Jan Magnussen: Corvette back on podium, but no stopping Ford
In his latest column for Motorsport.com, Corvette Racing's Jan Magnussen talks about his recent podium in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Series at Mosport.
After the last few races if somebody had told Antonio Garcia and I we could have the pole, lead a bunch of laps and finish on the podium at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park we would have jumped at the chance.
But being the racers we are, we couldn’t help but walk away being a little bit disappointed not to get back to Victory Lane.
The Balance of Performance changes before the race certainly helped, but I think the Corvette was always going to be well suited to this track. Corvette Racing has an incredible record at Mosport.
It is also the type of track that Antonio and I really love. Very much old school where if you make a mistake, there are consequences.
I didn’t get the chance to do a heap of laps before Sunday morning as red flags always seemed to come out at the wrong time during practice.
The car felt really strong in the warm-up but it was a little hard to tell where we were at because the track temperature was much lower than what it had been in the other sessions.
Antonio had done an awesome job in qualifying to grab the pole and made a great start at the green.
It was great to hold the lead for so long and when I got in for my stint I was really pleased with the performance. It is always great to lead laps – especially at a circuit like this.
Foiled by pit strategy
When you are in the lead, however, you really can’t get too clever on your pit strategy.
The way the 912 Porsche and 67 Ford cars pitted out of sequence during the yellows pushed them to the front of the pack.
Track position is so important in the GTLM class at the moment because every brand is so close. Pitting out of sequence was a gamble we couldn’t take because we were in the lead.
We would have looked pretty foolish if we tried it and didn’t work out. That put us a little bit behind for when Antonio got back in.
He did a great job to climb back through the field to finish on the podium.
The Porsche didn’t have the pace to hold the position but once the Ford guys got out front, there really was no catching them.
It was our first podium since Daytona, but when you’re leading two-thirds of the race, you want the biggest trophy.
But this is a good step forward for Corvette Racing with both Corvettes on the podium. Now we need to try and get some wins.
On to Lime Rock this weekend
Lime Rock is going to be interesting this week – especially without the prototypes.
The PC class cars should have an overall lap time that is faster than the GTLM cars, but there are going to be places here where the GTLM cars will actually be quicker. That is going to make for some interesting traffic situations.
There is no time to relax at Lime Rock. It is really going to be an “elbows up” race where you are going to have to get stuck in and push as hard as you can.
The last time we raced here was back in 2013 in the American Le Mans Series. We qualified fifth and fought our way up to second place which turned out to be a really important result for Antonio and I en route to winning the championship.
In some ways Lime Rock actually reminds me of some of the races in the Danish Thundersports Championship.
Most of the tracks we race on are pretty short and the traffic can be pretty chaotic. The only difference is here at Lime Rock we’ll be doing a lot more laps.
Back in 2013 we clocked up 172 laps in a 165-minute race – we’re going to be busy!
See you at the track.
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