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Magnus Uncertain on 2017 Plans Amid VIR Exclusion

John Potter undecided on 2017 plans amid VIR exclusion…

Photo: Magnus Racing

Photo: Magnus Racing

Magnus Racing has yet to decide on its 2017 plans, following its exclusion from last month’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at VIR that’s virtually taken them out of the GT Daytona championship hunt.

The Andy Lally and John Potter-driven No. 44 Audi R8 LMS lost its third place class finish due to a ride height infringement, a ruling that IMSA upheld despite the team having shown evidence that it was caused by car-to-car contact.

“My 2017 plans still remain up in the air as I try to determine what I’m going to do,” Potter told Sportscar365. “Obviously a negative experience in a race series only has to be reflected in my thinking.”

Potter, who has been a longtime Grand-Am/IMSA entrant, admitted he’s evaluating potential options in Pirelli World Challenge and the FIA World Endurance Championship.

Fellow IMSA GTD competitor WeatherTech Racing recently switched to PWC for the remainder of this season, citing Balance of Performance issues with its Porsche 911 GT3 R.

“I’m considering all options and I’m not just saying that as a cop-out,” Potter said. “My mind is up in the air, and [PWC and WEC] are options, but theoretically so is IMSA. I’m not excluding either.

“This whole stuff came up at an interesting time of year. It came right before the decision time for next year. I do find myself in a more confused position than I have in the past.”

Unlike the WeatherTech-backed Alex Job Racing effort, which withdrew in the middle of the season, Potter said he remains committed to the remainder of the WeatherTech Championship this year.

While not yet committed to a specific manufacturer for 2017, Potter said he’s been pleased with the support given by Audi Sport customer racing and is hopeful of maintaining that relationship.

“Our relationship with Audi Sport has been excellent, not only leading up to this, with at-track support and everything but also through this incident,” Potter said.

“We’ve had all the key members of Audi Sport, up to Audi of America people on our side and doing what they can through their relationship with the series.

“Obviously it wasn’t enough but I do appreciate their help and thank them for this in this difficult process.”

The VIR exclusion has put Potter and Lally sixth in the GTD standings, 40 points behind championship leaders Alessandro Balzan and Christina Nielsen of Scuderia Corsa.

Potter said IMSA’s decision to exclude their Audi from VIR has now set a precedent.

“One of the things we fear about this situation is the precedent it would set that could affect any other team,” he said.

“To make up an example, the 63 car after Petit better hope that they don’t have some crash damage that results in something. Anyone can have their [points] wiped out at no fault of their own.

“What is not debatable is the harshness of the penalty and what that means going forward.

“In multiple other race series, of course deals with ride height and other types of technical infractions are dealt with but in a less punitive way. It still discourages the practice. Obviously ride height is important, just like weight and restrictor.

“You’ve got other series that have found ways to have rules that are still punitive that discourage you from intentionally doing it, yet don’t destroy championships.

“To me, that should be the goal… to make sure nobody does it intentional. There is no payoff.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John


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