Kevin Magnussen wanted Corvette Le Mans drive alongside his father, Jan


Kevin Magnussen has revealed that he wanted to race at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans for Corvette alongside his father, Jan, but was unable to secure a seat with the team.

The Danish driver was dropped by McLaren for the 2015 F1 season after his rookie year, taking up a reserve role with the British team to make room for new arrival Fernando Alonso.

Without a race seat this year, Magnussen did try to secure a drive elsewhere in a bid to keep sharp and push for a swift return to F1, and even asked Corvette if he could race alongside his father at Le Mans.

Jan Magnussen has raced for Corvette Racing at Le Mans since 2004, claiming four GT class victories at the Circuit de la Sarthe. Most recently, he won the GTLM class in the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January, finishing fourth overall alongside Antonio Garcia and Ryan Briscoe.

Speaking to the media following his test day in Barcelona, Kevin Magnussen said that he had enquired about a place at Le Mans with Corvette, but was told that the seats had already been filled.

“I asked my Dad if he would ask Corvette if there was an available seat there,” Magnussen said. “That would be really cool to do, be teammates with your Dad at Le Mans and try to win the class, but they had already signed the drivers for the car.

“So unfortunately that doesn’t look like it’ll happen this year. I got the call quite late that I would not be racing in Formula 1, so a lot of the doors were closed already. The options are very limited, but I’m also not completely sure if racing something else is the best thing to do when you want to get back to F1.”

Magnussen will not be taking part in any practice sessions for McLaren this year, restricting him to the two in-season tests in Spain and Austria for track time. Although the Dane is frustrated, he is refusing to give up on his F1 dream.

“It’s been very frustrating,” Magnussen said. “I desperately wanted to race this year and it has been tough immediately after learning that I didn’t have the drive. It was very sad times. I was looking forward to having another year.

“I was looking forward to continuing the progress and I felt like I had a lot more to learn. I’ve been massively disappointed but I understand the situation.

“I haven’t given up. I’m fully focused on getting back to Formula 1. I’ve just got to make the right choices and do the right things to put myself in the best situation for that.”

After Will Power extension, Marcus Ericsson among IndyCar drivers awaiting new deals

IndyCar free agents
Chris Owens, Joe Skibinski/Penske Entertainment

FORT WORTH, Texas – Defending series champion Will Power’s name is off the board of potential IndyCar free agents, but there’s still much to be settled in the field – starting with the reigning Indy 500 winner.

Marcus Ericsson is waiting on a contract offer to remain with Chip Ganassi Racing beyond the 2023 season (his fourth with the team). The Swede said he’s made it clear to car owner Chip Ganassi that he wants to stay in the No. 8 Dallara-Honda, which has four victories since June 2021.

“Yeah, it’s up to him, basically,” Ericsson said Friday at Texas Motor Speedway. “He needs to give me an offer for ’24 onward. The ball is in his corner. I really enjoy it at Ganassi, and we’ve done a lot of great things together and would love to continue, but the ball is in his corner. He knows very well what I want.”

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Two days before Ericsson won the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg season opener March 5, Ganassi sang the praises of the emerging star driver to a small group of reporters.

“I want him here beyond this year,” Ganassi said of Ericsson. “He seems to have gotten more out of winning the Indy 500 than anyone else has of recent time, which is a good thing. He did a good job. He’s been everywhere. It’s been a really positive thing for Marcus, the team, the series. He’s grown with that as well.”

Ericsson didn’t sew up his current deal until late in his breakthrough 2021 season (after a memorable victory in the inaugural Music City Grand Prix). So he isn’t necessarily anxious about it but conceded he “was thinking a bit about it over the winner in the offseason and talking about it

“But now that the season has started, I told my managers and everyone I want to focus on the driving. They focus on those things. Now the season is on, and I want to try to win races, win another 500 and championship. That’s where my focus is. (A new contract) is one of those things that happens when it happens. But I’m happy where I am, and I want to do well.”

IndyCar’s two best teams, Team Penske and Chip Ganassi Racing, tend to be very tight-lipped about their drivers’ contract status.

Power confirmed Friday to journalist Bruce Martin that his new deal was for multiple seasons. That means all three of Penske’s drivers are in multiple-year contracts (unlike Power’s deal, Scott McLaughlin’s extension was announced by the team last year).

But there is more uncertainty at Ganassi’s four cars aside from Ericsson. While Scott Dixon has a ride for as long as he wants (and the six-time champion has given no indication of retiring), Ganassi’s other two other seats have yet to be solidified beyond 2023.

The No. 11 is being split this year by rookie Marcus Armstrong and veteran Takuma Sato this season. In  the No. 10, Alex Palou is believed to be in his final year at Ganassi before heading to Arrow McLaren.

That expected move would cast doubt on the future of Felix Rosenqvist, who returned to Arrow McLaren when the team was unable to bring in Palou (who was embroiled in a contract dispute with Ganassi).

Aside from Penske, virtually every other IndyCar team (including Andretti Autosport, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and Meyer Shank Racing, which has Helio Castroneves in a contract year) has seats that potentially could open for next season, and even drivers who appear to be under contract for next year still could be on the move (via buyouts and option years).

Though Juncos Hollinger Racing announced a “long-term, multiyear contract partnership” last July with Callum Ilott, but the second-year driver was cagey Friday when asked about how long the extension ran.

“It’s for whatever I want it to be,” said Ilott, who finished a career-best fifth at St. Petersburg. “I’ll say that.”

Before returning to JHR, Ilott turned enough heads as a rookie to draw interest from several teams, and he indicated Friday that he still would be listening.

“I’d love to talk to some other big teams,” Ilott said. “Nothing stops me from talking. Look, you’ve got to be fair. I agreed to (the deal), but it’s pretty obvious that I’m quite interested as people are interested in me as a driver, but I need to focus on the job I’ve got here.

“I’m confident whether it’s in one year, two years, three years, four years, that if I’m wanted now, I’ll always be wanted. I’m a good enough driver that I don’t need to lack confidence in that side. … I’m not worried.”