique take on the series’ traditional sprint format. Combining the excitement of sprint racing with the heritage of endurance racing, SprintX races will depart from traditional rounds because all races require two drivers to share duties throughout the race, yet all races only last 60 minutes. This means no driver will race for more than 40 minutes at a time, yet still forced to conquer the challenges of pit stops, driver changes, and the compromises inherent in shared driver duties.
Joining Pierre Kaffer in the No. 4 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS, Spencer Pumpelly will make his team debut on a track he has had extensive experience at. A graduate of Virginia-based James Madison University, Spencer joins the team having never driven for Magnus Racing before, but with a high level of familiarity with multiple members of the team. Most notably, Pumpelly teamed with John Potter prior to the formation of Magnus Racing.
“Racing at VIR is always something I look forward to,” stated Pumpelly. “The track is a really fun challenge, and should hopefully suit us well with the Audi R8 LMS. The first two weekends have shown the potential with the team for sure, and hopefully arriving at the first permanent road course, and one they’ve raced at several times before, should suit them well. The SprintX Championship has a really impressive roster of drivers this weekend, so Pierre and I will have to be heavily focused on getting everything out of the car that we can.”
Coming off of the team’s best result this season at Long Beach, John Potter and the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS will be joined by team veteran Marco Seefried. Having driven with the team in multiple endurance races since 2014, the combination of Potter and Seefried have amassed some of the team’s greatest highlights together, including wins at The Rolex 24 and Twelve Hours of Sebring, as well as four podiums.
For Marco Seefried, the opportunity to return to Magnus is an exciting one.
“It’s great to be back with my American family,” stated Seefried. “Magnus Racing is an exceptional team, and one I’m extremely grateful to have been with for so long. Some of the greatest moments in my career were with this team, and hopefully VIR will add to the memories. John had a great race at Long Beach, and combined with the team’s experience at VIR I’m really encouraged going in to the weekend.”
Official practice for the Grand Prix of VIR begins this Friday, April 21, with double-header race action taking place on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday’s Race One will take place at 3:20PM ET, with Sunday’s Race Two at 1:05PM ET. Live streaming can be found at www.world-challenge.com/streamvideo
ALTON, Virginia (May 2, 2017)- Following a hard fought double-header series of races, Magnus Racing endured a number of challenges to ultimately walk away with a top-five finish during the first “SprintX” weekend of the Pirelli World Challenge. While mechanical missteps and on-track incidents would thwart much of the weekend, Pierre Kaffer and Spencer Pumpelly would take home a fifth-place during Sunday’s second round, while John Potter and Marco Seefried would take a best finish of seventh in class.
“There were a lot of positives on the weekend,” stated team owner and co-driver John Potter. “Once again we showed a lot of promise in practice, repeatedly posting times at the top, and during the race we were podium threats for both cars, misfortune just got the better of us. I’m happy Pierre and Spencer were able to get a top-five out of today’s race, it’s actually Pierre’s best finish of the season, and gives us a good foundation to move on to the next round in Canada. Marco and I didn’t exactly have the ideal weekend, but again we made a lot of progress and I think moving forward we’ll be able to really capitalize.”
While acting as the third weekend of Pirelli World Challenge competition, this weekend’s events marked the first two rounds of the series’ “SprintX” competition. While traditional “sprint” weekends highlight one driver for 50-minute races, the SprintX championship increases the time to 60 minutes, but with two drivers covering the distance.
Driving the No. 4 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS, Pierre Kaffer would be joined by Spencer Pumpelly. While this would serve as Pumpelly’s first race for the team, his familiarity within the organization is long-standing having held relationships with many team members for over a decade.
During Saturday’s Race One, Kaffer would start in fourth position and was instantly on pace when the green flag fell. Setting laps on par with the leaders and maintaining his car, the German held position throughout much of his opening stint, but as the race continued an opportunity to move up the field became apparent. Fighting for third, Kaffer would seize an opportunity heading in to the tricky “esses,” moving inside of the No. 31 Ferrari in to the left-hander. While both cars were side by side, the Ferrari would turn for the same spot on the track, making contact with Kaffer and sending him spinning in to the grass. The Audi would return on track, although with suspension damage that would effectively knock them out of contention. The team would make quick repairs to get teammate Spencer Pumpelly on track for the end, but ultimately finishing 22nd.
For Saturday’s Race Two, by series rule the driving order would be reversed, with Pumpelly taking on starting duties and then handing off to Kaffer. Serving as his first opportunity to truly go wheel-to-wheel with his competitors, Pumpelly was off to a strong start, once again holding fourth throughout his stint, setting a comfortable pace and pushing hard to challenge the third-place Cadillac. With the pit window open, the team would elect to bring Pumpelly in early, hoping to take advantage of potential cautions, with Kaffer taking the wheel for the second half of the race. Initially fighting for the podium, the car’s handling would fade over the closing laps, with Pierre doing his best to hold on, ultimately taking fifth.
