DTC: Jyllands: Round one qualifying report

Jan Magnussen won Super Pole despite small error. Reigning champion Michael Carlsen will start Sunday's pre-final from back row. Panoz ALMS star Jan Magnussen will start from pole position, when this year's Danish Touringcar Championship kicks...

Jan Magnussen won Super Pole despite small error.

Reigning champion Michael Carlsen will start Sunday's pre-final from back row.

Panoz ALMS star Jan Magnussen will start from pole position, when this year's Danish Touringcar Championship kicks off tomorrow at Jyllands-Ringen. Driving his brand-new Peugeot 307 GTI the former Stewart Grand Prix driver ended as the fastest among the eight drivers who had qualified for the new Super Pole session. But Magnussen could in fact have been even faster.

"I missed a gear chance," Magnussen said after his one lap wonder, which was five hundredths of a second faster than the runner-up, BMW 320i driver Casper Elgaard.

"I could have posted a much better time, if I hadn't missed that gear change. It is the first time that we have to qualify for grid positions in this way, so you just have to trust that you have got your tyres up to the right temperature and that you are able to brake as late as possible. It is difficult and it just have to work on your single lap!"

Until Jan Magnussen entered the circuit, best lap time was recorded for Casper Elgaard from the new Team Essex Invest, which also runs John Nielsen. But despite being pipped by Magnussen, Elgaard was very happy with today's result.

"I'm really satisfied with second place. It is our first time with Super Pole, and for me it has been a really exciting novelty to the series," Elgaard says. "The entry is really top with all the Danish international stars, and being able to mix it at the front of the grid makes me really glad. Tomorrow I just have to hope that all the bad luck that I had last year has stopped, so that everything will run according to plan."

Henrik Larsen -- runner-up to Mika Hakkinen in the 1988 European GM Lotus Euroseries -- gave newcomers K-motorsport third place on the grid, having been fifth in the preliminary qualifying. "I was somewhat lucky, as Jason Watt got a puncture, which I feel sorry for, but still it is the name of the game," the diminutive driver says.

Like reigning champion Michael Carlsen Jason Watt was one of the two unlucky stars of Saturday's qualifying. Michael Carlsen had to miss qualifying alltogether, as he had wrecked the engine of his Peugeot 307 GTI in the morning free practice session. However, the car will be ready for Sunday's pre-final, where he will line up 26th and last on the grid.

Relatively speaking Watt was the luckier of the top. Having been fastest in the preliminary qualifying he was thus the last man to be let loose for Super Pole, but on his warm up lap he suddenly started to slow.

"I made the car slide in order to get some heat back into the tyres, and I could feel that there was something wrong," Watt explained.

"It turned out to be a puncture, which might have cost me a front row starting position for tomorrow's race. It is extremely disappointing to start eighth, but I will try to go for a quick time in the pre-final. I might even elect to drop back in order to get a free lap, so that I can set a fast lap that will give me a good grid spot for the final."

-dtcc-

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Series General
Drivers Mika Hakkinen , Jan Magnussen , Jason Watt , Casper Elgaard