Greetings, readers of RACER.com, and welcome to the first installment of our weekend blog. For Magnus Racing, this is our first season in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16. (We have to write it just like that, or we get in trouble.) We race a Porsche in the GT class, and another one in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge's GS class.
Magnus Racing is owned by John Potter (that's him at the right), who calls Salt Lake City, Utah, home although he's originally from St. Louis. After racing as part of another team that races Porsches in Grand-Am in 2009, John made the decision to start his own team to compete in Grand-Am this season. Things came together pretty quickly, but Craig Stanton (at left above) remains his co-driver, while the über-talented Lars Giersing came in as the team engineer, John Bedell is the crew chief, and Bernard Mosbacher is the team manager. Also on the staff is an extremely talented team of mechanics and over-the-wall guys who have performed miracles all season. The team is almost like an all-star group made up of top Porsche personnel from various other organizations.
If you haven't met John or Craig, you might not know that they are two of the biggest characters in the Grand-Am paddock. John founded Magnus Racing on the principle that sports car racing should be fun – imagine! So, having fun was the biggest motivator for John to build his own program – which is right where Craig comes in. Those who know Craig know he is Mr. Positive, always having a good time, always free for a chat and an easy laugh – that is, when he's not out for a three-hour bike ride or snacking on steamed broccoli.
So, how does this bring us here? Well, aside from the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona, the Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen, which is this weekend, is the biggest race of the year on the Grand-Am calendar. So, we are going to give the readers of RACER.com a behind-the-scenes look at the goings-on of Magnus Racing. With two cars in two different races, there will be a lot going on – Saturday, we have the two-hour and forty-five minute CTSCC race before the six-hour Rolex race, so it will no doubt a long day at the office.
During the Rolex 24 , we were lucky enough to get two very talented drivers to partner with John and Craig – Austria's Richard Lietz and Holland's Jeroen Bleekemolen. For the six-hour, Jeroen will be back with us as the team's third GT driver. The team is really looking forward to this as not only is he blindingly quick and gives great feedback, but he also is quite the ladies' man and ensures plenty of female attention for the Magnus Racing team at post-race celebrations.
We just wrapped up the Grand-Am weekend at Lime Rock, where the Cayman needed much work after being dive-bombed by another car, while the GT3 survived in good shape despite the best efforts of the No. 30 Mazda which punted Craig off with a few minutes remaining in Monday's GT race. The team then packed up and drove to Watkins Glen, where it spent Tuesday and Wednesday preparing the two cars for this weekend's races. Today, Thursday, will be a promoter test day for the CTSCC cars only.
If you are at your computer on Friday, SpeedTV.com will be streaming qualifying live at http://stream.speedtv.com. You can also keep up to date on all things Magnus Racing on our website (magnusracing.com), Facebook (facebook.com/magnusracing), and Twitter (@magnusracing) throughout the weekend
Also, throughout Saturday's six-hour, we will run a live blog on the site which will allow spectators to interact with the team and drivers. Feel free to tell us how great you think we are, how much you dislike green paint, or any questions you may have for our drivers John, Craig, or Jeroen.
See you at The Glen!