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MAGNUSSEN: Long Beach Debrief

Jan Magnussen reflects back on his GTLM win at Long Beach…

Photo: IMSA

Photo: IMSA

It has certainly been a busy couple of weeks with races for me on both sides of the Atlantic but I’m now really looking forward to my next outing with Corvette Racing at Laguna Seca.

Long Beach was a brilliant result for Antonio (Garica) and I and it really came down to one special lap for me, and one for him.
Qualifying was really important and I really threw everything at it. You have to put the walls out of your mind and throw it in there and hope it sticks.

I tore the floor up a little bit on my pole run, but the guys on the team were quite OK with that considering we were starting from the top spot.

Then it was Antonio’s turn. He made an awesome start and not only got past the ESM P2 car of Ed Brown but nearly passed Scott Sharp as well.

The Michelins on our Corvette come up to operating temperature quite quickly, but the Continentals – particularly on the P2 cars – really take a couple of laps before they are working in their zone.

Once Antonio was past the Ed, he was able to open up a gap. The rest of the GTLM field got packed up quite a bit behind the P2 car and the “Mexican Missile” was able to charge off into the distance.

By the time he handed the car off to me, we were about 10 seconds up the road. The fact the whole race went without a yellow was really handy. Usually this doesn’t happen, unlike Sebring where it felt like it was every 10 minutes.

Once I got in, it was just a case of keeping it off the wall and managing the gap.

It was important for the team and the guys who work so hard to get the C7.R ready for the season. The whole time we had a fast car but had a few reliability issues with it.

Now we’ve put together a good weekend start to finish and ended up with the win. I’m proud of Antonio for what he did at the start, and the last hour for me was easy, I just drove around not making mistakes.

Its not often we get a chance where we just keep working on hitting the marks, and maintaining the tires, holding the gap to 2nd and third.

We’re now off to Laguna Seca which is where we really started our championship run last year. We got the victory and things really started to get on a roll.

Despite the fact we had problems in the first two races this year, we only have a gap of eight points to the championship lead. We’re certainly still well and truly in this.

The competition is as tough as I have ever seen – there are only nine points covering the top eight cars – 2 x Corvettes, 2 x Porsches, 2 x BMWs and 2 x Vipers.

Last weekend at Silverstone I drove in the GTC class in the European Le Mans Series race for a Danish team called Formula Racing.
With my teammates Johnny Laursen and Mikkel Mac Jensen we ended up third on the day.

Sunday morning of course I tuned in to see Kevin in action in the Chinese Grand Prix. McLaren have had a tough couple of races but I’m certain they are going to bounce back soon.

The next race in Barcelona will be good for Kevin as he won’t have to learn the circuit. That will also be my next opportunity to see him live in action.

I really enjoyed the Malaysia weekend and hopefully I can head to Spain with a smile on my face after another great weekend at Laguna Seca.

Since I’ll be headed to my teammate’s country, I’ll have to be on my best behavior – he is royalty after all – we don’t call him the “King of Spain” for nothing!

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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