MONTEREY, CA (Friday, April 29, 2016): Corvette Racing ace Jan Magnussen is ready to bounce back at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca this weekend after two drama filled races in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
The No.3 Corvette Racing machine finished second in the opening round of the championship at Daytona behind the sister No.4 C7.R in the closest class finish in the event’s history.
Another big points haul was ruined at Sebring when Magnussen was hit and spun into the turn one fence at Sebring while make a pass for the race lead. The Long Beach weekend was also looking strong with Corvette Racing running 1-2 in the closing minutes of the race only for the No.3 to suffer a spin and the No.4 to be taken out at the hairpin.
For Magnussen and Antonio Garcia, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca has been a happy ground. They won here in 2013 in the final year of the American Le Mans Series en route to a championship victory.
The Danish/Spanish duo backed that up the following year with another victory in the first year of the combined IMSA series.
In addition, Magussen has four additional runner-up finishes here at Monterey including 2009 when he passed Jorg Bergmeister’s Porsche only meters from the finish line for the race lead only for contact to send him past the checkered flag backwards and into the fence.
This weekend’s race will feature a unique format with two split events. The GTLM and Prototype cars will do battle in a two-hour race with the PC and GTD entries having their own separate two-hour battle on Sunday afternoon.
Practice kicks off tomorrow with two practice sessions with a final practice and qualifying on Saturday. Sunday’s two-hour race kicks off at 11:15am local time.
US PACIFIC TIME
FRIDAY, APRIL 29, 2016
8:45 am – 9:45 am: Practice #1 (P/GTLM)
2:20 pm – 3:20 pm: Practice #2 (P/GTLM)
SATURDAY, APRIL 30, 2016
11:05 am -11:50 am: Practice #3 (P/GTLM)
4:55 pm – 5:10 pm: Qualifying (GTLM)
SUNDAY, MAY 1, 2016
8:00 am – 8:15 am: Warm Up P/GTLM
11:15 am – 1:15 pm: Race P/GTLM
FRIDAY, APRIL 29, 2016
5:45 pm – 6:45 am: Practice #1 (P/GTLM)
11:20 pm – 12:20 am: Practice #2 (P/GTLM)
SATURDAY, APRIL 30, 2016
8:05 pm – 8:50 pm: Practice #3 (P/GTLM)
1:55 am – 2:10 am: Qualifying (GTLM)
SUNDAY, MAY 1, 2016
5:00 pm – 5:15 pm: Warm Up P/GTLM
8:15 pm – 10:15 pm: Race P/GTLM
JAN MAGNUSSEN Q&A
JM: “This will be a very important race for Antonio and I in the No.3 Corvette. We’ve been very fast and in contention for the win for the past two races but things haven’t worked out.
“Both cars from the team are very strong this year and we not only have to do battle against the competition but our teammates Oliver and Tommy are leading the championship so we’ll need to push hard.
“This is going to be a very interesting weekend where we will be able to race hard without worrying so much about the traffic.
“The challenge is going to be the two-hour race distance. They is going to be right on the edge of making on it one stop. Any yellow flag running will be helpful but also when the yellows fall could be interesting too.
“The Corvette Racing guys on the pit wall are really going to earn their money this weekend in calculating fuel consumption and working out when to pit. They are the best in the business so in the car we’ll push as hard as we can and wait for the call”
Q: You’ve had great success here in the past, what is the best thing about Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca?
JM: “The place has a really good flow to it. The run after the hairpin through to the corkscrew is awesome and you can really build momentum in the lap through there – it’s very rewarding.
“There are also a couple of good places to pass at the last corner and the hairpin. There is also opportunity at the corkscrew but you really have to commit and make sure the guy you are passing knows you are there.
“This really is one of my favorite tracks on the schedule and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in this week.”
JM: “I had really big battle going on with Joerg Bergmeister here in 2009. Coming into the last corner I had realized I was probably going to finish second.
“But Joerg braked quite early. I think he was trying to control my pace to try to make sure I didn’t get a run on him.
“We touched at corner entry which unsettled his car and I was able to get up the inside with a run. He kept moving me over towards the wall and just after I had my nose in front we had contact and I spun across his nose.
“We were so close to the line that my first thought was to keep my foot in the gas and even if I crossed the finish line backwards, I could still take the win.
“Unfortunately the rear of my Corvette was just behind Joerg’s nose as we crossed the finish and I had a hard impact with the wall.
“That was a big hit and I ended up with a broken tailbone and a couple of broken ribs! It was lucky it was the last race of the year.
“We are always going to race hard. Regardless of what happened in the past couple of races – if things get tight at the finish we’re going to give as good as we get.”
Q: This is the last race before you head to Le Mans. How will important will this weekend be as part of that preparation?
JM: “Laguna really doesn’t give you a lot of help for Le Mans although this weekend all the GTLM teams will be running on the Michelin tires we’ll use in France.
“It will be interesting to see how Corvette reacts to the new rubber. Corvette Racing was really good at Le Mans last year but here at Laguna is always tricky from a tire perspective because you have a lot of sand that blows across the track.
“After this race we’ll go testing at Road America which will give us a much better idea. We’ll run the Le Mans aero there and Elkhart Lake is a lot more like a European fast-flowing circuit.
“You always want to head to France though with success under your belt so we’ll be giving it our best shot this weekend.”
JM: “We had a great weekend. It was certainly a challenge in regards to the weather. It snowed during qualifying, was wet in the first race, damp in the second and dry in the last.
“I ended up with pole, a win, eighth and then another win in the final race. We actually ended up second in the championship but only a few points off the lead.
“It was a great start to the season.
“Kevin was also at the event doing some laps in the Renault RS-01 sportscar. Despite the fact the track was damp, he stlll broke the track record at Jyllands Ringen,
“He said the car is a lot of fun to drive – lots of horsepower and really light. He had fun.
“This weekend he’ll be racing in Sochi in the Russian Grand Prix so I hope to catch a bit of that before heading to the track for our warm-up on Sunday morning.”