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Words by Rick Voegelin
Photos by Richard Prince/GM Racing 

Corvette Racing teammates Jan Magnussen and Johnny O'Connell finished as runners-up in the season-ending Monterey Sports Car Championships at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The race ended as Magnussen spun across the track and hit the wall on the pit straight in the No. 3 Compuware Corvette C6.R. The Danish driver was examined and released from the trackside medical center after his encounter with the concrete barrier as the Corvette's safety systems and energy-absorbing structure performed as designed in the impact.

The wild finish capped an intense battle between the No. 3 Corvette and the No. 45 Flying Lizard Porsche driven by Patrick Long and Joerg Bergmeister. Magnussen had relentlessly cut down the lead of the class-leading Porsche from 14 seconds to mere inches in the final 50 minutes of the four-hour race. Magnussen took the lead with a pass on the front straight with two minutes to go, but ceded the point back to Bergmeister after officials ruled that he made the pass on the pit exit. With the checkered flag already displayed for the overall winner, the Corvette and Porsche had contact in the final corner and raced side-by-side to the finish line.

"It was really good, hard racing," said Magnussen. "I didn't think I even had a chance after I had to give the position back. Going into the last corner I was too far away to make a proper attack, but Joerg parked the car. I didn't see that, so I slid up and hit him a little – he went sideways and I managed to get on the inside. It was a drag race up the hill, and I managed to get ahead of him. Then he turned me into the wall, and he kept turning in. Then I spun around the nose of his car."

The No. 45 Porsche was credited with a 1.037-second victory over the No. 3 Corvette C6.R as Corvette Racing scored its fifth podium finish in five races since moving to the GT2 category. The No. 4 Compuware Corvette C6.R of Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta finished 10th, 12 laps down to the leader after hard contact in a restart at the one-hour mark. The crew replaced the Corvette's damaged front bodywork and a lower control arm.

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