Magnussen tests for Hendrick
|By Diego Mejia||Friday, April 30th 2010, 22:36 GMT|
Sportscar racer Jan Magnussen drove a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car this week for Hendrick Motorsports in a private session at Kershaw, South Carolina.
The former Formula 1 driver completed a test run for NASCAR's top team at the Carolina Motorsports Park road course facility last Tuesday, as part of Hendrick's research and development programme.
The test came via Magnussen's ties with General Motors through the American Le Mans Series, where he drives a Corvette C6.R in the GT class. The former 24 Hours of Le Mans class winner had already tested privately for the team before, and was called up again to assist with its road course preparations.
"I can't even explain how great it is for me to have the opportunity to test for Hendrick Motorsports" said Magnussen. "NASCAR is the biggest series in the US and when you get a call from the absolute top team, it's hard to hide my enthusiasm.
"I was just invited for a single test with no development work last year, but this led to another one, which of course I'm really pleased and proud about.
"Driving a NASCAR is a wild experience. Having 900hp available and no traction control, you get wheelspin no matter what gear you are in, so it's really a car you have to work with, which I love.
"I have never made a secret of the fact that I wanted to try NASCAR, which is just as difficult as reaching Formula 1, so just to test for Hendrick Motorsports is fantastic."
A team spokesman for Hendrick Motorsports said the door is open for Magnussen to do further tests with them.
Hendrick has a record of using single-seater and sportscar drivers to develop its cars, most recently running Italian Max Papis, who went on to make the switch from testing for Hendrick to being a full-time Sprint Cup racer, now driving a Toyota Camry for Germain Racing in NASCAR's top series.
Besides his American Le Mans commitments, Magnussen is lined up again for this year's Le Mans 24 Hours with Corvette, while he is also competing in the Danish and Scandinavian Touring Car championship. He has also raced in Grand-Am, most recently at Barber Motorsports Park in the GT class at the wheel of a Chevy Camaro.