Elkhart Lake, WI (Friday, August 4, 2017) – Corvette Racing’s Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia have faced a huge fight in the IMSA GTLM Championship battle – increasing their points lead by a single point in the past three races.
Since the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Danish and Spanish duo have finished third, fourth and fourth at Watkins Glen, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and Lime Rock Park, respectively.
Renowned as a driver’s favorite, the 4.0 mile Road America circuit was drenched with heavy rain in the lead up to this weekend with teams starting on wet tyres in today’s first practice before swapping to slick rubber as a dry line emerged.
The No. 3 Corvette was sixth fastest in this morning’s opening session before finishing second in the afternoon run.
Corvette Racing and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship teams will return for the final practice at 8:55am (US Central) tomorrow before qualifying kicks off at 2:00pm.
Sunday’s two-hour, 40-minute race goes green on Sunday at 1:35pm (local time)
JAN MAGNUSSEN Q&A
A: “So far it hasn’t been bad, but it hasn’t been great because of the weather.
“The track has changed a lot throughout both sessions. The first session started wet and we ended up on slicks but just with a dry line.
“We got some information from that which we used to try to improve the car for the second session.
“The second session was dry the whole way through, but when I was in it was just a dry line.
“It was a little bit difficult to get some good information but I think we’ve made some steps in the right direction.
“It seems like we managed to improve with the track and we made the car easier to drive towards the end.”
Q: What is the biggest challenge to getting a time here at Road America?
A: “This place has a little bit of everything so the end result is you can have different cars which are strong in different areas.
“If you are light on downforce, you can be really fast on the straight but then you might struggle through the carousel. Ideally, you need a car that is pretty good everywhere but I think the level of competition means nobody is going to run away with it here.
“You saw that today on the times – it is a little hard to gauge because of the track conditions – but all the manufacturers were pretty well mixed up.”
A: “Every race is imperative. If you want to win the title in GTLM you can’t afford to have an off-weekend. The way the points work, it is really hard to break out to a big points lead.
“Corvette Racing, Antonio and I have been pretty consistent since Le Mans with a third and two fourths.
“We’ve managed to push out our lead by one point. We have fought, kicked and screamed to edge out that single point after more than 11 hours of racing in three weekends.”
Q: Is consistency going to be the key?
A: “No doubt about that. We managed to win the last ALMS championship and our No. 3 Corvette has been in contention for the title every year since then.
“We’re very keen to get the job done this year but we know how tough it is.
“Each week somebody else jumps to the front. We’ve had two great wins but BMW and Porsche have jumped to the front in the past couple of races.
“The Ford could be next, but we’re working hard to try to get another couple of wins for Corvette. The gaps in the points between first, second and third isn’t much so every point is crucial.”
A: “Those guys play every bit as big a role as Antonio and I do. It’s everything – not just from an engineering or power perspective, but their work in the pits is outstanding.
“They do such an incredible job for us every week and both Antonio and I are so appreciative of everything they do.
“We win together as a team, and we lose together as a team. It is not just about the driver’s title, we want the team’s and manufacturer’s crown as well.”
Q: Will this weekend is going to have an impact on your championship battle back home in Denmark?
A: “Sadly so – this weekend is the same weekend as the Copenhagen Historic Grand Prix in Danish Thundersports. It is a real pity because that weekend is a great weekend for the series at home.
“I’ve got a 16-point lead in the championship so hopefully there won’t be too much damage while I am away.
“The calendar clash is unfortunate but in reality I am pretty lucky that there is only one clash this season.”