Long Beach (CA), Friday, April 7, 2017: Fresh off their first victory of the season at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, Jan Magnussen and Corvette Racing have high hopes going into the BUBBA Burger Grand Prix of Long Beach.
The No.3 Corvette Racing C7.R, piloted by Magnussen and teammate Antonio Garcia, will take to the streets of Southern California on a track where the team boasts five wins, with the most recent going to Magnussen and Garcia in 2014.
Despite their winning ways in Long Beach, the race will be far from a walk in the park. The tight twists and turns of the 1.968-mile, 11-turn track make the 100-minute long race seem like an endurance race in its own right.
The pair along with Mike Rockenfeller won the last round of the championship at Sebring as Corvette Racing triumphed at the event for the third year in a row.
Magnussen and Garcia were third fastest this morning in the opening two-hour practice session – recording 50 laps around the Long Beach streets.
Corvete Racing almost took victory here last year with the sister No. 4 Corvette C7.R, but late race contact dashed those hopes. Magnussen, Garcia and the entire Corvette Racing team are looking to improve on that performance and find, once again, the top step of the podium in Long Beach.
You can catch the GTLM streetfight at the Grand Prix of Long Beach on Saturday at 1 pm Pacific, 4 pm Eastern on FOX. Danish and other fans throughout Europe can watch on Motors TV or online at imsa.tv.
Jan Magnussen Q&A
“It is hard to know how we’ll stack up compared to the rest of the field but to be third fastest is certainly a great start to the weekend.
“We won’t really know where we’re at until this afternoon but we both got plenty of laps. Antonio got 23 laps and I put 27 laps on the car so that is always a strong way to kick things off.”
Q: With the first win of the season already under your belt, how do you approach Long Beach?
A: “We just have to keep executing at every race and stay in contention. Last year didn’t go to plan for us here at Long Beach but we’ll be aiming to repeat our 2014 result when I got the pole and we won the race.
“Qualifying is a little more important here because the race is so short. We’ve gone from fighting it out over 36 hours at Daytona and Sebring to just 100 minutes here.”
Q: What are some of the challenges with this particular event?
A: “You don’t get a lot of track time and there is a huge gap between when we first run on Friday morning and when we’re back on track in the afternoon. The track can change so much in that time but everyone is in the same boat and we have a few years’ experience now so we know what to expect.
“Street circuits are always fun however and this is a race I always look forward to. Interestingly, this is now the only street circuit the GTLM class races on – in fact the WEC and ELMS don’t have any on their calendar either – so this race is quite unique for sportscars.”
Q: What role will the change in start procedure play?
A: “The change in the start procedure here could also have an effect. With the field all starting back together now, getting a good start can prove to be a huge bonus.
“I remember a few years ago Antonio getting a jump on a couple of Prototypes into turn one and being able to open up a handy gap early in the race.”
Q: Will you be able to keep an eye on Kevin’s progress in Shanghai?
A: “While at Sebring, I was able to get plenty of sleep because the Australian Grand Prix was a week later for a change, this week I’ll be up late post-race on Saturday.
“Hopefully we’ll have something to celebrate on Saturday night and then I can get ready to watch Kevin’s race for Haas F1 in China.”