“The big difference between now and 1992 was that back then I was totally prepared for this – a whole season of racing under my belt with all the testing that comes with that, a bunch of testing at Brands.
“I’m still finding my way around, and that’s a little bit of an uncomfortable feeling, not knowing exactly what you’re doing. But you know, I love being here, I think it’s so much fun. But I also like being successful! Hopefully I find some time.”
The weekend will be a massively nostalgic trip down the memory pit lane for Magnussen, aided no doubt by a little reminder of his past success.
“In the awning that mine and Dennis’s cars are sitting is my car from 1992 – it’s running at the event too!” he chuckles. “Getting a grand total of just a few hours running before qualifying is not ideal, but being here means getting to come back and see the old faces.”
Back in the early ’90s, a meteoric Magnussen rocketed through the junior categories, a winning machine. For the Dane it was just one more result chalked up, but even by his standards the ’92 festival was a special performance. He first came from the back to win his heat after having qualifying time deleted, before making two spectacular outside passes on Oliver Gavin and Neil Cunningham at Paddock to win the final.
Magnussen explains that his view of the achievement has changed over time.
“Looking back, I know it was the most important first step in my career”
“At the time it was just another win,” he says. “But looking back and speaking to people all throughout my life, I know that it was the most important first step in my career. A lot of people took notice of the Festival in ’92, and that helped me along for the years to come.
“[I realise now] it was a huge deal for me, probably the most important race I’d done so far.
“It’s a shame it’s not a part of the junior normal route anymore. It’s such a fantastic fantastic place to learn coming from go karts.”