Magnussen: Chance to win motivated IMSA switch after F1 exit

Kevin Magnussen says the opportunity to win races again was a motivating factor in his move from Formula 1 to the IMSA SportsCar Championship with Chip Ganassi Racing in 2021

Magnussen: Chance to win motivated IMSA switch after F1 exit

Magnussen has opted to follow the route taken by his father, long-time Corvette Racing driver Jan, by heading to the USA after losing his Haas F1 drive and failing to find another F1 opportunity seat.

The Ganassi team has a strong record in US sportscar racing, having won five Grand-Am titles prior to the series' merger with the American Le Mans Series.

It has also won the Daytona 24 Hours six times outright, and most recently competed in the GT Le Mans class with the factory Ford GT programme between 2016 and 2019.

The Dane, who will partner Renger van der Zande for the Ganassi team's return to the top DPi class in a Cadillac DPi-V.R, did not rule out a possible future IndyCar opportunity with the team.

"I mean, you never know," he said when asked if IndyCar might be an option.

"Chip Ganassi Racing is a hugely successful team in many different race series, and I'm going to be joining effectively a new team in DPI in IMSA, but a team that has had a lot of experience in this category, and success.

"So I'm just really looking forward to joining a team that I know will be super competitive.

"And just the thought of being able to look forward to a season where I know that I have, or we have, a chance of winning, is a really good feeling. And I'm just looking forward to it.

"My dad has been racing in America for 20 years, and I've been over there watching him at many races, and just always enjoyed the atmosphere and been very curious about these tracks over there, and I'm really looking forward to it."

Magnussen has never competed in endurance racing before and will "have pretty limited time in the car" before making his series debut at the Daytona 24 Hours in January.

However, with fellow F1 convert Felipe Nasr claiming the title in his first IMSA season in 2018, Magnussen is "confident that we will get on the pace" quickly, citing the experience of team-mate van der Zande - a winner at Daytona in the past two seasons with Wayne Taylor Racing's Cadillac.

"I'll have some really good team-mates," he said.

"I'll have Renger van der Zande in the car next to me, and I've actually worked with him a little bit before, in 2009.

"When he was in F3 and I was in [Formula Renault] 2.0, we were in the same team [Motopark].

"And I was really looking up to him, as a young kid.

"He is five or six years older than me, and looking forward to working with him again.

"I'll try and learn as much as I can from him. He's been super successful in sportscars and has a lot of experience, so I'll be taken care of, I'm sure."

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Kevin Magnussen
Author Adam Cooper
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