Jan Magnussen has gained his legendary status in endurance racing behind the wheel of a Corvette. For the 2021 season, however, Jan completes an all-Danish line-up with LMP2 squad High-Class Racing. We caught up with Jan in the Spa Paddock, where he shared his first experience with the Oreca 07 and talked about his highly anticipated teaming-up with his son, Formula One driver Kevin Magnussen, for the upcoming 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Jan, for as long as we can remember you’ve been racing GTs, especially Corvettes. Now you’re in an Oreca LMP2 car. That must feel quite different.
It’s very different. It’s a bit faster, which is nice, but the way you make the car go fast is also completely different to a GT car. It takes a bit of time to get used to it, so getting the necessary testing time during the prologue was very, very important. Currently, we’re still struggling a little bit and we definitely need to improve in certain areas, but I’m very excited to be here.
As a Danish driver who has spent so much time racing in the US, what does it mean to be part of a Danish team, with a full Danish driver line-up in WEC?
It’s incredible, to be honest. I got the call to do this, and I jumped on it. High-Class Racing is a great team and I believe we can go places with it!
You’ve had such an incredibly successful career so far. Do you still have a bucket list of races you want to do?
I still race for the love of it and with the same passion as when I started. I have been very fortunate in the past, but I don’t really have a bucket list. Like every race I participate in I just want to win. I’m still very competitive, and in every race I enter I want to do better than everyone else.
You were best known for racing the Corvette in the US and Le Mans, now you’re passing it in an LMP2. How does that feel?
Honestly, on the track, I don’t really notice it. It’s just another GT car for me. Of course, I have such great memories of Corvette racing as I’ve been there for 16 seasons. I went to meet the guys a few times and it’s great to have them here, although they are struggling a bit as well.
We have to talk about Le Mans. You’ll be sharing a car with Kevin, your son. That must be really special.
Yes, it’s a dream come true really. We’ve been trying to make this work for a long time, and I believe it’s the only and last chance we’ll ever have as well as he’ll be moving to Peugeot next year. It’s going to be great having him here and I’m hoping to share my experience with him during the race. Although, I think he’ll the one teaching me when it comes to outright pace [smiles].