Jan Magnussen: No backing off as we close in on IMSA title

Motorsport.com columnist Jan Magnussen won last time out at VIR, but knows there’s still plenty to do to take the IMSA GTLM crown.

Both Antonio [Garcia] and I are still smiling after our win at VIRginia International Raceway, but we know the championship is still far from a done deal.

Heading towards the end of the race, I really felt like we were going to end up in third place, lose a bit of our championship lead, but still finish the weekend on top of the points.

But then things really fell our way.

The BMW was short on fuel and the Ferrari had an off, and before we knew it we were back in the lead. We won the VIR race for the second year a row and took home some more of those cool Michelin man trophies.

We had an eight-point lead going into that race and we ended up with a 16-point lead after the weekend.

No resting on laurels

We can’t rest on our laurels, however. We still have around 12 hours of racing left in the season, so we are going to have to be at the top of our game.

Of course, if we can maintain that points gap after Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, we’ll only have to start the race at Petit Le Mans to take the title. But we’ve got to have a strong day in Monterey before we even start thinking about that.

We’ll go into the weekend ahead with our same game plan as we have for every race this year.

It’s sometimes hard to know how you are going to shape up when you roll off the truck.

The one thing Antonio and I can be sure of is we have the best team in the business working for us in the pit lane. The Corvette Racing boys have done a brilliant job for us throughout the entire year. Every time we come into the pits we gain some positions.

Our engineering team has also been brilliant when it comes to strategy. We’ve ended up with a few results way better than we probably deserved at a number of races.

The real secret is not making mistakes. Fast and faultless is our target - easier said than done, but we have to keep working hard on that target.

I’m really looking forward to Monterey this weekend. It is such a great circuit, a real joy to drive. It is the type of place where momentum is really important. After the Andretti hairpin, every corner flows from one to the next all the way up the hill to the Corkscrew.

Corvette Racing, Antonio and I have won here before and we’re confident we should be strong this weekend.

Success in Norway

I’m also coming into the race at Laguna after a great weekend back home in the Danish Thundersports Championship.

I’ve managed to grab six wins so far this year, including last weekend in the series’ annual visit to Norway. That is more than any of my rivals this year, but I had to miss one race weekend because of a clash with the IMSA calendar.

I've jumped back up two spots in the points and now sit third in the standings with only one weekend remaining. The next Danish Thundersports weekend is scheduled for the week after Laguna Seca so I’m hoping to have a couple of great weekends in a row and give these championships the best shot we can.

Of course, the weekend after that is Petit Le Mans, so I have three busy weekends in a row.

We’ll be giving it our best shot to take two championship wins for Chevrolet – both with the Corvette here in the US and with the Camaro back home in Denmark.

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About this article
Series IMSA
Drivers Antonio Garcia , Jan Magnussen
Teams Corvette Racing
Article type Commentary