Mags Column: COTA Victory


BY JAN MAGNUSSEN

We’re still in a bit of a state-of-shock about what happened at Circuit of Americas – the day just went our way.

It is almost like the racing gods owed us one for what happened at Long Beach. I’ve really never seen a race like it.

It wasn’t a total cruise, we still had to be at the top of our game but every single one of our rivals had trouble.

Either it was the big crash in turn one, contact with other cars or penalties in the pit lane.

We certainly didn’t have the fastest car on the day, but like Sebring and Long Beach, the entire Corvette Racing crew just executed to perfection.

To now be leading the championship in the run into Le Mans is a huge bonus. We know things really start to heat up after Le Mans with four races in six weeks so we’ll need to be on top of our game.

The Texas race just went our way. We didn’t make any mistakes. We stayed out of trouble, no penalties, no damage to the car, basically the exact opposite of everyone else.

I had a good, clean start, stayed out of trouble and didn’t get a scratch on the car. Obviously I tried to keep up with the leaders to see if I was able to battle them.

That didn’t really happen, so I just decided to take good care of my tires and focus on giving f

eedback to the team so they could make the changes that I thought Antonio (Garcia) would need.

The team absolutely hit it right on the head with the pit stop and we were able to beat everybody out. Plus, we were helped a little bit with other teams getting their penalties, so by the time Antonio got out there, he had a huge margin.

It was basically just a margin he had to take care of, he didn’t have to push really, just run an easy, smooth race from there.

It got a little close at the end with the last yellow, but he was never really under any pressure.

Looking back now at Long Beach you have to try to stop yourself from saying “what if”. Had that last corner mess not happened, we would have been sitting here with three wins in a row which in this competition in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship would be quite remarkable.

Our attention now turns to Le Mans and both Antonio and I are thrilled to be reunited with Jordan Taylor.

The three of us drove together in France in 2012, 13 and 14 and finished fifth, fourth and second. Hopefully we can go one better again and take the win.

Jordan and his brother Ricky (who drove with Antonio and I last year at Le Mans) have been on an incredible roll so far this year. While we’re bemoaning our lost opportunity to take three wins in a row, those guys have won all four races in the prototype class.

On the Formula 1 front last weekend was a pretty bittersweet weekend for Kevin. He really did a great job in qualifying and the race, but to suffer a puncture so close to the finish when it looked like he was ready to score some points was pretty disappointing.

This weekend at home in Denmark we have the street race in Aarhus. Hopefully we can have another strong points haul as I’m also leading that championship after two wins and a third at the opening round.

The way the points work in Danish Thundersports you get to drop your three worst results but I have to miss a round later in the year because of an IMSA clash.

To grab that championship I’m going to have to be very strong in every race. All of my rivals can afford to have a bad day, but for me, I have to score every time.

It’s a big challenge, but one I’m always looking forward to.