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Magnus Poised for Return to IMSA GTD in 2018

Magnus Racing poised to return to IMSA GTD ranks next year…

Photo: Scott LePage/IMSA

After a season in Pirelli World Challenge, Magnus Racing is poised to return to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship next year, as part of a rejuvenated effort for Audi in the GT Daytona category.

Multiple sources have indicated to Sportscar365 that the John Potter-owned squad is finalizing a full-season GTD program with its Audi R8 LMS, in a likely similar effort to its 2016 GTD campaign with the German manufacturer.

The team expanded into a two-car operation in PWC this year, with Potter and Pierre Kaffer anchoring the lineup. They were joined by Marco Seefried and Spencer Pumpelly for the majority of the two-driver SprintX rounds.

While Potter’s co-driver for its planned WeatherTech Championship return has yet to be identified, longtime Magnus driver Andy Lally, who raced for Michael Shank Racing’s factory Acura NSX GT3 program this year, was on the team’s pit box in last weekend’s California 8 Hours at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, assisting with race strategy.

Kaffer and fellow Audi GT3 factory pool drivers Kelvin van der Linde and Markus Winkelhock claimed victory in the Intercontinental GT Challenge round, padding Audi’s lead in the manufacturer’s championship.

When reached by Sportscar365, a team spokesperson said that that Magnus has made “no formal commitments regarding any 2018 programs.”

Increased Audi Presence in GTD

Despite the ceasing of operations of Stevenson Motorsports, Audi is poised to have at least two full-season GTD entries next year.

Sportscar365 revealed earlier this month that Land Motorsport is planning a season-long run with at least one Audi, following its class victory in the Motul Petit Le Mans with Connor De Phillippi, Christopher Mies and Sheldon van der Linde.

A second Audi entered by the Starworks-supported operation, meanwhile, is also possible for the four Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup rounds.

Head of Audi Sport customer racing Chris Reinke told Sportscar365 at Road Atlanta that he expects a minimum of two Audis for the full championship next year.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Doogle14

    October 20, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    I really hope this happens. Need a new fake movie poster for Daytona!

  2. Someone

    October 20, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    Are they done throwing their little hissy fit about how awful imsa is after last season. Find out PWC UNT any better.

    • Jeff Wagner

      October 21, 2017 at 3:39 pm

      Yeah and Potter made it sound like he had an epifany a re awakening and was re energized by W/C when they went there! That sure lasted!

  3. We Have Faster Race Cars

    October 20, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    Come back to us!

  4. Nate

    October 20, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    Who will be left in PWC next year?

    • jason

      October 20, 2017 at 3:20 pm

      Does not matter to me since we can’t seem to watch them anyway. IMSA on the other hand gets the qualifying sessions up on their youtube channel within a couple hours after its done, and the race usually in about 2 days. Sometimes it takes 3 but that’s ok. In mid 2016 they Replaced the fox broadcast on the youtube replays with the IMSA TV production. That was a great move! Glad it has remained that way ever since.

  5. tracer

    October 20, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    I was hoping Magnus would make an unlikely return to IMSA after Stevenson folded… will be rooting for them to come back!

  6. jason

    October 20, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    More great news. FULL Season entries for both GTD and Prototype are looking to be between 15-20 cars. GTLM looks to be keeping the same 9 from this year. Although I bet 3rd/4th entries from Porsche and Ford along with possible entries from Aston Martin and AF Corse for the 36 hours of Florida races are possible.

    I would think Pierre Kaffer would be fine as the pro for the Magnus. I hope Lally stays with the Shank Acura. A theoretical Lally/C Nielsen Shank Acura NSX team would be title contenders for sure.

    • Change it up

      October 23, 2017 at 7:33 am

      Any idea when Corvette Racing goes through a refresh? I feel they have had the C.7R for a lot of seasons now.

      • NaBUru38

        October 23, 2017 at 12:53 pm

        Corvettes don’t age, they mature.

    • Change it up

      October 23, 2017 at 7:35 am

      And is Risi GTLM returning to make it 9 cars?

  7. JeffB

    October 20, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    I had been wondering what Magnus was going to decide after a year in PWC. Here’s what I’d like to see since they own two cars. One car in IMSA GTD for, say, Lally (or some other underemployed pro like Spencer Pumpelly) and Potter and Kaffer in World Challenge for the full season and paired with Lally for Sprint X.

    Hey, Ganassi and Penske race in multiple series, why not a GT3 team?

    • tracer

      October 20, 2017 at 9:28 pm

      Because money is a thing?

  8. David Chaste

    October 20, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    The Audi money is too good to pass up. With Stevenson gone and AJR racing part time just ti figure Aidi wants stribg competitive partners. Audi is also wooing Land Motorsport.

    • Sean Heckman

      October 20, 2017 at 11:18 pm

      This dude is on it.

      • Pete

        October 21, 2017 at 8:26 am

        Get in the f**king series!

  9. David Chaste

    October 20, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    I should put in my resume to be their rules interpreter. Their misinterpretation of the 2016 gentleman driver rules was a bit baffling for a team of their caliber and resources.

    Scuderia Corsa probably laughed at them all the way to their trophy case, since they had figured out the loophole in 2015 and it made imsa close it before Magnus could use it.

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