Leaders of GT class in Grand-Am Rolex Series try to be patient

08/16/2013 6:23 PM

08/16/2013 6:24 PM

John Potter is sitting in his trailer on the infield of Kansas Speedway talking about the importance of patience. And that’s not an easy thing to preach, not for a driver in the Grand-Am Rolex Series GT class.

But Potter, a native of St. Louis, is willing to try. His co-driver in the Rolex Series GT class, Andy Lally, insists he does.

“You have to see the big picture,” Potter concludes. “Now is the time to be careful, not aggressive.”

Lally, sitting nearby, interrupts.

“You’re learning,” he says.

Potter laughs. He’s of the adventurous mold, which should pretty much be a given for any sports car racer.

But don’t expect that side of him to show up this weekend as Kansas Speedway hosts the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series.

Potter and Lally are clinging to a seven-point lead in the Rolex Series GT standings. Nine races down, three to go, beginning with Saturday’s race at Kansas Speedway.

“Early on in the season, you might take some chances to get on the podium or get that win and look good,” Potter said. “We just need points because we’re in the hunt. We need to drive appropriately. There’s no point in making that awesome pass but wrecking the car. That doesn’t do us any good.”

Although they’re without a victory this year, Potter and Lally have finished in the top six in all nine races. That unmatched consistency, which Potter credits to his crew, is a prime reason for their first-place standing.

The duo is racing under Magnus Racing, which Potter founded in 2006, and driving a Porsche GT3.

Their first experience at Kansas Speedway came Thursday night. It continued with practice Friday afternoon, with mixed results.

“With a Porsche, we have a lot of weight on the rear tires, so when the weather is warm like today, we were struggling somewhat in (relation) to the other cars,” Potter said. “When it’s cooler, we’ll fall in line with the other cars.”

Fortunately for Potter and Lally, they will be racing at night Saturday. With only two events remaining after this weekend, that offers them a chance to tighten the grip on first place in the GT points race.

That is, if they can implement some patience on the track.

“It’s tempting to look ahead, but there’s still a lot of driving to do,” Potter said. “It’s fun to think about (winning the points race), but I’ve seen too many things in racing to know that’s a good way to screw it up. It can all disappear so quickly.”

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