For the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS of John Potter and Marco Seefried, an unfortunate weekend of mishaps would sideline their effort.
During Saturday’s Race One, an issue with the car’s power would send Potter to the pits during the opening lap, with the team spending much of the race making repairs in order to get teammate Seefried out in time to set a qualifying lap for Sunday’s race.
During Sunday’s Race Two, Seefried would take starting duties, and during the first half of the race showed a lot of promise for the team to take another top-five result. Pushing hard with the cars in front of him, contact with the No. 77 Porsche would bring out a caution period that served well to bunch up the field. Unfortunately, Marco would end up making contact with the car in front of him while under yellow, causing damage to the front end of the car. John Potter would get in to take his Audi to the finish, however the damage to the front end would hurt all hopes of being able to run competitive times, eventually taking seventh.
For Pierre Kaffer, a challenging weekend would at least be highlighted by a strong finish.
“I’m happy we were at least able to take our best finish of the season,” stated Kaffer. “Saturday was a very frustrating day. We really had a shot, but the Ferrari turned in to me and unfortunately that just changed everything. The second race we were at least able to turn around without any incidents, and we definitely had a good car but we struggled to match the pace as the race wore on. We’ll be even stronger in Canada and I look forward to redemption.”
For Spencer Pumpelly, a debut weekend with the team was still enjoyable.
“Even if the results weren’t what we wanted, I really enjoyed the experience,” stated Pumpelly. “Magnus Racing is an excellent team, and I felt right at home. The car was really fast, and I think we proved that with what we were able to put up during practice. A little change of fortune and the races could have really had strong results, and I’m confident as we head in to Canada we’ll be even better.”
For Marco Seefried, a tough weekend is one he’ll move on from.
“It definitely was a frustrating weekend,” stated Seefried. “We had a good car, but unfortunately Saturday was over for us before it really started, and if I’m being honest I simply made a mistake during Sunday’s race. I can only accept fault for it and move on, and I’m grateful to John and the whole team for being so understanding.”
With three weeks until the next round of SprintX action, Magnus Racing and the Pirelli World Challenge will next head to the famed Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, formerly known as “Mosport.” The series will once again feature a double-header, with Race One taking place on Saturday, May 20, and Race Two on Sunday, May 21.
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (May 16, 2017)- Following several races of contact and aggressive driving inherent in the sprint format, Magnus Racing heads to the famed Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in the hopes that the culture of its fans might transfer to the drivers.
“The fans at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park are the only ones we’ve ever seen line-up for a grid walk,” stated Magnus Racing team owner and co-driver John Potter. “When I say line-up, I literally mean forming a single-person queue in order to walk on to the grid. They’re the most polite people on Earth. Following a few races of hard contact between both cars, we’re hoping that same attitude reflects on our two SprintX races. Regardless, we’re excited about this weekend and look forward to another round of Pirelli World Challenge competition. After VIR we definitely learned a lot, and headed in to Canada I’m confident we can capitalize on everything we’ve seen.”
With this weekend of Pirelli World Challenge competition serving as the third and fourth rounds of the SprintX championship, the team will once again feature four drivers sharing two cars.
In the No. 4 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS, Pierre Kaffer will once again be joined by Spencer Pumpelly to conquer the all-pro category. After setting several of the fastest laps in practice, a challenging weekend at VIR would prevail for the duo after contact would send the car out of contention during the opening round, followed by a fifth-place in Round Two. Looking for redemption, the fast nature of the of 10-turn, 2.5-mile circuit should provide an interesting challenging for the Audi.
“After the weekend at VIR, we definitely want to show our true performance,” stated Kaffer. “The team has done a great job all year, and we’ve had great cars but the final results haven’t shown our true potential. CTMP is a track that really requires you to find the maximum from everything, and we’re hoping that this could finally bring us the results we’ve been searching for. I look forward to being back with the team.”
For teammate Spencer Pumpelly, a similar feeling is shared.
“Even if the final results didn’t show it, there were a lot of positives at VIR,” stated Pumpelly. “Canadian Tire Motorsport Park is a track that really requires the most out of the car and driver to perform well, and I believe it will play to the strengths of the team. Having run a full SprintX weekend, the team has a much better understanding of what to expect and I think that will show in Canada.”
For the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS, Marco Seefried will also return to the team to co-drive will full-season entrant John Potter. While the duo have teamed together on multiple occasions since 2014, their first SprintX weekend together at VIRginia did not go as well as everyone had hoped. Mechanical gremlins would prevent them from a good result in Race One, while contact would take them out of contention in Race Two. While this will be the first race for Seefried at the famed Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, the German’s experience in testing should still prove fruitful.
“It’s a really exciting track to visit,” stated Seefried. “The circuit is very fast and doesn’t afford a lot of mistakes, and hopefully that should play to our advantage with a patient drive. Luckily John has raced here before and I believe that will help, and given the way the racing went at VIR, I believe a patient run will create good results for us. We’re all looking forward to it.”
