Jan Magnussen: I’m clinging on to GTLM points lead

Motorsport.com columnist Jan Magnussen had a stressful Road America with Corvette Racing, but clung on to his championship lead.

Well the way this championship is going in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship I’m probably not going to have any hair left… Oh wait, hang on!

The hits just keep on coming for Corvette Racing but we keep getting up and fighting back. At Road America it looked like we’d done a brilliant job with the strategy to get Antonio Garcia and I back in contention for some good points in fourth place.

But then we got a penalty for contact which pushed us back again. It looked like we were going to lose the championship lead, but then Alexander Sims dived under Tommy Milner in the other Corvette and made contact.

That opened up the opportunity for Antonio to get back to fourth place again. I felt bad for Tommy and Oliver Gavin too – ideally we need both Corvettes scoring points because we want the teams’ and manufacturers’ titles as well.

Kicking and screaming

After we qualified last on the Saturday, the thought of sneaking out an extra point lead in the championship wasn’t on the cards. Since Le Mans our lead has grown by two points – but we’ve had to fight, kick and scream for every last position.

Every race weekend somebody pops up and jumps to the front in the GTLM class. If we’re going to take this championship, we’re going to need a weekend or two where that somebody is Corvette Racing.

Consistency is critical but having a weekend like we did at VIR last year where I got the pole and we dominated the race would be very handy.

We’ve also had good form before at Laguna Seca as well. Antonio and I won there back in 2014 in the GTLM class – but that really feels like an eternity ago.

To make things even tougher, the Risi Ferrari boys are going to be back soon, and I am sure they are going to come out swinging as well.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this championship goes all the way down to the final moments of Petit Le Mans.

Keeping on swinging in Denmark

Before we head to VIR I had another race back home in Denmark in the Danish Thundersports Championship.

I had to miss the previous round because of Road America and I’ve gone from the points lead back to fifth place now. Fourth place certainly isn’t going to cut it there – I’m going to need a bunch of wins to climb back.

The good thing is you get to drop points for your worst weekend. The bad thing is I already know which weekend that was for me. I need to be at the top of my game every race.

I managed to move up a spot from fifth to fourth in the points last weekend with a win, a fifth and a seventh over the three races. We had some wet weather and we had a gamble in the last race on slicks.

There are still two races to go and we still have some work to do but we’ll keep swinging there too.

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IMSA
Event Road America
Track Road America
Drivers Jan Magnussen
Article type Special feature