Corvette out to repeat last year's win at "The Glen".
Watkins Glen, NY - TUDOR United SportsCar Championship GTLM points leader Jan Magnussen is looking to bounce back at Watkins Glen this weekend after a disappointing Le Mans 24 Hours.
Magnussen and teammates Antonio Garcia and Ryan Briscoe were looking to add a Le Mans victory to their Daytona and Sebring enduro successes from earlier this year.
However a stuck throttle in qualifying sent Magnussen into the wall in the Porsche Curves, badly damaging the Corvette C7.R and forcing Corvette Racing to withdraw the No.73 entry.
The Danish/Spanish/Australian trio were forced into support mode for the No.74 Corvette throughout the Le Mans weekend – watching on the sidelines as Tommy Milner, Oliver Gavin and Jordan Taylor went on to win the GTE-Pro class.
Magnussen and Garcia will be back on track this weekend looking to defend their Watkins Glen victory from 2014. The duo will be aboard the Larbre Competition C7.R which Corvette Racing has secured for the Watkins Glen weekend while the their Daytona and Sebring-winning version is being rebuilt.
Last year’s win was the third in a row for the No.3 Corvette which also went on to win the following race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
Jan Magnussen Q&A
Q: How disappointing was it to not be able to race at Le Mans?
A: “It was a great shame that we didn’t even get a chance to race at Le Mans and battle for the victory.
“The way the things turned out it looks like we had a good race car and we could have ended up with a good result.
“These things happen. They are difficult to accept when you are right in the middle of it but that’s just how it is.
“After looking at the car after the accident, it became clear we just had to be there to support the guys in the No.64 car and help out any way we could.”
Q: You’ve had great success with that chassis, how disappointing was it to suffer so much damage?
A: “These things happen. It was a huge disappointment for the whole team. The car is being rebuilt at the moment and fortunately we have the Larbre chassis to use this weekend and I’m fully confident that the guys will bring a car that is as good as the one we used to win at Daytona and Sebring earlier this year.”
Q: Explain what happened in the accident at Le Mans?
A: “Obviously it wasn’t a good experience. We had a small stone get lodged in the throttle linkage. That kept the throttle jammed wide open in the middle of the Porsche curves.
“I didn’t have much of a chance to react. I knew I was going to crash it was just a matter of how hard.
“I did everything I could to try to slow the car down but there is not much you can do. There is so little time to react in the middle of the Porsche Curves.
“From the time the throttle stuck open to the first impact was only a second. The first thing I did was get on the brakes but that didn’t do anything.
“Then I moved my hand to try to switch the car off but with the wall coming up I thought it was better to have my hand as far away from the dash as I could.
“After the car hit it spun around and killed some speed. The second hit was still very hard and the engine was still at 100% throttle.
“Once I came to a stop in the gravel trap I was able to switch it off. It was two very big hits. Luckily there were no injuries or bruises, just a bit of a soreness in my neck and back.”
Q: How much are you looking forward to returning to the Watkins Glen where you won last year?
A: “Last year at Watkins Glen was fantastic. We came away with a win and the car was strong here all through the race.
“Towards the end of the day it ended up being a fuel race. Antonio was in the car at the finish and he did a fantastic job saving fuel and got us across the finish line in first place.
“We also had a little bit of luck with a safety car towards the finish. On pure pace we were good but we had to save a lot of fuel and that safety car certainly helped a lot.
“I’m not sure whether we could have done it without that.”
Q: Is Watkins Glen one of your favorite tracks?
A: “Watkins Glen is certainly my favourite style of track. It is really an old school type circuit where there are major consequences when you make a mistake around here.
“The layout, the undulations of the track – it just makes for a fantastic experience for driving.”