Kevin Magnussen says he will keep coming back to the Rolex 24 until he is a race winner after coming so close on his debut at Daytona.
The former Formula 1 driver made his first appearance for Chip Ganassi Racing at the Rolex last year and was in the fight for victory before a puncture in the final 10 minutes of the race took his Cadillac DPi out of contention. Returning in the No. 02 Ganassi-run Cadillac Racing entry this year, Magnussen — who’s teammate Sebastien Bourdais was quickest overall in final practice — says he is hooked on the event and will ensure it remains part of his schedule until he is successful at the very least.
“Absolutely — winning this race is one of the dreams I have, that’s why we’re here,” Magnussen told RACER. “I think we have a good shot at winning this race and if I don’t win it this year I’ll keep coming back. I want that watch!
“You know that when you’re with Cadillac and Chip Ganassi Racing that you always have a chance. I think last year, first race ever that the team had with this car, already fighting for the win, with seven minutes to go we had a puncture, but we were competitive right from the beginning. Now with a year’s experience it’s hopefully not going to be anything but better.”
Having won in Detroit and picked up four further podiums in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship last year — his first season of sports car racing — Magnussen says it’s an environment he’s enjoying and one that is pushing him to approach driving in a different way.
“It’s fun. I mean, I’m still learning a lot, both learning about the car and the dynamic in a sports car team in endurance racing, with teammates and the compromises that you make to help the overall performance.
“But I feel very much at home with Cadillac and Chip Ganassi Racing, had a year last year to learn things. I love it — it’s really good fun. They know how to have fun with racing over here.”
Magnussen ended his F1 career in an uncompetitive Haas car, and says racing with a chance of winning in the United States has been a welcome move in his career.
“It felt very good to win (last year), it felt good to have a pole position again and more than anything just going into every race weekend and actually hoping for the win, thinking about the win and being focused on winning races.
“Often in Formula 1 I wouldn’t even be thinking about the win, it was so impossible there was no point even wasting energy and being disappointed then when you don’t win. You try and set yourself other goals that aren’t as rewarding and interesting. Even though it’s F1, anything but winning is not that interesting.”