Magnus Racing has confirmed its move to the Pirelli World Challenge Series following a turbulent season of endurance competition. The Audi R8 LMS program will field two full-time PWC entries in 2017, with one slated for team owner John Potter in GT-A and another in GT for a driver to be named at a later date.
“When evaluating our options for 2017, we thought it was a good opportunity to pursue a new challenge,” said Potter, whose team won two IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Daytona races last year, including the Rolex 24 at Daytona. “When I consider that I’ve driven in pro racing for 10 years, I realized that very little of it has been in a sprint format, and the timing seems right to see how we enjoy it. This will be a new era for the team, not only because of the new series, but with the emphasis on sprint racing and solo driving we have to take a whole new approach.”
PWC CEO Greg Gill welcomed one of sports car racing’s most popular teams to its paddock.
“We are extremely honored to have the team at Magnus Racing join our series for 2017,” Gill said. “Their success on track speaks for itself, and coupled with their reputation for fan engagement and off-track fun is something we really enjoy, and we’re confident the team will have a great experience here. The sprint format is something that a lot of teams and drivers grow to enjoy, and I’m confident everyone within the team will enjoy what the Pirelli World Challenge has to offer. With so many great cars and drivers in our series, having another Audi team with the quality and history of Magnus is a great addition, and we look forward to a great season of competition.”
Expanding to two full-time entries is also part of the new challenges Magnus will face in PWC.
“Running a two-car team has been an ambition of ours since the beginning, and while we’ve had some experience with two-car programs at The Rolex 24 at Daytona, the unique format of the Pirelli World Challenge provides us an opportunity to really explore this,” Potter said. “We really appreciate the friendly and open nature of everyone we’ve met in the Pirelli World Challenge so far, and of course to everyone at Audi for their renewed partnership.”
Continuing with Audi after many years spent with Porsche, and returning to race at Potter’s home track are among the other highlights awaiting the team.
“Audi Sport customer racing has been incredible so far,” Potter added. “Obviously in our very first race together we took victory at the most prestigious race in the country, and that set the course for a partnership that has been beneficial for all of us. We appreciate their willingness to support us in to 2017, and I think together we will provide an incredible program. Creating a program around one of their factory pilots is a unique opportunity and great platform to develop around, and we look forward to being a weekly threat for overall race wins.
“Of course a personal highlight is having the Utah Motorsport Campus back on the calendar. It’s obviously my home race and we haven’t been able to compete there at a professional level since 2010, so it will be a very welcome return.”