Jan Magnussen: Highs and lows in whirlwind race weekends

In his latest column for Motorsport.com, Jan Magnussen explains away more disappointment in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Series, but race winning form at home.

Jan Magnussen: Highs and lows in whirlwind race weekends
#3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R: Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen
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
#3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R: Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen, Mike Rockenfeller
#3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R: Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen, Mike Rockenfeller
Jan Magnussen, Chevrolet Camaro
Winner Jan Magnussen
Jan Magnussen, Chevrolet Camaro
Jan Magnussen, Chevrolet Camaro
Jan Magnussen, Chevrolet Camaro
Kevin Magnussen, Renault Sport F1 Team
Kevin Magnussen, Renault Sport F1 Team RS16

It has certainly been a whirlwind couple of weeks of racing with some awful luck at Long Beach in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Series followed by a great weekend at home in the Danish Thundersports Championship.

Things were looking really good for us at Corvette late in the race at Long Beach. Antonio [Garcia] was doing a brilliant job chasing down the No.4 car but just got a little bit too much kerb on the right hander after the fountain and lost the back end.

That was bad for us, but things got worse for the No.4 car, which was still leading the race and going for their third win a row.

What happened at the hairpin was pretty ordinary, and disappointing to have a Corvette taken out of contention for the win two races in a row.

We’re off to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca this weekend – a place were we also have a bit of “history” with that same brand that has been involved in the incidents in the past two races. However, we’re not about back down from a fight.

Hoping for more at Laguna

Laguna Seca is a fun track to drive and really one of my favorites. There are passing opportunities at the final turn and the hairpin and you can also grab an opportunity at the corkscrew but you really have to commit.

With split races for the classes this weekend run over two hours, the weekend is going to be really interesting.

If we don’t have any yellows, then two hours is going to be right on the limit of trying to make it on one stop.

The place here at Laguna really has an awesome flow to it. After the Andretti hairpin you can really get a brilliant run through the next flow of corners up to the Corkscrew.

It is going to be an interesting weekend from a tire perspective. Michelin will have their Le Mans-spec rubber for all the GTLM teams to try, but Laguna and Le Mans are pretty dramatically different.

There’s not a great deal we can learn here that will correspond to Le Mans, but we’ll follow this weekend with a test at Road America which will be a big help before the Corvette Racing squad heads to Europe.

Fun back home in Denmark

While Long Beach wasn’t high on the fun meter, the following weekend at Jyllands Ringen in Denmark was a blast.

I had high hopes leading into the weekend with my Magnussen Racing Experience team. We have a bunch of new guys on the crew this year and they did an outstanding job preparing the car.

The weather certainly threw everything at us last weekend. It was actually snowing during qualifying – that’s just crazy for Denmark in April!

In the three races on the weekend it was wet, then damp, then dry – we had the chance to try everything.

I qualified on pole, won the first race, finished eighth in race two and then came home with another win in the final.

The way the points work, I ended up second overall after round one but only trailing by four points.

My teammate Michael Markussen had a pretty strong weekend too but had a bit of contact that cost him some spots – he is eighth in the championship after the opening round.

The level of competition in the championship is really stepping up. There are more than 20 cars at every race with probably ten guys who could win on any day.

Crowds are growing and we have five hours of live television in Denmark for the series. Our next event is a street race which is always a blast.

We have a great battle with Chevy, Ford and Dodge Trans-Am spec muscle cars with the competition being really fierce with short hard charging races.

We have really had to work hard to be competitive. The Massive Motorsport squad that won the championship last year are really strong and John Nielsen now has a two-car team as well.

“Big John” was one of the first Danish guys to really make a mark on international motorsport – winning Macau back in 1984 and Le Mans in 1990.

Kevin was also home for the weekend and did some laps aboard the Renault RS-01 sportscar.

He broke the track record in a demo run despite the fact the track was damp. The car has plenty of power, very light and really fun to drive.

He is now in Russia for the Formula 1 weekend and I had one day at home before heading to California.

Here's to a great racing weekend for both of us.

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