Another competitor slams Jan Magnussen into a wall
Jan Magnussen Presse - Jan Kaiser - 10-10-2009
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Photo: Jan Kaiser.
Another competitor slams Jan Magnussen into a wall in the final lap

OK after a medical checkup

The last race of the year in the American Le Mans series that was held at Laguna Seca in California ended in a violent crash involving Jan Magnussen. The race that was held over four hours and finished in darkness became a hectic and intense affair. The race finished early morning Danish time.

After 3 hours and 10 minutes Jan Magnussen in his Corvette was 14 seconds behind the leading GT Porsche driven by Jörg Bergmeister. Jan Magnussen drove his car to the edge and with 15 minutes left he had reeled in the Porsche and the two cars became entangled in a battle for the lead. Jan Magnussen was several times beside Bergmeister and with five minutes to go he passed him under braking into turn no. 1. But he overshot and Bergmeister could pass him again and retook the lead. With only two minutes left Magnussen passed him again but by doing that he had passed the white line for the pit and had to surrender the lead again.

When the two cars went into the final lap of the race Magnussen tried again towards the hairpin. Bergmeister blocked the inside line and Magnussen tried the outside line instead. He was in the sand but kept the momentum going, but was now 5 or 6 carlengths behind Bergmeister. Magnussen quickly reeled him in and reached him in the final corner where Bergmeister brakes early - Jan hits him - but at the same time passes him for the lead. Jan is now leading, but Bergmeister who earlier has been beaten in the last corner of a race has the nose of his car by the rear of Jans car and won't give up. On the sprint to the finish Bergmeister on purpose (He later admits in an interview drives into the side of Jan's car which drives him sideways directly impacting with a concrete wall. While Bergmeister enjoys the spoils of victory, Jan Magnussen who got second, was at the medical center having a checkup.

"I was completely taken aback by that" an angry and beaten up Jan Magnussen claimed afterwards. "I have absolutely no idea of what Bergmeister did. He was far enough ahead after my last attempt to pass him that could have continued and have had the victory. But after that I don't know what he did. I was too far behind to make an attempt in the last corner, but then he parked the car and I couldn't avoid him. He went a little sideways at the corner and I get beside him and almost in the lead. I was sure that the victory was mine but then he decided he wouldn't lose in the last corner again and starts to drive into my side and continued until I was in the wall. We were close to the finish so I had the pedal to the metal and hit the wall hard. The car went up into the air and the impact hits me hard when the car landed. I'm very beaten up and so sore that it is hard to grasp. I have been to a couple of medical checks and they say that everything is ok."
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