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Magnussen: “I’m Still Focused 100% on Winning for Corvette Racing”

Corvette Racing’s Jan Magnussen files his latest Sportscar365 column…

Photo: IMSA

Photo: IMSA

(Jan Magnussen files his latest Sportscar365 column following his challenging weekend at VIR)

The weekend at VIR was certainly one to put in the rearview mirror with the practice crash that forced me to sit out of the race.

However, these things happen, obviously it was tough to just sit there and watch all the possibilities of a Championship go away. But safety comes first and it was the right call from everyone to put Jordan (Taylor) in instead of me.

I believe the concussion was a mild one, but still, you have to take those things seriously. Even if it was tough, it was definitely the right decision.

As I said, safety comes first at Corvette Racing and it’s been like that ever since I joined the team and well before that as well.

They really put a lot of effort and resources into making sure that the drivers are kept as safe as possible.

From the crash structure in the door to Corvette Racing being the first guys to run a filtered A/C system into the helmets.

Safety is paramount. The A/C system both cools the driver but also makes sure that the we are in better shape towards the end of the race, especially the hot ones.

They look at everything to see if it can be improved and every time we have an impact, everything is analyzed to see what we can improve even more.

The crash didn’t make things easy on the guys, but it was a fantastic effort that the Corvette Racing team put in to get the car fixed in two hours. Not only did they get it fixed but also there was really no sign that the car had been in an accident – it was ready to go for qualifying.

Plus, they only missed out on the front row in qualifying by less than five hundredths of a second.

We were lucky to have Jordan on site to fill in at the last minute. He has experience with the C7.R from Le Mans so it was quite easy for him to jump in and know what he was doing. He did a fantastic job. He got faster and faster and improved all the time before handing the car to Antonio.

It was really unfortunate what happened to Richard Lietz in the incident. He is way worse off than me with a broken arm. It was a big hit and he was very unlucky with what happened. I don’t know how bad it is but he certainly looked in pain when he came out of the car. Hopefully he’ll be back behind the wheel soon.

I’ll admit, being on the sidelines at VIR gave me a little extra motivation for when I got back in the car back home in Denmark last weekend. We had a good event in what was a double-header weekend with six races.

I won four, I had one second place and a 14th place because I was involved in an accident. So it was a good weekend. I’ve got quite a big lead in the championship, which, unfortunately, I’m going to lose at the next round because I won’t be there but that’s how it is.

I’m quite happy with how things are going. It was also a good way to see that I was ready to go again.

I really enjoy racing in the Danish Thundersport Championship, as it’s quite competitive. We have a bunch of young guys and some good teams. I really, really enjoy racing against the likes of John Nielsen. Ronnie Bremer is also there and he’s super fast and has his own team. So I enjoy it.

Next up will be the Circuit of the Americas. Even if I’m out of the driver championship hunt there is still a team and manufacturer title to fight for as well the driver championship for Antonio.

It won’t change how we approach the weekend at all, it will just be a mental thing for myself but I’m quite happy to help Antonio win the championship and that’s really all that has changed because I’ll still be 100 percent focused on winning for Corvette Racing and Chevrolet and then hopefully Antonio’s will follow.

Jan Magnussen (@janmagnussen) is a four-time class winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and two-time ALMS champion, driving for Corvette Racing in the TUDOR United Sportscar Championship.


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