Aiming for three-in-a-row at Laguna Seca

jan_laguna_win 5Jan Magnussen and Corvette Racing have been on a winning streak at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in recent years and now the championship-leading Dane is keen to make it three-in-a-row.

Magnussen and Spanish teammate Antonio Garcia won last year’s Prototype/GTLM race – backing up their victory in the final Laguna American Le Mans Series race in 2013.

jan_laguna_win 6While separate races were staged last year, this year all four classes of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship will fight it out together on Sunday in a two hour, 40 minute race.

Magnussen and Garcia lead the championship after taking victory at the Rolex 24 at Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring. The duo also made it a perfect trio of podiums with third place at Long Beach. They now have a 10 point lead at the head of the pack. Corvette Racing also lead the Team’s Championship and Chevrolet is the leading manufacturer.

Corvette Racing is actually going for its fourth consecutive win here in Monterey. Magnussen and Garcia’s teammates Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner won here in 2012. Not only was the No.3 car fast in the race last year, Antonio Garcia won the pole here in 2014.

The Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix, the fourth race of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, is set for 1:05 p.m. PT on Sunday, May 3, from Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Live TV coverage begins at 1 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1. ET. Flag-to-flag radio coverage also will be available via IMSA Radio.

Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix – GT Le Mans (all times PT)

TUDOR Practice 1: 11:30 a.m., Friday, May 1
TUDOR Practice 2: 3:30 p.m., Friday, May 1
TUDOR Practice 3: 10:50 a.m., Saturday, May 2
TUDOR GTLM Qualifying: 5:05 p.m., Saturday, May 2
TUDOR Warmup: 8:35 a.m., Sunday, May 3
Race: 1:05 p.m., Sunday, May 3 (FOX Sports 1)


jan_laguna_win 16Q: How much are you looking forward to Laguna Seca and trying to get three wins in a row at that place?

JM: “It would definitely be pretty awesome if we could do that. We’ve had really good luck here and some good races in the past so hopefully we can have another good race and defend our Championship lead.”

Q: From a driver’s perspective, what is so good about Laguna Seca?

JM: “Laguna is one of my favorite circuits that we go to. The local area is fantastic and it has lots of elevation changes with a pretty nice flow to it. I think, also the fact that we’ve had a lot of good luck here plays into why I like this place so much.”

jan_laguna_win 10Q: What about from the car’s perspective, are there certain aspects of the type of corners at Laguna that particularly suit the Corvette in any way?

JM: “It’s hard to say if this is a track that suits the Corvette better than other places. I think we’ve had a good all around package that’s been good pretty much everywhere we go. Laguna Seca isn’t a place where top speed really plays its part. It’s all about aero and mechanical grip.”

Q: Looking back at the Long Beach weekend, it didn’t look like you had the outright pace. How good was it to come away with a good, strong result on the podium?

JM: “I think getting a podium with a third place in Long Beach was probably the best we could hope for that weekend. We were a little bit behind on pace and it would’ve been quite easy for us to finish fifth. But then the guys made a fantastic pit stop and we gained a few spots there and after that Antonio was able to hold on to it and finish on the podium which is probably a couple of spots better than what we had the pace for.”

jan_laguna_win 18Q: At Laguna this week, it’s a little different from last year where you had a separate race for prototypes and GTLM cars, now everything is back in the main field. Do you have a preference between those type of races or would you prefer to race with everybody?

JM: “I like the fact that we get to do both. Getting to do races with all the classes and also once in a while we also get a chance to race just ourselves. Obviously with a lot of guys on track, certainly in practice, it gets very difficult to learn a lot because you get hampered by traffic most of the time but that’s part of sports car racing and that’s a good thing. I think it’s just part of sports car racing’s DNA that you have to be able to compete with different classes and deal with the traffic.”

Q: It’s the last race before Le Mans, how much are you looking forward to another good result and then getting ready for the big one?

JM: “For sure. I think Le Mans is on the mind of everybody on the team and that’s what we’re trying to prepare ourselves for. If we could come away from Laguna Seca with a good result everyone’s spirit will be high and we can go there on a good note and perform our best, which is what it’s all about.”

2015-04-25-mre-jyllandsringen-23Q: How was your first race weekend back home last week?

JM: “It was pretty good, except I was a little bit unlucky in Race 1. I got taken out in the first corner and that was a shame but we had a fourth and a fifth place finish which is pretty decent considering we had to start in the back of those two races. So all in all, good speed in the car, the team is working well, we just didn’t need to be watching the first race from the wall.”

Q: How different do you find it being a team owner, as well as a driver, does that give you a whole new perspective when you’re talking to the Corvette Racing guys?

JM: “For sure it does. I’ve teamed up with a lot of good guys that can take care of things. The week after or leading up to the races are very busy and very special but during the race itself everything is left in other people’s hands, it’s much better for driving but it’s very, very interesting. I really enjoy everything about it.”