Salt Lake City, UT - Nearly eleven months after taking the team’s first-ever GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series GT victory at the historic 50th Anniversary of the Rolex 24 at Daytona, Magnus Racing will return with a two-car team aimed at repeating success.
Competing against one of the most competitive fields in the history of the event, the team took a surprise victory in 2012, leading a Porsche 1-2-3 that would see the top-five cars all finish within two laps of each other. Boasting storylines that included everything from the team’s first ever victory to the triumphant return of GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series veteran Andy Lally to full-time competition, the team’s success at Daytona would launch a phenomenal season that would include: winning the Inaugural Brickyard Grand Prix, winning the North American Endurance Championship, and ultimately finishing the season as the highest ranking Porsche.
With only two weeks until the official Roar Before the 24 pre-season test, the team’s No. 44 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup will feature many of the same ingredients from 2012. Withteammates John Potter and Andy Lally returning together for another full season, Porsche Factory Driver Richard Lietz will also rejoin the group for Daytona. Lietz, from Austria, has competed with Magnus Racing in every Rolex 24 that they’ve entered.
New for 2013, the team will also welcome Porsche veteran Nicolas Armindo to the No. 44 program. Armindo, the reigning European Le Mans Series(ELMS) GTE-AM Class Champion, will campaign in his second-ever Rolex 24 event, and first for Magnus Racing. Known for his prowess in a Porsche, the Frenchman comes to the team as a two-time ELMS Champion, and the first non-German in 20 years to win the Porsche Carrera Cup Germany title.
Adding to the strength of the team, Magnus Racing is also proud to announce a second entry for the event, in the form of the sister No. 45 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
Featuring a roster of drivers on loan from Fall Line Motorsports, who compete in the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, the veteran line-up of: Mark Boden, Al Carter, Charles Espenlaub, Hugh Plumb and Charlie Putman will work together in pursuit of victory.
Boden, the Owner of Fall Line Motorsports, has competed in six seasons of GRAND-AM Competition. Taking three GS category podiums last year in addition to eight victories in SCCA National events, the Illinois resident will drive for the first time at The Rolex 24. Mark will join with the support of BCKSTGR, a program dedicated towards rewarding the bridge between social media users and the brands they love.
Al Carter, hailing from Delaware, will return for his third Rolex 24 in succession following a phenomenal 2012 season. Along with competing in a tightly contested Continental GS season, Carter took his first ever professional sportscar win during last year’sGrand Prix of Baltimore in the American Le Mans Series. Carter will run the race with support from theB+ Foundation, a Foundation dedicated to research, awareness, and providing financial assistance to families of children with cancer, as well as Eagle Tech, an industry leader in digital and audio engineering products.
Charles Espenlaub, hailing from Florida, is one of the veterans of the lineup. A well-known figure in sportscar racing, Espenlaub joins the team as not only a three-time winner in GRAND-AM competition, but he also shares the 2010 GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge GS Championship with teammate Charlie Putman. Charles’ highest finish at Daytona was third in 2011.
Charlie Putman is also a series veteran. For the Texas native, the top step of the podium is familiar territory. Driving with Charles Espenlaub for several seasons, the duo achieved a remarkable feat in 2010 when they managed to achieve not only a winning season in GRAND-AM, but eventually taking the series championship. No stranger to endurance racing, Putman also took victory at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill in 2008. Charlie will join the team with support from Safecraft Restraints, an industry-recognized producer of safety products across the motorsports spectrum, including the Magnus Racing Porsche.
Another veteran of the series, Hugh Plumb will round out the No. 45 entry with an eye towards victory. Having achieved four victories and 25 podiums in GRAND-AM competition, the likable Pennsylvanian is a highly regarded driver within the paddock, boasting additional accolades such as aiding in three different manufacturers’ championships across his career. Additionally, Plumb is a seasoned athlete, having competed in 10 triathlons, including the Hood to Coast Relay, the longest foot race in the world.
For Magnus Racing Team Owner John Potter, the ability to provide a focused program on two-cars in the 51st running of the legendary event is a strong sign of the team’s commitment to performance.
“We had the opportunity to provide a program for multiple cars this year, but at the end of the day we wanted to make sure that we were focused on putting the best product out there,” stated Potter. “We definitely have that with our two cars, and we are committed to success in both. Obviously we’re the defending winners of the race, and it’s both a great honor and a great responsibility. Luckily, we’re coming prepared with the best crew, the best tools, and of course, the best car with Porsche. Having consistency with Andy and Richard will be great, needless to say they were key in last year’s victory. Nicolas is new to the team, but we’re lucky to have him and I think his record speaks for itself.
"Our 45 car is a fantastic addition to the program. Our experience so far has been phenomenal with all of the drivers, and they definitely understand our style. Al Carter ran a test with us in November, and it was immediately clear he was ‘one of us.’ Mark Boden has done an amazing job with running Fall Line Motorsports. Beyond winning a series championship, he and his team have a great reputation for running a proper program, and it’s clear Mark and I share the same values. Charlie Putman has been a staple of GRAND-AM for several years now, and I think he’ll instantly fit in to our group. Charles Espenlaub is obviously one of the most recognized figures in the paddock, and his feedback and insight will add a lot to the whole program. Hugh Plumb is one of the most likable guys out there, and again his résumé speaks for itself. I’m very happy to see us all under one roof, and really look forward to finally getting back out on the track.”
With the team currently bolting the final pieces on to both cars before wrapping for the holidays, Magnus Racing will head in to the test ready for action.
The team will continue to provide week-long updates throughout the test on January 4-6, and will have multiple announcements through the month of January leading to the season opening Rolex 24 at Daytona, taking place January 26-27, 2013.