The expression “that's racing” is something you say to a fellow racer when they encounter bad luck. On Saturday, Magnus Racing experienced “that's racing” in full force.
The day started with the Continental 150 (so named because it would last 150 minutes, we think), and with John Potter starting the No.44 Magnus Racing Porsche Cayman in 15th position. The starts of the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge races are usually very busy, and this one was no exception but John had a great opening lap and moved up to ninth. After a very busy opening stint, John turned the car over to Leh Keen. Leh drove up through the field and thanks to good strategy and well-timed yellows, he was sitting in second place when the race went green again after a late-race caution.
Battling against a BMW M3, which definitely had a horsepower advantage on the Porsche Cayman, Leh threw everything he had at the BMW to try and get into the lead. He finally drew alongside in the “Boot,” but the two cars made side-to-side contact which cut down the right rear tire of the Cayman. Just like that, the bid for the win was over, and we finished 17th.
So having had the CTSCC victory slip through our fingers, we still had the Sahlen's Six Hour of the Glen – which we were starting on pole. Craig Stanton started the race, jumped ahead at the start, and built a gap lap after lap after lap before he pitted and turned the car over to John at the 45-minute mark.
With a few cars running different sequences, John ran in fourth through some very changeable conditions – we had three different cloudbursts during his stint – before he came in under full-course yellow and handed the car over to Jeroen.
The yellow played into our hands, and on the restart, Jeroen went by the only car in front of him to retake the GT lead and began to pull away from the field. Everything was going great…until he started to get a low voltage reading. The alternator had packed it in, and he had to come in for a stop and an alternator replacement, which took approximately six laps to complete. And, just like that, another chance at victory was gone.
“And it was going so well…” said Craig as he watched the team replace the team's alternator in a hurry.
So, for the next two hours, the Magnus Racing Porsche circulated without problem, running competitive times as Jeroen came out, Craig went in, and then John jumped in to finish things off. However, the car came back to pit road in the final hour as the car had a broken front drop link that had to be replaced. After that, John brought the Porsche home in 11th place – a result that does not come close to justifying the work put in by him, Craig, Jeroen, and the rest of the crew.
But…that's racing. Some days you can do everything right and not get the results you deserve, and some days you can do everything wrong but somehow things come together. That's just part of what makes racing so magnetic – now we want nothing more than to come back even stronger for Mid-Ohio in two weeks. Sure, we are disappointed by the outcome but excited by the progress. That's racing.