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Grand Am Rolex Sports Car Series: Brickyard Grand Prix

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Sports/Touring Car Racing Topics:  Brickyard Grand Prix

Grand Am Rolex Sports Car Series: Brickyard Grand Prix

Andy Lally
John Potter
July 27, 2012


INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA

THE MODERATOR:  We are joined by today's race winners in the GT class, and a fifth‑place finish overall, Andy Lally and John Potter.  As you can discern from the trophy, they are for Magnus Racing and they have brought home the North American Endurance Championship Trophy and $50,000 in the GT class.
Guys, what a day.  Maybe a quick opener from each of you and then we'll take some questions.  Andy?
ANDY LALLY:  Just amazing.  We just won Indy, and it's‑‑ I said that 60 times since we've taken the checkered flag.  It was such a hard‑fought battle all day long with these guys today.  They were fighting hard but fighting pretty clean, and until we went yellow that last time, kept getting frustrated, and my emotion was anger because that's what drives me.
As soon as he we had we're going to end under yellow and we won the Brickyard, I choked up in the car and just couldn't believe it.  John did an awesome job this weekend.  It's so hard to come in here on a one‑day thing and make it happen, but he did, and he drove great.
Had a very unpleasant stint in the beginning in the wet, I'm sure, because this place is very slippery.  But we pulled it off.  And then we won the championship.  And then we won Indy.  And, wow.  That's it.
JOHN POTTER:  So, yeah, when we started the season, our goal was to win the whole season and obviously we had a little misfortune in a few races so that's looking less likely but it's really not a bad prize at all to win this championship, actually.
And it's the third year with Magnus Racing and we are excited to be here.  The crew really did an amazing job.  A lot of people have been with us in the beginning and you can see it in their eyes how excited they are to be here.  And I have to hand it to my co‑driver here for making a big part of that possible, too.

Q.  Did you guys get a chance to run on the new tire compound today on the Slicks at all to get a sense of how they were in race conditions?
ANDY LALLY:  Actually, we did, and they did a pretty good job.  John and I were mostly in the wet.  He had some dry laps right at the end, and even as it was drying, he did his fastest lap of the weekend at the end of that run.
And I think everybody in Rolex did their fastest laps at the end of this race after a pretty long run.  We did a stint and a quarter, stint and a half on the Continental, so they did a great job.

Q.  Can you talk about the start and water spraying off your tires and everything, heading into that first right‑hand turn?
JOHN POTTER:  On the first start with the rain, there's just no visibility and you can't even see the flag actually, so it's just about surviving.  As Andy always tells me, big picture, although it's a different way he says it.  That's really what is important.  You know, it's a long race and if I can't turn it over to him in good condition, then there's no point in us being here.
ANDY LALLY:  The conditions were pretty tough and the other thing I told him, I said, it's going to be bad and there's going to be people in the ground traps.  Go hard but don't go as hard as the first idiot that goes‑‑
JOHN POTTER:  Don't be one of them.  (Laughing).

Q.  First, you have now won Daytona this year and you've won this race and you've won the North American Endurance Championship.  Andy, you moved over here this year; does it feel good that it all came together?
ANDY LALLY:  For me, I've been given an amazing opportunity.  I took a chance last year and stepped outside of my normal racing duties and got to race an amazing series.  Cup Series has been a dream of mine forever, but to come to Rolex, John and I did this deal where we started talking long before the season ended over there and we kind of had a feeling what was going to be happening.  And I love the guys that work under John, and John and I became really good friends in 2009.
So it just kind of came together at the right time.  And I don't know why, everybody was kind of giving us the underdog thing because the team had not won a race yet, but so many members, John and I have won together as teammates on a different team.  I worked together with Lars on a different team, our engineer.  And most of the guys I've worked together with in the past and just put it together under a different banner, Magnus Racing, so it should be successful.
But to win Daytona and Indy in your first year, and the North American Endurance Championship is pretty amazing.
JOHN POTTER:  On that note, a lot of crew guys that perhaps before they came here were underappreciated by the other teams they worked for actually, and they are quickly showing their talents and abilities here.  So I'm happy to see that.

Q.  Herb, I actually have one for you.  Do you guys have a contract with Indy for next year?
THE MODERATOR:  Every race is on a year‑to‑year basis.  And so obviously right now, wouldn't be a time to talk about that.  Certainly I would not be the person to talk to.

Q.  And what's your guys opinion of the thing?  And by the way I'm John Bryant from Nazareth RaceCam.  I was rooting for a Pennsylvania owner today and he didn't make it.
JOHN POTTER:  Well, I went to school in Pennsylvania.  So I lived there for four years.  (Laughing).
ANDY LALLY:  I have an ex‑girlfriend from Pennsylvania (laughing).
JOHN POTTER:  As far as for your question, I think we have to come back.  We have to give these guys a chance to knock us off the title, right?
ANDY LALLY:  Absolutely.  To be honest this was a very tricky track to set our cars up to, because the oval and the infield are such different surfaces, not even just styles of driving, but such different surfaces, that you never have the perfect car.
So you are constantly compromising and having to drive the heck out of it here, but have it good hereand then ‑‑
JOHN POTTER:  And the rain didn't help with that.
ANDY LALLY:  Yeah, exactly.  And you throw in the wet weather because this place puddles like crazy and you never see the puddle.  You're just flying down the road and just spinning those wheels.
One thing I didn't mention in the beginning:  This car burned to the ground two weeks ago, and these guys have completely rebuilt this thing from the tub up.  It was a brand new tub with not a single nut or bolt on it, windshield or anything, and these guys have spent 23‑hour days leading up to this race, and just like snoozing some of them at the shop; some of them jamming back to the hotel in New York where the team is based.  And to come here and win this is just a huge thank you and so much owed to them for doing this kind of work.

Q.  Can you explain what caused the fire or what happened?
JOHN POTTER:  You know, it's hard to tell after the fire.  It was an electrical short.  Exactly where it came from, we don't know.  That's why we had to be so thorough in solving it.  We couldn't have had happen again.
THE MODERATOR:  Guys, congratulations.

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