March 6, 2011 (Homestead, FL) – Confirming its rise as one of the leading GT teams in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16, the no. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup captured its first podium in series competition at today’s Grand Prix of Miami when Craig Stanton took the checkered flag in third place.
The result propelled Potter and Stanton to first place in the GT standings after two races of the 2011 Rolex Series season, marking the first time the team has sat atop the series championship.
Team owner and driver, John Potter from Salt Lake City, Utah, enjoyed a stellar start to the race when he drove the Magnus Racing Porsche from his qualifying position of seventh up to fourth before the race had its first full course yellow. As pit stops played out, Potter briefly led before turning the car over to Stanton who fell down to eleventh as the team was caught by surprise with a yellow flag. Stanton, from Long Beach, California, was able to progress through the field over the next hour to get the Magnus Racing Porsche to third place.
Stanton’s run over the final hour wasn’t trouble free, as the Magnus Racing Porsche missed a wave-by during a late-race yellow, and then was blocked badly by the lapped no. 30 Mazda while battling for second position, which forced him to give up third position. After that, however, Stanton was unhindered as he ran to the checkered flag to secure his team’s first podium.
“I recently heard about this new thing called Tigerblood and I stocked up on it for this weekend for the whole team,” said Potter, who was recovering from food poisoning before the race. “It appears to have worked! The guys gave us a really great car that was easy on its tires and easy to drive. I was able to concentrate on putting in clean laps and was really glad to give Craig a car that was in the top-five. The whole team deserves great results like this and I’m looking forward to getting them another one.”
Surprisingly, Stanton’s third-place was the first time since the 2005 season – the year in which he won the Rolex Series GT championship – that he has been on a Rolex Series podium.
“What a great day for everyone at Magnus Racing,” said Stanton. “We’ve been assembling the pieces of a championship winning program and I think we can say that we are contenders now. The car was so fast all weekend, we just got held up a bit by a lapped Mazda and we were almost out of tires at the end and we were still able to bring it home third. This is really for the guys who have done an unbelievable job since day one.”
Potter and Stanton will now turn their attention to the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring, where they will compete in the American Le Mans Series’ GT-C class. They will defend their Rolex Series points lead at the series’ next event, April 7-9, at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama.