Magnus Racing Falls Short on 2012 Fuel Budget
Lakeville, CT (October 1, 2012)- Headed in to Saturday’s GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series season finale, the team at Magnus Racing had only one goal… stay on budget.
Looking to end their season on a high, Magnus Racing fell just short of victory due to a late race “budget issue” on race fuel.
Embarking on the 2012 season with a strict fuel budget of $12,000 to spend over the 13-race schedule, team strategists had just enough budget to go through the full season, provided Saturday’s Championship Weekend in Lime Rock Park only lasted 157 laps.
Unfortunately, Saturday’s event would last 159 laps.
“We agreed to spend $12,000 on fuel for the season,” stated Team Owner and Co-Driver John Potter. “To complete this race, we would have had to spend $12,003.27. That’s three dollars and twenty-seven cents over our budget. My bookkeepers cheered when we crossed the line in sixth. The crew was less enthusiastic for some reason, I’m still not sure why.”
With the team literally falling from first to sixth as the no. 44 Porsche GT3 Cup sputtered for fuel with only two laps to go, the team would have needed less than half of a gallon of fuel to hold off the challenging no. 57 Stevenson Camaro of Robin Liddell.
For John Potter, it was simply a miscalculation of economics.
“I learned years ago that in any business, there is no point setting a budget if you don't follow it,” continued Potter. “We did follow it this year in fuel. That budget victory will keep everyone at Magnus Racing motivated all off-season. People say we finished sixthth? Then why do I feel like we won? I just wish GRAND-AM gave trophies for the things that we accomplish.”
Having qualified the no. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche GT3 Cup on the fifth row just hours earlier, the entire team came in to this weekend’s finale with strong hopes of victory. As the only Porsche team to have taken victory in the GRAND-AM Rolex Series this season, Potter took the green flag keenly aware of the possibility to book-end the season with their third victory of the year.
Not putting a foot wrong during his opening stint, an opportune caution period during a chaotic first 35-minutes of the race would see Potter pit for fuel and tires, with co-driver Andy Lally taking the reigns for the final two hours of the race. A spectacular stop by the Magnus crew would see Lally up to second as pit stops cycled through, with the New York-native immediately setting his sights on the leading no. 63 Ferrari once green flag conditions resumed.
Immediately pressuring the leading Ferrari of Johannes van Overbeek, Lally would make clever work of the Californian shortly after, leading the GT field and setting a dominant pace for the middle stages of the race.
Unfortunately, while the commanding pace of the Magnus no. 44 was obvious, race strategy would play a vital role as the race continued to unfold.
With nearly an hour and ten minutes remaining, the time would come for Magnus to come in for what it had hoped would be the last pit stop of the year, or at least as their budget dictated.
Performing a clean and fast stop, the race was now up to fate as engineer Lars Giersing made the bold decision to maintain the lead by never stopping again.
Running an off-setting strategy, the team’s fate was sealed as the second-place no. 57 Stevenson Camaro elected to pit with 45-minutes to go, meaning that driver Robin Liddell would have plenty of fuel to push hard to the end. Throwing down multiple fast laps as he pursued Lally, a final pit stop by Magnus Racing would have ensured the no 57 would take the lead, leaving the team with no choice but to try and stretch it out to the end.
As the minutes ticked down and Lally did everything he could do to save fuel, a late-race caution was still not enough to stretch the mileage far enough, and as the field came down the front stretch with two laps to go, the Magnus Porsche simply didn’t have enough to go any further.
The team would eventually finish sixth.
“Meh,” stated Andy Lally.
With the 2012 season now behind, and the team having stayed on budget, the entire organization can look back with many positives.
Beyond winning two of the series’ signature events at Daytona and Indianapolis, Magnus Racing holds the distinction as not only the top-finishing Porsche in the Rolex GT Team Championship, but also the only Porsche to win this year.
“It truly has been a special season,” stated John Potter. “Opening the season with our first-ever victory at the most prestigious race set a great tone, but following that up with winning the inaugural North American Endurance Championship and ending the year as the top Porsche is very special.”
Stay tuned during the off-season for several new articles and videos about the team as they prepare for 2013.
Magnus Racing will continue to provide updates and coverage throughout the week via their Facebook (facebook.com/RacingMagnus) and Twitter (@MagnusRacing), as well as via www.magnusracing.com. You can also follow Andy Lally on Twitter (@AndyLally).
More information about Magnus Racing can be found at www.magnusracing.com. Any organization interested in learning more about how to be involved with one of the most unique and visible teams in sports car racing can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. All press inquiries can be directed to email@example.com.
To learn more about Magnus High End Work Spaces, visit their website here.