One LMP2 car. A Danish team. Three Danish drivers. And all Danish partners (apart from a certain French oil company). It is of course High Class Racing’s entry for this year’s Le Mans. Behind the wheel are Danish racing icons Kevin Magnussen, Jan Magnussen and Anders Fjordbach. We caught up with the Dane train just before the race was about to set off!
Guys, all testing and qualifying sessions are in the bank, how are you feeling?
Kevin: It’s very exciting. Today is Friday and we’re just double-checking everything, doing a lot of media stuff. Later tonight we’ll run over the strategy one more time, although it will probably change throughout the weekend. Then tonight it’s important to get some rest as it’s been a heavy week for all of us and the hardest part is yet to come!
Jan you are, with some margin, the most experienced here. How have you been sharing this experience with Kevin and Anders?
Jan: First, both Kevin and Anders are extremely experienced drivers themselves but there are of course very specific challenges to this event. If I see something or they have a question I’m there to support them. I don’t sit them down and go “Alright kids, this is how we do it” [laughs]. My advice usually comes naturally, and my way is definitely not the perfect way!
Kevin, this is your first 24 Hours of Le Mans. It’s the big moment. How important is it for you?
Kevin: Oh, it’s really important. I mean it’s one of the biggest races in the world. Throughout the whole week, you could feel the paddock buzzing. You feel the energy of this event and the closer we get to the start the more tension you feel. We’re really close now so I couldn’t be more excited!
Kevin and Jan, this is a unique opportunity for you to race together. How did this all come to fruition?
Jan: High Class Racing is the reason we are here. They had an extra entry, which means they needed more drivers. So, we made it work getting the budget together. We went to all Danish partners for a full Danish entry. Kevin and I have been talking about doing Le Mans together for a very long time, but it never seemed to work out. Or we didn’t find the right teams, or our calendar just didn’t line up. This year is the year, and we couldn’t be more excited.
Kevin, you’re coming from F1. What’s the biggest difference between both cars?
Kevin: In the end, it’s still a race car. It has four wheels, an engine, and a steering wheel, so I felt comfortable in it from the start. The biggest challenge for me is the fact that in F1 you have so much more data and you race and perform based on that. The Oreca 7 doesn’t give us that much data at all so you’re driving a lot more on gut feeling and experience, which makes it a bit trickier for me.
Anders, you guys are entering the LMP2 class, arguably the most challenging class of them all. Do you agree?
Anders: LMP2 is the most competitive class in the race, without a doubt. I mean look at the entry list and some of the names on it. So many former F1 drivers, so many champions and winners. It’s going to be a very tough challenge.
High Class Racing is representing Denmark. That must be a pretty unique story to tell.
In the beginning, it wasn’t even our intention, but it ended up this way. Denmark and Le Mans have a very special history and Danish teams and drivers do well here. So, we’re honoured to represent the red and white colours here in Denmark.
Kevin, you’re racing in a Motul-powered car. What was your first experience with our brand?
It’s funny. Motul and I go way back. When I did my first season in Formula 4, Motul was one of the big sponsors. So, on one of my first ever race suits it already had Motul on it. We’re kind of going full circle now.