Jan Magnussen competes in his 19th Le Mans – 14 times of that with Corvette Racing. The American team with their yellow cars has had overall eight victories, since they came to Le Mans in 1999, where half of them is with Magnussen.
But how does he see their chances this year?
“We have gotten a bigger restrictor, but it was made a bit smaller after the test. But all in all I would say that we keep up pretty well. If we look at the top speed, we’re not the fastest but we’re very close. Last year we lacked 12 kph. You can’t pick that up from other places, which is why top speed at Le Mans is just really important. There are five long straights where you can easily lose. Le Mans is much more fun, if the car drives fast on the straight.”
In 2015 Magnussen had a huge accident in qualifying, which made the car not ready for the race. Instead it was their sister car that won the face, and it annoyed Magnussen to no end. In 2016 they couldn’t keep up with Ford and Ferrari. So, how is the motivation for this year?
“I’m very motivated to do well this year, and I can sense that in the whole team, too. I think our preparations have been excellent, with what we tested in America. All the tests we did there is to be better when you start at Le Mans. Because you need to react to what Le Mans will give this year, and I believe we have done a good job to be prepared for that.
“The biggest difference from last year, apart from that we have gotten a bit more power, is that the car has a fantastic balance. It makes it much easier to fight in the traffic, and it’s also a lot easier to work with.”
Although Corvette Racing drives a full season in Weathertech SportsCar Championship and fights against Ford, Ferrari and Porsche there, it’s different at Le Mans, since the two series don’t use either the same BOP or tires. Corvette Racing doesn’t really know where they stand at the moment, compared to the other FIA WEC teams.
“Yes, you just need to come with the best you have.”
In the next 72 hours, we will see if Corvette racing’s best is good enough this year.