Magnus Racing owner/driver John Potter says he feels refreshed heading into a new adventure for the team in Pirelli World Challenge.
The veteran IMSA squad recently announced a two-car effort featuring a pair of Audi R8 LMS cars in GT and GTA for Potter and a to-be-announced driver for the full PWC season.
Speaking on this week’s edition of Sportscar365’s Double Stint Podcast, Potter said his team explored a multitude of options, but not racing at all was never an option.
“There was no doubt I’d be racing somewhere, but I admit I was having a hard time committing to exactly what that would be,” Potter told Sportscar365.
“I don’t want to go through the details of all the different options that I looked at, but there were a lot of options. The idea of not racing certainly was not in my mind.
“Once you get into car racing, it’s very hard to get out of and I knew that I had to find some place to be.
“It’s not a criticism to any place I was or any place I’m not now but I was looking for opportunities and I think we found a great place to be for next year.”
Magnus has built an ardent fan base in recent years with its unique approach to social media and open relationship with the fans.
This past offseason saw the team take a much more quiet approach, something Potter said was due to the realities of ongoing negotiations with several major stakeholders.
“We do feel sorry about that!” said Potter of the team’s relative social media silence over the winter. “Certainly our fans have come to expect a more loud-mouth attitude than the strong, silent type.
“The real truth of the matter is there were a lot of decisions that needed to be made, and even when they were made there were a lot of negotiations and figuring out exactly how to do it.
“One of the things specifically that we can talk about now is the number of cars and the classes the cars will be in. Next year we’re running two cars in the GT and GTA classes in PWC and that was one of the details we worked out.
“Until we were fully committed we didn’t want to tip our hand or anything like that until we had a full program together.”
Potter said the team’s switch to PWC and the sprint format has been widely accepted by its legion of fans.
“The reaction has been incredibly positive from our fan base, and we have a great group of excited fans who were disappointed at the thought of us not going racing, and I really appreciate that a lot,” he said.
“And they were also disappointed, like I was, at some of the things that happened to us last year. I found myself at the end of last season, for reasons that I think were sort of publicized, not feeling the energy where I was.
“I don’t mean that as a criticism of the series we were in or any of the people or anything like that. It takes a certain amount of motivation to do all the work that needs to be done and I just found myself in a low spot.
“As we started looking around I wasn’t sure what do. The short version is we were approached by both Audi and PWC and I thought it was something which we should look into.
“Audi was excited to have us back, the people at Pirelli World Challenge were, of course, working to help grow their field, and it helped redirect my attention at looking at that.
“I find myself reinvigorated for a new 2017, a new experience in car racing in a great series with a different to me format. I’m excited.”
While eager for the challenges to come, the 2016 Rolex 24 at Daytona GTD class winner acknowledged it will be strange to watch the iconic race from the sidelines next week.
“It is a little bittersweet to be missing it,” he said. “My streak’s not as long as everybody else, but I’ve done every one of those races since 2009.
“It is a transition, but I am still supportive of all sports car, all car racing in North America. I’m rooting for that to be a competitive, fun race. I won’t tell you who I’m cheering for, who I’m not cheering for, but I hope it’s a good race and a safe race.
“I do sincerely wish not only my former competitors in that series but the series itself the best of success. In the end, all sports car racing in this country depends on itself and can grow together or wither together, if it doesn’t work out.
“As a sports car fan, I wish them the best and I’m excited to see how that season goes.”’
Click Here to listen to Potter’s full interview on this week’s Double Stint Podcast.