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Magnussen Makes Porsche 919 Hybrid Test Debut

Kevin Magnussen has first running in Porsche 919 Hybrid…

Photo: Porsche

Photo: Porsche

Kevin Magnussen has completed his first laps in the Porsche 919 Hybrid, during the first day of a two-day test at the Circuit de Catalunya.

The 23-year-old Dane, who was left sidelined for 2015 following his rookie season in Formula 1 with McLaren, hailed the car’s technology.

“It was really good. It is the first race car I drive for about six or seven months and it’s an amazing car with amazing power,” Magnussen said.

“It is easy to feel that this probably is the most advanced race car in the world at the moment. I can’t wait to get back in.”

Magnussen has only raced once this year, when he was due to start the season-opening Australian Grand Prix but his McLaren Honda ground to a halt before he even made the start.

He admitted there were a number of things he’d need to improve upon further tests.

“I have a few things to work on, getting on top of braking, especially,” he said. “As you can’t see the front wheels here you really don’t know when you’re locking up, so this is something to get used to and also visibility is a bit less compared to a single seater.

“So a few things to get used to but the first impression is really good and I enjoyed it a lot.”

Magnussen is joined by Oliver Turvey and Mitch Evans, both of whom have driven for Jota Sport at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, for this two-day test.

Turvey also was impressed with the Porsche, especially having had a sports car point of reference in stepping up from an LMP2 Gibson 015S Nissan into an LMP1 car.

“It is phenomenal to drive the Porsche 919 Hybrid,” he said. “It’s really impressive the amount of power the car has out of the corners from the combustion engine and the hybrid system.

“It is phenomenal when the boost comes in and the front wheels are using it. It is an amazing car to drive.”

Evans, too, was thrilled with the car’s performance.

“I’m not used to power steering, not used to this type of tire, the extra weight is something and I never raced a four-wheel drive car,” he said. “But the handling is quite straightforward.

“The main thing I found is the acceleration from the hybrid. It’s really impressive!”

Porsche is expected to have a third seat open in its third car for next year’s Le Mans, owing to Nico Hulkenberg’s clash with the European Grand Prix in Baku.

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno) is Sportscar365's North American Editor, focusing on coverage of the IMSA-sanctioned championships as well as Pirelli World Challenge. DiZinno also contributes to and other motorsports outlets. Contact Tony


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