A lap of Sebring with Jan Magnussen

A lap of Sebring with Jan Magnussen

[Jan Magnussen took Motorsport.com on a lap around the historic Sebring track] We are in sixth on the pit stretch front straight. On a good lap we'll just go down one gear to fifth. Very fast entry and already going into the corner the car...

[Jan Magnussen took Motorsport.com on a lap around the historic Sebring track]

We are in sixth on the pit stretch front straight. On a good lap we'll just go down one gear to fifth. Very fast entry and already going into the corner the car starts to bounce a little bit. So the car's upset and you really don't want to commit yourself to a really fast turning in, but you have to so you have to set the car up a little bit for those bumps.

Going into the middle of the corner there's a big bump in there which you've got to account for and the car's going to move a lot there. And you never know quite what it's going to do. But it's a good corner when you get through there fast and you do everything right.

Jan Magnussen.
Photo by Panoz Motor Sports.
It's very enjoyable.

You come out of the corner and use all of the track and some of the curb most of the time. You have to come back over to the left a little bit to set up for the entry to turn two. There's a big bump there right -- just before you brake. That can really mess up your entry into turn two.

Turn two is a lot tighter than it looks. When you come up towards it you really want to commit yourself and go in fast, but it tightens up and you have to make a change of direction in the middle of the corner. With our car, we have a lot of weight up high with a big gearbox and a big engine this makes the change of direction a little slower and a little bit lazy.

Down through there it's pretty smooth. It's been repaved. There's really no big thing. You just have to have a good car to be able to accelerate and turn at the same time without getting too much under steer.

Jan Magnussen.
Photo by Panoz Motor Sports.
Coming down under the bridge and into the hairpin there are a series of small bumps in the braking zone, but nothing bad that would upset the car. Track surface changes on entry to the corner. It gets a little bumpy there, but you're going so slow that it's not a problem. Then you accelerate out. It's a good place to pass actually.

If you get caught behind somebody on the way out, you can lose a lot time because there's a series of lot of small turns. But you can't go around them because everybody uses the curbs as much as they can.

Up until turn 10, there are some bumps on entry, but the real bumps don't come until the middle of the corner and that really upsets the car. It's a quite an important place because you have to get quick acceleration and you can't use the whole track on the exit. So you really have pace the car along the inside and then accelerate out. It's really bumpy there and it's easy to get off line and lose your apex.

Then it's a flat out left-hander. No problem there. Then you get a series of bumps going into turn 12 -- small bumps going in but huge bumps on the exit. And it's right there where the car is really loaded up to get grip through the middle. And our car gets so upset. It's a quite spectacular feeling in the car when you're going through there well out of shape.

Down through the kink no problem, it's rather easy. Then we come up to the Le Mans curve and the entry to the chicane. No bumps, but the track seems pretty slippery there. You feel like you can carry lots of speed in there but you tend to lose the front in the front in the middle so you have to allow for some under steer that occurs in the middle.

And again there's a quick change of direction. It's really smooth there so it's not a problem.

Then you come back on to the entry to the back straight and there are a lot of different lines there because there's so much room on the outside going in. Some drivers choose to stay on the track and some drivers go way out. I normally just go two wheels off the circuit, just to give myself a little bit more room to get a good exit to get a good exit onto the long backstretch.

The back straight is a little bumpy, nothing really. The big bumps are in the last corner. The car is really upset because you're braking and turning in. You feel like it's going to swap ends at any time. When you get in you really want to commit yourself to going around the corner and trying to get back on the power as soon as you can. Then -- boom -- big bump! The car is way upset there. There's a big bump just before the bridge and then another one underneath the bridge. We wait for the second big bump, then we get back on the power, and then we accelerate through and there's another big bump on the exit. And that's our lap.

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Jan Magnussen