Jan Magnussen says Corvette needs to be at its "absolute best" to beat the likes of Ferrari, Porsche and Aston Martin in the GTE PRO class at Le Mans.

Corvette will race its new C7R at Le Mans for the first time this year, but as a team that takes part in the United Sports Car Championship it has not raced against the WEC-based entries who have been competing against each other all season. Speaking exclusively to Crash.net before qualifying second in class behind the #51 AF Corse Ferrari, Magnussen said he didn't see it as a disadvantage but knows it is likely to be tough to find an edge.

"I think it can go both ways because they don't know anything about us either," Magnussen said. "We can get quite a good feel for the competition in the States. Obviously now it's the works teams that we're up against and they do things a little bit differently, but they probably don't do things a lot different to how we're doing them.

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"I don't know if it's an advantage or a disadvantage. We come here as best prepared as we possibly can be. All of us have been here a lot of times and I think out of all of the teams I don't know who has the most wins but we have won this about half the times we have been here which is pretty decent for us.

"I know the other teams know each other and know what they're up against - and we know we have to be performing at our absolute best to beat those guys - but GT racing is close racing. It's pretty amazing that you can have a front-engined car compete with a mid-engined car compete with a rear-engined car so closely. We know we're not going to beat them unless we do our very best, but we think we've brought a car that's capable of doing it; we know the crew is and the drivers are all proven, so we're here with just as good a shot as everybody else."

And Magnussen has been excited by the new C7R having said last year's car was not up to standard in terms of outright performance despite being a title-winner.

"There's very few parts - if any at all - that carried over from the C6R. Even though we won the ALMS championship we never had the fastest car but as a team we pulled together and we made good strategy calls, had good pit stops, so we won it in a different way.

"But we knew that this was not going to last; everyone is bringing better and faster cars and we need to do the same. So this is a complete overhaul, this is a brand new car, it's not a development of the old car, it's brand new. Every area has been improved: chassis, aerodynamics, power, driveability, every area. It's a really, really nice car to drive."