The 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship winners enter the race second in points, just four off the lead after a third-place finish at Road America. With no Prototype cars entered at VIR, it will be an all-GT fight for both the overall win and the GTLM championship lead.
While their 2016 showing was dominant, Garcia and Magnussen led a majority of the race from pole to take the win, 2017 was a race more indicative of the high-level of competition in the GTLM field.
Magnussen and Garcia started just sixth last year and, thanks to the incredible job from the Corvette Racing team and the drivers keeping their noses clean, were able to take the victory.
The pair’s two victories at VIR make them the winningest drivers at the circuit since the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship returned to the facility as a unified series in 2014.
In addition, Jan won the race in 2007 in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series in the Daytona Prototype class.
While both drivers would love to take home another Michelin Man trophy from VIR, the focus this weekend is on consistently good results, like extending the duo’s streak of five consecutive podium finishes, and solidifying their place in the championship hunt with just three races to go.
Jan Magnussen Q&A
Q: You and Antonio are the two-time defending race winners here at VIR, do you think you can go for three in a row?
A: You can never guess what’s going to happen in the GTLM class. I have full confidence in myself, in Antonio and in our Corvette Racing team, but the competition is so tight in this series and in this class that, while I think it’s a good track for us and we’ll run well, we won’t know just how well compared to Porsche, BMW and Ford until race day.
Q: How important is it to make sure you finish in front of the Ford pair come race day?
A: We’d love to go for the win here at VIR, especially since, without the prototypes, that overall victory is even sweeter. But, the focus for all of us is on the championship. Right now, we’re four points behind the first Ford and just five ahead of the second. For the next three races, we need to make sure we finish ahead of our rivals so we can get another championship for myself and Antonio, but more importantly, get the third title in a row for this Corvette Racing team and Chevrolet.
Q: Always a fan favorite on the schedule, what do you like about coming to VIR? What are its challenges?
A: VIR is a proper old-school circuit, there are actual consequences for making a mistake. It’s a very technical track, and, thanks to the grass running right outside the track limits, you know when you’ve pushed it too far. Safety is the priority, and VIR has done a great job of balancing the safety features we need with still making the track fun to drive and challenging.
Beyond the track itself, the best thing about VIR is the fans. We always have a huge fan presence at VIR and a huge Corvette car corral. It’s so cool to see people coming to the track that love the sport and that love Corvette!
Source. Paul Ryan Media