Jan Magnussen and Corvette Racing have the championship lead within their sights heading into this weekend’s fourth round of the WeatherTech Sportscar Championship at the Circuit Of The America’s in Austin Texas.
Magnussen and his teammate Antonio Garcia sit second in the GT Le Mans class of the championship by just two points to Dirk Muller and Joey Hand with a two hour and 40 minute race ahead of them at 3.4-mile COTA facility on Saturday.
The Austin track, which opened in 2012 annually hosts rounds of the World Formula One Championship, the World MotoGP Championship and the World Endurance Championship.
After finishing fourth in the opening round of the season at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January, Magnussen and Garica returned to the top step of the podium with a victory in round two at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
They were on target for back-to-back victories in round three in last month’s BUBBA Burger Grand Prix of Long Beach when a last-lap pile-up of backmarkers virtually blocked the track at the final turn and caused them to go from the lead to fifth.
Magnussen and Garcia started their COTA experience in impressive fashion back in 2013 when they won the GT class in their Corvette C6.R.
They finished ninth the following year with the first use of their Corvette C7.R.
The pair was sixth in 2015 before returning to the podium with a third last year, which eventually helped them to a third in the 2016 championship.
Magnussen returns to the US this weekend after another successful weekend in the Danish Thundersports series when he collected a win in race one and a third in race two before capping off the weekend with another win in race three in his Camaro.
Jan Magnussen Q&A
Q: How good is the Corvette normally here at COTA?
A:”It was great to start here with a win in 2013 and then to return to the podium with a third last year after a couple of top 10s. Despite some OK results, this circuit is not one of the best venues for our car when you look at the season as a whole, but we are confident we can get the best out of it this weekend and make a real effort to grab that championship lead.”
Q: Will the different weather conditions in May affect the car this weekend?
A: “Inside the car it doesn’t matter a great deal because we have all the cooling equipment for the driver like the helmet blower. It is sometimes cooler inside the car than out of it. It will be interesting to see how the cooler track conditions affect performance. We were pretty happy with the car overall on the first day. It was nice to get back into a longer format for the weekend we’re we get three runs before qualifying. Long Beach is so tight with the schedule.”
Q: Are you out to make amends for Long Beach?
A: “We had a very strong run in the last round at Long Beach, but the race ended in crazy fashion and we went from the lead to fifth with just one corner to complete after a bunch of cars that were about to be lapped blocked the track at the final corner.
“The drama also cost us a certain lead in the championship, so yes, we have to make up for some lost ground, but we are confident we can do that.
“But you have to take each race as it comes. What happened in Long Beach happened – there is nothing we can do about it now.
Q: How did your opening weekend in Danish Thundersports go?
A:”To get a couple of wins and a third in Denmark two weeks ago was terrific and it is awesome to be leading the championship. It was a big weekend for us running two Formula 4 cars as well for the first time.
Source. Paul Ryan Media