Jan Magnussen: "This is high on my list of successes" The ex-Grand Prix driver clinched his Danish Touringcar Championship In his third attempt Jan Magnussen finally succeeded in clinching the Danish Touringcar Championship, when he won the...
Jan Magnussen: "This is high on my list of successes"
The ex-Grand Prix driver clinched his Danish Touringcar Championship
In his third attempt Jan Magnussen finally succeeded in clinching the Danish Touringcar Championship, when he won the first of two races on Sunday at Jyllands-Ringen, thereby preventing his only rival for the title, Casper Elgaard, from having any chance in the second race.
"This is high on my list of successes," the former Grand Prix driver said of his most recent championship. Previously, the diminutive Dane has won three World titles in karting as well as beating the late Ayrton Senna's race win record in the British Formula 3 Championship.
"My Danish Touringcar Championship is high on my list, because I have achieved this result at home, and that is really special, because it happened in front of my Danish fans and with my Danish team. I have personally selected the guys working in the team, and when I started here, they were all new to DTC, so to cap it all off by giving them a championship, is really nice."
However, it was a complety different team that Magnussen elected to dedicate his most recent win to.
"This one is dedicated to Prodrive -- my team in ALMS -- who gave me the weekend of to race here in Denmark," the Peugeot driver said.
Jan Magnussen started the pre-final on pole, but with the usually fast-starting BMW pair of John Nielsen and Casper Elgaard sitting on the next row, he was very anxious about the prospects. But nevertheless the ALMS regular managed to make the best getaway to lead into the first corner.
"Initially I could see a BMW in my rear mirror, and I was really getting worried," Magnussen confessed. "But after the first corner, I could see (team mate) Edman right behind me, and I could breathe a sigh of relief."
But behind him several of the persuers tangled. At the end of the circuit's minor straight Nielsen and Lundgaard touched, sending the latter's Toyota airborne onto the grass and into eventual retirement. Seconds later there was an almost mirror of the event, when Nielsen's team mate Elgaard touched with Lundgaard's team mate -- Jakob Sund -- and once again a Toyota driver was the loser.
When the dust had settled, Magnussen held first from Edman and was soon building up a small cushion, while Nielsen was in third place in front of 2001 champion Michael Carlsen, Kurt Thiim, Casper Elgaard and a fast-starting Pontus Morth. On lap two Elgaard had moved by the Renault Megane of Kurt Thiim, but from then on his championship ambitions began to fade, as he found it hard to catch up with Carlsen, whom he didn't manage to pass until three laps from the end. Now the BMW driver was in fourth place, and even though team mate Nielsen led him by into third at the end, but it wasn't enough, as he needed to finish in front of Magnussen in order to keep his title aspirations alive.
Not only had Jan Magnussen secured the driver's title. Team Essex Invest had also taken first place overall among the teams, and with Jesper Sylvest likewise secure of the privateers' title, the final would be free of any championship tactics -- it would be just pure racing.
Having finished sixth in the pre-final, Kurt Thiim had secured the first pole position for Renault, and the former DTM star managed to hold onto the lead, while the BMW pairing of Casper Elgaard and John Nielsen moved by front-row starter Michael Carlsen, as soon as the lights turned to green. Further down the field Jan Magnussen was virtually resting on his laurels, making his worst start of year and letting Honda Civic driver Philip Andersen into sixth. However, the new champion retook that position, but when outgoing champion Jason Watt put some pressure on his team mate, not much persuasion was needed before the pair swopped positions.
At the front Kurt Thiim was seemingly having no problems in holding Elgaard at bay, and the latter thus elected to let John Nielsen by, and the BMW veteran was quick at mounting a succesfull attack on his old Formula 3 adversary, whom he passed on lap 7 of 15. A few laps later Elgaard followed through, and despite driving as best as he could Kurt Thiim did not manage to keep his rivals behind, eventually dropping back to take seventh at the chequered flag.
The last driver to pass Kurt Thiim was Toyota driver Jakob Sund, who along with Jason Watt made the best improvement of the day, when he went from 13th on the grid to take 6th at the end.
Short note: In the supporting Formula Renault class new champion Tom Pedersen took two wins, thereby extending his total number of victories to nine from the 16 round series, which he won from Jesper Wulff Laursen and Jakob Ludvigsen. Next Sunday Pedersen will be having a one-off race with Berlin-based Dane Robert Schlunsen at Padborg Park, where the duo will share a Team Essex Invest BMW 320i in a four hour endurance race.