Jan Magnussen and the No. 3 Corvette Racing team is looking to build on their podium finish at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring when the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship heads to the BUBBA burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach.
Magnussen and teammate Antonio Garcia finished third in the twelve-hour endurance classic.
Next up for the Danish/Spanish duo is a much shorter race, the BUBBA Burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach runs just 100 minutes from flag-to-flag.
Should the No. 3 C7.R win at ‘The Beach,’ it will be the third victory at the street course for Magnussen, who leads the series with three poles at the facility.
Magnussen and Garcia presently sit just six points out of the lead of the full-time IMSA GTLM championship entries—the points leader, Phillip Eng, is not contesting the full season. A good result at Long Beach would boost the pair’s chances of defending their 2017 and 2018 title wins.
The pair nearly won at Long Beach in 2017, when a last-corner, last-lap incident blocked the track and denied them the victory, and again in 2018 when an electrical problem denied them the win.
Magnussen and Garcia seek to rectify those lost victories and find themselves in victory lane for the first time at Long Beach since 2014, and for the first time in the series since VIR in 2017.
The Corvette Racing team will hit the track Friday, April 12th for the first practice session at 7:40 a.m. Pacific time before Saturday’s Grand Prix at 2:05 PM.
Jan Magnussen Q&A
Q: With the podium finish at Sebring, how important is it to build off of that momentum at Long Beach?
A: “Sebring was a good weekend for us. It was incredibly tough for the crew to run both the IMSA and the WEC races, but finishing on the podium felt like a reward for all of our hard work.
“But, that hard work isn’t over. This series, and especially the GTLM class, is so competitive that you can’t rest after one good result. You constantly have to keep pushing if you want to make a championship charge, and luckily, our Corvette team is amazing at that.”
Q: You and Antonio came so close to victory in 2017 and 2018, how badly do you want to win Long Beach this year?
A: “I cannot even begin to explain how badly we want to take the win at Long Beach. 2018 was rough, we were in a great position before an electrical issue took us out of the lead, but 2017 was really heartbreaking. Going from first to fourth in the last corner of the last lap was devastating. Our only solace was that at least the No. 4 car could take the victory. As much as we wish it were us on the top step of the podium, it’s better
“Winning Long Beach would also be special because Corvette Racing is chasing their 100th win in IMSA competition. I know Antonio and myself want to bring Corvette and Chevrolet that win and finally get the win in Long Beach we’ve been denied the last two years.”
Q: Championship-wise, how are you feeling about the possibility of three titles in a row?
A: “I’m feeling a lot better about it after Sebring than I was after Daytona, that’s for sure! We’re only at the third race of the year, but just 15 points separate the top of the standings from the bottom of the full-time entries. We rebounded really well at Sebring, and now we’re only six points out of the top spot.
“We have to make sure we perform our best every weekend, but we’ve shown the last two years that that is what we are very good at in the Corvette Racing team. It’ll be tough, but right now, I see no reason why we can’t get three championships in three years for the No. 3 car and four in a row for Corvette.”
Q: It will be another double-duty weekend for you, dad duty that is, how excited are you to watch Kevin race in China?
A: “I’m very excited, and this weekend will be much easier to follow than it was at Sebring! The race starts at 11 PM after the race, so watching him race will be the perfect way to close out the race weekend.
“Kevin’s been doing very well this year. Bahrain was a really tough race for the entire Haas team, but he showed such incredible pace in Australia that I know he’s feeling confident about his own abilities and hopefully the car will be up to speed in Shanghai too.”