Jan Magnussen: Time to hit the top of our game
Motorsport.com columnist Jan Magnussen heads to Road America with Corvette Racing, and it’s all to play for against Ford, BMW and Porsche.
We’re off to another really important track in the championship chase this weekend and it’s going to be imperative for Corvette Racing’s championship challenge.
Antonio Garcia and I ended up in fourth place at the last round at Lime Rock Park, with Antonio all over the tail of one of the BMWs.
That podium was so close but the battle at the end was pretty fierce. We had a six-point lead in the championship after Le Mans and after three races we’ve managed to squeeze out one extra point on the competition to make it seven. We’ve ended up with third, fourth and fourth thanks, in part, to the incredible work by the Corvette Racing crew.
Staying consistent is imperative. Every week when we turn up at another track there is somebody who is on top of their game.
Rating the competition
The BMW boys were fast at Watkins Glen and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and Porsche jumped to the top at Lime Rock Park. You just never know who is going to be fast each week. This week it could be Ford – but hopefully, it will be us.
Our teammates, the No.4 Corvette of Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner won here last year so we’d expect our package to be pretty strong here.
This is the place where I actually got my first ever victory in a GT car in the US, in a Ferrari in 2003 – funnily enough beating my mate Johnny O’Connell in the Corvette. Doug Fehan was so mad – he hired me for the following year and I’ve been here ever since.
Johnny and I went on to win here in the final year of the GT1 class in 2008. So it has been a while since I’ve won here and I’d love to get back to victory lane. That would be a huge help for our points battle.
I’ve had a second and a third here in recent years and also got spun from behind while running third in 2012 – to say I was a little annoyed about that one is an understatement.
One aspect which looks interesting for this weekend is going to be the weather. The rain hit pretty hard during the week and delayed the teams in getting everything set up; you don’t really want to be putting up metal pit equipment and awnings in a thunderstorm.
Our car is pretty strong in the wet, but with everyone in GTLM on Michelin tires, there is no real advantage for any of the teams.
The cool thing about Road America is that it is such a driver’s track – it is probably the most European-style track we have here in the US.
There are plenty of passing opportunities and some great corners like the carousel where, if the car is working well, it can be awesome. When it’s not – it can be quite a handful.
This place reminds me of Spa in same ways – all it needs is to throw in Eau Rouge and it would be even better.
Sadly, this is the weekend where I have a clashing race at home in Danish Thundersports. It’s a good one too – the Copenhagen Historic Grand Prix.
I’ve got a 16-point lead in the championship so hopefully it doesn’t take too much of a battering while I am at Road America.
Industry insider: John Doonan reveals how Mazda snared Joest
Road America IMSA: Taylor sweeps to pole, Ford on top in GT