Jan Magnussen insists patience will be needed during the Rolex 24 at Daytona next week, with the Dane feeling some rookie drivers did not show the kind of respect needed for the twice-around-the-clock race during the ROAR before the 24 earlier this month.
Magnussen, who will share the #3 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R with his regular co-driver Antonio Garcia and with Audi factory ace Mike Rockenfeller this month, says that while it is a fantastic thing to see drivers from different series’ from around the globe, the lack of experience in endurance racing of some of them could mean trouble for other competitors.
“The challenge this year is the amount of drivers,” said Magnussen on corvetteracing.com. “There are a lot from series like Formula 1 and IndyCar; you name it and they all are here.
“But not all of them have endurance racing experience. It takes a lot of respect for each other out there to make it through without getting involved in incidents that end up costing you a trip back to the garage or even worse. It will be a tough year in that regard.
“Having now done three days of practice with this field, there is a feel of people not being as patient as they need to be. That can prove costly in the race.”
Team-mate Garcia says the increased number of cars in the Prototype class this year will make staying out of the way even more tricky, and should they do a good job, he feels the team will be in contention for the class win in the closing hours.
“There are challenges every year,” said Garcia. “This year, the traffic will be different with a lot more prototypes than we have seen in the past.
“Staying out of trouble for the first 20 or 22 hours is even more important than it usually is. If we can manage to do that, stay in contact with the leaders and have good pace, we will have a really good shot at a win.
“Traffic will get crazy, especially with the number of rookies at this race – many who are experienced in other races but they are still rookies here.
“Let’s repeat what we have done the last three years here: no mistakes and no contact. If that’s enough, we would gladly take the win. If not, we will know that we have done the best we can.”