Jan Magnussen: Corvette star targets Ford after BoP changes

In his latest column for Motorsport.com, Corvette Racing's Jan Magnussen explains the Balance of Performance changes in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Series after Ford’s recent successes.

Jan Magnussen: Corvette star targets Ford after BoP changes
#3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R: Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen
#67 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT: Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook
#3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R: Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen, #912 Porsche Team North America Porsche 911 RSR: Earl Bamber, Fr_©d_©ric Makowiecki, #8 Starworks Motorsports ORECA FLM09: Renger van der Zande, Alex Popow
#66 Ford Performance Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT: Joey Hand, Dirk M_ºller
#4 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R: Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner
#3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R: Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen
#66 Ford Performance Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT: Joey Hand, Dirk M_ºller
#3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R: Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen
#3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R: Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen
#3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R: Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen
#3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R: Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen
Kevin Magnussen, Renault Sport F1 Team
Kevin Magnussen, Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
Kevin Magnussen, Renault Sport F1 Team
Kevin Magnussen, Renault Sport F1 Team
Kevin Magnussen, Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
#63 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7-R: Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia, Ricky Taylor
#63 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7-R: Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia, Ricky Taylor
#63 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7-R: Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia, Ricky Taylor
Jan Magnussen, Chevrolet Camaro
Jan Magnussen, Chevrolet Camaro

The Balance of Performance changes invoked for this weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park will certainly provide some welcome relief after last weekend at Watkins Glen.

We’ve ended up with a weight break of 10kg and restrictor changes. Both Corvette Racing and the Porsche guys’ fastest laps were about 1.4 seconds off the Ford – really not very balanced.

The Ford GT guys have been pegged back a bit as well. It will be interesting to see how it works out once the green flag drops on Sunday.

Tough job at Watkins Glen

At Watkins Glen we really had a faultless race, drove hard, perfect pit stops, great strategy but we couldn’t get close.

It’s a tough job handing the BoP – I know I certainly wouldn’t want the job of balancing the cars but hopefully we’ll see all the teams in with a chance of victory this week.

The Ford guys have obviously done a good job but from where we sit in the car. It’s difficult to know where the big chunks of time is coming because you don’t know exactly what their car is set up.

It seems getting off the corners and the initial acceleration is where the advantage is. There’s a top speed difference as well but that could be aero. They’re just pulling away from us in every acceleration.

While the result was disappointing at Watkins Glen, the new track surface was awesome to race on. Lots of grip, super smooth and it allowed for a lot more variation in the lines that you chose through the corners. Super, super enjoyable.

Other than the fact that we weren’t fast enough, it was really cool driving around.

Back on track in Canada

This weekend I’m really looking forward to getting back to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. It’s a fantastic track, it’s high speed all the way around. There’s such a great flow to it and usually we have good results there.

It should be a track where we can at least show how good we are and with the latest batch of BoP changes, hopefully we can show a bit better than we did this past weekend.

This place has always been a happy hunting ground for Corvette Racing. In 17 years, Corvette Racing has won 11 times. I’ve also had six wins here – the first in the Panoz back in 1999 and then five wins with Corvette.

They really have done a great job with the improvements here in recent years. They added a little bit of run off areas so that you can put a wheel off without destroying the car.

At Watkins Glen, for example, they have a problem with track limits where you can actually gain some time by going wide and using the run offs, it’s not really like that at Mosport. There might be one place where you can gain some time by using the run off, but most of the places are for safety and if you are out there anyway you’re in trouble.

Keeping up with Kevin

This weekend I’ll also be keeping an eye on Kevin’s progress at the British Grand Prix. It’s been a tough few races and unfortunately he has had to fight hard of late as well.

The Renault boys are struggling a bit at the moment. I think they’re in the middle of trying to decide what to do with the rest of the season in terms of where to have the main focus.

Should it be trying to move up the order a little bit this year? Or just go straight into 100% trying to develop the 2017 car?

Last weekend in Austria was another hard race. Unfortunately, he had a penalty for blocking, which cost him one or two spots, which didn’t really matter because it’s still outside the points.

It’s still a shame that you can’t show exactly what you’re capable of.

Lewis versus Nico

At least he wasn’t caught up with contact with his teammate! The Hamilton v Rosberg battle was fantastic TV.

It’s difficult to say but Rosberg didn’t really accept getting passed around the outside and he didn’t leave Hamilton enough room ­– but he may have been out of options.

It was unfortunate. I’m sure there have been some meetings about this. It doesn’t make them look so good, it could have been a fantastic 1-2. As a team you try and avoid those things but I think it’s a little bit different in Formula 1 compared to sportscars. 

In F1 the drivers are absolutely against each other and they’re fighting so hard so there’s going to be these situations. I don’t know how to stop it completely other than get one guy to accept that you’re the number two. But I don’t thing that’s going to happen with those two.

Fun times in Copenhagen ahead

It is a busy time of year for me with my next home race looming at the end of the month.

The weekend of the 30-31st of July is a street race in Copenhagen. I’m still leading the Danish Thundersports points but I didn’t have a good weekend the last time out but hopefully I can retain the lead in Copenhagen.

I’m missing one race later on this year when we’re at VIR so hopefully I can build a little bit on my lead so it’s not so painful when I come back not leading.

See you in Canada this weekend. Always look forward to meeting the Corvette Racing fans up here – over the years Ron Fellows made sure there are lots of them!

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