Andy Lally (LEFT) and his Magnus Racing co-driver/owner John Potter came within 10 points of winning the 2013 Grand-Am Rolex GT championship, and despite having multiple driving opportunities to choose from, Lally has committed to the program for 2014.
Lally, like many professional sports car drivers, split his time between Grand-Am and the American Le Mans Series last year, where he drove for Dempsey Racing in the GTC category. With the consolidation of both series into the single TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, Lally, like others in his position, faced losing one of his two primary income streams, leaving him to weigh the merits of the various offers in front of him.
Continuing to work with Potter's irreverent team, as Lally shared with RACER Thursday morning while testing at Sebring, was the right decision to make.
“I've built a great relationship with John Potter and the crew at Magnus over the past few seasons, and worked well with John long before that, so coming back to go after a championship in the new TUDOR Championship will be great,” said Lally.
“The Magnus team works so hard, and we came so close to getting that championship last year, that we're all coming out with so much energy and passion to win the inaugural GT Daytona class with our new Porsche. I really think we're building on something pretty amazing here, and the new Porsche will be a big part of our success.”
Potter shared Lally's high expectations for the program next year.
“I've enjoyed a relationship with Andy that goes back well beyond Magnus Racing,” he said. “Ever since joining our team, we've been fortunate enough to enjoy a lot of success together, and hopefully we can move up one step in the championship in 2014.”
The team recently received its brand-new Porsche GT America, built on the company's 991 chassis platform, which has been developed specifically for the TUDOR Championship's GT Daytona class. The Magnus crew, along with a significant number of Porsche personnel, completed the car outside the paddock at Sebring on Wednesday, and spent Thursday morning shaking down the shapely German challenger.
“I just hopped out of the car and the new GT America is an amazing piece of machinery,” Lally added. “It's very smooth. The new paddle-shift gearbox is the most amazing thing I've ever felt and I can't wait to see how it stacks up next season. The car's definitely an evolution in how it performs. It doesn't feel like something entirely different than the Porsche Cup car it replaces, but it is different.
“The speed is very similar, but it's different in the high-speed sections due to the longer wheelbase, and seems to be more settled as you'd expect it to be. The entire makeup of the car gives it more of an RSR feel than a Cup car feel. It will take some time to get used to, but I'm confident we'll be able to figure out what it wants and we'll have it ready to go after another win at the Rolex 24.”