Austin, TX (Friday, September 18): Austin’s Circuit of The Americas brings back happy memories for Jan Magnussen and Corvette Racing and this weekend the Danish ace is hopeful of more success in Texas.
Magnussen and teammate Antonio Garcia won Corvette Racing’s first ever race here in 2013 en route to claiming the championship in the final year of the American Le Mans Series.
The duo have continued to show that championship winning pace in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship – leading the points until late in the season last year and being in a similar position in 2015.
After rivals Porsche scored three wins in a row in the past three rounds, Magnussen and Garcia now trail by Patrick Pilet by five points with only two races remaining.
While Porsche has had 20kg added to its racing weight for this weekend, Corvette’s C7.R has battled most of the year with the heaviest car in the GTLM class and has had the smallest fuel tank. Early season success with wins at Daytona and Sebring has forced Corvette Racing to battle hard in the latter parts of the season thanks to balance of performance adjustments.
Magnussen and Garcia were in action at Circuit of The Americas today with the duo finishing third in the afternoon session thanks to a strong final lap by the Spaniard.
Cars will be back on track this morning at 9:10am for the final practice session before qualifying at 4:10pm.
Lone Star Le Mans – GT Le Mans (all times CT unless noted)
TUDOR Practice 1: 10:25 a.m., Thursday, Sept. 17
TUDOR Practice 2: 4:35 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 17
TUDOR Practice 3: 9:10 a.m., Friday, Sept. 18
TUDOR GTLM Qualifying: 4:10 p.m., Friday, Sept. 18 (IMSA.com)
TUDOR Warmup: 8 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 19
Race: 11:35 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 19 (FOX Sports 2)
Replay: 1:30 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 20 (FOX Sports 1)
January MAGNUSSEN Q & A
Q: How do you think the balance of performance adjustments will affect the race this weekend?
A: “Obviously when you add 20kg to any race car it makes a difference but I can’t see that it is going to be that significant.
“We’re still going to have to fight really hard over every lap to stay in contention. That is our goal this weekend – we have to make sure we are in striking distance of the Porsche when we get to Petit Le Mans.
“In those long distance races anything can happen but it isn’t fun going into the last couple of races knowing you really need your rival to have some bad luck if you are going to challenge for the championship.
“But the guys at Corvette Racing are the best in the business and Antonio and I are going to give it everything and we’ll see what happens.”
Q: How important was the win here in 2013 to your championship success?
A: “That win here was really critical. We didn’t have the fastest car on the day but our strategy was perfect and Antonio did an awesome job holding everyone behind.
“Teamwork is so critical in endurance racing. Sometimes I have a great day in the car, sometimes Antonio does, but often it’s the blokes on the pit wall that make the difference.
“The best and the worst thing about racing in the GTLM class in the TUDOR Championship is that it is so competitive. In the past couple of years here in the US or Le Mans – every car has won – both Corvettes, both Porches, both BMWs, the Risi Ferrari and the Falken car.
“It is an enormous battle.”
Q: How hard does Corvette Racing work on continuing to develop the C7.R?
A: “We had a good test here in Austin last week which gave us a great starting set-up for this weekend.
“The track can vary from week to week depending on the weather but we worked through some good set-up and tire options which I think could really help us this weekend.
“This is such a great facility but one of the problems here is that it doesn’t punish you if you make a mistake. If you fall off the road here there is plenty of run-off to just drive back on. If you force a mistake on the car ahead at other tracks you can sometimes pounce because they are trying to get off the grass or gravel.”
Q: How much do you think the fans will enjoy having both the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and the FIA WEC both racing here this weekend?
A: “From a fan’s perspective this is the best of both worlds. You get the see the TUDOR Series championship battle in one of its final races of the year and also witness the incredible cars from FIA WEC.
“Le Mans is the biggest race in the world and it is brilliant to have the full WEC racing here on the same day.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the relative pace between the GT cars in the TUDOR Series and the WEC – we’ve got a lot of the same cars, same Michelin tyres on the same track on the same day.”