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Jul 11, 2014 - 06:31 PM
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Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Preview
Posted by: newsla on Jul 11, 2014 - 06:30 PM
Sports Cars
Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Preview

TUDOR United SportsCar Championship GTLM championship leader Jan Magnussen heads to a happy hunting ground this weekend aiming for his fourth consecutive victory for Corvette Racing with teammate Antonio Garcia.


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Magnussen and Garcia have been unstopable in the past three rounds - winning at Long Beach, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Watkins Glen. Heading north of the US border into Canada this weekend is another good sign for Magnussen who took his first ever North American sportscar victory here at Mosport - now known as Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

Magussen won the race overall with Johnny O'Connell in 1999. The duo paired up again later for Corvette Racing to win here in 2006, 07 and 08. The Dane also won here in 2011 with Oliver Gavin.

His pace at the daunting Canadian circuit is without doubt. Magnussen set the fastest lap here in 2010 and has been on pole in 2012.

The recent success of Magnussen and Garcia have pushed the duo to the top of the points. They now hold a nine point advantage at the top of the table while Chevrolet now leads both the manufacturer's championship and Corvette Racing tops the team's points.

The teams hit the track today for two practice sessions at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. An additional practice and qualifying will be staged tomorrow with Sunday's two hour, 45 minute race getting the green flag at 2:05pm on Sunday.

Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix presented by Hawk Performance – TUDOR Championship (times ET)
TUDOR Championship Practice 1: 11:55 a.m., Friday, July 11
TUDOR Championship Practice 2: 4:15 p.m., Friday, July 11
TUDOR Championship Practice 3: 11:10 a.m., Saturday, July 12
GTLM Qualifying: 5:40 p.m., Saturday, July 12
TUDOR Championship Warmup: 9 a.m., Sunday, July 13
Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix presented by Hawk Performance: 2:05 p.m., Sunday, June 13

Canadian Tire Motorsport Park: Watch It! (all times ET)
Qualifying: 5:20 p.m. ET (IMSA.com), Saturday, July 12
Race: 2 p.m. ET (FOX Sports 1), Sunday, July 13


Q: Does Canadian TIre Motorsport Park provide you with some happy memories?
A: "When I first came here in ‘99 with the Panoz P1, this track was a huge challenge. It’s so fast with some incredibly challenging corners. This is where I got my first win, so obviously this place is very special to me. I’ve always loved coming here. It’s a very old school type of track. I’m really looking forward to going back because it is such a challenge. When you get everything right at Mosport, it’s really special.

Q: What is the hardest turn on the circuit?
A: "Turn Two is the hardest corner because it’s blind and the car goes a little bit light on entry, but Turn One is also a very fast corner. It’s not a track you just go out and do—you have to build up to it. Having raced here since ‘99 I feel like I know my way around here now, but its still challenging. You don’t go out and immediately you’re on the pace. You have to build up to it. You always feel like you’re driving a little bit in the grey area."

Q: How big a factor will traffic be this weekend?
A: "Getting through traffic is going to be key to have a good result. There’s going to be three classes, so fewer than Watkins Glen, but a lot for this place. So managing traffic and minimizing your time loss is going to be vital to your result here. Hopefully, we have a car where the setup isn’t on a knife’s edge and we have the possibility to move off line a little bit, but if there’s a lot of marbles off line, everyone will be fighting for the line and that could cause problems.

Q: With three wins so far - has this been the perfect season?
A: "I think that we’re for sure in a good place as a team. The car is performing fantastic at the moment. We’ll keep chipping away and keep improving the car, making it faster. I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t have a shot at four in-a-row."

Q: What will it take to win again this weekend?
A: "In these long races, most guys will tell you that qualifying is not super important, but I think it is. Especially if you can start from up front, because you have a better shot of controlling the race and not getting caught up in someone else’s fight. We have been good in qualifying and been able to run clean races. There’s not a scratch on the car and no mishaps in pit lane or penalties."

Q: What are you up to after this?
A: The weekend after there’s an ELMS race at the Red Bull Ring in Austria and then a huge street race in Copenhagen back in Denmark: The Copenhagen Historic GP. I’ll participate in the 68 class.

Q: How supportive are the Corvette fans in Canada?
A: "We always have a big attendance of Corvette fans here. Obviously that was built up when Ron Fellows was driving. He’s still a big part of Corvette racing and now is part-owner of Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. The Corvette fans are very loyal and they’re here cheering for us even though Ron’s not in the car, but they know he’s still part of the team and part of the success we’re enjoying now.

"Tracks have to be safe; these are very fast cars. But there is something that every racer loves, and that is knowing in the back of your head that if you mess up, there is a big consequence. That’s something I know Ron will try to conserve and not turn Mosport into some new F1 circuit or anything like that."

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