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Jan Magnussen: On the verge of another IMSA title with Corvette

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Jan Magnussen: On the verge of another IMSA title with Corvette
By:
Sep 29, 2017, 8:06 PM

Motorsport.com columnist Jan Magnussen only has to start Petit Le Mans to wrap up the IMSA GT LM crown – and he’s been designing an F1 track in his down time!

Jan Magnussen, Corvette Racing
#3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R: Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen
Race winners #3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R: Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen
#3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R: Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen
#3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R: Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen
#3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R: Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen
GTLM podium: race winners Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen, Corvette Racing, second place Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook, Ford Performance Chip Ganassi Racing, third place Giancarlo Fisichella, Toni Vilander, Risi Competizione
#3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R: Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen
#3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R: Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen
#3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R: Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen
#3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R: Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen
#3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R: Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen
#48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3: Madison Snow, Bryan Sellers, #3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R: Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen
#3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R: Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen, 4, Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner sign autographs for fans
Jan Magnussen, Stewart SF-1
Jan Magnussen, Rubens Barrichello, Stewart Grand Prix Ford SF-1
Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team, his Father Jan Magnussen
Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team VF-17

It’s hard to believe we have all but wrapped up the championship in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. All we have to do is take the green flag at Petit Le Mans and Antonio Garcia and I will have our second championship together.

We previously won the title in the final year of the American Le Mans Series and every year of the combined IMSA championship we’ve been in the hunt, but never been able to pull it off until now.

I’m very proud that we’ve managed to win 10 races together over the past four years together. I’m very lucky to have somebody like Antonio as a teammate, but we are both even more fortunate to drive for a team like Corvette Racing.

The fact that the team has been able to earn back-to-back drivers championships is quite incredible considering how tough the competition is. Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin were able to pull it off last year and this year we made it happen.

Credit to the team

But credit must go where credit is due. We’ve managed the whole year party because of our race engineer Kyle Millay. He has been able to get more out of races than we should have on so many weekends.

Dan Binks and all the boys on the crew have done an incredible job. Every time we head into the pits we make up more places. These guys train relentlessly on making sure we have the best stops in the pit lane

The wins at Sebring, COTA and VIR have been really important, but the really critical weekends have been ones like last week where we finished fourth.

Whenever we haven’t had good pace, we always got good points. Laguna Seca was no different. 

Laguna gameplan worked out well

We had a good plan for the race, and it was painful to execute, but it worked. The painful part was in the beginning watching everyone drive away.

Then things would turn around at the end of the stint where we would catch everyone back up and be in the mix. That’s great strategy that got us ahead of both Fords and the No. 25 BMW. It’s the best way to go into Petit Le Mans.

We’re thrilled with the championship, but we still have work to do. The drivers' championship is one thing, but the manufacturer title is still very close and both the No. 3 and No. 4 crews will be giving it our all at Petit Le Mans.

So last weekend was a championship (almost) complete in the Corvette. Next weekend I’ll be chasing another back home in Denmark in the Camaro in the Danish Thundersports Championship.

Fourth place isn’t going to cut it this weekend. I’m in third place in the points and will be chasing wins at the Jyllands-Ringen, which is the main track in Denmark.

F1 track design plans

I suspect it is going to be quite a busy weekend with people wanting to talk about the IMSA championship, my chances of winning at home and also news about the proposed Copenhagen Formula 1 street circuit.

News broke this week about the concept which I have played a role in in helping design the circuit. To bring Formula 1 to Denmark would obviously be brilliant and Kevin would love the chance to race at home.

The Danes love their motorsport and the idea of a street circuit in such a great city would be incredible – the layout would really be spectacular. 

Sadly my F1 days are long gone, but I wonder whether I can get Kevin to have word with his bosses at Haas F1 and let me sneak out for a few laps!

We already have an annual street race and historic festival in Copenhagen where the Danish Thundersports Series also runs, but this would take things to an entirely new level.

Denmark actually held two Formula 1 races back in the 60s in my hometown at the Roskilde Ring. They weren’t World Championship rounds but it still had the top racers of the time doing battle. Stirling Moss won in 1961 and the father my future teammate David Brabham – Sir Jack – won in 1962.

My dad actually saw those races back in the day and sparked his interest in the sport.

The fact I ended up in karting and going on to have a career in the sport can be tracked back in part to those Roskilde Ring races.

If we end up with a Formula 1 race in Copenhagen, I’d love to think that could inspire Danish racers of the future too.

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About this article

Series IMSA
Drivers Antonio Garcia , Jan Magnussen
Teams Corvette Racing
Author Jan Magnussen