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May 03, 2014 - 06:20 AM
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Jan Magnussen Laguna Seca Preview
Posted by: newsla on May 03, 2014 - 06:14 AM
Jan Magnussen Laguna Seca Preview

There have been a whole lot of positive signs as Jan Magnussen heads to Laguna Seca for the next round of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship this weekend. Not only is the Dane and his Spanish teammate Antonio Garcia the reigning race winners, they also enter this weekend having won last time out at Long Beach.


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And back home in Denmark, Magnussen has been back in the winner’s circle in the Danish Thundersports Championship aboard his Camaro.

Last year Magnussen and Garcia kicked their championship assault into high gear with a dominant victory in Monterey.

That was their first win together as full-time Corvette Racing teammates but it wasn't to be the last. The duo went on to win at Baltimore and Circuit of the Americas en route to claiming the GT championship in the final year of the American Le Mans Series.

The pair signed off on the ALMS on a high note, but now want to begin the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship on the same note.

After three races, the points battle in the GT LM class is incredibly tight with nine points covering all eight major factory entries from Corvette, BMW, Porsche and SRT.

Sunday’s race will feature a two-hour event for the GTLM and Prototype cars. A separate two-hour battle will be fought out for the PC and GTD classes.

This will also be the final race before Corvette Racing packs up for its annual assault on the Le Mans 24 Hours.

LAGUNA SECA (all times PT)
TUDOR Championship Practice 1: 9:35 a.m.., Saturday, May 3
TUDOR Championship Practice 2: 3:45 p.m., Saturday, May 3
GTLM Qualifying: 5:15 p.m., Saturday, May 3
Grand Prix of Monterey: 2:45 p.m., Sunday, May 4

Sunday, May 4
5:30 p.m.. PT (Live on FOX Sports 1)


Q: Back to a happy hunting ground, this is where the championship last year really kicked into high gear with you. How much are you looking forward to it?

A: “I’m looking forward to Laguna Seca, it’s one of my favorite tracks. In the past we’ve had good success here, but last year it was really the race that kicked off our Championship. Antonio and I, at this time last year, didn’t have a win together as full time teammates so this was a very important win for us. So, I’m looking forward to getting back into this race and hopefully we can build on the Long Beach win and really go after the championship.”

Q: The win at Long Beach really put you back in the championship hunt. Are you surprised after the problems in the first two races?

A: “No matter what, you have to get across the line somehow, which is probably what they’re trying to do with these points, so, yes, basically we are already back in the Championship.”

Q: How much of a challenge through the rest of the year do you think it’s going to be?

A: “Obviously the race here in Laguna Seca this weekend could be a similar situation because there will be fewer cars on track, it will just be the Prototypes and the GTLM. That was the case for Long Beach and we didn’t have any yellows there and maybe we can have a similar situation here, which would be nice. But there are going to be tracks this year where there will be more yellows, more traffic, the GTD cars will be there with different drivers in them and that will be a challenge. This week hopefully we can have another clean race with at least very few yellows so we can just stick with our strategy and go about our own race.”

Q: Is this weekend the final chance to develop the car in a race situation before going to Le Mans?

A: “Laguna Seca is not the ideal place to develop a car for Le Mans because top speed plays such a huge role in France but we can work a little bit on mechanical grip and maybe get a better idea of the tires that we’re going to use but other than that, this is for the Championship. There isn’t much we can do between now and Le Mans anyway in terms of development that’s on the car but we can make sure that what we have works and go to Le Mans in the best possible way.”

Q: How do you feel the C7.R is going to fare at Le Mans compared to last year?

A: “It all depends on the top speed numbers that we can get. Last year we had a similar strong car in the races leading up to Le Mans but at Le Mans we were nowhere because we just didn’t have the top speed, and hopefully that will be different this year. We’ve put a lot of emphasis on it and hopefully we’ll get a good result from the top speed numbers but unfortunately we won’t really know until we get there for the pre-race test two weeks before the race.”

Q: Do you think the C7.R is going to cut a hole through the air a lot better than the C6?

A: “I hope so, I know the whole car was designed with that in mind but until we actually get there we won’t really know, but it is a better car than the C6. It’s a nice development from what we had last year. We also had a lot of data to go by, but unfortunately we won’t know for sure until we get to Le Mans. They’ve done a lot of simulations and stuff like that that tells us that we should be better than last year, but if it’s enough we won’t know until we’re there.”

Q: How was your race back in Denmark last weekend?

A: “Yes, we’ve had the first race in the DTC (Danish Thundersports Championship) I was running my Camaro with my new teammate, a different set up form last year with a two-car team. We had a fantastic opening weekend with two wins out of three, which was really good.”

Q: How does the calendar work for you this year, how many rounds are you going to do?

A: “I’m going to miss one race in Denmark, which is a little bit unfortunate from a Championship standpoint, but that’s how it goes. I’ll be racing the full TUDOR, the full European Le Mans Series, nearly a full DTC and then the one-off races, plus Kevin’s F1 races so it’s a busy year for me!”

Q: Do you have many weekends off at all in 2014?

A: “No! I think I have one weekend off all season!”

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