Official practice will begin this Friday, May 19, with a double-header of races occurring on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday’s SprintX Race One will occur at 1:45PM ET with Race Two at 3:40PM ET on Sunday. Live streaming will be available at world-challenge.com/streamvideo
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Canada (May 22, 2017)- Following a hard-fought first race for the team at the famed Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on Saturday, Magnus Racing and the entire Pirelli World Challenge SprintX championship would see their full weekend of action cut short during yesterday’s second round. With an endless deluge or rain pouring down nearly 26cm of rain during the afternoon, series officials deemed the conditions unfit for good and safe racing.
“I have no idea how much 26cm of rain is,” stated John Potter. “But it looked like a lot from where we were standing, so the series really had no choice but to stop the race from happening. It was the right move, even if the damage bill would have been better given the Canadian exchange rate, I’d still rather have no bill at all. Overall, it was a unique week for us. I think everyone on the team got the maximum out of everything, unfortunately the configuration and layout of this track isn’t one that really suited our car, so we’ll take the points and move on to the next one, eh? There’s not a lot of time between now and Lime Rock so everyone is hard at work getting us back and ready.”
Competing at the 10-turn, 3.96 km circuit nestled just 76 km from Toronto, the team came in to the event after proving competitive at the previous two rounds in Virginia, but with a series of incidents thwarting their efforts. With the track formerly known as “Mosport” featuring a long uphill run that tends to favor large-displacement vehicles, the team knew their challenge would be finding ultimate pace, and would instead have to contend via clever race craft and strategy.
During Saturday’s Race One, the No. 44 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS would take top finishing honors for the team, with a fourth-place in class. Serving a penalty due to an incident from the previous race, the duo of John Potter and Marco Seefried would start from the back of the class, with Potter driving the opening stint. Behind the wheel for the opening 25 minutes with immediate pace, the Utah resident held competitive times throughout his running, matching the class leaders during every lap but struggling to be able to pass due to the configuration of the circuit.
Making a clean stop and handing the car over to teammate Marco Seefried once the pit window opened, the German would continue the strong run, with an opportune yellow flag causing the field to shuffle, and placing Seefriend in a position to contend. As the race went in to the closing minutes, Marco would push the field hard in front of him, patiently making his way up before eventually settling in to fourth in class, where they would finish.
For the No. 4 Audi Tire Center Audi R8 LMS of Pierre Kaffer and Spencer Pumpelly, a similar steady run would ensue. Starting in 10th overall, Kaffer would once again assume the opening stint, doing his best to move up the field given the challenges of passing at the circuit. Setting times on par with the field in front of him, the German would have an incident-free run, handing the reigns over to teammate Pumpelly with 35 minutes remaining to close the race.
From there, Spencer would begin an impressive charge through the field, hounding the assortment of cars from various manufacturers in front of him, including some daring passes in to Turn One that would eventually move him in to fifth. From that point, the race would settle in for the final laps, the Atlanta resident having impressively moved the car in to the top five.
Although Sunday’s Race Two would be cancelled due to rain, the race will be resumed during a to-be-announced race weekend. With the grid set from Saturday’s fastest race laps, the No. 4 will begin in eighth, with the No. 44 beginning one spot behind in ninth overall, but third in class.
For Spencer Pumpelly, another great run demonstrated a strong resolve to move up the field.
“I think we can all be very happy with getting the most out of Saturday,” stated Pumpelly. “This is a tough track on which to pass, and our car isn’t particularly suited for long uphill straights so overall I think we did what we could. Had the weather cooperated I believe Sunday’s race could have been a really strong one for us, especially if it was wet. Unfortunately it was just too much and the series made the right call.”
For Pierre Kaffer, the potential of the team continues to show.
“This was a tough track for our car, so I think we showed well,” stated Kaffer. “Passing is incredibly tough, so it’s always a struggle if you can’t be right at the front, but we made the best of it. Sunday’s race could have been even better for us and it’s a shame it didn’t happen, but obviously safety was the priority and I think we all agree with that. I wish the team the best of luck at Lime Rock and look forward to coming back stronger.”
For Marco Seefried, setting quick times continued to prove the German’s ability.
“Obviously it’s always tough when you’re just outside of the podium, but the team should be proud,” stated Seefried. “The guys did a great job putting the car together, and I believe we were as fast as we could be, so in that sense it was a strong effort. Like everyone else has said, I agree with the decision to cancel Sunday’s race, and I look forward to coming back and going for even better results.”
With little time to prepare for the next race, the team will actually be back on track in just a few days’ time, with the fifth and sixth rounds of the Pirelli World Challenge SprintX series competing at Lime Rock Park this coming Friday and Saturday. While Pierre Kaffer and Marco Seefried will be unavailable due to a schedule conflict, the team will be making an announcement shortly on their replacements.