Corvette Racing’s Jan Magnussen and teammate Antonio Garcia will have some new competition Saturday as they try to maintain their GT championship points lead in the 2012 American Le Mans Series with a race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
They’ll be entering the sixth round of the season against the SRT Viper team for the first time, and Magnussen slowed down enough this week to talk with PaddockTalk.com about that challenge and the season so far.
Magnussen and Garcia, in their No. 3 Corvette C6.R, have been the picture of consistency this season, taking four second-place finishes. The only time they weren’t on the podium came at Long Beach where early damage to their car forced them to settle for fourth.
Magnussen has five more chances to keep his record intact of winning a race in every year of the championship. He’s also hoping to pick up his second ALMS championship, what would be the first for Corvette in the tough GT class.
“Corvette Racing did a full day of testing at Mid-Ohio this past Tuesday,” Magnussen said. “Overall it was a good test, and I believe we are well prepared for the race this weekend. Right now Corvette Racing is one-two in the ALMS GT championship (with the No. 4 Corvette Racing duo of Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner seven points behind Magnussen-Garcia), and we need to keep that lead, as well as get a win for the No. 3 car.”
Magnussen says the secret to running well at Mid-Ohio is momentum. “Mid-Ohio has some very challenging corners,” he pointed out. “Some are super-fast and then there’s a medium/slow-speed series of corners. Then there’s the crest of the hills, where the car unloads and then compresses when it comes down. The trick is to have a well-balanced car that works well.”
Magnussen is no stranger to winning at Mid-Ohio, having picked up a victory in a prototype in 2001 and again in 2008 with Corvette Racing in GT1, and he thinks “we are in good shape” to take another win this year.
He admits the GT class is tougher than ever, with the new SRT Viper team joining the likes of Corvette, BMW, Porsche, and Ferrari this weekend.
But Magnussen is looking forward to the challenge.
“…It’s fantastic for the ALMS that the Viper is coming back,” he said. “They have a great history in the ALMS and in competition at Le Mans. They have a great team and great drivers. I’m looking forward to racing against Tommy Kendall and all those guys.”
Read the full interview with Jan Magnussen at PaddockTalk.com.
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