Jan Magnussen: Looking ahead after Long Beach woes

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Jan Magnussen: Looking ahead after Long Beach woes
By: Jan Magnussen
May 3, 2018, 8:37 PM

Motorsport.com columnist Jan Magnussen reflects on a difficult Grand Prix of Long Beach, but at least son Kevin is faring better in Formula 1.

#3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, GTLM: Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen
#3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, GTLM: Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen
#66 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT, GTLM: Dirk Müller, Joey Hand, #3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, GTLM: Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen
#3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, GTLM: Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen
#3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, GTLM: Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen
#3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, GTLM: Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen
#3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, GTLM: Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen
GTLM podium: winners Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner, Corvette Racing
#3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, GTLM: Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen, Mike Rockenfeller pit stop
#25 BMW Team RLL BMW M8, GTLM: Alexander Sims, Connor de Phillippi
#3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, GTLM: Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen
Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team VF-18
Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 in parc ferme
Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team VF-18
Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team VF-18 with puncture on lap one

I’m looking forward to heading back to Mid-Ohio next week for Corvette Racing. It has been five years since we last raced there and I have a bit of unfinished business at the track.

I've had a couple of wins here including an overall win back in 2001 with David Brabham in the Panoz and GT1 triumph for Corvette Racing with Johnny O’Connell in 2008. I’ve had a couple of runner-up finishes since then, but luck has never really been on my side.

It’s a great track and getting into a rhythm is really important – especially through the section after the back straight. Each corner flows into the next, so if you get the first bit wrong, you can really lose a bit of time through there.

There is also not a huge amount of run-off either – a bit of a contrast to the track that Mid-Ohio replaced on the calendar, Circuit of The Americas.

Antonio Garcia had some great luck at COTA in the past. Hopefully, we can have the same at the corresponding round.

A slice of luck would be nice after the Long Beach weekend. In the race the car was a little stronger than we expected and we were running at the front when it came time for that all-important Long Beach pit stop. As usual, the Corvette Racing guys did a brilliant job and got Antonio back out in the lead.

However, we ended up with a box of neutrals on the restart and dropped back through the field.

The good news is Corvette Racing won the race. The bad news for Antonio and myself – it was the ‘wrong’ car!

We’ll keep fighting hard and hopefully turn it around at Mid-Ohio. This weekend will also be important as it's the final race before we head to Le Mans.

I’m really looking forward to Le Mans, especially with the news we’ll have Mike Rockenfeller on board with Antonio and I this year.

‘Rocky’ has done an amazing job with us at Daytona, Sebring and Road Atlanta in the past and having his experience in France is going to be great. He has won the race overall so he certainly knows his way around there and all three of us would love to add another win to our race records.

Proud of ‘fastest Magnussen’

After Kevin made his Formula 1 debut a few seasons ago, our Corvette Racing program manager Doug Fehan started introducing me as the world’s “second fastest Magnussen.”

After the past couple of grands prix, I’m proud to say that is probably true.

Kevin did another incredible job in China. Although he just missed on the top 10 in qualifying, he was again really strong in the race. He is really happy with the team, and the team are really happy with him. That’s always a great situation to be in.

I’m very proud of how he has performed this year and really happy for him. It doesn’t matter whether your kid is a Formula 1 driver, an accountant, a doctor; whatever their career is, you just want them to be the best they can be and love what they do.

It was a bit of a disappointment for him to be out of the points in Azerbaijan, but it was a hard day that saw many people make mistakes. He did have some really strong sessions and was looking good for some more points right up until the final stages of the race. 

Hopefully he’ll be able to rebound in Barcelona, and then after that is Monaco where he has scored points twice, including last year with Haas. That should be a good race for him. 

Thankfully the Spanish race is the week after Mid-Ohio, so I won’t have to keep one eye on my day job for Corvette Racing and one on the latest F1 times.

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About this article

Series IMSA
Drivers Jan Magnussen , Kevin Magnussen
Teams Corvette Racing
Author Jan Magnussen
Article type Commentary