By Christopher DeHarde, Staff Writer
ELKHART LAKE, Wisconsin — Magnus Racing has been on a roll lately in the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship and rolled into Road America by setting the fastest class time in the first practice session ahead of Sunday’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase.
Andy Lally managed to bring the Audi R8 LMS GT3 around the 4.048 mile natural terrain road course with a GT Daytona (GTD) class-leading lap of 2 minutes, 7.048 seconds for an average speed of 114.702 mph.
For Magnus Racing, this part of the season has been a welcome change of pace. Lally and co-driver and team owner John Potter brought home a pair of podiums before coming to Road America with a third place finish at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and a runner-up finish at Lime Rock Park. This is a change from the first five races of the season with a best finish of sixth in GTD.
“We have gotten a really good handle on the balance of the car,” said Lally. “But to be honest for a place like Road America, we were not expecting to be P1. I think we just caught the lap before everybody else did and I think we’ll eventually see a bunch of guys dip into the sixes here when they turn it up.
“That was about all we had, we can probably find a little bit more in some minor tuning but I’ve got to give credit to our engineers who rolled us off the trailer with a really good balance straight away so that I could go right out of the box and put a lap in so it felt really good.”
Lally is cautiously optimistic about the teams’ form. Audi has been strong at CTMP and Lime Rock so the first session results are nice to see but there’s still two hours and 40 minutes of racing left on Sunday.
“Things fell our way in both of those races but if we can get a good result here then I’ll stand by the fact that we found something,” said Lally. “Because our guys have been hustling, you know we started the year off so poorly and made a switch. We had a little bit of a personnel transition that we had to adapt to and hopefully that is the case now and you never know, we’ll see. To be honest, I’m staying reserved and cautious until we leave here with a good result.”
There is a second practice session on Friday afternoon and there is a morning practice session Saturday at 8:55 a.m. CT. Qualifying begins Saturday at 12:35 p.m. CT and the race is Sunday at 1:35 p.m. CT.