Multiple Le Mans 24 Hours class winner and ALMS/IMSA class champion Jan Magnussen has agreed to join Danish LMP2 team High Class Racing for the FIA WEC Bahrain Rookie Test later this month.
Magnussen, in what will serve as his first sportscar appearance since leaving Corvette Racing, will sample the teams Gibson-powered ORECA 07 during the day of running at the Bahrain International Circuit for what will be his first taste of a current-spec LMP2 car. The addition of Magnussen to High Class’ testing plans forms part of the team’s aim to compete at Le Mans in 2020 with two cars. The team is looking to enter its #20 ELMS ORECA alongside its WEC example, 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 the 2012 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona with Spirit of Daytona. Prior to that, the last time he competed in an LMP car was back in 2005 at Spa in Le Mans Series driving a Lister Storm.
As it stands High Class Racing has not revealed who the other two drivers alongside Magnussen at Le Mans would be. Magnussen has expressed in the past his desire to race alongside his son 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. DSC understands via sources that there is potential that the father-son duo would 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 honour 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, who recently tested an LMP2 car for the first time at Barcelona. Markussen is an up and coming driver who will use the test to get his first taste of an ORECA chassis and help him prepare his 2020 programme.
The 2019 FIA WEC Bahrain Rookie Test provides teams with five hours of track time on Sunday, December 15th on the day following the 8 Hours of Bahrain, round four of the 2019/20 FIA World Endurance Championship.
Photo courtesy of Jan Magnussen