The 2011 Rolex 24 at Daytona
Magnus Racing enjoys a strong association with Porsche, and as such, Porsche Motorsports made available two of their factory drivers for Magnus Racing’s Rolex 24 effort. Austrian Richard Lietz and German Marco Holzer, both winners at the 24 Hours of LeMans, would join Potter and Stanton in Daytona.
Things started strong for the team, as Stanton qualified fourth on the grid in the Magnus Racing Porsche. Following technical inspection, the pole sitter was removed from the qualifying session’s results and the team would start third.
The race began at 3:30 PM on Saturday afternoon and Stanton was quickly in a battle for the lead, which he took in the early stages of his stint and began to pull away from the field. With a couple of yellow flag periods early in the race, several teams jumped onto differing strategies with the Magnus Racing Porsche remaining in the top three throughout the early hours.
Trouble hit at around 7:00 PM when Lietz reported that he had run over debris and had damaged the car, bringing it immediately into the pits. The debris had damaged the front splitter and broken the front bumper, but worst of all, had broken the rear swaybar, and the team lost two laps in the pits while the team removed it. More damage manifested itself later as a cracked exhaust header – no doubt caused by the same debris – meant the car went behind the wall for the team to make repairs. The car returned to the track 11 laps behind the leader, and had fallen to 13th in class.