Corvette Racing’s Danish ace Jan Magnussen has his sights set on making amends for last year’s heartbreaking finish to the Long Beach Grand Prix.
Magnussen’s co-driver Antonio Garcia looked set to be cruising to victory on the final lap of last year’s race before encountering a traffic jam at the Southern California street circuit’s notorious final hairpin turn.
Sadly, Garcia got held up by the spun cars that were stationary and eventually crossed the finish line in fifth place.
In hindsight, the incident still had a happy ending with Corvette Racing teammates Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin taking the victory on the day and Magnussen and Garcia still clinching the series championship.
However, Magnussen would have liked to have added another Long Beach win to his already impressive resume at the legendary Californian street circuit.
The Dane has three pole positions at Long Beach (2008, 2014 and last year—2017) and victories in both 2008 and 2014.
Additionally, he has twice set the fastest lap of the race.
The action at Long Beach starts this week with practice kicking off the Friday schedule at 7:40 am. Saturday’s 100 minute race is scheduled for 1:05 pm.
Jan Magnussen Q&A
Q: How keen are you for redemption after last year’s Long Beach result?
A: “It was pretty annoying at the time but you can’t dwell on things like that. Sometimes the luck goes your way; sometimes it doesn’t.
“Just because we were in that position to win last year, doesn’t guarantee we’ll be in that position again.
“We have to work hard to make sure our Corvette C7.R is fast and take advantage of every opportunity we can in the race.”
Q: What is the secret to success at Long Beach?
A: “We’re going from the longest races of the championship, Daytona and Sebring, to the shortest race of the year at Long Beach.
“The real secret is to make sure you have an absolutely perfect pit stop. At Corvette Racing we know we have the best in the business in that regard.
“We’ve managed to take the pole here in 2008 and 2014 and go on to take the win.
“It is so hard to pass here too. Qualifying really doesn’t make a great deal of difference at Daytona and Sebring, but here it can be really important.
“Especially if you can turn that pole into a good start.”
Q: How much do you like street circuits?
A: “They are a lot of fun. To be fast here, you have to use every inch of the road, and sometimes you need to shave the paint off the mirrors on the concrete walls.
“If you make a mistake here it can have dire consequences. I really love that type of circuit.
“Getting a clear lap here also can be tricky. We don’t have the GTD cars here this year, so that’ll make the traffic a little easier but traffic can be your friend and your enemy.
“There are also a lot more prototypes this year so we’ll have to be careful with the traffic coming through.
“There are some parts of the track here where you can’t get out of the way – especially later in the race where this a lot of rubber and debris off-line.
“Sometimes the prototypes just have to wait – but sometimes they aren’t very patient.”
Q: Sebring was a disappointment, how has that affected your championship hopes?
A: “Things didn’t go to plan, but we’re still in the hunt. We proved last year that the secret to the championship is to make sure you maximise your results every week.
“We could have just gone and parked the car at Sebring, but we kept pushing hard and ended up with a couple of additional points.
“That can make all the difference. A couple of good races and that 10-point gap can shrink pretty quickly.
“We’re super keen to start that fightback this weekend.”
Q: How impressed were you with Kevin’s efforts in Bahrain.
A: “What a great weekend! He did a brilliant job and is feeling really confident coming into the race in China this week.
“After the disappointment in Australia, I certainly was on the edge of my seat throughout the race in Bahrain, but he qualified really well and then did a fantastic job in the race.
“The F1 website has ranked him No. 1 in their power rankings after two great races. That is nice but like the racer he is – he wants to be first on the track.
“That’ll be a tough job at Haas but the team have been really strong this year, and Kevin is fired up about the rest of the season ahead.
“I know what I’ll be doing late Saturday night. Hopefully celebrating a great day for Corvette Racing but definitely watching the Chinese Grand Prix.”
Source. Paul Ryan Media