Baltimore winners keen for more silverware.
Austin, TX, Friday - Fresh from their victory on the streets of Baltimore, Danish ace Jan Magnussen and his Spanish teammate Antonio Garcia are ready to continue their championship assault this weekend in Austin, Texas when the American Le Mans Series visits the Circuit of The Americas for the first time.
After failing to score at the opening round at Sebring, Magnussen and Garcia have been in dominant form to close within two points of the championship lead - currently held by teammates Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner. However, both Corvettes may have to rely heavily on the outstanding strategy and pit work by the Corvette Racing team this weekend.
Initial testing this week on Tuesday and Thursday has demonstrated that the Corvette does not have a dominant package this weekend at the ultra-fast Circuit of The Americas track.
The Austin race will not only be a first for the ALMS, the FIA World Endurance Championship is also in action this weekend at Circuit of The Americas - doing battle for championship honors on Sunday.
The two-hour, 45-minute American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón race at Circuit of The Americas is the eighth round of the 10-race ALMS championship and takes place on Sept. 19-21.The race will be streamed live starting at 4:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, Sept. 21 on ESPN3. The race will be televised at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, Sept. 22 on ESPN2.
Jan Magnussen Q&A
How has the no.3 corvette performed at COTA so far? "We've gone through a lot of different options with the setup and I think we're definitely going in the right direction. But it is, as what I thought it would be, a tough track for us. I don't know where we're losing time exactly, but we're further behind than usual.
"Without having good data from our competitors, it's hard to say where we're lacking. I'd imagine it's the same issues that we've been struggling with all year. The top speed is down a little bit.
"We have to work a little bit harder and see if we can find a little bit. At the moment, the cars that are really fast are probably out of reach. But we have to close the gap a little bit and I think we can do that.
"The weather seems to be a little unstable as well, so maybe it won't matter much of who's fast in the dry."
What are you focusing on for the race? "We've had races this year where we knew that we weren't going to be there purely on speed.
"So we have to have a clean race, stay out of trouble and have fast pit stops. That's what we've been doing all year.
"The way the championship is going at the moment is that we need to keep scoring points. We need to get the maximum we can get and then see where we are.
"If the Risi Ferrari or CORE autosport Porsche is out front, it wouldn't really matter so much because they're not really a threat in the championship."
How do you work with your teammates in the No.4 Corvette? "We do have to take care of each other. The main thing for Corvette Racing is the manufacturer's championship. That's what we're going for and I think we're doing a really good job with that.
"But there is a drivers' championship that all of the drivers rate really highly. It does take a backseat to the manufacturer's championship.
"Basically, we need to do what we can to have a Corvette win. After that, we need to sort out which driver pairing finishes off in the best position."
Talk about your son Kevin's last weekend in world series by Renault? "It was an unbelievable fantastic job from Kevin. What he went through and came through on Saturday, from a poor qualifying that put him in 16th, to coming through to finish 2nd in the conditions where it was raining really hard, was perfect.
"On Sunday, he had pole, was leading the race and when pit stops were over, he was second, right behind da Costa. Da Costa was very fast. Kevin had one go at him and saw it wasn't going to stick. He wasn't going to risk losing a lot of points so he settled for second. He used his head and got a bunch of points to further extend his championship lead."
How nervous are you when watching him on TV? "It's probably best I'm at home watching it, with people that know me. Otherwise everyone else will think I've gone berserk!
"Obviously I do get nervous and excited. But it's so cool to see him race, especially when he's performing like he is. It's just incredible the amount of development he's gone through and the way he now drives.
"I love watching him race. He does a fantastic job."