Marco Seefried has had quite a season. The German motorsport driver‘s team, Magnus Racing, team took home victories at Daytona’s Rolex 24 and Lime Rock Park, podiumed four times, and seized the 2016 Tequila Patron North American Endurance Championship (TPNAEC)- their second time doing so. The season closed with a bang at Petit Le Mans’ famed Road Atlanta track, where Marco and his teammates soared up in the rankings only to be knocked out at the very end on a strategic technicality. We caught up with the Revo Ambassador and former Petit Le Mans champ to find out what’s next.
Revo: How are you coping with the chaotic end to the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship season? [Marco’s team, Magnus racing, finished in third place in the 9th round of the IMSA Weathertech SportsCar Championship, but the finish and points were revoked due to a 1mm ride height infraction that the team strongly contests.]
Marco Seefried: That’s in fact a good question. I have to say that we had a strong performance on that last race at Road Atlanta. I had some very good stints out there. But what happened at the very end was confusing and sad at the same time. I don’t want to blame anybody. Somehow there was a misunderstanding of some paragraphs in the sporting regulations. On our side, Magnus Racing thought we were safe and asked the right questions on the rules before the race; but 20 minutes before the end an official of IMSA came to let us know we were mistaken. We crossed the line as winners and a couple of seconds later we were disqualified. By the next day we got points back and the Magnus Racing Team won the North American Endurance Cup as a Team. It could have been worse.
Revo: It’s been said this might have been the most successful season in American endurance sport for you. Do you agree?
MS: Yes it was. After the victory at the big opening race at Daytona for the 24-hour race, we had a 3rd place finish at Sebring, another big one in the US. It was a pity that I couldn’t join Watkins Glen due to a clash with a Blancpain Sprint Race weekend here in Europe. The Magnus Racing Team had another Podium finish in 2nd position. On the final Petit Le Mans 10h race we won for the Team the North American Endurance Championship. This made me happy and proud to have been part of it!
Revo: What direction will Magnus racing head after the conclusion of the 2016 season?
MS: It looks like Magnus Racing is looking for some new adventures. So far nothing is confirmed but I don’t think that they going to be back in the IMSA Series in 2017.
Revo: How did you know racing was your passion and ultimately your career?
MS: I was addicted to it the first time in my life I saw a real race Go-Kart. It was at the age of 8. But it took me a while to get started; that was 6 years later.
Revo: What’s your favorite circuit and is there any particular reason why?
MS: The Nuerburging Nordschleife, the old track. It is the longest track in the world and has loads of challenges. It isn’t a very modern track, so if you make a mistake the race is over in most situations. It isn’t very forgiving. Another challenge is the very chaotic weather conditions there. You may have half the track covered in rain while the other half is dry and just cloudy.
Revo: What are your favorite or preferred track conditions?
MS: I like mixed conditions. Under those circumstances [performance] is more up to the driver and not so much the [environment] . I also like mixed conditions because the strategy of the entire team is more interesting, as long as it is an endurance race.
Revo: What can you take from this season with Magnus Racing?
MS: We have been competitive at all times. This was based on perfect preparation of the crew and on the previous test on every track we raced on. The team earned a lot of praise for their efforts!
Revo: What was the most vivid moment of Petit Le Mans 2016?
MS: I had a lot of fun during my first stint coming from 10th place and working through the field, taking the lead, and handing over first place P1 to Andy Lally.
Revo: Like many drivers, you started racing go-karts in Germany in the 1990’s. How did karting prepare you for autosport racing?
MS: In my personal opinion Karting is the best possible preparation to start a racing career. Those young kids learn so many skills Karting that somebody not involved in racing simply can’t imagine. Many people think that Karting is something fun for little kids (and at some stage, it is! ), but they are very much mistaken. It is one of the toughest competitions that you can think of. On some final runs of European or World Championship race weekends, 40 drivers come out within a second of each other. This is very hard to get through. But it has become very expensive-- too expensive in my point of a view.
Revo: So, any confirmed plans for the 2017 season ahead?
MS: So far I can confirm the Blancpain Endurance Series and I'll eventually drive with the same team for 1 or 2 races in the Blancpain Sprint Series. Than I am close to signing a deal for the 24h race at the Nuerburgring, which includes a couple of prep races. After that I'll have 1 or 2 races in Asia and maybe I’ll get something signed for the Pirelli World Challenge in the US! I can’t tell you the planned Teams just yet as it is all very secret, but I will make sure you guys know as soon as it gets announced!!!
Revo: That sound great Marco; we’ll certainly be watching. Best of luck for the 2017 season from all of us at Revo.
Keep up with Marco on Instagram: @Marco.Seefried