MILLVILLE, N.J., May 14, 2012 – The heat was on at New Jersey Motorsports Park during Sunday’s Global Barter 250 presented by the Susan G. Komen for the Cure GRAND-AM Rolex Series race. However, unlike 2011 when temperatures soared and drivers faded, the May 13, 2012 race provided just the opposite as conditions were ideal for race-long battles. One such skirmish put the No. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche 911 GT3 into third-place with just under two-minutes remaining in the two-hour, 45-minute sports car race. In addition to Magnus Racing’s podium – its second of the season – Porsche placed three of its 911 GT3 Cup entries into the Top-10 with the No. 59 Brumos Racing Porsche in ninth and the No. 67 Sergent and Lundy TRG Porsche in 10th. The fourth, and final, iconic German sports car entered finished 12th with Horton Autosport.
The fierce GT class competition remained intense throughout the day on the 2.25-mile Thunderbolt Raceway in southern New Jersey. Andy Lally, of Dacula, Ga., had the Magnus Porsche in the thick of the fight throughout his stint. For the final hour of the event, the veteran road racer ran as high as second but never out of a nose-to-tail battle of first through fourth. With one-minute, 40-seconds remaining, second-place ran wide allowing Lally to move into the top-three guaranteeing Porsche a podium result.
"It was good points today, so we'll take it,” related John Potter who started the No. 44 Porsche. “We really wanted to honor our friends at Susan G. Komen, so hopefully a podium finish was satisfying for everyone.”
The No. 59 Brumos Porsche of Andrew Davis (Bogart, Ga.) qualified third and led on a fuel and tire strategy that has worked well for the Florida-team all season. However, co-driver Leh Keen (Charleston, S.C.) made heavy contact with the curbing along the edge of the course doing substantial damage to the car’s front splitter. With the aerodynamic device compromised, the legendary Brumos Porsche fell back to ultimately finish ninth.
“First few laps the car feels really good but it’s a pretty good fall off,” commented Davis. “We were struggling all week trying to make the tire work but we didn’t quite find it here with the low grip of New Jersey Motorsports Park. What I found, because I was fighting for rear grip, I was just being really easy with the traction off the corners and being slow with throttle application.”
The TRG Porsche had a consistent run through the field. Following an early race spin by Steven Bertheau (Aurora, Ill.), the No. 67 stayed with the GT class pack until Spencer Pumpelly took over after the first round of pit stops. The Suwanee, Ga.-driver made steady progress through the field to bring the California-based operation to tenth. The No. 73 Horton Autosport Porsche 911 GT3 Cup of Patrick Lindsey (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Eric Foss (Dallas) qualified eighth and ran another steady race. Lindsey ran as high as seventh before falling outside the top-10 to finish 12th in only their third Rolex Series race of the season.
The third-place finish in the No. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup gave Lally his 100th career GRAND-AM-sanctioned event podium.
"Taking my 100th GRAND-AM podium is just awesome,” enthused Lally. “It's a little bittersweet because we were really fighting to be on the top step, but the Magnus Porsche was really strong and the guys did a great job. It's an honor to have had the career I had, and especially to have mother here to celebrate on Mother's Day."
The GRAND-AM season now moves to Detroit for the Chevrolet GRAND-AM 200 at Belle Isle. The June 2 event on the Belle Isle Park temporary racecourse marks the debut of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series in Michigan.
High resolution photos of the Porsches competing in the Rolex GRAND-AM Series at New Jersey Motorsports Park can be found on Porsche’s media web site: