The Danish motorsport powerhouses will unite on the grid for the region’s biggest weekend of GT3 endurance racing
Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, XX December 2022: Jan Magnussen, four-time Le Mans winner, and son Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team driver, are joining forces for the 12th edition of the Gulf 12 Hours to take place on Yas Island, from December 9 to 11.
The Danish father-son duo will unite on the grid alongside American driver Mark Kvamme at Yas Marina Circuit to compete in the annual endurance event, combining day and night racing, that will see the biggest ever line-up of GT cars in the race’s history.
Having started his career with the McLaren F1 Team’s Young Driver Programme, Kevin rose through the junior ranks to represent the British motor racing team in the 2014 Formula 1 Championship and 2014 Australian Grand Prix, where he became the first Dane to claim a podium in F1.
After a short stint with Renault in 2016, he got behind the wheel for the Haas F1 team, most recently securing their first-ever pole position at the 2022 Brazilian Grand Prix. But with a successful career of his own – and a notably busy schedule – the Roskilde racer hasn’t had many opportunities to drive with his father.
“We’ve both done this our whole life, and you know, done it separately,” he said. “Getting to do this with my dad, it’s very special. It’s a big privilege; I’m grateful to MDK Motorsports and our friend Mark for giving us this opportunity.”
Jan Magnussen, a former F1 driver himself, shares Kevin’s sentiment and laughs when asked whether his son’s speed on the track is a result of his coaching.
“Unfortunately, I think I taught him too much,” he said. “It’s fantastic to get to compare myself to Kevin. Not just his brilliant lap times, but also to see the data and videos of how we operate the car.”
Magnussen senior boasts an impressive racing history, and has competed in a range of prestigious competitions and series, including Formula 1, IndyCar, NASCAR, American Le Mans Series, WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, 24 Hours of Le Mans and FIA World Endurance Championship.
Now, the two Danes are bringing their wealth of driving experience and bold race moves to Abu Dhabi. While the track will be a first-time experience for Jan, Kevin recalls racing at Yas Marina Circuit in the 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – and again in the 2022 edition.
“I think the changes made to the track over the last two years are good for some things,” he said. “I think before, it was a little more technical, so maybe a bit more difficult. Now, the track has become faster and more enjoyable to drive.”
Despite having raced the circuit before, the second-generation F1 driver is in for an entirely new experience as he steps out of his comfort zone and into an unfamiliar GT car.
“I did it in a Formula 1 car, and GT is going to be completely different. It feels like a new track for me,” he said. “It’s fun to be challenged in different ways as a racing driver. That’s what I’m looking forward to.”
With scheduling conflicts and international travel keeping them occupied, the Magnussens are uncertain when they’ll drive together next. This weekend’s Gulf 12 Hours will be a unique opportunity for the duo to share in their passion for the sport – with the hopes of winning the race.
“We know each other. When we get into this stuff, it just gets competitive, and we want to do as well as possible,” Kevin said. “That’s the most fun, so that’s really what we’re focusing on – me and my dad.”
Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management (ADMM), with its head office at Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Island, has created unique, world class experiences across Abu Dhabi since 2009.
ADMM have promoted and delivered globally significant events, the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Grand Prix, alongside over 400 events a year across motorsports, health and fitness, entertainment and major corporate conferences. The company also delivers a significant programme of motorsport retail experiences for business and consumer audiences at Yas Marina Circuit across the year. This combined experience means that ADMM has a region-leading team with expertise in event marketing, communications, promotions and project management.
Such talent firmly positions ADMM as a leader in sports management. The company is now seeking to diversify into activities and strategic ventures beyond Yas Marina Circuit in order to build towards a broader long-term vision aligned with its partners and stakeholders in Abu Dhabi.
ABOUT YAS MARINA CIRCUIT
Yas Marina Circuit is the United Arab Emirates’ most exciting sporting and entertainment multi-purpose venue. Located on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, the circuit is home to the annual FORMULA 1 ETIHAD AIRWAYS ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX and much more. In addition to the extensive year-round program of professional and grassroots motorsport events and experiences including Drag and Yas Track Nights, the circuit has emerged as a thriving hub for entertainment and community events in the UAE.
Yas Marina Circuit is also a champion of sustainability in motorsports, receiving the Three-Star Environmental Certification from the FIA, the governing body’s highest recognition of sustainability. The award is an acknowledgement of the circuit’s long-standing commitment to environmental management with the objective of standing with Formula One in becoming Net-Zero Carbon by 2030.
As the region’s most technologically advanced facility, the circuit is also a leading MICE venue, regularly hosting a diverse range of corporate meetings, conferences, and events. Whether you want to experience the thrill of karting at our Kartzone, driving an Aston Martin GT4 at over 200km/hour on an F1 circuit, work towards your racing license at the Yas Racing School, get fit at TrainYas, participate in one of our many sporting events, or simply catch up with friends at Yas Central, Yas Marina Circuit truly is The Meeting Place of Champions.