With just one more race to go in 2019, Danish ace Jan Magnussen is looking to end the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship on a high note when the series rolls into Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta for Motul Petit Le Mans.
Magnussen and teammate Antonio Garcia currently sit third in the drivers’ title race, and while a third consecutive championship is largely out of their reach, the are aiming to overtake the No. 911 duo ahead for second place honors.
The Danish/Spanish combination have had an impressive 2019 campaign, scoring six podium finishes thus far, but are still chasing their first race victory since VIR 2017. With the offseason looming, Road Atlanta presents the duo’s final chance to score that win in 2019.
Michelin Raceway presents an excellent opportunity for Magnussen to notch yet another win in his belt, having won at the 2.54-mile facility four previous times.
In addition, his expertise in endurance events, having notched up four Le Mans victories, four Sebring 12 Hour wins and a Daytona 24 victory, will certainly help Corvette Racing during the 10-hour Petit Le Mans classic.
Magnussen and Garcia will be joined by their 2019 endurance co-driver Mike Rockenfeller for the event.
Practice for Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta begins on Thursday, October 10th at 10:50 AM Eastern.
Jan Magnussen Q&A
Q: You’ve made every Petit Le Mans start since 1999, what makes this race so special that keeps you coming back?
A: “I think Petit Le Mans is great because it’s one of the most challenging races of the year. It’s 10 hours, so you have to be conservative with your car and get to the end. But, it’s also run almost like a sprint race. There’s really no lapse in the action at any point in the 10 hours. Finding that balance is super challenging, but when you get it right, winning at Michelin Raceway is so rewarding.
“It’s also a special one for me because Atlanta was, and really still is, my American home. It started with Panoz back in 1999 and ever since then, it’s basically been my home race in the IMSA series. It’s also a great one because my family comes over from Denmark for the weekend. It’s always nice to have Christina and the kids there.”
Q: With this being the last race of the 2019 season, what are your objectives for this race with the offseason ahead?
A: “I think everyone wants to end the year on a high note. It’s a long wait until Daytona, but that wait is made much easier by a good result in the last race of the year!
“A win would be extra rewarding for myself and Antonio right now as well for a couple of reasons. One, it’s been a minute since we’ve stood on the top step! VIR 2017 was our last win, and even though we’ve gotten to celebrate two championships since that day, a race win would be a great way to cap off the season.
“And two, a win would be the best way for us to boost ourselves up in the championship. Our chances of taking the title are slim, but we have a very real shot at second place in the points. It wouldn’t be a third straight title, but I would be proud to make that happen.”
Q: You’ve got four wins at Petit Le Mans, what makes you so quick around Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta?
A: “I think this race really suits me in a lot of ways. It’s a fairly short track at just 2.54 miles, so there’s a lot of traffic. You always have to be alert during the race, not easy over the course of 10 hours!
“It’s also a fun track to drive. It flows incredibly well and is challenging to make the right moves at the right times. You have to be decisive and execute perfectly to move up. So far, we seem to have been pretty good at that! Hopefully this year I can get my fifth victory in front of the amazing Michelin Raceway fans.”
Source. Paul Ryan Media