American Le Mans Series Magnussen Looking to Bounce Back at Road America

Discussion in 'National Series' started by Administrator, Aug 16, 2012.

  1. Administrator

    Administrator Administrator Staff Member

    ELKHART LAKE, WI, Thursday, August 16, 2012: Danish Corvette Racing star Jan Magnussen has his sights set on returning to victory lane at Road America this weekend ”“ the venue for his first ever GT class victory back in 2003.
    Magnussen’s victory with David Brabham aboard a Ferrari in 2003 may just have been the catalyst to the Dane becoming a Corvette driver for the first time the following year.* He put a pass on former Corvette driver Johnny O’Connell on the final lap for the win ”“ the man who would later be Magnussen’s teammate at Corvette Racing.
    Magnussen and current co-driver Antonio Garcia are looking to bounce back from a disappointing weekend at Mid-Ohio where late race contact took the duo out of contention for a podium finish and pushed them out of the GT championship lead.
    With Road America being the first of three longer races to finish the 2012 season, the Danish/Spanish combination is confident Corvette Racing’s outstanding reputation in long-distance race strategy should put them in strong contention around the four mile Elkhart Lake circuit.
    This year’s Road America and the penultimate round at Virginia International Raceway will be contested over four hours. Petit Le Mans will finish the season with the annual 1,000 mile/10 hour enduro, leaving only the two hour sprint on the streets of Baltimore as the only “sprint” race to finish the season.

    Jan Magnussen Q&A
    Q: How would you describe Road America?
    “It’s a very European-style track.* A lot of people compare Road America to Spa Francorchamps and with good reason.* It’s a very fast track with super-fast corners.
    “The layout of Road America lends itself to some really good racing and in the past all the ALMS races there have been very exciting all the way through.
    “There are some really good passing areas and with the long straightaways you can tow up behind a car and then out-brake them.
    “It’s a great track and the fans give it a great atmosphere.”
    Q: What’s your favorite corner at Road America?
    “That’s hard to say because I enjoy the track as a whole.
    “But the Kink is special and very demanding in a GT car.* It’s a fantastic corner because the speeds are so high and there’s not a lot of room for mistakes.* You’ve got to lift every time and try to figure out the best and fastest way through.”
    Q: What’s your favorite Road America memory?
    “It’s got to be 2003, when I was driving a Ferrari in the GTS category and I passed Johnny O’Connell in the No. 3 Corvette to win.
    “Johnny was in the car for a double-stint, and this was before they had improved the interior cooling in the Corvette, so he was hot and pretty well used up.
    “I had just gotten in the car and was able to catch Johnny by the second-to-last lap.* I tried to work around him at turn six and it didn’t work, so I knew my last shot would be on the main straight going into the last lap.
    “I was towing up behind him and there was Andy Wallace in a prototype towing up behind me.* I made a move because the prototype was on me and Johnny saw that as an attempt to pass.* He blocked me on the inside and was successful.* At the end of the straight, Johnny pulled out to the proper brake point and that’s where I made my move, and luckily I made it stick.
    “It was a very late move and I bounced off the inside curb and ended up on the outside.* But it worked and it was very cool.
    “That move ranks among the top of the list of best passes I made in the ALMS.”

    Q: Do you think that move was what caused Doug Fehan to call you for you to join Corvette Racing in 2004?
    “Maybe.* It wasn’t until the end of the season that Doug called me up.* I had not spoken to him before, but after a half-hour conversation we had a deal.
    “I enjoyed my time in ALMS in prototypes and had only a short time in the GT class with my teammate David [Brabham], and we didn’t know what was going to happen after that.
    “To be sitting here nearly 10 years later with Corvette Racing and to think that the 2003 Road America race had something to do with our coming together is very rewarding.”
    Q: You ended up having a rough Mid-Ohio race due to an on-track incident, so how much are you looking forward to the next ALMS round at Road America?
    “I can’t wait to get going again.* Corvette Racing tested at Road America earlier this year as a preparation for Le Mans, so we have some pretty good data on the cars.
    “It’s hard to say what it’s going to be like.* We’re going to be strong but all the GT cars will be.* In fact I think that the car to beat coming into this weekend will be the Ferrari.* It’s a mega-fast car.
    “We need a win to make up for the driver championship points that we lost at Mid-Ohio and it’ll be easy to forget that bad race with a good result at Road America.”
    Q: Three out of the four races in the remainder of the 2012 ALMS season are long ”“ two four hour events, including Road America, and one 10 hour / 1000 mile event.* Do you prefer the longer races or the shorter two hour and 45 minute events?
    “Well that depends on the position I’m in.* If I’m in the lead, then I’ll be happy for the race to last 20 minutes!
    “Actually my favorites are 24 hour races, so the difference between two, four or ten hours makes no difference to me.
    “That being said the longer races suit the Corvette Racing team a little bit better, because strategy comes more into play and the guys are great at that.”

    Q: On another note, how did your son Kevin do filling in for you in your Camaro at the Danish Thundersport Championship on the Mid-Ohio weekend?
    “Well he had a bad day and a good day.* For qualifying on Saturday he had contact with another car, which hurt his chances.
    “The way that it worked in qualifying was each driver was out on the course by themselves for one flying lap.* The guy that went before Kevin slowed down too much when he was cooling down, and Kevin was on his fast lap.* They had some contact so it wasn’t a good thing.
    “On Sunday though he went out and beat everybody.* He had a great win and it was fantastic to see.”
    “Next he’s back on track at Silverstone next week in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series and tracks he knows well.* He had a test last week at Silverstone and that went really well, now it’s time to go get after it.”

    Jan Magnussen PR

    Road America Road Race Showcase


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