By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
Kevin Magnussen has had to adapt quickly with little preparation time in the NTT IndyCar Series. It became apparent after qualifying for the REV Group Grand Prix he has work to do for tomorrow’s race.
The ex-F1 and current IMSA racer will roll off 21st out of the 25-car field at Road America. Not enough to advance out of Group 1 qualifying.
After the session, the man deputizing Felix Rosenqvist put it bluntly, “there’s been a lot to learn.”
“Very different car than I’ve used to. It’s been a steep learning curve,” said Magnussen. “Qualifying I wasn’t quite happy with it. I tried going for a miracle, messed up my laps. Long race tomorrow to make up positions. I’ll learn a lot. Looking forward to that.”
Despite having two 45-minute sessions in a span of two days, Magnussen wishes he had more time getting used to an Indy car. Rookies are given an extra set of tires, but that too hasn’t reduced the challenges.
“I wish I had a little more (time). Not easy to step in an IndyCar. Not lot of tires. It’s tough. Qualifying there should’ve been more. I wasn’t going to be at the top, but at least closer. It is what it is. Going to be a fun day.”
During Friday’s press conference, Magnussen knew the challenge was going to be clear as day. Compared to any other races he’s competed in, preparation was an absolute minimum.
“It doesn’t really compare to any experience I’ve had. This is certainly the very least prepared I’ve ever been to step into a race,” Magnussen explained. “But at the end of the day, as I said at the beginning, it’s not the greatest circumstances when you’ve got a driver out who got hurt in a crash.
“As I said, I think (Felix’s) recovering very well. But yeah, when you get an opportunity like this, I’m a racing driver, a passionate one, and when an opportunity comes to go and drive an awesome race car like an INDYCAR, I had to take it.”
Fortunately for Magnussen, he’ll get another session after qualifying which takes place at 5:30pm ET (live on Peacock).