Ready for battle at the longest track on the schedule.
ELKHART LAKE, Saturday, August 9, 2014: Danish ace Jan Magnussen is eager for more Road America success and he and Spanish teammate Antonio Garcia look to extend their championship lead for Corvette Racing this weekend.
Magnussen and Garcia finished second here last year in the final visit of the American Le Mans Series to the Elkhart Lake venue. The Dane has two wins here at Road America – the first coming in 2003 aboard a Ferrari where he passed future Corvette Racing teammate Johnny O’Connell on the final lap.
Five years later he teamed up with O’Connell to clinch the GT1 class here in 2008.
Magnussen and Garcia finished fourth at the last round of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship at Indinapolis – ending the duo’s run of four consecutive race wins aboard the Corvette C7.R.
They have a 13-point lead in the championship with four races remaining including this weekend’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase.
The pair were fourth fastest in yesterday's single practice session. Magnussen started the session before handing over to Garica who stopped the clocks at 2 minutes, 6.711 seconds.
Such is the closeness of competition in the GTLM class, five different manufacturers filled the first spots on the timesheet in today’s session. So far in 2014, all five Michelin technical partner teams have claimed at least two podium finishes plus both a pole and a fastest race lap in the first seven races.
Jan Magnussen Q&A
Does Road America bring back happy memories for you from your first GT win?
“Yes, in 2003, it was my first win in what was called the GTS class back then. It was really great. I was actually fighting with Johnny O’Connell and got the lead on the last lap. It was an exciting race. Other than that at Road America, the Corvettes have always been super strong here and hopefully we can get a good result this weekend. We definitely are now in a situation where we have a Championship to think about, both Manufacturers and the Drivers, so we have to drive focusing on that really. If we’re not fast enough to go for the win then points needs to be the main focus.”
How was the first session yesterday?
“It wasn’t too bad. We weren’t exactly where we need to be. We need to find a little bit, so we’re going through all the data. We tested here earlier this year but it’s not a fair comparison because that was a Le Mans test with low aero and now we’re running more with the aero levels that you should run here. It’s quite a bit different. I’m sure we’ll make some improvements for tomorrow, but whether we have enough to fight with Viper, Porsche and Ferrari, we’ll have to wait and see.”
What is going to be the car to catch here this weekend?
“It’s difficult to say. The Vipers will be strong and Porsche is for sure going to be up there as well. Ferrari has also started to do much better since Indy. We’ll just have to wait and see. I don’t know that we can be in that fight, but we’re going to try and do our best.”
In these kinds of situations, when relying on the team, on the strategy, on the calls, how important is that?
“It’s very, very important. I think that’s one of the things that Corvette Racing has done so well this year, making no mistakes in pit lane, good on strategy and trying to run our own plan and not getting caught up in everybody else’s fight.”
What’s your favorite part of the Road America track?
“It’s difficult to say. The Carousel and the Kink are two corners that take some skill. They’re fast and very unforgiving if you make a mistake, so those two places are famous at this place. I think they challenge most drivers. But it’s the whole layout. There are some similarities between this place and Spa in Europe. A lot of people, who have been to both, have both places in their top three or top five of best racetracks.”
How was the Copenhagen Grand Prix weekend in Denmark last weekend?
“It was good fun. I drove an old ’65 911, we ended up finishing second. We had a little bit of an issue in the first race with a crash and a broken gearbox so we started last in the race on Sunday but came back to finish second so that was pretty good. It was good fun and a fantastic event for racing downtown Copenhagen. It’s only a historic event and there were more than 30 000 people, which is pretty fantastic.”