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Local Sports

Corvette looking for class win

Special to Highlands Today Staff
Published:   |   Updated: March 11, 2013 at 07:49 PM

Corvette Racing's Jan Magnussen heads into this weekend's sixth round of the 2012 American Le Mans Series in the GT championship lead and hungry for race wins, beginning with today's Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge. Magnussen and teammate Antonio Garcia finished second at the previous round of the championship to grab a seven-point lead over the No. 4 Corvette Racing pairing of Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner.

"It's been fantastic working with Antonio this year," Magnussen said. "He's a fast learner, very fast on the track and also works well inside of the team. He gets along with everybody and works really hard on the setup and with the crew. He's a great teammate and in my mind we are a winning team, we just have to go out there and do it."

The No. 3 Corvette has shown incredible consistency throughout 2012, taking four second-place finishes. Opening lap damage at Long Beach forced the duo to fight a wounded car all the way to a fourth-place finish, the only time they have finished off the podium.

 "Right now Corvette Racing is one-two in the ALMS GT championship and we need to keep that lead, as well as get a win for the No. 3 car," Magnussen said.

An AMLS competitor since the inaugural championship in 1999, Magnussen holds the record of scoring a race win in every year of the championship. With five races remaining in 2012, the Dane has his sights set on extending that record and getting back into victory lane en route to his second series championship.

"We've proven all through the season so far that we are right where we need to be, we just need things to happen in the right way," Magnussen said. "We're right there and I'm sure the wins will come.  There's no doubt in my mind. 

"We are leading the points, but with so many races to go you can't think too much about it. With wins come the most points and that's what we need to keep the competition behind."

Magnussen is fighting to claim his second ALMS championship crown and Corvette's first in the highly competitive GT class. The Dane and former teammate Johnny O'Connell triumphed in 2008 in the old GT1 division – Magnussen's second full-time season with Corvette Racing.

Corvette Racing made its debut in the GT class in 2009, contesting the final five races of the season. The class is renowned as the most hotly contested form of GT racing in the world with Corvette being joined in victory lane this year by BMW, Porsche and Ferrari.

The competition is expected to rise to another level this weekend with the debut of the new SRT Viper team at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

"It's fantastic for the ALMS that the Viper is coming back," Magnussen said. "They have a great history in the ALMS and in competition at Le Mans. They have a great team and great drivers. I'm looking forward to racing against Tommy Kendall and all those guys."

 Today's race will begin at 1:05 p.m. and ABC will join the race live at 2 p.m.