Magnus Racing Learns Plenty About Car, Nothing About Competition at Roar

DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (January 11, 2016) - With an all-new rules set for the GT Daytona (GTD) category of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Magnus Racing and the No. 44 Audi R8 LMS came in to the annual Roar Before the Rolex 24 at Daytona with the goal of furthering their learning curve on the new car, as well as learning about their fellow category competitors. While the team gathered plenty of data on both the machine and drivers, understanding the strengths and weaknesses of their competition was pretty much pointless.

“Overall we’re definitely happy with our performance, I think we’re one of a dozen teams that feel very confident about the race,” stated team owner and co-driver John Potter. “This was our first time taking the new Audi to Daytona, and the car was very strong. I pulled my fastest lap times ever at the track, and all of my teammates proved very quick, so I know we’re in the hunt. Where any of us stand for the race, who knows. Every session showed different cars and different teams at the top of the time sheets, and I think all that proved is just how close this category will be. It’s going to be a real fight and we’re all looking forward to it.”

With drivers John Potter, Andy Lally, René Rast and Marco Seefried taking their time behind the wheel, the team was consistently in the mix through the majority of sessions during the three-day test, with the team working on everything from setup, to reliability, to simply gaining seat time for their drivers. Despite having never driven the car at Daytona, the team was able to manage a 1:48.070 lap-time, just 15 hundredths of a second off of the top time on the weekend, and with five different manufacturers all within a half-second of one another. With a variety of teams and drivers trading top times, it’s anyone’s guess as to who will be the favorite for the race.

For Andy Lally, a quiet confidence is the feeling of the team after the weekend.

“We’re all pretty happy with the Roar,” stated the four-time race winner. “This field is incredibly close, it’s so tough to gauge where anyone stands, but we learned a ton about this car and we’re definitely a contender. We still have a few things we want to work on, but we have a strong Audi R8 LMS and and an awesome lineup. John pulled the best lap times he’s ever run, René was exactly what we all expected, and Marco was right there as well. The guys put in a lot of time this winter getting us ready, we’re all as prepared as we can be.”

For Rast, the sentiment is shared.

“The Audi R8 LMS is always an excellent car at this track,” stated the German. “Obviously I have many fond memories with Magnus given that we won together the last time I was here with them, and after the test I definitely feel as though we’re as strong as ever. It’s a great team, a great car, now we just have to see where we are in a few weeks.”

For Marco Seefried, another chance at Daytona is always welcome.

“We’re definitely very strong here, so I think everyone is pretty confident,” stated Seefried. “The car is very impressive and should be very solid, and obviously our driver lineup is incredibly quick. Andy, John and René have all won together here, and based on this weekend we all know it’s possible to return to victory lane, but obviously there are many factors so we’ll just have to see what happens during the 24.”

With only a couple weeks between the test and the race, the entire WeatherTech championship is hard at work getting both car and team ready for the upcoming Rolex 24 at Daytona. As both the season opener and the biggest race of the year, there is a lot at stake for everyone on the team, who will take to competition on Saturday, January 30. A full-team preview, including television details, will be announced shortly. 

Read full article on Magnus Racing (3)