Multiple Le Mans 24 Hours class winner and ALMS/IMSA class champion Jan Magnussen will test High Class Racing’s ORECA 07 Gibson in the FIA WEC Bahrain Rookie Test later this month.
Magnussen, in what will be his first sports car appearance since leaving Corvette Racing at the end of the 2019 IMSA season, will sample a current-spec LMP2 car for the first time as part of this deal. The addition of the highly-experienced Dane to HCR’s testing plans forms part of its aim to compete at Le Mans in 2020 with two cars in LMP2. The team plans to enter its No. 20 full-season European Le Mans Series ORECA alongside its WEC ORECA, with an all-Danish line-up that features Magnussen as part of the driving crew.
“I’m excited to get behind the wheel of High Class Racing’s ORECA during the Bahrain Rookie Test,” said Magnussen. “It’s been a long time since I’ve been behind the wheel of a prototype. I’m looking forward to learning the characteristics of the 07 chassis, which has been hugely successful since its debut in 2017.
“Joining High Class Racing is a perfect fit for me, I have a long-standing relationship with the team. The chance to return to Le Mans in 2020 as part of an all-Danish line-up is something I will not turn down.”
The last time Magnussen raced in a prototype was back in 2012, with Spirit of Daytona in the Rolex 24 Hours. The last time time he competed in an LMP car was back in 2005 at Spa, driving a Lister Storm in the Le Mans Series.
As it stands, High Class Racing has not revealed who the other two drivers competing alongside Magnussen at Le Mans next year would be. Magnussen has expressed in the past his desire to race alongside his son — Haas F1 racer Kevin Magnussen — at Le Mans; however there is a clash next year with the F1 Canadian Grand Prix that prevents Kevin from taking part in the 2020 running of the Le Mans 24 Hours. RACER understands, though, that there is potential for the father-son to take on Le Mans in the future with High Class, should there be no conflict with the F1 calendar.
Nikolaj Johansen, High Class Racing’s team manager added: “We are delighted to announce that Jan Magnussen will be testing with us in Bahrain. It’s an honor that High Class Racing can be a part of his dream of competing at Le Mans in LMP2 in 2020, and in the future to compete at La Sarthe alongside his son Kevin. He brings a wealth of experience to the team, and a huge following of fans globally from his decades spent winning races and titles in the USA.”
In addition to Magnussen, High Class Racing will test another Danish driver: Michael Markussen. He recently tested KEO Racing’s new Dallara LMP2 for the first time in Barcelona last month. This outing with High Class gives him a chance to sample the ORECA for the first time ahead of the 2020 season.
The 2019 FIA WEC Bahrain Rookie Test is set to be held on Sunday December 15, the day following the 8 Hours of Bahrain, round four of the 2019/20 FIA World Endurance Championship.