Jan Magnussen: First victory at Daytona, now Sebring

In his latest column for Motorsport.com, Jan Magnussen explains how the No.3 Corvette squad won the Sebring 12 Hours.

This winning thing – it never gets old!  Sebring was a fantastic weekend for the team. Antonio (Garcia) and Ryan (Briscoe) did a great job on the track staying out of trouble.

That’s two wins back to back – Daytona and Sebring wins are the best way to start the season. Ever since I started my Motorsport.com column we’ve been winning – the site must be my good luck charm.

This is a fantastic start to the year. It will set the team up with a lot of confidence. We’ll go in very strong mentally. Long Beach has been traditionally strong for Corvette Racing. Hopefully we can carry on with that and on to Le Mans for the big one.

With two hours to go, I didn’t really think we would have been able to win. But once it became a fuel race, we were in with a chance. If we had a yellow at the end, it probably would have screwed us.

When finally everything came together, we knew, right then unless something goes horribly wrong we’ve got it. 

We didn’t have the fastest car on the track at Sebring. For sure the Porsches had us on pace, but coming down to fuel, we knew it would be a good result. 

I thought that the whole race, except for the last 45 minutes, went by so fast, but the last 45 minutes you’re sitting, looking at the watch, you think you’re looking away for a long time, then you look back and only one minute has passed! You’re like: “Come on!”

I’m having a little bit of a hard time actually accepting that we’ve had this start to the year. It’s the most fantastic thing. It doesn’t happen that often.

It’s really cool but it’s such a tight championship, anything can happen. To start off like this gives us a lot of confidence in what we can do but it also gives a little bit of a safety margin that the others don’t have. 

If it’s not looking like a win in Long Beach or Laguna, maybe we can just take our points and be happy with it.

As long as you get far enough into the race, then it’s not the end of the championship but even with BMW and Porsche running into trouble today, if they have a couple of good races they’ll be right back into the fight. 

We can’t really afford to relax, we have to take everything we can get. This will just build the team up so much for the next two shortest races of the year. It’s so fantastic.

This was my 17th Sebring, believe it or not! I’ve won four of these but I’ve always been with fantastic teams. Since 2004, I’ve been within a shot of winning it every year but it’s such a hard race to win and Sebring is just one of these places that the last hour, things happen, every year. 

It can look so clear as to who is the fastest, who is the strongest, who is leading, in that last hour something always happens and that’s what makes this race so hard to win. 

It does really beat up the car, and beat up the drivers, so that for sure plays into it but then again Daytona I thought that was impossible for me to win, who knows it could be a fantastic year.

Sebring is rough on race cars, it beats them up completely. So if we can run through here with no problems you can do 24 hours anywhere else.

Le Mans here we come!

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About this article
Series IMSA
Event Sebring
Track Sebring International Raceway
Drivers Jan Magnussen
Teams Corvette Racing
Article type Commentary