The Magnus Racing Porsche
The last weekend’s Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series race at Mid-Ohio turned out to be a very good race for Porsche. The race saw the number 44 Magnus Racing Porsche finish in second place in the GT class. This was after a setback in qualifying made the racing team look at how they had the GT3 Cup car setup.
The second place finish moved the racing team to the top of the race for the GT class points championship. They moved ahead of the number 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 that had been in the points lead. This sets up a good fight for first place in the points championship as the rest of the season rolls on.
This is the last season of Gran-Am racing as next year Grand-Am and the American Le Mans Series will combine to form the United SportsCar Racing Series. In its last season the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series looks like it will have quite a swan song.
If you didn’t get a chance to watch the race the below video shows highlights from the race.
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Magnus Racing left the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course after GRAND-AM Rolex Series qualifying yesterday frustrated with an 11th place qualifying effort, last on the GT class grid. They leave the track after today’s Diamond Cellar Classic elated with a second-place finish and the lead in the GT class point standings. A remarkable turn-around made only more so by a late race penalty to a competitor that moved the No. 44 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car from third to second in the two-hour, 45-minute race. Porsche customer teams Park Place Motorsports, Snow Racing with Wright Motorsports and Muehlner Motorsports America took fifth, ninth and 11th respectively in the Lexington, Ohio round of the 2013 sports car racing season.
Magnus Racing’s No. 44 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car struggled in Friday’s 15-minute GT qualifying session sending the defending North American Endurance Champions back to setup sheets last night. John Potter (Salt Lake City, Utah) started today’s race at the back of the class on an Ohio track known for its difficulty in passing. The owner/driver’s strong opening stint handed the car over to teammate Andy Lally (Dacula, Ga.) in prime position for the second half of the race. Lally, using pit strategy and smart driving, methodically made his way up into the top-three in the final 30 minutes of the race. The team then benefited from contact between eventual winner Bill Auberlen in the No. 94 Turner Motorsports BMW M3 and the No. 31 Marsh Racing Corvette of Eric Curran. When GRAND-AM race stewards deemed Curran’s contact avoidable, the Corvette was assessed a time penalty added to his final race time. The addition dropped Curran from the win to fourth in the final race standings thus moving Magnus up one spot to second place. The points award for the additional position was enough to move Magnus Racing back into the GRAND-AM GT point standings by three points over the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458.
“We made up so much time in the pits,” said Lally. “We got out ahead of the other Porsches and had a good battle with the guys. We got lucky. Those boys got racy at the front and hit each other and went off and got penalties and we’re leading the points. I can’t say enough for John [Potter] and this crew for doing such a good job today.”
The No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car of Patrick Lindsey (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Porsche factory driver Patrick Long (Playa del Rey, Calif.) narrowly missed benefiting from the same penalty that helped the No. 44. The motorsports arm of the Dallas, Texas area Porsche dealer would finish fifth after starting the race seventh. Park Place leaves Ohio sixth in the team standings.
“We’re pleased to get a top five out of a difficult race,” commented Lindsey. “We had a good car but we got held up by traffic early on in my stint. I was able to hand over a really good car to Patrick [Long] but we had problems executing in the pits. They were small things otherwise I am confident we would have been on the podium. We’re excited to have a top-five for our friends at Park Place back in Dallas and our Children’s Tumor Foundation NF Heroes.”
Snow Racing with Wright Motorsports, running only its second race of the 2013 season, finished ninth with 2011 GRAND-AM GT champion Andrew Davis (Athens, Ga.) and upstart driver Madison Snow (Lehi, Utah). The No. 18 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car of Muehlner America Motorsports finished 11th after retiring from the race.
The No. 38 BGB Motorsports Cayman driven by Dr. Jim Norman (Tampa) and Spencer Pumpelly (Atlanta) finished second in the GX class. As a result, the team continues to hold the lead in the class point standings.
The GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series will now take one weekend off before traveling to Watkins Glen International in Upstate New York. The Six Hours of The Glen is scheduled for June 30th and marks the second endurance race of the season for the Rolex Series.
Race Results – GT Class
1. No. 94 Bill Auberlen/Redondo Beach, Calif.; Paul Dalla Lana/Toronto, Turner Motorsports BMW M3 – 105 laps
2. No. 44 Andy Lally/Newport, NY; John Potter/Salt Lake City, Utah, Magnus Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – 105 laps
3. No. 69 Emil Assentato/Locust Valley, NY; Anthony Lazzaro/Acworth, Ga., AIM Autosport Ferrari 458 – 105 laps
4. No. 31 Eric Curran/Holyoke, Mass.; Boris Said/Escondido, Calif., Marsh Racing Chevrolet Corvette – 105 laps
5. No. 73 Patrick Lindsey/Santa Barbara, Calif.; Patrick Long/Playa del Rey, CA., Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – 104 laps
6. No. 93 Billy Johnson/Mooresville, NC; Michael Marsal/New York; Gunter Schaldach/Aspen, Colo., Turner Motorsports BMW M3 – 104 laps
7. No. 63 Alessandro Balzan/Italy; Jeff Westphal/San Carlos, Calif., Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 – 104 laps
8. No. 61 Max Papis/Mooresville, NC; Jeff Segal/Miami, R.Ferri/Aim Motorsport Ferrari 458 – 104 laps
9. No. 62 Andrew Davis/Athens, Ga.; Madison Snow/Lehi, Utah, Snow Racing with Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – 104 laps
10. No. 57 John Edwards/Cincinnati, Ohio; Robin Liddell/England, Stevenson Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro – 103 laps
11. No. 18 Leh Keen/Charleston, S.C.; Dion von Moltke/Coral Gables, Fla., Muehlner Motorsports America Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – 31 laps
Team Point Standings – GT Class
1. No. 44 Magnus Racing – 169 points
2. No. 63 Scuderia Corsa – 166
3. No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports – 158
4. No. 94 Turner Motorsports – 157
5. No. 69 AIM Autosport – 155
6. No. 73 Park Place Motorsports – 150.
7. No. 61 R.Ferri/Aim Motorsports – 143
8. No. 31 Marsh Racing – 138
9. No. 18 Muehlner Motorsports America – 126
10. No. 93 Turner Motorsports – 125