Kevin Magnussen said his 24 Hours of Le Mans debut preparations with High Class Racing got off to a “good start” after the ex-Formula 1 driver and IMSA race winner turned his first laps in the team’s Oreca 07 Gibson earlier this week.
Magnussen joined his father Jan and Anders Fjordbach for a session at Motorland Aragon ahead of the Danish trio’s entry into the FIA World Endurance Championship headline round on Aug. 21-22.
The event will mark the first in which the Magnussen father-son pairing has featured in the same racing car, while Jan previously hailed it as a “once in a lifetime” opportunity considering Kevin’s upcoming commitments with Peugeot in Hypercar next year.
Kevin will tackle the Automobile Club de l’Ouest simulator on July 6 as part of his rookie orientation for Le Mans.
Jan already has 22 Le Mans appearances to his name, although his last prototype entry into the race came 17 years ago with Audi and Team Goh.
“I think it’s been a good start to the project,” said Kevin Magnussen, who is competing in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen this weekend as part of his full-time IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship DPi drive with Cadillac Chip Ganassi Racing.
“We made great progress over the two days and, if we compare our speed to the other LMP2 teams that also tested this week, it looks strong.
“But more importantly, it feels like we three drivers fit really well together.
“We all three gave the same feedback to the engineers after our runs and, if we agree on how the car should behave, then as I said it is a really good start.”
Other LMP2 outfits conducted running at Aragon this week, including Inter Europol Competition and Duqueine Team.
Jan Magnussen, who competes in the WEC full-time alongside Fjordbach and Dennis Andersen in High Class Racing’s No. 20 Oreca, said the Aragon outing gave the team a chance to lay down a plan ahead of the official Le Mans test day in mid-August.
Magnussen, Fjordbach and Andersen will enter the 6 Hours of Monza between now and the test day, while High Class is yet to announce Andersen’s Le Mans co-drivers for High Class Racing’s expanded two-car LMP2 entry.
“It’s been a hugely rewarding test,” reflected Jan. ” The purpose was to get the car on the track and at the same time see how we worked together.
“It was our first test together in the lineup we will have at Le Mans, so there were quite a lot on the job list but everything has gone smoothly and efficiently.
“At first glance, it seems like we have a fast car which all three of us pretty quickly got used to. We tried a lot of different setups and now have a pretty good plan for what we will achieve in the official Le Mans test.”
Kevin explained that the Aragon test added a new dynamic to the pair’s discussions about racing.
“It’s quite natural for my father and I to talk about race cars, because we have done that pretty much since I could talk, and we really understand each other well,” he said.
“But usually we tend to talk about each of our race cars, and now all of a sudden it was about the same one.
“It was fun and interesting to hear each other’s feedback, and it was especially fun to stand and compare my dad’s data with my own. It was an extraordinary experience.”