Magnussen: Ending eight-year win drought "really special"

Formula 1 outcast Kevin Magnussen says ending an eight-year winless run in Saturday's IMSA SportsCar Championship round in Detroit feels "really special".

Magnussen: Ending eight-year win drought "really special"

Magnussen, who made the switch to IMSA with the Chip Ganassi Cadillac squad after losing his F1 drive at Haas at the end of last year, and his team-mate Renger van der Zande controlled the one-hour-40-minute race on Belle Isle for their first win as a duo in the #01 DPi-V.R.

The pair beat the Action Express Cadillac of Pipo Derani and Felipe Nasr by a little over half a second, with van der Zande and Nasr spending most of their stints nose-to-tail with each other.

It marks Magnussen's first victory in any category since the Barcelona season finale in the now-defunct World Series by Renault series back in 2013 - coming just hours after fellow F1 convert Marcus Ericsson ended a similarly long win drought in the preceding IndyCar race.

“I haven’t won a race since 2013 and it feels great,” Magnussen said. “The whole season we have been fast, but just not getting it to the end. We led a lot of laps this year and finally the right laps.

"Chip Ganassi Racing had an impressive weekend [with Ericsson's win]. I was happy to contribute to that with a win as well.

“Coming here and knowing I was going to be able to fight for wins was a real privilege. To go racing with this awesome car at these awesome tracks with this team is a dream. I feel very fortunate and blessed to be able to do that.

"To come out of this weekend with the big trophy it’s pretty special. I am back in a winning situation and really enjoying it.”

 

Ganassi made its return to top-flight prototype racing in 2021 and had come close to winning both the Rolex 24 at Daytona and Sebring 12 Hours earlier in the year, only for various issues to stand in the way of the team on both of those occasions.

But this time there was no stopping Magnussen and van der Zande, who led all bar two laps from pole in Detroit.

“We controlled the race," reflected van der Zande. "Kevin did a mega job in qualifying to get us to the front. We just kept control of it.

"You have to be lucky at street tracks not having crazy yellows at the wrong time. I think IMSA did a good job giving everyone a chance controlling the yellows. The car was really nice.

"We had the Cadillac set-up really well. The team gives you a lot of confidence so I can do what I do and that’s drive cars fast. The win on the home soil of GM, very proud.”

Nasr conceded that the Ganassi car appeared stronger during both of the race's restarts following full-course caution periods, the second of which came in the final 10 minutes.

“I feel like their car was always better on the restarts,” Nasr said of the Ganassi machine. “You could see it on Pipo’s restart as well. They would make a gap. We seemed to have a better tire on longer stints. But, I feel like they were pretty good on the restarts.

"Although I hate to come in second as a driver, I’m happy for Cadillac because we got a 1-2 here in Detroit. But hey, it was good for the points – looking ahead to the championship.

"We got back-to-back podium finishes coming off the race at Mid-Ohio. It’s pretty satisfying, but at the same time we still have to work.”

Nasr and Derani now sit third in the DPi drivers' standings, behind the Wayne Taylor Racing Acura of Filipe Albuquerque and Ricky Taylor that finished third in Detroit and the solo Mazda entry of Harry Tincknell and Oliver Jarvis.

Magnussen and van der Zande are one place behind the AXR pairing in fourth.

shares
comments

Related video

IMSA Detroit: Magnussen, van der Zande take commanding maiden Ganassi win

Previous article

IMSA Detroit: Magnussen, van der Zande take commanding maiden Ganassi win

Next article

Penske: IMSA return to Indy “high on the list” of targets

Penske: IMSA return to Indy “high on the list” of targets
Load comments
How the next step in the IMSA and WEC convergence can reunite multiple fronts Plus

How the next step in the IMSA and WEC convergence can reunite multiple fronts

OPINION: Following the latest convergence connection permitting Le Mans Hypercars from the World Endurance Championship to compete against LMDh entries in the IMSA SportsCar Championship from 2023, it could open up enticing options not only to manufacturers but also for the calendar and race formats

WEC
Jul 13, 2021
Why IMSA glory for Mazda would be a bittersweet ending Plus

Why IMSA glory for Mazda would be a bittersweet ending

Mazda believes it has never had a better chance of clinching the title in IMSA's Prototype division. Achieving this goal would be the bittersweet culmination of an achingly hard struggle, after which the brand has decided to quit

IMSA
Apr 11, 2021
The groundbreaking new boss leading GM's sportscar assault Plus

The groundbreaking new boss leading GM's sportscar assault

After taking over Corvette Racing from long-time custodian Doug Fehan, 34-year-old Laura Wontrop Klauser is leading General Motors through a transitional phase in sportscar racing. Here’s how she got into her dream role and what she plans to do with it

IMSA
Mar 21, 2021
Nine things to look out for at the 2021 Daytona 24 Hours Plus

Nine things to look out for at the 2021 Daytona 24 Hours

After a 100-minute sprint race to whet the appetite, the 2021 IMSA SportsCar Championship gets underway properly this weekend. With plenty of significant changes during the winter, here are the key points you need to keep an eye on

IMSA
Jan 29, 2021
Why Magnussen is relishing a fresh start in sportscars Plus

Why Magnussen is relishing a fresh start in sportscars

Having gone over seven years without a race win through spells with McLaren, Renault and Haas, Kevin Magnussen's departure from Formula 1 for IMSA with big-hitter Chip Ganassi Racing could give him what he craves most - a chance of success

IMSA
Jan 29, 2021
Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights Plus

Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights

Oliver Gavin has stepped down from the full-time Corvette Racing line-up after a stellar career with the team spanning nearly 20 years. He looks back on a stint that encompassed, among other successes, five Le Mans 24 Hours victories

IMSA
Jan 28, 2021
The 12 greatest Sebring 12 Hours ranked Plus

The 12 greatest Sebring 12 Hours ranked

The 2020 edition of the Florida sportscar classic is finally taking place this weekend, eight months after its traditional date in March. That meant there was plenty of time for Autosport to pour over its previous 67 races and select the best

IMSA
Nov 11, 2020
When Porsche became a giant-killer Plus

When Porsche became a giant-killer

In the first of a new series celebrating underdog achievements from the annals of motorsport history, we revisit the 2015 Petit Le Mans - where a tyre advantage in appallingly wet conditions helped the GT cars overcome the prototypes

IMSA
Apr 15, 2020