On Thursday, Magnus Racing completed their driver lineup for the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge season. Previously, team owner John Potter announced a full-time GTA program for himself in the No. 44 Audi pictured above. In the No. 4 Audi R8 LMS GT3 will be Pierre Kaffer for the vast majority of the season. The exceptions will be Lime Rock and Mid-Ohio due to Kaffer’s commitments to race at the 24 Hours of Nürburgring and the Total 24 Hours of Spa.
Kaffer, who has been provided to the team by Audi Sport, is very happy to join Magnus Racing.
“I’m really looking forward to joining Magnus Racing in 2017,” Kaffer stated in the team’s press release. “The team has a great reputation for results, and even though it’s their first season of the Pirelli World Challenge, I think we all believe we can be competitive. I was able to meet everyone at a recent test, and it’s clearly a great group, and a very comfortable atmosphere. I’m extremely appreciative of the opportunity, and look forward to getting the season started in St. Petersburg.”
For the five Sprint-X events, Kaffer will be joined by 2016 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Street Tuner champion Spencer Pumpelly. Pumpelly was unexpectedly dumped from Change Racing in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in the days leading up to the Roar Before the 24 and has been unable to find a full-time ride in the series.
Pumpelly is friendly with the Magnus Racing team from when his friend Andy Lally was driving for the team. As a result, it is a somewhat familiar environment despite never actually racing for the team.
“I already feel right at home with everyone at Magnus Racing,” Pumpelly stated. “I’ve known almost everyone on the team for a long time, so it’s a very comfortable place to be, and the chemistry is already excellent. The SprintX format is a unique one, as both Pierre and I will be flat out for some very short stints, but it should make for some exciting races. I drove the previous generation Audi for a full season in 2014 [for Flying Lizard Motorsports], so I know what the quality of car and support will be, and with all this in mind we’re definitely optimistic on our chances. Technically my season doesn’t begin until VIR in April, but everyone has been great, including me in all of their plans and testing, so we’re already in great shape. I really appreciate everyone bringing me on, and look forward to what the season brings.”
Magnus Racing did not announce a replacement driver for when Kaffer is unavailable to drive. Conceivably, Pumpelly could end up racing in place of Kaffer in the No. 4 at Mid-Ohio in July since the IMSA and Pirelli World Challenge schedules do not conflict with each other. However, the team will still need a replacement driver to pair with Pumpelly in the No. 4 for the Lime Rock Sprint-X events in May.
About the author
Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.
Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.