It’s a big week for Jan Magnussen.
Not only was the Fourth of July the USA’s 236th birthday, but it was also Magnussen’s birthday, too.
This weekend at Lime Rock Park, Magnussen will also mark another milestone, his 100th series start in the American Le Mans Series.
He’ll be teaming with Spaniard Antonio Garcia in the #3 Corvette, looking for his first victory of the season. A win wouldn’t come as a surprise, considering Magnussen is the only person to claim a victory in every ALMS season, dating back to 1999. During an outstanding career, he’s racked up 26 ALMS wins, 64 podiums, 11 poles, and 14 fastest laps, along with a GT1 championship for Corvette four years ago.
Magnussen will be back on U.S. soil this week after a successful trip back home to Denmark, where he won a local endurance race and took a couple of wins in the Danish Touring Car Championship/Camaro Cup.
In an interview with paddocktalk.com, Magnussen says he never expected to compete in 100 ALMS races, “but I did know pretty much straight away that this series was where I wanted to be.”
He says he has enjoyed being on the Corvette Racing team for the past nine years.
“Corvette Racing is my home away from home. I am always looking forward to coming to the U.S. and be part of the team,” he said. “I am so proud to be with Corvette Racing for as long as I have been, and I hope that I can stay a lot longer and contribute to even more wins.”
He’d especially love for the first win of the season for the #3 Corvette to come in his centennial race.
“It would be awesome, but I think that two other guys have the same plan that are celebrating their 100th starts as well – Bill Auberlen (in a BMW) and Joerg Bergmeister (in a Porsche),” Magnussen said. “I think though that the No. 3 car is due for a win. We’ve been strong at every race so far, just things got in the way. But we’ve got what it takes to get that top podium spot. A win at Lime Rock would be a very nice way to forget about a horrible Le Mans.”
He says “good momentum” is the secret at Lime Rock.
“In some sense, Lime Rock is the same as everywhere else,” Magnussen said. “Good momentum will get you a good lap. But, Lime Rock is a narrow, twisty little track and it’s very hard to pass. And when you do make a pass it can be hard to make it clean. You’ve just got to go for every opportunity. It’s a lot of work, but a lot of fun. The track is also punishing because there is quite a severe penalty if you make a mistake and go off track. You either go very far off, or in the last corner, you go into the wall.”
The American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix will start at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 7, and will be broadcast same day on ESPN2 at 4 p.m. ET. Live coverage is available starting at 2:45 p.m. ET on ESPN3.
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