The partnership brings a long time relationship between Archangel Motorsports owner, Mike Johnson and long-time Magnus Racing driver, Andy Lally full circle, as they unite 20 years after their first Rolex 24 win under the Archangel Motorsports banner.
It will also be the 11th season that Lally and Potter (Magnus Racing team owner) have run together, the pair having won the inaugural North American Endurance championship, two Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona and the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring.
The team unification sees the team switch to Archangel Motorsports’ raceshop in St. Louis, MO. And the team states that “the Acura will primarily be run by Archangel Motorsports and some Magnus personnel.”
Archangel’s team principal Mike Johnson said: “I can’t believe our first race as Magnus with Archangel will be 20 years after Archangel won the Rolex 24 with Andy Lally behind the wheel. We have had a long history together that goes back to the SCCA and F2000 racing, through Archangel, driving together in ST, a stint at Stevenson Motorsports and now this.
“John and Andy have been a solid team in IMSA for over 10 years, and their history of winning major races is pretty strong. I look forward to this next chapter for all of us, and the Acura NSX GT3 Evo is going to be a great vehicle to get us all back in victory lane.”
Lee Niffenegger, Acura NSX GT3 Evo program manager for Honda Performance Development, said: “It’s a pleasure to welcome the Magnus with Archangel team to the Acura Motorsports family, and welcome back Andy Lally.
“The Magnus and Archangel organizations have combined for three Rolex 24 wins and multiple sports car racing championships. When he drove an Acura in 2017, Andy scored our first two wins globally for the Acura NSX GT3, and contributed to the development of our successful current NSX GT3 Evo.”
The 2021 IMSA WeatherTech Championship kicks off with the Roar Before the Rolex 24 Jan. 22-24. The event will include testing and the new Motul Pole Award 100 qualifying race to determine the starting grid for the Rolex 24. Track action for the Rolex 24 At Daytona begins Jan. 28, with the 24-hour race set to start at 3:40 p.m. ET Saturday, Jan. 30.
Magnus Racing switched from the Porsche 911 GT3 to the Audi R8 for 2016, but for the last two seasons has campaigned the Lamborghini Huracan.
Said Potter: “The Lamborghini was a good car and it was great working with their people. I want to thank the crew and Magnus Racing and GRT folks for their work this year.
“In the end, I want to change some variables. I am excited to take on something new, and I look forward to working with Acura and building on their success.
“I have known Mike for over 10 years and am excited to be teaming up with him for this next year. He and I have had a lot of separate success and I hope that together we can have more. I am excited to join the Acura and HPD family and am looking forward to driving the Acura NSX GT3 EVO. The car has had great success for the last few years and we hope to continue that.”
Lally stated: “If you told me the day after we won the 2001 Rolex 24 that Mike and I would go on to win the championship, then come back 20 years later to try it all over again, I wouldn’t believe it.
“We’ve worked with each other on and off with four other teams over the years, I’ve been the best man at his wedding and we’ve won a lot of races together, but to come back together for a full program under the Archangel banner is just awesome.
“The synergy is great between John, Mike and myself and with John and Mike both growing up close to each other in the St Louis area everything seems to be a natural fit.”
Photo by: Magnus Racing