Jan Magnussen and Corvette Racing are looking to improve on a run of second place finishes at Lime Rock Park this weekend as the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTLM championship leaders head to Connecticut.
Magnussen and Antonio Garcia finished second here last year, behind teammates Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin. The win was a significant mark for Corvette Racing – their 100th race victory.
The result was the third consecutive second place finish for Magnussen and Garcia, who also scored the runner-up spot here in 2012 and 2013 in the American Le Mans Series.
The duo brings a three point lead to Lime Rock with five races remaining in 2017.
The No.3 Corvette has scored valuable fight-back points in the past two races at Watkins Glen and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, finishing third and fourth.
However, a return to victory lane, repeating their wins from Sebring and Circuit of The Americas, will play a key role in defending their points lead.
Cars hit the track for the first practice today at 12:05 pm with qualifying scheduled for 5:40 pm. Tomorrow’s two hour, 40 minute race kicks off at 3:05 pm.
Q: How big of a challenge is racing around the “bullring” at Lime Rock Park?
A: “Lime Rock is the shortest venue on the series and a great little venue which is a lot of fun.
“In some ways, it is quite similar to a lot of the venues we race at back home in Denmark.
“There are not a lot of passing opportunities here so you have to be aggressive but also careful at the same time.
“Because the lap is quite short, if you have an issue and have to spend some time in the pits, it is very easy to go a lap down quite quickly.”
Q: You’ve had a great run of second places at Lime Rock, how much would you like to go one better this weekend?
A: “The Corvette has been very strong here at Lime Rock in the past and we’ve been helped by the great work of the Corvette Racing crew.
“This is one of the few venues where I haven’t had a race win here in the US, so ticking that box would be brilliant.
“Both Antonio and I are really looking forward to the weekend and both enjoy racing here. Last year the PC cars were also here but this season we get to race for the overall win. We won the last time we had one of these races at VIR last season and would love to do it again.”
Q: You bring a three point lead for the championship to Lime Rock, how big a challenge do you face in the races ahead?
A: “The BMW has been very strong in the past couple of races and it is going to be very important to try to halt their momentum.
“Every week we turn up at the track anybody could be in contention – there are eight cars that could win every week and the Ferrari guys will be back soon.
“Our secret weapon is the guys in the pits at Corvette Racing. They have done incredible work in getting us back on track and jumping positions on the pit stops.
“When you are at a place like Lime Rock where it is so hard to pass, that is even more important here.
“Gaining a spot in the pit stops is absolutely priceless.”
Q: How different will the traffic be at Lime Rock Park?
A: “We won’t have the prototypes to keep an eye so we can keep both eyes forward for most of the weekend without having to worry about those guys coming through.
“Traffic will still be something that can really influence the race. The GT Daytona cars have a slower lap time but they are really quick in a straight line and they have ABS brakes as well so they stop really well.
“The GT Le Mans cars are better in the fast corners – the only problem is we really don’t have any fast corners here at Lime Rock.
“Having a car that works really well under the bridge and getting a good run onto the straight will be imperative.
“If you get held up through there it can be disastrous – however, if you are chasing somebody and they they get held up – then it is time to pounce.”
Q: Both you and Kevin have “bullrings” to race on for the next two weekends. How much is he looking forward to Hungary?
A: “Relatively speaking, both Hungary and Lime Rock are similar in so much as they are the slowest road course of our respective series.
“We both like really old school fast circuits, but we’ve also both done well at these tight tracks.
“He scored a point in Hungary for McLaren in his first year in F1 and also won there in World Series by Renault.
“He has had a couple of frustrating weekends but I know he is really looking forward to Hungary and getting a strong result before the F1 summer break.”
Source. Paul Ryan Media