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.