Magnussen on win drought: “Hard to come up with excuses”
Jan Magnussen admits that another near miss for Corvette Racing at Watkins Glen is frustrating, although he and teammate Antonio Garcia inched closer to the GT Le Mans class points lead.
The reigning champions finished the Sahlen’s 6 Hours just 0.452sec behind the winning #911 Porsche 911 RSR duo of Nick Tandy and Patrick Pilet, who took the points lead and are now one point ahead of Magnussen/Garcia and the #912 Porsche drivers, Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor.
But Magnussen and Garcia, who haven’t won a race since 2017 yet are seeking a third consecutive GTLM title, were deflated despite their fourth podium finish on the bounce.
“We had a shot at it today, but we are just missing that last little bit,” said Magnussen after competing in his 150th event for Corvette Racing. “I am happy for the team and happy for the points. But it’s been a while since our last win.
“We keep getting so close but it is getting hard to come up with excuses. We just need to go out there and do it… get that win. I am very happy with how the whole team performed. We could not have done much better. So we will just go on to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, another fantastic track, and see if we can get a win there.”
Garcia, who started from pole position, charged from seventh in class to second in the final stint.
“I can’t be super, super happy about the result,” he said. “I think we had this race… We took one part of the strategy away thinking there would be a yellow when one didn’t come. The race was split then between half of the field and us. We could gain back some spots but when we restarted after the last yellow, we didn’t have track position. To be sixth or seventh in this field and try to win with an hour to go is tough.
“At the end of the day, we didn’t make it. It was a good call to top off the car on the last yellow to give me a chance to jump both Porsches at the end, but the big thing is that the winning Porsche was too far up the road.
“I don’t know what’s worse… ending up six or seven seconds off or four-tenths off. I think it hurts more to finish so close. But it’s good points and we’ll take that.”
Corvette Racing’s 99th and last win came at Long Beach last year, when the #4 C7.R of Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner triumphed at Long Beach. This duo failed even to complete one lap in the Watkins Glen race yesterday after Milner was nudged into a sizeable accident by Vanthoor on the Lap 1 run through the uphill Esses.
“It was the first lap of the race and going side-by-side which should have been and is possible,” said Milner. “Knowing the Porsche didn’t check up enough to allow us to go two-wide… he said he gave some consideration but it wasn’t enough. I’d love to say we could rewind it, I’d give up the position and we’re still racing. And if he had given me a little more room than we’re also still racing, too. It’s these split-second decisions we have to make. Unfortunately I got penalized for someone’s small mistake – and that’s what it was: a small mistake that ended up a big problem for us.”
The #4 team had been running the spare chassis after a tub-damaging shunt at the 24 Hours of Le Mans two weeks earlier.
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