Confirmation this evening that Magnus Racing will partner with GRT for the full 10 race GTD season in the 2020 IMSA Wearthertech Sportscar Championship.
That much we had already established on DSC here earlier this month, for the detail however, wrapped up in the traditionally entertaining Sean Heckman-crafted release, read on!
With the 2020 racing season quickly approaching, Magnus Racing team principals feel it’s important to deflect attention from future plans by dwelling on the past, and the problems that have always existed in racing.
“While I could be grateful for the excellent crew, operations, car and fun we’ve had at Magnus Racing, I’ve decided I’d rather complain about everything else,” stated Magnus Racing team principal John Potter. “Global warming, IMSA, the troops, Turn Seven, red flag endings, officials, copyrighted brick figures, you name it. Sure, we could be accountable to our own future and whether or not we want to continue, however, our 10 years of racing on our own terms have taught us that being responsible for our own actions is not on-brand for many sportscar entrants, so we felt it best to follow suit.”
Of course, when looking through the list of obvious areas to burn the series down, the imposed “driver ranking” rules that have been in place in GTD and LMP2 competition is an obvious one to get people riled up about. While driver rankings have been part of the series rules since IMSA’s reformation in 2014, it creates a very easy and visible target for people to divert attention toward.
“Driver rankings,” stated Potter. “I don’t have an opinion, I’m just saying ‘driver rankings.’ That seems to be all I need to do to sound like I have insight.”
Whenever a team considers its own future, however, the most viable and traditional complaint is that of the ever-present “balance of performance,” or BoP. Designed as a way to keep multiple manufacturers equal over the course of a year, the constant adjusting and re-adjusting of individual car specs to match performance with their competitors is a constant source of complaint, most notably for underperforming cars.
“The BoP is just out of control,” stated Potter. “I can name several races, like Daytona 2016, Lime Rock 2016, Sebring 2014, when the BoP was perfect. It should have stayed just like that. However, series officials felt it necessary to weigh multiple opinions and ‘data’ when it comes to trying to level the playing field. This is complete nonsense and out of line with my current agenda. The bottom line is, I’m out there racing, I know when it’s right and when it’s wrong, and it’s always wrong when we’re not on the podium. Always. The fact the series doesn’t exclusively listen to me and ignore all the other competitors, data, and some vain attempt at ‘objectivity,’ is simply inexcusable.”
Above all, Magnus Racing team principals cite the never-ending demands of the fans, the requirements to sign autographs, and generally talking to human beings as their greatest grievance. The final straw for the team was a signature request for a T-shirt from 2014. As a result of these consistent problems in racing, and after careful consideration of 2020 and beyond, Magnus Racing will be on hiatus.
“I am grateful for all the people that made Magnus Racing what it is, and all that we accomplished together, it was hard complaining that much, and I needed a break. I guess, turns out racing is still fun, and I appreciate the opportunity I have to be in the paddock” stated Potter.
Potter will still continue to run in IMSA. For 2020, he will be partnering with the GRT Grasser Racing, under the banner of “GRT Magnus”. They will run a Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO run as a joint venture for the full 10-race season in the IMSA Weathertech Sports Car Championship for 2020.
After a careful evaluation of drivers, team principal John Potter has selected John Potter as one of his drivers, with long-time teammate Andy Lally continuing in the role of “B driver.” Spencer Pumpelly will also return as the team’s third driver for endurance races.
Notably, though after this confirmation of the team’s plans Sean Heckman will step away from the team’ PR brief. Many thanks for all the laughs Sean, memorably different!