LAKEVILLE, CT (Thursday, July 19) – Corvette Racing star Jan Magnussen has his sights set on adding a GTLM class victory at Lime Rock Park to his already impressive record at the Connecticut venue.
The Danish ace enters this weekend’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship round with teammate Antonio Garcia in second place in the points after a second place finish at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
Three consecutive podium finishes for the No.3 Corvette has put the pair within six points of the championship lead as they look to defend the title they won last year.
Magnussen and Garcia took last year’s title by 17 points after finishing 10 out of the 11 races in the top four. They actually led the 11th, at Long Beach, until the final corner before being caught in a track blockage and finishing fifth.
The duo took three victories in 2017 and are now looking to put the No.3 Corvette back in victory lane.
Magnussen and Garcia have raced together four times at Lime Rock Park, scoring three second places and a fourth last year. In today’s action they were fastest in the second practice session.
While the Lime Rock venue has yet to welcome the No.3 Corvette to victory lane in GTLM spec, Magnussen does have a previous win here back in 2008 aboard the GT1-spec Corvette.
Lime Rock Park presents all teams in the GTLM class with a massive contrast compared to the previous round at Watkins Glen and the next event at Road America. At a mere 1.5 miles in length, the track is dramatically shorter and slower than Watkins Glen (3.4 miles) and Road America (4.0 miles).
Teams in the GTLM class will also have the chance to compete for the overall win with only the GTLM and GTD classes competing this Saturday.
JAN MAGNUSSEN Q&A
Q: How much fun is it to go for the overall win at races like Lime Rock Park?
A: “It’s certainly great to chase that overall win and it does let you concentrate a little more on your own race without having to worry about the prototypes.
“But then again sometimes you can use those prototypes to your advantage in traffic if you can pick the right lane or even grab a bit of a draft as they are going by.
“Sometimes the traffic can hinder you, sometimes it is your friend.
“Certainly at such a tight venue like Lime Rock Park it does make it a lot easier. Last year Antonio got the fastest lap with a time of 50.780 – 20 years ago the fastest lap at the IMSA race was 50.287 in Ferrari 333 prototype!
“Where in a GT car and we’re not far off where the top class was back in the day.”
Q: Does racing at Lime Rock Park remind you of racing at home in Danish Thundersports?
A: “Very much so. All the tracks we race on back home are very tight like Lime Rock so you really have to be aggressive but also take care of the car at the same time.
“If you are too timid in traffic, you can lose a bunch of time, but be too aggressive and it is very easy to damage the car.
“You have to race smart but also be prepared to pounce when an opportunity opens up in traffic.
“It is very hard to open up a huge gap here but very easy to go a lap down. If you have to make an unscheduled stop, you can be down a lap very quickly so you have to be careful.”
Q: Consistency was the key to your championship success last year, is this year going to be the same?
A: “Absolutely! And that is what Corvette Racing is all about. You have to maximize your results and not make any mistake. Making the best of things when the car isn’t perfect is what makes the difference.
“Scoring good points on your bad days is what is key. Antonio and I are very lucky to have the best crew in the pit lane.
“They practice constantly we consistently make up additional positions with every stop. Track position is really key here so if we can do it again this weekend that’ll be really handy.”
Q: What will it take to win the championship from here?
A: “A couple of race wins certainly wouldn’t go astray but we just have to present ourselves towards the front every week.
“Some weeks the Ford is strong and some weeks the Porsche is good. It is also a matter of time before the BMW boys are back on our case too.
“Each week we just have to do the best we can do. Obviously chasing down that No.67 is our first target.
“We have six points to make up and we’re going to continue to work hard to try to claw our way back point by point.”
Q: How do you keep an eye on what Kevin is up on race weekends when you are both racing?
A: “It can be hard sometimes but first and foremost I have to concentrate on my day job in doing the best I can for Corvette Racing.
“Kevin has been doing a great job for Haas this year and is looking forward to this weekend’s race at Hockenheim.
“Thankfully this week we race on Saturday so I can watch his race on Sunday morning and relax a little. During F1 practice and qualifying I’ll sneak a look on my phone – but the whole team at Corvette Racing keeps an eye on his progress too.
“I’m probably paying a little more attention to his race weekend, than he is to mine but that’s OK – that’s what Dads do.”