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MAGNUSSEN: Sebring Debrief

Jan Magnussen reflects back on his roller-coaster 24 hours of Sebring…


Last weekend was certainly pretty huge – two very important races on opposite sides of the world.

I tried not to have any expectations for Kevin’s debut for McLaren. I had a dream that this would happen… a podium would be out of this world.

This was way more than anyone could have hoped for. When we first started driving karts with Kevin this was just some crazy dream. One day maybe he’d be in F1. To see him today on the podium was just unbelievable.

I can’t even put it into words how I’m feeling. It’s fantastic and he just keeps surprising me.

He was good immediately but what has been the most impressive is how he has developed and how he keeps getting better and keeps finding ways to improve.

For the last couple of years he has been extremely fast. The biggest change is how he is using his head and making things happen.

Being 6,000 miles away watching the race wasn’t a lot of fun – I don’t want to do that too often. But it was good to share it here with friends, family and teammates.

But I’m going to Malaysia that is for sure. I just don’t want to miss Kevin’s race again.

Saturday was certainly one of the longest days I’ve had for quite a while – the 12 hours of Sebring was more like a 24 hour event.

I was basically up for nearly 24 hours straight – up early to be ready for an 8:00am warm-up for Corvette Racing, do the race and then Kevin’s race didn’t start until 2:00am.

Our day for Corvette was extremely promising but unfortunately we didn’t get the result we wanted.

In the chaos at the start the nose of our No.3 Corvette got bashed up a bit. Antonio got run into from behind and was pushed into another car. He was able to pit during the long yellow for the GT Daytona Viper fire and the Corvette Racing guys did a brilliant job in getting the bodywork fixed.

We only lost a lap but we certainly had the speed. Through clever strategy from the guys, we were able to get back on the lead lap and Antonio, Ryan and I eventually got us all the way back into the race lead.

We continued to run at the front of the pack but eventually developed a fuel pump problem.

The engine wasn’t running clean off the turns and we had to pit to fix it.

That dropped us down a couple of laps and out of contention for the win. We ended up with an eighth place finish.
At both Daytona and Sebring we’ve certainly shown the Corvette C7.R certainly has the speed – it has just been little things that have kept us off the podium.

Our Corvette Racing guys are the best in the business and I know we’re going to get the C7.R not only on the podium, but in victory lane soon.

I’m looking forward to Long Beach. I have always enjoyed the battles on street races but next up I’ll be on a plane to Kuala Lumpur next week.

Yep – I’m one very proud Dad.

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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