By Christopher DeHarde, Staff Writer
DETROIT — It all started with a first-turn wreck avoidance. It ended with a fourth place finish for John Potter and Andy Lally as Magnus Racing managed to finish fourth in Saturday’s Chevrolet Sports Car Classic for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
As Cooper MacNeil went underneath Ryan Hardwick in the first turn, the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari slid wide into the No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini and Potter slowed enough to avoid the opening corner incident.
“We just stayed clean, John had a really good opening stint and probably one of the best heads up calls in Turn 1 there,” said Lally. “The car came sliding under him and he was able to check up, get out of the way and when he did it kind of spearheaded the car right in front of him so if it wasn’t for that our race would’ve been over in Turn 1, Lap 1.”
Potter turned in good laps for his opening stint and handed the car over to Lally at their only pit stop under caution. After getting back up to speed in seventh place on the restart, Lally was able to move up to sixth place around the No. 8 Audi from Starworks on Lap 26 and then moved to fifth place following the spin of the No. 57 Meyer Shank Racing Acura on Lap 50. A spin three laps later from the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW gave Lally fourth place.
“Typical Detroit racing,” said Lally. “Really hard to pass but the cars were pretty well matched across the board with the manufacturers, couple of big torque monsters out there that stayed up front and that BMW was pretty stout until he crashed. I’d say all in all, starting where we started and finishing where we finished, I’m pretty damn happy with that so all good.”
The race had three full course yellow periods for contact and Lally was catching the No. 12 AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus during the final three laps of the race. Had the race not had one of the full course yellows, Lally might have finished third.
“As much power as the Lexus has, they certainly weren’t set up to go the distance,” said Lally. They were burning the rears off and we were catching them at the end there. So we just needed one less yellow and I think we could’ve gotten on the podium.”
The next race in the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen on June 30th.