Magnussen eyeing full-time WEC switch after Bahrain test

Rachit Thukral

Magnussen sampled the Danish squad’s Michelin-shod Oreca 07 in the one-day test after the the 8 Hours of Bahrain, setting the 10th fastest time in the LMP2 class.

It was his first outing in a prototype car since he raced an Audi R8 for Team Goh at Le Mans 24 Hours in 2003.

Magnussen says he found the LMP2 car to be “a lot more brutal” than the Corvette GT cars he’s accustomed to from a 16-year-stint with the American brand.

“It was quite a good experience,” Magnussen told Motorsport.com. “So last time I drove a prototype similar to this was 2003, which was the Audi R8. 

“But with all these years in GT cars you get quite comfortable with feel, the little bumps in the track, you can take a lot of kerbs without knocking yourself out in the car whereas these things are a lot more brutal in terms of when you do something wrong, there is a big penalty. 

“But I really enjoyed this experience. I had 30 laps today which is quite good. But there are few things I would have liked to try - proper quali run and stuff like that. But I did get to feel the car with different setups and trying to get the car suit me a little better. 

“I was quite reluctant to change the car because I’m quite sure I’m not operating it correctly. So in my last run I did a long run at the end. I was very happy with that and how the car felt, the degradation of the tyre and the lighter fuel load as the run went on was good experience.”

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It hinges on High Class securing a second entry for the French endurance classic, which Magnussen could share with two yet-to-be-determined Danish drivers.

But the 46-year-old is already looking beyond Le Mans and has set his sights on entering the full 2020/21 WEC season, although not necessary with High Class Racing.

in October.

“At the moment all I have is touring cars in Denmark, which is a pretty good programme,” he said. 

“I’m quite looking forward to that and then I’m working on different one-off races, still looking at long races in both the US, Le Mans obviously. 

“It’s important to get back to Le Mans and this is the best option I believe. And then I’m working on coming back to the WEC full-time from next season.” 

#33 High Class Racing Oreca 07 - Jan Magnussen, Michael Markussen

#33 High Class Racing Oreca 07 - Jan Magnussen, Michael Markussen JEP / Motorsport Images

JEP / Motorsport Images