LONG BEACH, CA (Thursday, April 14, 2016): Jan Magnussen and Corvette Racing are looking forward to returning to a happy hunting ground for the Danish ace this weekend – the streets of Long Beach being one of his most successful North American venues.
In fact since 2007, Magnussen has never finished outside the top five. Corvette Racing has traditionally been strong here at the Californian venue – the oldest street circuit in North America.
After the launch of the combined IMSA series two years ago, Magnussen and teammate Antonio Garcia won after the Dane took the pole position in 2014 and then scored third place last year
Magnussen and Garcia will be looking to bounce back this week after being taken out while battling for the lead at the 12 Hours of Sebring. Corvette Racing and the Danish/Spanish duo fought back to grab points at Sebring but the pair are now in fourth position trailing teammates Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner in the title race.
This weekend’s race is also a dramatic contrast from the opening two rounds of 2016 that clocked up 36 hours of racing. This week’s BUBBA burger® Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach is only 100 minutes long – the shortest race on the schedule.
Cars are on track early on Friday morning with a two-hour session starting at 7:40am. Qualifying kicks off at 5:35pm on Friday with the green flag for Saturday’s race at 4:05pm.
It is a busy couple of weeks for “Team Magnussen”. Jan’s son Kevin will race for Renault Formula 1 in the Chinese Grand Prix this weekend while the following week Magnussen Sr. returns to competition on home soil in Denmark for the opening round of the 2016 Danish Thundersports Championship at FDM Jyllands Ringen.
After the Chinese Grand Prix, Kevin will also be on track at the same venue attempting to break the Danish’s circuit’s lap record on board his Renault RS 01 Formula 1 machine.
LONG BEACH GRAND PRIX – GT Le Mans
US Pacific Time
FRIDAY, APRIL 15, 2016
7:40 am – 9:40 am: Practice #1 – IMSA
5:00 pm – 5:25 pm: Practice #2 – IMSA
5:35 pm – 5:50 pm: Qualifying – IMSA (GTLM)
SATURDAY, APRIL 16, 2016
1:00 pm – 1:45 pm: IMSA Autograph Session
4:05 pm – 5:45 pm: Race – BUBBA burger® Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach
FRIDAY, APRIL 15, 2016
4:40 am – 6:40 am: Practice #1 – IMSA
2:00 am – 2:25 am: Practice #2 – IMSA
2:35 am – 2:50 am: Qualifying – IMSA (GTLM)
SATURDAY, APRIL 16, 2016
10:00 pm – 10:45 pm: IMSA Autograph Session
1:05 am – 2:45 am: Race – BUBBA burger® Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach
US TV SCHEDULE
Friday, April 15 (All times EDT)
8:35 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.: IMSA.com (Live) (IMSA App)
Saturday, April 16
7:00 pm: FOX Sports 2 (Live)
11:00 pm: FOX Sports 1 (Re-air)
Sunday, April 17
12:30 pm: FOX Sports 1 (Re-air)
Watch online on www.FOXSportsGO.com or download the FOX Sports GO app.
Jan Magnussen Q&A
JM: “I think Long Beach is a little bit different because in some places there’s so much room, the roads are so wide but then there’s some super narrow places like around the fountain for example.
“There is a couple of medium speed corners with a lot of room on the inside where you can really use the inside curbs.
“It’s a great place, I like it. It’s really different from when we used to race in Baltimore, which was another place I really liked.
“It’s great to be back in Long Beach. It’s always an interesting race because it’s so short and there’s one pit stop and that stop really determines a lot in the final result. Your result can really depend on that so there is a lot of pressure on getting the timing right and making sure you have no issues in the pits.”
Q: How will the new spec 2016 GTLM cars perform at Long Beach?
JM: “There has been some changes to the rules this year and we have a lot more downforce than previously. It’ll be a little bit different. We’ll be faster, I can’t imagine anything else will change much.
“Usually this place has been good to Corvette. We’ve had good results here with five wins since 2007. We’re really looking forward to getting on track on Friday and seeing how this new car performs.”
JM: “The track changes so much from the Friday morning to qualifying. Basically we try and get back in the rhythm of the place during the two-hour session in the morning.
“If there are some huge issues with the car, we’ll try and address it in the short session before qualifying but you have to wait and see. The track changes, the temperature goes up and it rubbers in.
“When we go out Friday morning, the track is dirty and it just gets faster throughout the session. Whoever is on track at the end of the session will be a lot faster than the others.
“You look at the data afterwards and try not to freak out if something is not 100% correct. Then in that short session before qualifying you do the final adjustments.”
Q: Does traffic play a greater role here with limited passing opportunities and run off areas?
JM: “You always try to play the traffic. If you’re stuck behind somebody, then you wait for traffic to come and you try and take advantage of the situation but it’s difficult in Long Beach because of the walls.
“You can’t just dive in on the inside because there’s not usually an inside curb, it’s just a wall. It’s easy to get squeezed. You need to try and get through traffic clean and let the prototypes by in a place where you don’t lose a lot of time.
“The lap time here between Prototypes and us in GTLM is not that big. Sometimes you’re in a situation where it actually pays to try and hold them off so you don’t get passed in a place where you have a huge time loss.”
JM: “I think China is going to be similar to the first couple of races in terms of where the cars are going to be. It’ll be somewhere around top ten, or just outside but hopefully he can have a clean qualifying and race.
“Bahrain was good for Kevin. He started from pit lane and ended P11, just outside of the points. Had he started where he should have, possibly he could have picked up a point. Hopefully he can have a clean go at it and have a good race.”
Q: He has made great progress fighting back from a flat tyre in Australia and then a pit lane start in Bahrain – is he happy to be racing and fighting for positions again?
JM: “Yes. He’s enjoying himself. The car is not as good as it could be at the moment but they’re working and moving forward the whole time. Hopefully throughout the season they can make some good developments and improve in the results.”
JM: “We’re trying to get everything ready. It’s the first race of the year and there’s always a little bit of panic but I think we should be in good shape.
“I left everything with the guys back home and told them to take care of things. When I get back Monday, we need to start packing up for the race.
“It’s always a little bit exciting to see if everything is as we think it is going to be but I think we are pretty well prepared and I’m really looking forward to it.”